Sky Burial

Sweat became floating pearls around his head, as Marco maneuvered around the drive umbrella. At the far side he hooked his arm around one of the supports, and swung around to cover the expanse towards the small experimental craft. He laughed from the excitement of endless floating, as he bumped into the tin can he called “Poppins”. And from this can, six hair-thin wires stretched back up to what he called the umbrella - two bands of five coniclet fractal foam em-drives, painted with solar panel circuitry, pouring energy into the transistor/battery at the base - and he had invented it.
    Marco fidgeted with the lock, fingers stuck in oversized gloves, and only relaxed when the air pressure started to build again. He felt that he was ready, that the speed record around the moon was his, that no one could stop him.    He flipped up the yellow cover on the retro steel pin. “You only live once.” Snap.

     Marco didn’t know it himself, but it took only a fifth of a second for him to become a brownish red smear at the back of his vessel; then the tethers snapped, asymmetrically, and the rotational energy spit into the coniclets tore them apart; a thousand particulates to feed the churn of space junk already covering the lowest orbits around earth.
    Marco was destined for a reentry cremation. Talk about sky burial.

There was no mission control, but NASA had Marco in their sights. Anderson stood wide eyed and stared at the screen, where bits of aluminum alloy where blinking as they made their small rotations and collisions. He turned to look at Jenkins. “Now the space age begins.”