"A terrific novel, I heartily recommend it." —Orson Scott Card
After a solar flare accident in orbit, Travis is a hero: the first astronaut to bail out of a spacecraft and live. NASA, however, had advised against the bailout—and as punishment for violating orders, Travis is grounded on earth, never to fly again.
Then comes Starfire, an experimental spacecraft that could be capable of interstellar flight. Travis fights a desperate political battle to become a crewmember, and his go-it-alone attitude makes for some rough going. Starfire’s planned maiden voyage is to land on an asteroid that is heading toward a close loop around the sun, stay long enough to explore, then return to Earth by way of a gravity boost around Venus.
But during the mission, disaster strikes again: the ship is hit by a huge solar flare and must take shelter in the shadow of the asteroid, even while falling ever closer to the sun. The aim of the mission now becomes desperate survival...