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 original 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:

Thanks to for the quote above.

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 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)


Retro Rocket

Buck Rogers

Buck Rogers operating a drone, Amazing Stories (March 1929)

SpaceX has been delivering cargo via rocket to the International Space Station, but that is old news.  What’s new is how the first stage will be retrieved for reuse: it’s going to land with spindly-looking legs on a tail of flame.  The first time, SpaceX will land the rocket in the ocean, but once the system is proven, the rocket will set down on land.  If someone wrote about such a rocket in a science fiction story today, you might scoff at the antiquated, Buck Rogerish idea.  “If SpaceX can create a completely reusable rocket, [a researcher] believes their prices will drop so significantly that it will put out of business any company that doesn’t keep up”.  Truth really is cooler than fiction.

Orbital Science Ship Arrives



Orbital Science’s cargo spacecraft, Cygnus, arrived safely at the International Space Station with 2,780 pounds of supplies and scientific instruments.  SpaceX and its Dragon spacecraft are also contracted for resupply missions as part of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services project.  Some of you may remember when NASA’s Shuttle was advertised as a “space truck” and the beginning of an era when space flight would be as common as airplanes are today.  Maybe today’s commercial space companies will deliver on that promise.


Arrives at ISS

What will future companies find profitable in space?  Communications satellites are so common we only notice them when a problem pops up.  Google Earth and GPS are part of every-day life.  When we add stations on the moon or Mars, will they be government projects or private?  Will metals mined from asteroids ever compete with mines here on Earth, or will zero-g manufacturing become indespensible?  It’s all hard to envision today, but maybe that’s what people said about the airplane.