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I read this collection of manga shorts in an English B&W reprint in the '90s or early 2000s. I think they were all by the same creator, as opposed to an anthology. I found it at a public library and didn't recognize the author.

  • The first was about a scientist who was stationed near Pluto, working to create a micro black hole (a "baby black") for spacecraft propulsion. Her father (grandfather?) worried that she would be killed, because most of his family were now dead, and the project team were unsure if they could capture the black hole. There was a bit of bittersweet comic relief where he was looking at an old family portrait (actually a holographic video clip in a frame) where most of the family left the frame for different reasons, and I think at the end of the clip it was just the dog and the scientist as a little girl.

Ultimately the project succeeded and everyone lived.

  • Another story was about three astronauts visiting a dead planet with a moon in a weird orbit. Continual high winds had caused erosion that created city-like formations, which led the astronauts to think the planet was inhabited. The atmosphere was distorted by tidal forces which periodically created a near-vacuum at the poles, which had boiled off the ocean and left a glassy plain behind -- they saw the remains of giant crabs. IIRC the landing team were all male, and the orbiter team were all female; there was some reference to the mythical Amazons.

The men called for help when the atmosphere reached "low tide", and IIRC the women thought they were being babies.

  • I vaguely recall a story about a robotic interstellar probe that passed an older space probe. The newer probe had information that

the older probe's mission was doomed or at least futile, and decided not to inform the older probe.

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The first story is the first chapter of volume 2 of 2001 Nights, from 1984. It was licensed by Viz, but appears to have expired.

I haven't checked the other stories in the description, but I'd be surprised if they weren't all from volume 2.

The word "baby black" is explicitly used for a newly created black hole:

Discussion of black hole, "baby black"

This appears to take place off a planet in another solar system, not Pluto.

The final page of the chapter shows that the experiment was a success..

Successful test

Found by searching manga updates for the tags Space Travel and collection of stories, filtered to licensed manga only. There were only two results older than 2016.

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    From the TVTropes page for the manga: "In "Medusa's [Throne]", a team of astronauts are trapped when the soles of their spacesuit boots become vacuum-welded to a perfectly flat plain of ice." "Medusa's Throne" is the 3rd chapter of volume 2 (per Wikipedia) and sounds like the 2nd story mentioned.
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 22:34
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    Oh, hey! They're all available at the Internet Archive! The 3rd story is "Night 9: Journey Beyond Tomorrow;" here is the critical page. "We've caught up with it..." "In a flash our hyperspacecraft has overtaken Discovery which started its journey fifty years ago!" "...That's how it is. K.A.R.C. 9000's journey was completely meaningless."
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 23:08
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    ("Night 9" is in "Volume 4," "Night 10: Medusa's Throne" is in "Volume 5" as they're posted at IA.) Here the relevant page for the 2nd story.
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 23:12
  • Awesome work. Thanks!
    – spazquest
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 18:22

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