Boots on Mars! Soon, But Soon Enough? #Mars #explore #science #NASA #tech

mars-human-exploration-art-dust-storm-astronauts-full(500x335)The next twenty years promise excitement for Mars lovers. Will Mars One get beyond selling tee-shirts and running science-fair-style experiments? Will the Mars Society continue their simulation missions in the Utah Desert and the Canadian Arctic? Will SpaceX send a rocket that can land like Buck Rogers on the Red Planet a mere three years from now? Etcetera, because these aren’t the only organizations with an eye on Mars.

Non-profits, private companies, and countries new to space may seem like long-shots, though they sure sound serious. Several governments are sending robotic craft to Mars, but NASA has a long history.

So what about NASA?

NASA and Lockheed Martin, together with several international partners and private industries, would like to conduct a comprehensive exploration to the hostile planet… Mars Base Camp [will be a] massive central space station made up of two Orions with two science laboratories.”

By 2028, an international crew will orbit Mars in an environment we have a lot of experience with – a space station – controlling remote rovers in real-time on the planet and its two moons. Scientists will be trained to become astronauts, rather than the other way around, so – as with most of the organizations I mentioned above – the military flavor will be gone.

NASA’s pioneers will return home to Earth and new crews will replace them. Eventually, once we’re convinced there’s no Martian life we could damage, people will set foot on the planet. If we still want to by then, I suppose. Our vision of life on Mars will be clearer by then and, even with advanced technology, it will be a hard life.

NASA won’t land soon enough for many private groups that want to colonize the planet now. There are crews in training today who expect to live and die on Mars.

How I wish I could see a hundred years into the future.

Can’t wait? All my books, including the On Mars series, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo,

Scifi colony on Mars - Kate Rauner

These are the old covers – click now to check out my new (and improved?) covers. Box Set of the complete series at Amazon and other fav stores, or buy individual books

and other major online retailers, including Smashwords for all digital formats and Create Space for paperbacks. On Mars books 1 and 2 are available now, with books 3 and 4 due out this fall. Read one today.

Check out:

http://www.mars-one.com/

http://www.marssociety.org/

http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasas-journey-to-mars

Thanks to scienceworldreport.com for the quote above.

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Mars-ward Ho #space #science #explore #Mars #tech @MarsOneProject #SpaceX

in the 1990s, Biosphere 2 studied a closed system similar to what Mars colonists may need to create

in the 1990s, Biosphere 2 studied a closed system similar to what Mars colonists may need to create

Orbiting the planet,
above Viking’s bones,
Odyssey’s a switchboard
that seeks new landing zones.
Global Mars Surveyor
measures gravity,
Magnetosphere, minerals,
and topography.
MAVEN and Mangalyaan
sniff at the Martian air,

Japan will gather samples
and bring them back from there.
Joining Opportunity
in studying the rocks,
Rover Curiosity
seeks life’s building blocks.

UAE will gather data
on the frigid dry climate.
China’s rover should be very good
at biotech.

Yup, that's me at Biosphere 2

Yup, that’s me at Biosphere 2

Sands of a planet solely occupied
by robots,
Soon will carry boot-prints from
eager astronauts.
Far beyond horizons
where ancestors have roamed,
Mars One and SpaceX
want to claim Mars as a home.

By Kate Rauner

The list of missions to Mars – failed and successful – is long, but the list of planned missions is growing longer. Thanks to space.com for the update. You can visit Biosphere 2 in Arizona where environmental studies are ongoing.

Visit Mars yourself, in my science fiction series On Mars.

On Mars 3 covers over planet (298x300)

 

First Cat on Mars :) #cats #scifi #amreading #book #nationalcatday #Mars

is exhaustingIn scifi Glory on Mars, a cat joins settlers on Mars as a welcome diversion from the battle for survival, and eventually plays an important role in the settlers’ struggle. His earthly stand-in – Harvey – appears on the book’s cover. Harvey’s taking his notoriety in stride.

In the story, two men and two women, about to join the first eight settlers on Mars, have a farewell party at Spaceport America:

Unexpectedly, Emma felt a wave of panic battle the tequila in her bloodstream. She’d had phones and tablets, games and links for as long as she could remember. But batteries were a luxury on Mars, used only for necessary applications. All her earthly devices would be left behind.

One by one, with laughing and back-slapping, the crew of the

Colony on Mars - scifi - Kate Rauner

Original cover – click to see the new cover – better? More science fictiony?

Settler Three Mission relinquished their devices. Contact lenses were popped out and snapped into cases, earpieces and pads dropped into a box.

“We don’t leave our intrepid settlers out of touch,” the support lead shouted over the crowd. He passed Emma a hand-sized pad. With a cord. An electric power cord. And then he handed her an extension cord.

Emma stared at them. Of course, she used corded pads in training, but the permanence of surrendering her own devices hit home. She wandered towards the edge of the crowd, to the ballroom wall, and plugged into an outlet.

Her pad powered up immediately and, already set to Emma’s account, popped open a message.

