July 1st, 1996
A big ass space ship shows up in orbit...
So you decided to write fan fiction for the Independence Day setting but unless its slash fic about two dudes on a repaired alien space craft currently docked to the mother ship and the ten secret moments they spend together...you feel hard up.
Having some Idea of real world events that were going on in the background will help:
July 1st... Space Shuttle Columbia was conducting a Space Lab life sciences experiment mission (STS-78) The first of the International Space Station modules was yet to be put in orbit...so no ISS.
The STS-78 Columbia Crew were:
Com T.T. Henricks
Pil K.R. Kregel
MS1 Richard Linnehan
MS2 Sue Helms
MS3 Charles Brady Jr.
PS1 Jean Favre
PS2 Robert Thirsk
This provides you with a selection of real NASA Astronauts who are caught in orbit at the moment of Arrival.
Independence Day: Prelude
July 1st, 1996: Sue Helms stared out the window of the Columbia at the distant Moon and its new companion, her eyes wide in shock and confusion. She flailed blindly with her hand to reach Commander Henricks who was busy behind her checking her report.
"That would probably be the Moon you are looking at Sue." Commander Henricks laughed and continued reading...
"No...not the Moon...I mean I see the Moon..." Sue sucked on some water to quench the odd sensation as though she just woke up in the desert.
"Whats that other thing coming our way from behind it...?" Commander Henricks turned and looked. His brain rebelled against its obvious nature and Commander Henricks switched on Comms.
"Uhhh...NASA we have something large comming at us from behind the Moon." Henricks waited for a response. Seconds became minutes.
"NASA...are you receiving?" Commander Henricks rubbed his fingers against each other nervously.
Anyway...short of Commander Henricks pulling a handgun from the purple people eater protocols locker and shooting himself in the head now that he has been cut off from his chain of command (NASA)...we can go do some research to find out what the response of the real crew would have been in this situation.