When radio signals reach Earth from a planet in a far distant star system, the starship Dawn is readied for immediate dispatch to search for signs of intelligent life. But as the ship will take decades to reach the planet, a young inventor proposes that a group of the best and brightest schoolchildren be sent in place of adult cosmonauts, as they will reach the planet in their prime of life. But naturally, things don't go quite as planned. . . .
The first part of Richard Viktorov's "Kids in Space" epic (followed by Adolescents in the Universe) is pure adolescent wish-fulfillment, as the valiant young band of intergalactic explorers must prove that they are as tough, smart and resourceful as any grown-ups.