They had spotted the ship from Earth, and six astronauts were immediately dispatched to greet it. For five and a half months the men ate, slept, talked, and sweated within a few inches of each other, aware that any time any one of them might suicide out of loneliness, tear another to pieces from boredom, or disintegrate into madness for reasons beyond imagination.
They had time to be aware of many things. To prepare.
But they weren't ready for breaking and entering an alien environment...weren't set for a mind-shattering encounter with extraterrestrials ..then suddenly all systems were go and no one knew if they'd ever be turning back...