Le chapitre 23
To measure her mobility, Valentina pushed off the ground with both feet and jumped higher than she ever did on Earth. Her injured leg felt fine and she had no inhibitions about using it for any routine motion. While jumping may not be the safest way to get a view of the distance, she felt it to be a great way to assess her leg’s strength, her acclimatization to the lesser gravity and her tactile sense of the ground. And, jumping was just plain fun.
Ahead she saw how the pitons continued to be anchored at regular intervals for a few more hundred metres down the crevasse. A loose wire connected one to the next. She was about to hook her harness to the wire to allow her to control her descent. With this rock-climbing method, they had been pushing ever further down the crater’s slope. They’d used measurements from the orbiting satellite as well as measurements from Woof to obtain a tightly contoured map of the crater wall. From them, they had identified likely routes and found one that would have been quite impassable given Earth’s gravity. But again, the lighter gravity of the Moon and solid footing enabled them to negotiate much steeper slopes. From trial and error, they now had a fairly secure route taking them almost half way down the crater wall. She wanted to expand her surveying and assaying so she was taking Woof to walk to nearly the end of their established path. Woof had a much lower centre of gravity as well as four strongly-treaded wheels so its grip was even more secure than hers and it had no need of a safety wire. In about thirty more minutes she would be at her destination, a small ledge likely formed from a large chunk of ejecta which itself had resulted from the meteor that created the crater. One edge of the ledge looked like a promising water trap as the Sun might not ever have been able to shine upon it. Though this shadow area was quite small and due only to the shape of the ledge, its composition might be indicative of water traps elsewhere along the crater wall. She attached her harness to the wire and followed the worn path that results from many other human passages along their established route.
Being a rambler on another planet (as the colonists considered the Moon) inspired Valentina to no end. As much as she loved exploration, she was also totally dedicated to fulfilling the self-sufficient mandate placed upon them. While many years may need to pass to reach it, they knew that successfully mining for water was the principle driver.