I was an atheist who died and discovered I was wrong. A "straight-A" kid willing to worship only the preachings of scientific method, finding all religion and spiritual mumbo jumbo to be a crock o' shit. That is, until I stopped breathing.
For the first few days in the dome, I didn't feel like we were on Mars. We weren't on Earth, exactly, either. We were in some sort of strange neither-world. Now, finally, it's beginning to feel a lot more Martian.
What do you say during your last few minutes "on Earth"? Things will break. We will not. How I know that I just can't say. I think it's because we prefer to laugh more than we like just about anything else. Even science. Even being astronauts for a year during NASA's longest planned Mars simulation.
These days we talk about human missions to Mars as if a new type of space race has begun, one clearly distanced from the original by a good 40 or more years, a race we believe we won, because we sent astronauts to the moon. What if the original race never ended?
When the first trailer for Ridley Scott's big screen adaptation of Andy Weir's Sci-Fi novel The Martian was released, the response was so overwhelmingly positive that 20th Century Fox opted to move its release date forward in order to avoid big screen rivals such as James Bond, The Hunger Games, and Star Wars
It's possible that billions of years ago, tiny bits of biology quit the Red Planet and infected ours. If so, your family tree -- and that of every other terrestrial life form -- has its deepest roots not in the ancient oceans of Earth, but in the vanished seas of Mars.
If we think of all the Star Signs as ingredients that make up our character the recipe becomes nuanced and complex. The position of the Sun sign represents the personality. The Moon position describes our emotional responses and the Ascendant (determined by the birth time) describes the face we show to the outside world.
The Martian has emerged at a significant juncture in our nation's space program. After over 50 years of talking about sending humans to Mars, momentum is finally building for humanity to actually achieve that goal.
Just as MS DOS was a good operating system for the Intel x86, but even Bill Gates wouldn't use it now, our understanding of religion also needs to upgrade as human progress continues. But lets not just assume that "software upgrades" haven't already been taking place
Pluto has a big heart and now we've captured it. The New Horizons team has named the distinctive heart-shaped feature splayed across the newly clarified surface of the dwarf planet the Tombaugh Regio to honor Pluto's Earthly discoverer.
I just watched the trailer for The Martian and am looking forward to seeing this one and reading the book. What really resonated with me was the concept that we as humans will do whatever we can to help someone in need.
A rocket can be fixed. A mindset has to be changed or those holding it made irrelevant.
It's a big time at NASA. Scientific probes are sailing through our solar system, gathering legions of data and amazing photographs. Rovers are crawling all over intriguing extraterrestrial bodies, boring little holes into their surfaces and gathering samples.
The NASA rover photos are often shown in false color which can make some areas look like they are wet or contain standing water. But what is REALLY going on with Mars?
Sometimes you have to change course to get on course. And the first small step in doing so may be to realize you didn't really know where you were going in the first place - and why.
We need to move beyond the "flags and footprints" missions and travel to space with the intent to stay, and Mars is our best bet. The good news is that the majority of the obstacles are economic, rather than engineering. The bad news is that it's a tough business case to close.