Study Guide

Red Mars Part 8, Chapter 1

By Kim Stanley Robinson

Part 8, Chapter 1

Shikata Ga Nai

  • Yeah, so what did happen to Peter Clayborne? Let's find out.
  • When the elevator begins to collapse, he and the rest are riding it down. Deciding they aren't in such a hurry to reach the bottom, they put on space suits and bailed; Peter floats through space, the others drifting away from him.
  • He tries to keep calm, not waste his oxygen on an increased heartbeat.
  • He falls asleep twice. After the second time, a ship finds him floating with only an hour of air left. Now let's just take a moment to consider how large space truly is and how lucky Peter is that someone stumbled across him. Kind of makes winning Powerball look like a sure thing, right?
  • The ladies pick him up and listen to his story, then they all head down to Mars, safe and sound.