112 pages 3 hours read

Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Chapters 5-8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 5 Summary

In flashback, Grace recounts his own experiments on Astrophage as scientists around the world race to learn about the extraterrestrial life form, which resembles single-celled organisms on Earth. While trying to determine why they are attracted to Venus, Grace accidentally breeds more Astrophage. He hypothesizes the entire Astrophage life cycle: The Astrophage gather energy from the sun, then use that energy to migrate to Venus, where the carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere supports their asexual reproduction, and then the parent and daughter cells migrate back to the sun to repeat the cycle.

Grace calls Stratt to give her the news, and she immediately has him escorted via several consecutive military helicopters and fighter jets to a Chinese aircraft carrier in the middle of the South China Sea. There, Stratt has Grace report his findings to “an international body of high-level scientists and political operatives” whom Stratt has gathered for a mission called Project Hail Mary (89). Grace explains how he bred the Astrophage and how Astrophage could be bred on a large scale and enriched with energy. A Chinese scientist reports that her lab has reproduced Grace’s results, and Grace is hurried away to rest while the others continue the secret meeting.

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