Story summary.Dave Mannen, a midget, is the sole man aboard the first human ship to Mars. He will land, but with a minor shipwreck that makes take-off impossible but life support systems intact. He has a few weeks of air, after that end. Oh, and he'll soon befriend a "Martian farmer" too.
This event - a man in distress in a dramatic situation - brings enemies together on earth. So a repurposed Soviet missile will land supplies for this US man - so he can fix the ship & return.
But the man in distress is seeing more than all humanity is seeing back on earth, & has a plan that will keep humanity distracted a little while longer...
- John W Campbell, Jr (ed)'s "The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology".
Fact sheet.First published: Astounding, November 1949.
Download full text as part of the scans of Astounding issue it originally appeared in.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of Lester del Rey; Mars in fiction; Tuesday Classics.