It was supposed to be a routine scientific mission, go to Callisto and perform a routine survey. We had a full compliment of drilling equipment, scientific analysis systems and survey drones. The stay was to be one week and we had adequate supplies of food, water and, energy. The main reason for our investigation was to further the Solar Endeavour corporations plans for a Jupiter land base and would be the thirty-second such expedition. I myself had been on four of these previous surveys and my findings are duly noted in their own reports, suffice nothing had prepared me or the rest of the team for what we were to find.
The ship had a full compliment of six crew, my own team also numbered six people. The crew under Captain Reginald Carter who had flown the loop some fourteen times, the rest of his crew were similarly experienced though not all at the same time. My own team had less experience but were all adequately seasoned field operators with the exception of poor Katy Choo, she was fresh from Earth, a geologist of some talent and excited by the prospect of her first expedition to an alien world. Dr Calahan a xeno-biologist had some twelve years experience of extraterrestrial and deep space survey expeditions. Robin Laws was our machinist he had been to Callisto six times on similar operations and was intimately familiar with the equipment we had been supplied. He had an assistant Orion Warner a girl who had been raised in the belts and had ample experience in keeping things running smoothly. My old friend Dr Freeman a physicist who I had worked with for several and Dr Jones a volcanologist who had been a member of several of my teams in the past.
The trip to Callisto was by the book and handled perfectly by the flight team and we arrived in orbit exactly on schedule, we performed a day of orbital observation to ensure the site was clear and that there was no immediate threat from stray meteors or asteroids. We noted that there had recently been some form of impact near the target area, myself, Dr Jones and Dr Choo were quite excited by this as it would mean a number of fresh samples may be accessible easily and quickly. The flight crew and Mr Laws and Miss Warner were not quite so excited as it highlighted the intimate peril we were in. I, however, found it best to put fears of things we cannot control to the back of my mind. A skill that would prove invaluable in the days to come.
The next day, or Day 1 of our expedition the landing module detached from the ship and made its descent to the moons potholed surface, the trip was smooth as always with the moment's tension as the lander settled crushing the uneven ground flat beneath its giant stabilisers. We all cross checked our workstations and equipment confirming that everything was fine we went to the small living space and discussed who would be the first to go out to the impact site.