Happy November everybody! Let’s talk about deep space stuff. I was reading one of my news feeds today and one of them seemed to suggest that NASA is soliciting ideas for deep space exploration from the likes of you and me:
Uhh.. I don’t thinks so. If you read the whole thing it sounds a lot more to me like it is directed toward companies and organizations already in the space biz. And get a load of that first sentence:
NASA is soliciting proposals for concept studies or technology development projects that will be necessary to enable human pioneers to go to deep space destinations such as an asteroid and Mars.
Is it me, or is that lame sounding? Shouldn’t it at least be: “…such as an asteroid or Mars.“? How about:
NASA is soliciting technology development projects and visionary concept proposals that will be necessary to enable human pioneers to go to Mars; explore distant asteroids, and even send manned missions to deep space.
Mine is kind of clunky too! Think you can do better? I bet you can…
As for suggestions, here’s an interesting one -“…I’m excited to introduce you to a concept for a long duration manned mission to Venus, using blimps to hover in the atmosphere.” – See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/paleblueblog/happy-halloveen-us/#sthash.ZQzHfSsY.dpuf. This looks like a pretty cool blog – might have to check them out on a regular basis. If I do, I report back here.
It’s a cool idea, read the blog post, there are some great graphics. And I think it is amazing what the Russians did in 1981 with their Venera missions to Venus. Did you know the Russians landed stuff on Venus? Apparently it only takes around 100 days to get to Venus by rocket; Mars is more like eight months so Venus is practically in our back yard. Something to think about. She (I assume the blog-post author Julia is female) also takes issue with the term, “manned mission“. May I submit, “personned mission“; there, all better. Or, say we sent an all female team to Venus, for example, and you heard this on the news: “The all female manned mission to Venus …”. I’ll stop.
I still think we need permanent bases on Mars though; with factories and workshops capable of partially manufacturing and assembling more rockets to be launched from Mars on to the asteroid belt and beyond to Jupiter and its moons. I know, I know, we’re not there yet. But we will be someday. And then on to the moons of Saturn.
Saturn’s largest moon, Titan is larger than the planet Mercury, but just smaller than Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede. And yes, in 2005 we ‘Mairicans landed a robotic explorer on the surface of Titan. Right. On.
Recent Cassini photo of Titan, I think August 2014, showing sunlight reflecting from its polar seas. (Cassini is still orbiting Saturn…). Link to NASA photo courtesy of our pals at earth and sky: http://earthsky.org/space/cassini-captures-sunglint-from-titans-seas
It rains hydrocarbons like propane and methane on Titan; and if Earth hydrocarbons were made millions of years ago by decayed dinosaurs and paleoplants from way back then; where did Titan get their hydrocarbons? Or (like the Russians think) are hydrocarbons non-biotic? Or were there forests and dinosaurs on Titan millions of years ago? I want to know.
Another Titan factoid: Atmosphere is thick, gravity is low, so if somehow you could strap on Icarus-like wings you might actually be able to fly around on Titan under your own power. Cool.
While we’re on a space kick, don’t forget to vote on whether or not Klim should be a bad guy, or a good guy in the upcoming epic three volume sci-fi thriller, The Smell of a Comet. Link below if you have no idea what I’m talking about…