On an autumn morning in 2077, a huge ball of fire appeared in the sky over Europe. Moving at 50 kilometres a second, the meteorite crashed onto the plain of northern Italy and 600,000 people died. The shock to Earth and its people was terrible. For the first time, they decided to work together and guard their planet against the dangers of space.
Then, in 2131, an object was discovered outside the orbit of Jupiter. Scientists named the object, "Rama". It was bigger than most meteorites and it was not travelling on a regular orbit. It was heading straight towards the centre of the Solar System. But when a space-probe took photos of Rama, the pictures showed a dark grey cylinder, 50 kilometres long. And the inside of Rama was not solid - it was hollow. So what was inside the huge cylinder? Was Rama a spaceship? Were humans going to receive their first visitors from a world beyond the Solar System?
Retold by Elizabeth Walker.