Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Friday, December 30, 2005

How Does a Ticket To Mars Sound To You?

During the spring of 1961, I sallied forth into a seedy used book store and clicked a silver dime down on a dirty glass counter for the first book I ever purchased on my own: Gulliver of Mars. It now hangs In all of its pulp glory enshrined in its own shadowbox frame next to me as I write. In 1961, Mars was still mostly mystery and not a single soul really knew whether Gulliver's weird creatures actually prowled about on its mysterious surface. But - NOW we know for sure.

There are only two beings that resemble life and intelligence on the entire planet, a pair of plucky robot messengers from earth still doing their remarkable job of exploring in a place we still can't go - or afford to go. And they have each exceeded their warranties by 800% - after two Earth years and one Mars year. It's not at all bad for a 90 day and-then-bust mission plan. The pictures they have returned have all been nothing short of fantastic and surreal, especially for us Marsphilesback here on earth daily monitoring the JPL Mars Rovers Website. In the next day or so I will point you to some of the more fantastic views sent back lo these tens of millions of miles by our little coffee-table sized friends roaming about on the Red Planet. While mostly desert scenes, I have seen enough to know that my own personal Desert architecture will look great on the Martian plains.

And, OBTW, if you haven't checked out my book, Abyss of Elysium, I just happen to have penned a Mars story that you can now accurately picture for real. Check it out!


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