Angular Moment by Louis Sollert
Approx. 20,360 words.
Published on November 19, 2012.
When Physics Research Station Howard, in orbit around HR 2251 A, misses a couple of monthly reports to Earth, a trio of ensigns fresh out of primary naval officer training is ordered on a milk run to investigate. They do not anticipate what they find, and they must rely on the help of Howard's sole survivor to establish what they are facing and what is at stake.