When is Someday?

June 4, 2015
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I wonder how many people’s interest in science fiction is being lessened by the fact that no nation seems to be doing anything romantic in space any more.  All we can point to are vague promises like “Someday we’ll go to Mars” –if congress ever lets us.thZ3UEUR18

  My original interest was boosted by the belief that it wouldn’t be long before the fantastic promise of humans traveling to other planets would become reality.  It was fun to imagine and to be told how that might play out.  If Neil DeGrasse Tyson is right when he says that science fiction tales led about two-thirds of the world’s scientists to become scientists, then we may be in trouble.  If real exploration is necessary to light up the imaginations of kids so they’ll read science fiction which in turn motivates them to become scientists, then we’re missing something important for the future by being so lackadaisical about sending people into deep space.

Interstellar Travel Answer to failing Earth?

January 24, 2015
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Interesting article below.  The only thing it doesn’t account for is that scientific discoveries occur exponentially and build on each other.  What looks difficult or impossible now might be easy in 20 or 30 years because of some breakthrough that affects many things.  The invention of the computer would be one example of a breakthrough.

The Martian by Andy Weir–Read it

March 21, 2014
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So you are a member of the third and biggest expedition to Mars, but something goes wrong.  There is a massive sandstorm and, as you try to get to the MAV (Mars Ascent Vehicle) before it tilts too far to take-off, the main communications antenna comes loose from the Hab and punctures your suit.  Air leaks out and your vital signs plunge.

The other crew members think you are dead and leave the planet in their MAV.  You are left behind with no hope of rescue for over 4 years.  How do you survive?  Andy Weir shows in exquisite detail how that might be possible, assuming you have dual degrees in mechanical engineering and botany, in a fascinating novel called The Martian. 

Mark Watney doesn’t die as his companions thought because the piece of antenna that punctured his garment,combined with frozen blood from the wound seals his pressure  suit until he regains consiousness and can apply a more permanent seal.  But by that time the MAV is gone and Mark is left to figure out how to survive in the real-life hostile environment of the planet Mars.  The things he does are realistic, ingenious and point to ways that lots of people could survive indefinitely on the red planet.  This book is available from Amazon and well worth the read if you are at all interested in space exploration or colonizing Mars.