112 pages 3 hours read

Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Chapters 21-25Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 21 Summary

In flashback, Grace meets with DuBois, Ilyukhina, and Yáo to discuss their preferred ways to die after the Hail Mary mission is completed. DuBois requests nitrogen asphyxiation, as it is among the least painful ways to die, according to his research. Ilyukhina requests death by heroin overdose, claiming she wants to experience “massive pleasure” before she dies. Yáo requests a standard Chinese military-issue handgun and agrees to die last so he can safeguard DuBois and Ilyukhina’s deaths with the weapon.

On the Hail Mary, Grace wakes up in the dormitory to Rocky tapping on the airlock wall. Rocky is grateful to Grace for saving his life but tells Grace that he also almost killed him. What Grace blew out of Rocky’s radiator was not soot, but a kind of scab that was part of his healing process. Still, Rocky will make a full recovery. Rocky chides Grace for accidentally sealing the sample and attempting risky projects while sleep deprived and under the influence of painkillers.

While Grace rests, Rocky makes a new container for the Adrian Astrophage sample so that they can run experiments without exposing the sample to Earth atmosphere. Again, Grace and Rocky hypothesize on the remarkable underlying similarities between their species, like the ability to hear, and their similar intelligence despite their obvious differences, attributing it mostly to evolutionary biology.

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