Eric Frank Russell's "Down, Rover, Down" aka "The Case for Earth" (short story, first contact, free): Man not mature enough to join elder aliens' union
Story summary.Moon & Venus have been conquered; now it's time to expand outwards. Carlow is the sole occupant of the first human ship to Mars. He'll lose contact with earth on the way, & meet an interstellar reception committee on arrival there. And made to attend hearing that will decide the fate of humanity...
Notes.Title is alien's answer to human's objection to aliens' decision:
"Even if we haven't learned to keep the peace, we are smart & tough & we keep going. Man's a rover, see?"
"Down, rover, down!"
- Robert Heinlein's "Have Space Suit - Will Travel": Has a somewhat similar sitting of an alien committee to judge the fate of humanity.
Fact sheet.First published: Nebula Science Fiction, #14 (November 1955).
Download full text as part of the scans of the magazine it originally appeared in.
Related: Stories of Eric Frank Russell (annotated list).