“Hey! I’ve got a message from Mars,” she called out. People nearby turned towards her and the room quieted when they saw her puzzled face.

“The colonists want a cat.”

“What?” The support lead tumbled off his chair in confusion.

“They want us to bring them a cat.” Emma held up the pad, hitting the end of the power cord.

“You mean a pet-bot?” someone asked.

“No. A real, live cat. They say they’ve arranged for a kitten to be delivered to our ship from Lunar Base.”

Fuzzy with margaritas, Emma was perplexed. Maybe the settlers on Mars were going crazy.

Harvey’s adorable, of course, but colonizing a hostile planet is not.

Their one-way journey to Mars may be a mistake. The colony psychologist, one of the first eight settlers, has committed suicide. Four more settlers are now on their way, bringing renewed hope. Emma volunteered so she could explore Mars in her robotic walkabout suit. Even if she gets the chance, that may not make up for everything she left behind. Mars is a hostile planet, an inexplicable sense of desolation cripples their efforts, and danger from Earth follows them.

Read about the first colony on Mars for free or purchase from Amazon.

There’s more about my books here.

Please post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Booklikes, your favorite retailer, your blog, or wherever you hang out. Reviews help others find my books. Thanks!

glory-ebook-267x400UPDATE: For 2017 I’ve put out a new book cover for Glory on Mars. It’s more science-fiction-y (I hope) and less quirky. So Harvey can retire from his modeling career – but to tell you the truth, he doesn’t seem to care much.

UPDATE 2: I jazzed up the cover a bit more – click to see – better?

Is a One-Way Trip to #Mars Crazy? :( Is it #SciFi? :)

Mars_habitat NASA

NASA concept Photo ID: S93-45586

Mars-One is a Dutch not-for-profit planning to establish a permanent colony on Mars. They’ve selected candidates to train for the one-way trip in five or ten years. Is that insane?

  • Problems to overcome
    They say their settlers will land a ship using retro rockets in a configuration never tried before, and no one’s ever landed such big payloads.
  • Science won’t be their focus, colonization will – but how do you learn to live off the Martian land without a lot of specialized science?
  • Going to Mars, even one-way, will cost a lot – really, really a lot. Mars-One will raise the billions needed using the Olympics as a model – ad revenue, broadcast rights, and donations.
  • MIT students studied colony plans and found even simple things like CO2 versus O2 balance for the plants and humans don’t compute. That Mars-One hasn’t planned enough time or money to develop their missions. And they doubt a colony could become self-sustaining anytime soon.

In my scifi book, Glory on Mars, the first colony is further in the future than GLORY Ebook 300 dpiMars-One, and I give my settlers some neat technologies – robots to build the settlement, an Artificial Intelligence, and satellite systems complete with an orbiting energy station to beam power to the surface. That’s still not enough to prevent disasters.

View the physicsfocus article and Mars-One web site. More about the MIT study here including a video of their debate with Mars-One founders. More about my books here.

Eat Like a Martian – How to Make a Mealworm Snack :) #Mars #scifi #science #space #recipe #entomophagy

Mealworm_dish_in_a_Yunan_Restaurant,_Qingdao_China

Oops – oil and bok choy here – not on the scifi Mars mission

In my science fiction book, Glory on Mars, settlers raise their own food. What would you take on a one-way journey to Mars?

You’d bring enough dried, compressed, packaged food to survive for a while, but living on Mars means growing your own.

Protein and Fat
Even on Earth, some people question the sense of raising large animals for food. There will be no cattle, pigs, or chickens on Mars – think of the mess on the spaceship to transport them! Not to mention having to grow hay or corn to feed them before they become food for people.

But insects – there’s an idea. Easy to transport – the eggs can probably be frozen. There are many places on Earth where people already enjoy insects, and maybe that’s what settlers should take to Mars.

How about mealworms? The name says it all. Just share your potato crop with them.

Here’s a recipe:

Mealworms for Snacking (Protein and Fat)
~
Collect mealworms (Darkling beetle larvae) of good size and vigor in a container with a breathable lid. Add parsley or other herb to the container – as they eat the herb, it flavors them – so I’m told.

~ After two days, remove all food so the worms can – yuck – purge anything nasty from their bodies. Remove any dead worms. Feed those to the fish you need for supper.

~ Humanely dispatch your worms by freezing them for two days.

Boil the frozen worms for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Recycle the used water in your garden.

Toast worms in a pan over low heat until golden brown.

Serve warm.

Thanks to groundtoground for inspiration. The recipe sauteing mealworms with chili peppers and garlic in butter sounds great, too, but that will have to wait for future missions to Mars.

Colony on Mars - scifi - Kate Rauner

Original cover – click to see the new cover – better?

Totally Earthbound Note: High-school student discovers bacteria that enables mealworms to digest Styrofoam.

