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I am looking for a short story about an astronaut stranded on Mars, I think because the lander crashed or is unable to take off. The mother ship has abandoned him and left Mars orbit for Earth. Some folks on Earth try to signal a good bye to him using a LASER but he is not interested any more in such things... I think I read the story in early eighties or late seventies, but I am not sure of the date of publication. The story was included in an anthology, Request help to identify the story or an anthology including the story.

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I am looking for a short story

"Transit of Earth" by Arthur C. Clarke, reviewed here. It was reprinted in the May 1984 Omni, which you can read here.

about an astronaut stranded on Mars, I think because the lander crashed or is unable to take off.

We'd been listening to the countdown, of course, trying to go about our normal work. It wasn't easy, accepting at last the fact that fifteen of us had come to Mars and only ten would return. Even then, I suppose there were millions back on Earth who still could not understand. They must have found it impossible to believe that Olympus couldn't descend a mere four thousand miles to pick us up. The Space Administration had been bombarded with crazy rescue schemes, heaven knows, we'd thought of enough ourselves. But when the permafrost under Landing Pad Three finally gave way and Pegasus toppled, that was that. It still seems a miracle that the ship didn't blow up when the propellant tank ruptured . . .

The mother ship has abandoned him and left Mars orbit for Earth.

Just before the end of the burn, Olympus left the shadow of Mars and burst out into sunlight again, reappearing almost instantly as a brilliant, swiftly moving star. The blaze of light must have startled them aboard the ship, because we heard someone call out: "Cover that window!" Then, a few seconds later, Richmond announced: "Engine cutoff." Whatver happened, Olympus was now irrevocably headed back to Earth.

A voice I didn't recognize--though it must have been the Commander's--said "Good-by, Pegasus," and the radio transmission switched off. There was, of course, no point in saying "Good luck." That had all been settled weeks ago.

Some folks on Earth try to signal a good bye to him using a LASER but he is not interested any more in such things...

Well, well. Someone must be trying to talk to me; there's a tiny light pulsing away there on the darkened face of the moon. Probably the laser at Imbrium Base

Sorry, everyone. I've said all my good-byes, and don't want to go through that again. Nothing can be important now.

I think I read the story in early eighties or late seventies, but I am not sure of the date of publication. The story was included in an anthology, Request help to identify the story or an anthology including the story.

First published in the January 1971 Playboy and in many anthologies and collections since then; see the ISFDB bibliography page.

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"Nothing can be important now." I am imagining: "We used the laser to communicate the long term survival strategy for the new rescue scenario, but he apparently ignored us." –  Lexible Aug 29 at 15:27

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