5.01.2013

Space Exploration Roundup


I hope none of our readers were hanging around yesterday evening waiting for a show -- I announced my "vacation" from Swords & Space Radio on Facebook, but forgot to mention it here. In the mean time, while I still struggle to find time to write while settling into the new house, I wanted to mention some of the interesting things that have come up lately regarding space exploration.
  • Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station has been in the news a lot thanks to his Twitter posts and videos that show him playing the guitar, wringing out a wet cloth, clipping his nails, etc. He even unveiled the new Canadian $5 and $10 bills this week. Seems like a very lively character and I really like how he's improving the profile of space exploration.
  • A month or so back I posted a link to Faccebook about a company, Mars One seeking volunteers for a one-way exploratory trip to Mars. Apparently the thinking being that we have the technology to get people to Mars and keep them alive there, we just don't have the technology to bring them back. If I were single, I would have SERIOUSLY considered this. Apparently lots of other people have. According to wired.co.uk, over 20,000 people have applied. In our risk-adverse, safety conscious society, where everyone wants to live forever, this sounds like craziness, but trips by sailing ship in the 15th/16th century was frequently a one-way trip also. Living conditions were also quite nasty, and I have little doubt the Martian explorers will be roughing it and then some. 
  • In true 21st century fashion, Mars One apparently intends to finance the thing by making the whole excursion a "Reality TV show". When I first read that I laughed. Then I looked up some of the top-rated applicants on http://applicants.mars-one.com/ and I like some of those guys. I think if they threw me into the mix complete with bow tie and contrarian views it would make for a pretty hilarious reality show. Or a real gong show. But, in the end my duty is here with my family! And thank goodness, because in all seriousness, being cooped-up in some small mars habitat module with 1984-style omnipresent cameras for the rest of one's natural life would be pretty close to Hell on [Mars].

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