Mealworms can apparently subsist on a diet of foamed polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam. There won’t be much of that on Mars – though here’s a great way to recycle whatever there is – but could this help with recycling onEarth? csmonitor

See Kate’s Books, Amazon, or any of the major on-line retailers. If you can’t find my ebooks, try Smashwords.

More ways to Eat Like a Martian:
fish supper
cassava
practice for Mars on Earth
Banana beer from Born on Mars
Liz, in Glory on Mars, tries to make bhang, though she doesn’t have all the ingredients.

And NASA is trying potatoes.

How to Eat Like a Martian – What Pioneering Will Be Like – Fish Supper #scifi #Mars #space #recipe

Baked-Tilapia-with-Tomatoes-duo

Oops – where’d that rice come from? My colonists don’t have any. Recipes below.

The first colonists on Mars take a one-way trip – is that a mistake?

While we wait for the answer – what’s for supper?
My new science fiction book, Glory on Mars, explores what life will be like on the red planet. There’s exploration and danger. There’s also supper – recipes below.

I give my first settlers cylinders of macronutrients they can extrude through a 3-D printer into shapes for variety, but that’s not very satisfying and the supply is limited. Vitamin pills are relatively lightweight, but I don’t think our Martian cousins should depend on Earth shipping them pills forever.

If they don’t want to starve, Martians will grow their own food – and if they don’t want scurvy, pellagra, and rickets to make a comeback, that food needs to be healthful.

Ya gotta eat to live, but food must provide pleasure and comfort. Will you go vegan? Here’s another vote for potatoes.

What to grow on Mars
For protein I give my first settlers tilapia – an easily farmed, mild white fish – and mealworms. Also seeds and starter plants – potatoes, tomatoes, squash, salad greens, and herbs. Chives, thyme, lovage (which tastes like celery), and parsley seem essential to me.

What herbs would you take to Mars?

Imagine you spent a long hard day replacing gaskets and filters in the recycling system. You’ve worked in cramped quarters, your back aches, and you’re hungry. Grumpy-hungry.

Fortunately, one of your teammates has cooked supper. Here’s what you sit down to.

Supper for Four Settlers
Poached Tilapia (Protein
)
~ 4 tilapia fillets
~ Chopped parsley – lots
~ 4 tomatoes – sliced or diced as you prefer
~ Salt (You know, salt’s another thing to worry about on Mars. Especially once children are born and the population grows, you can’t rely on recycling human waste – get over the yuck reaction ’cause it’s gotta happen – to harvest enough salt.)

Arrange fillets in a baking dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover with tomatoes. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover baking dish.

Bake or microwave until fish is opaque and flaky. Check and add more water if it boils away in the cooking. Serve with salt and more parsley to taste.

Actually, since you were grumpy-hungry, maybe you should double that recipe. And – salt. You brought a supply, of course. But you’ll need more as the colony grows – hope you find a deposit.

Thanks allrecipes for the idea. Sorry – no lemon or oil on Mars yet.

Nuked Potatoes (Calories)
~ 4 large or 8 small potatoes
~ Chopped herbs

Prick potato skins all over. Microwave until done – fork tines will slide easily into the center. (You remembered to bring forks from Earth, didn’t you?)  Serve with a choice of herbs – I like chives and thyme. Some potato varieties are a bit dry, so mash in water and wish you had milk.

Salad (Vitamins)
Wash and dry a selection of greens and herbs. Serve raw. And plain. Sorry, no salad dressing yet on Mars.

Look here for a tasty snack of mealworms.

Would that leave you happy and content? What herbs do you think are vital to cooking?

All my books, including the On Mars series, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble,

Near future Mars colony - Kate Rauner

I updated the cover art since this image – take a look on Amazon or your favorite online store. Start reading with Glory on Mars 4.5 stars and frequently found in top 10% of its Amazon scifi category

 

iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers.  Read one today.

More ways to eat like a Martian:
mealworm snack
cassava
practice for Mars on Earth
Banana beer from Born on Mars
And Liz, in Glory on Mars, tries to make bhang, though she doesn’t have all the ingredients.

And NASA is also trying potatoes.

#Colonization on #Mars

GLORY ebook with CAT EYES (201x300)I’ve been working through the final edit of my new novel – Glory on Mars. I’ll release it this weekend!

The Mars colony is in trouble when their psychologist, one of the first eight settlers, commits suicide. Four more settlers are on their way, bringing renewed hope – and a cat. Emma volunteered so she could explore Mars in her robotic walkabout suit. Even if she gets the chance, that may not make up for everything she left behind. Mars is a hostile planet, danger from Earth follows them, and an inexplicable sense of desolation cripples their efforts. Read this first book in the On Mars series to discover how humans survive on Mars.

I’ve fussed over the cover image – the settlers take a cat with them, and the cat plays a pivotal role in the story, but is not the central figure. I like the idea of including a cat on the cover – the first image I tried was too cute, the second too complacent. My latest effort is shown here. I hope the eyes will catch a person’s attention as they scan through thumbnail book covers. Would you click on this #ScienceFictionBook cover to read a description?

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