7 More Minutes of Terror! Mars Perseverance Rover to Land – Be Ready #Mars2020 #Mars

Only one week to go! On Feb. 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover (aka Percy) makes its final descent to the Red Planet, landing via a sky crane. Mars is too far away for mission controllers to help; the car-sized craft’s programming is all it has to rely on. The maneuver’s been used before, in the “seven minutes of terror” that we all endured when Curiosity landed. But still, I’ll be holding my breath (with a few gasps interrupting the seven minutes.)

Here’s what NASA has planned:

The mission will explore Jezero crater, which scientists speculate was a 250 m (820 ft) deep lake about 3.9 billion to 3.5 billion years ago. Jezero today features a prominent river delta where water flowing through it deposited much sediment over the eons, which is “extremely good at preserving biosignatures”. The sediments in the delta likely include carbonates and hydrated silica, known to preserve microscopic fossils on Earth for billions of years. Wikipedia

NASA has a great resource site: download lots of information, learn how to participate and watch the mission, and there are activities for students. The first interplanetary drone helicopter is aboard this mission, and I can’t wait to find out how that works out.

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 Amazon and other favorite stores, or get the value-priced box set, also available at Amazon and other favorite stores.

How Did I Miss This Anniversary? Celebrate Mars Reconnaissance #nasascience #Mars

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 Amazon and other favorite stores, or get the value-priced box set, also available at Amazon and other favorite stores.

Award winning science fiction tale continues – can a cult conquer Saturn’s moon, Titan? #scifi #sciencefiction #readers #gift

Scifi book covers in the Titan series by Kate RaunerFynn’s shoved into a stasis pod onboard a hijacked spaceship. He’s not going back to college – he’s on his way to Titan. In Book 1, their leader’s bizarre behavior splits his father’s cult into factions. As conflicts escalate, can Fynn save his family from the deadly moon’s dangers?

Now in Book 2, Fynn  reluctantly challenges his sister’s tyrannical rule. As a rebel leader, he hopes to keep the colony’s fragile life support running, but struggles among the Kin may doom their chance at survival.

Kin should be your greatest ally, not your greatest threat.

Join me to celebrate the release of Titan Insurgents at a special introductory Kindle price of 99 cents. Perfect for the holidays, whether you look forward to a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, or Festivus 😉

Books make great gifts. Give hours of reading pleasure with nothing to wrap, and let Amazon handle the shipping. Kindle Unlimited too, so treat yourself.

Did you miss Titan, Book 1? No problem. Also 99 cents for the Kindle through December, 2019.

Both books are available in Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and paperback.

Click Here for Titan Book 1

Click Here for Titan Insurgents Book 2

What’s all this hoopla about award-winning?

NM/AZ Book Awards Finalist Badge, November 2019Results from the 13th Annual New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards are in, and 13 is my lucky number. Titan Book 1 is awarded Finalist!

This year 1,545 books were entered in 66 categories.

A little indie like me had to compete with books from large national publishers, so I’m thrilled for Titan to be Finalist in eBook fiction.

Click Now and Join the Colonists on Titan

 

Cult Doing Any Better on Saturn’s Moon Titan? #scifi #sciencefiction #Saturn #NewRelease

This December, return with me to Titan. Subscribe now and I’ll let you know when the book is released.

Science fiction book cover Titan Insurgents by Kate RaunerOn Saturn’s deadly moon, kin should be your greatest ally, not your greatest threat.

The only colony on Titan shatters into factions, and Fynn becomes a reluctant rebel leader. His sister seized control of the cult that brought them to the frozen moon, but her tyrannical rule drives them farther apart.

Only Fynn and his friends see the frozen moon’s dangers and wonders. Only they can keep the dome’s erratic life support running. Enduring the cult’s oppression may be the only way to survive. Can Fynn save them when they’re pushed too far?

I’m scrubbing out the last typos and grammos. At least, I hope they’re the last. A few always sneak in from an alternate reality. But I plan to release the new story the first weekend of December 2019, so subscribe to receive an email alert or watch this blog.

How did Fynn get into this mess? Catch up now. Titan Book 1 is, of course, available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. If you have KU, you already paid for this story, so why not read it now?