Note: The stories are not intended to predict events, but to explore the human side of exploring and settling Mars. Technology and science is accurate to the best of my limited knowledge and efforts at research, but there are bound to be flaws.
NewSpace is a fictionalised corporation which - in the real world - has been pioneering reusable rockets and reducing the cost of launching payloads into space. They also have a vision to settle Mars in the next few decades.
New World Rising
Not far into the future, the first steps have been taken on Mars. At last it's for real. The next frontier is finally open. Many players are gathering their teams; many plans are being laid. Companies are developing the systems and technologies they will need to stake their claim and build a lasting settlement in unforgiving conditions.
One of these teams is a corporation named Sabir Space Industries. The goal of its CEO and majority shareholder, Nowal No'man, is to build an independent settlement on Mars where mankind can begin again. She is recruiting a band of explorers and dreamers, experts and cast-offs, students and scientists and engineers and astronauts, while struggling to keep her company free from the heavy hand of Big Money.
But even from within her own company and from among her relatives the threat comes quicker than she had expected. How will it be possible to keep the dream alive? Or was the dream nothing but a fantasy?
Don Luther, PhD, lectures in Planetary Science at the University of Washington, Seattle, while researching the climate history of the Red Planet. He would love a chance to research the climate and geology of Mars first-hand and even to settle the big questions of life on Mars. But his wife has made it clear she isn't going along with his dreams. What can he do?
Abdul Qawi is many things, but stupid isn't one of them. Crazy, maybe. He has led a hard life as a petty criminal, a Yemeni Special Forces soldier and an intelligence officer and now finds a chance to work with his distant relative, Nowal No'man, in Dubai, using his energetic intellect to solve technical challenges. The ultimate adventure of exploring Mars beckons irresistibly, but he doesn't seem to have the right skill set to work his way onto the crew. Is there a way to beat the system? And what would it cost him if he did?
Follow the stories of these and other characters as the first SSI crew trains and launches, and lands on Mars at last.
Of course, landing is just the beginning. It doesn't get any easier from here onwards. In fact, death is always just one small accident away. But for those who survive and thrive, a new world is beckoning.
0. Prologue. 2029. Ice And Fire ... A pioneering corporation named NewSpace achieves the first human landing on Mars
1. 2027-2029. Of Kayaks and Cosmonauts
2. 2029. Simulator
3. 2029. Annika - Marco
4. 2031. Doubt
5. 2031. Launch
6. 2031. Red Flag
7. 2032. Close Enough To Touch
8. 2032. History Makers
All stories copyright John Peace 2017, 2018
--- Acknowledgements ---