Last Patrol

A3, digital, 2011

Despair.  We have only the vaguest glimpse of the face of the astronaut through his face-plate, but there is sorrow in those eyes.  His spacecraft has crashed on the moon of a ringed planet which we see dimly through its hazy atmosphere.  The fact that he still wears his helmet suggests that he cannot breathe the air here.  It is intensely cold – there is snow on the ground and icicles hang down.  Quite possibly his remaining time is limited and he sees no hope of survival.

But he is peering through a gap in what seems to be an opening ripped through the side of a ruined structure of some kind – there is a metal wall on the inside.  It may be the wreckage of another spacecraft, or of a building that he was seeking in the final moments before his crash.  Was he looking for some source of salvation which he expected to find there?  Has he been cruelly disappointed, or is there still a chance of rescue?  Perhaps it is not his last patrol after all.

Text: Richard Hayes