I can only blame my negligence on the distractions of our crazy virus-contaminated summer, but last August was the 15th anniversary of NASA’a launch of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. One of the Red Planet’s more senior residents, millions of images and tens of terrabytes later, it’s still going.
A rich source of images for research, MRO studies atmospheric temperatures, peers underground with radar, and detects minerals on the planet’s surface… Able to zoom in on surface features at the highest resolution, the detailed, color images from HiRISE [camera] have captured dramatic scenes of nature: tumbling avalanches, skyscraping dust devils, and other features of a changing landscape. The camera has also provided images of other NASA spacecraft at Mars, like the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers. MRO has even flipped itself around to point HiRISE out at Earth and Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons. nasa.gov
Visit NASA’s site for a few amazing images (some in false color to accentuate certain details.) The detail is breathtaking.
Happy Anniversary, and wishing many more. Here’s one of my favorite images from NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
That’s Mars with and without a huge dust storm. See the triangle of dots? The large one standing alone is Olympus Mons, the solar system’s largest known volcano. The other three are also massive dead volcanoes. They’re all part of the Tharsis Bulge. Maybe not the likeliest place for a Mars colony to begin, but I couldn’t resist – I sent my scifi settlers there.
Until humans land on Mars in real-life, we make-do with science fiction. Join settlers in the first, near-future colony. Struggle for survival. Battle the deadly planet and sometimes each other. Set on the real-Mars as science knows the planet, my stories are full of action and suspense mixed with a vision of how you might one day live your life on the Red Planet. Click now and read the individual books at Amazonand other favorite stores, or get the value-priced box set, also available at Amazon and other favorite stores.
I realize that Elon Musk’s predictions aren’t always spot-on, but SpaceX is a star of the private space industry, so when…
Company founder and CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday (Dec. 1) that he’s “highly confident” SpaceX will launch people toward the Red Planet in 2026, adding that the milestone could come as early as 2024 “if we get lucky.” space.com
… my little heart goes pitter-pat. The Starship prototypes are already under development with several tests completed, and the latest, #8, is about to launch for a major test flight.
I’m so used to space missions requiring patience. It takes years and sometimes decades to launch a probe. Americans don’t want to see NASA astronauts die in space, so with all today’s caution and redundancies, crewed missions feel distant no matter what schedule is announced. But private companies are different.
Musk wants to die on Mars (“just not from impact,” as he’s said.) Yeah, he’s only 49 years old, but he’s impatient. Will he travel on that first flight? Will it really take off in four to six years? Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Can’t wait to find out.
If you can’t wait either, take a scifi trip to the first near-future colony. But be warned: something’s terribly wrong on Mars.
The launch window for NASA’s next Mars rover opens in a month, on July 20th. Headed to a crater that once contained a liquid water lake, will it find biosignatures? That is, evidence of life? Before we worry about that, will it land safely? The curse of Mars still nibbles at my mind.
Thanks to N K Chavush for reviewing my scifi story about a near-future Mars colony, Glory on Mars. Authors can be the hardest critics, so it’s an honor to be his Book of the Week.
Lately there has been a buzz with Mars being at its closest to earth for a long time and appearing bright in the summer night’s sky. Kate Rauner’s genius writing style brings the red planet even closer to us and is so original that it’s a lot different to other science fiction space novels. The characters work so well together and fit well into the alien scenery.
If you’re looking for a good scifi/fantasy read, check out the reviews here by author N K Chavush.
When something dark and evil is headed towards Anto, an underground city that is unknown to man, the Anthidden tribe will do anything to protect their very own existence. Only one soldier: Tarmus has what it takes to save the city, but will it be enough against what’s coming?