Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Progress on Mars Writing

Told you I'd be gone for a while. It's a long way to Mars and back!
So far I have a mass of notes (or should that be a mess? Yes, it should.)  Topics include:
·         Private space corporations
·         Asteroid mining
·         Mars remote sensing research
·         Astrobiology
·         Which universities do postgraduate research in astronautics?
·         Mars One
·         The large body of Mars fiction, from 1880 to the present
Almost nothing of the story is written beyond note form. Here's a snippet of what could be an interlude in the form of Facebook-type messages:
RichK31  3hrs . Richmond, Virginia
great day!! at last broadband to my door again! it been long time. now I can play WoW. 12 months offline whew!
doktahoo 3hrs . Cape Town
Had it last week. still slow tho
Mleonor 2hrs . New York
Anybody heard news from MarsOne yet?
Mick Major 2hrs .
They say a webcast or tweets 1pm EST but even on broadcast TV no news for months
Mleonor 2hrs . New York
No news good news? Mars One management has gone pretty quiet the last year or two of the crisis
Mleonor 55mins . New York
Everybody – what were you doing when M1 first landed? Memories?
Abdul Basit 48mins . Dar Assalaam
missed it in hospital sick just my bad luck
RickK31 33mins . Richmond, Viriginia
I watched it on my ol' iPhone I was trekking across Colorado terrible signal out there just me an the coyotes was that really 5years ago
Mleonor 31mins . New York
5 yrs 4months 13days 17hours. We threw a big party that day. The apartment was crazy packed. Ran out of pizza. Totally awesome when they stepped onto the surface. We screamed ourselves hoarse and didn't hear their historic words. The day Paulo died the next year I cried solid 48 hours.
Mleonor 13mins . New York
If M1 didnt make it if theres no signal or theyre gone I dont know what ill do

Friday, 31 January 2014

In Another Land

My other news is that I'm finding myself drawn to explore the planet Mars.

Ever since Mars One's co-founder Bas Lansdorp, M.Sc, went public with his plan to send colonists on a one-way trip to the Red Planet, I've been ever more fascinated with the whole project. A decade or more ago I read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. It felt like I was really there, half the time. Great stories, but Kim sends 100 colonists all at once. Mars One plans to send them about 4 at a time.

So my next writing project, after publishing Called To Battle, will be a novel about colonising Mars. The more I look into it, the more detail I find. There's a whole new world to learn about. This will be a story for adults, so the science needs to be well-researched and believable.

Wish me bon voyage. I may be gone some time.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Meet the Man From The Moon

Imagine meeting a lunar astronaut. What would you ask him? Science fiction author and astrophysicist Gregory Benford met Buzz Aldrin in the 1980s.

I read this and felt the historic weight of frustration that Apollo astronauts, among many others, have felt since the moon landings.

Gregory Benford's writing, by the way, is top-notch science fiction. He knows the science and he writes good fiction.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Zac Manchester Blasts Off!

Here's a guy who had a great idea and wouldn't give up until he had got the thing working. Zac is a graduate student at Cornell University in New York. His vision: Design and fly a spacecraft that anyone can afford.

Intrigued? Disbelieving? Have a look. It's called KickSat.

With thanks to the BBC News for the pic

The BBC News page where I saw KickSat first is here.

For my blog posting about other home-made space projects and commercial space, see this link. And this one.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Called To Battle: Draft Version

It's not far off now!

For news of the sequel to The Calling, my SF novel for mid-grade children to young adults, follow this link.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Man Who Works On Mars

Seriously! This man's job involves driving cars on the surface of the planet Mars. He was born in Italy, his father was a school teacher who loved carpentry. Take a look! He says the reasons that most of the other drivers have left the job is that:
1) Google pays more
2) Driving cars on Mars can get boring!

Here's some advice from this driver, Paolo Bellutta :
"What advice would you give to someone who wants to take the same career path as you?
You never know what can help you, so learn everything you can! I often used knowledge I gathered while pursuing my hobbies, or talking to friends or reading non-work-related books."

Monday, 4 November 2013

David Brin, Thinker.

Robert Sawyer mentioned his friend David Brin, the SF author.

 I'm right now listening to one of David's 4 videos on the future of space exploration. And this guy's got the knowledge - Wikipedia says about him:

In 1973, he graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in astrophysics.[8] He followed this with a Master of Science in applied physics in 1978 and a Doctor of Philosophy in space science in 1981, both from the University of California, San Diego.
Brin is a 2010 fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.[9] He helped establish the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination (UCSD). He serves on the advisory board of NASA's Innovative and Advanced Concepts group and frequently does futurist consulting for corporations and government agencies.

On the subject of Mars, he's thinking of the 'expedition' profile of mission, not the 'one-way-ticket' espoused by Mars One and others. Still lots of common sense - cache supplies, use resources out there, formulate a wise overall goal for space exploration that will work economically. Warning: you need time and spare brain power to listen to this guy.