• On September 11, 2077, a meteorite strikes Italy and triggers a tidal wave that drowns Venice and all its treasures.
• Humans create Project SPACEGUARD to protect the planet against the threat of meteorites.
• SPACEGUARD computers locate an unidentified object traveling across the solar system, and it is named Rama.
• Unusual characteristics bring Rama to the attention of the Space Advisory Council, which concludes that a spaceship, renamed Sita, should be modified and launched to take a closer look at Rama.
• Images of the object show that Rama is not a natural meteorite, but rather a cylindrical object that looks like an ordinary domestic boiler but measures fifty kilometers in length, twenty kilometers in width, and appears hollow.
• Commander Norton considers the best way to land on Rama and the possible issues that may arise upon touchdown.
• After they landed, his words, "Rama Base. Endeavour has landed...
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