Study Guide

Red Mars Part 3, Chapter 2

By Kim Stanley Robinson

Part 3, Chapter 2

  • Nadezhda Francine Cherneshevsky walks away from the lander, trying to take everything in.
  • She tries to recall Earth's gravity but can't; she puts her gloved hands into the duricrust and feels its coldness.
  • Inside some containers, she finds a bulldozer; the others contain everything they'll need to live and later prosper on Mars. Nadia smiles. She's the kind of girl who smiles about bulldozers.
  • A call comes through the comm. Maya, Vlad, and Sax call Nadia and Ann back to help get the habitats online. As for the habitats, think: spacefaring trailer homes.
  • The first day is a bustle of activity with everyone working hard to get the habitats livable and breaking into containers to see what toys and materials they have to work with.
  • Nadia sets her sights on getting a tractor operational. Once that's done, she uses it to take a Boeing air miner into the soon-to-be factory district. As the name suggests, the machine mines the materials necessary for air and then makes it.
  • Nadia then rummages through the crates and containers, gathering her personal toolkit.
  • And so it goes. The colonists work all day, each setting up their own niches in this scientific community. Sunset is deemed the mandatory return time, so while all bunched up in the habitats, they talk about what they found and the work they will do.
  • As Sax Russell tells Nadia, it's like the beginning of a universe with everyone acting like "a bunch of hot particles rushing about" (3.2.40).