Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Paint the Sky With Suns - 2014 Book Project

Last year I announced the title of a new book project I am currently engaged in, a family history, titled, "Lord of the Stars".  but after a considerable amount of family research and plot development, I have renamed the book, "Paint the Sky With Suns".  It is the same story, of course, but with a newly developed emphasis. The photo on the cover is of my great grandfather, William Matthew Wattenbarger, from the Cherokee tribe.

 I am 'hoping' for a late 2014 release - but "Apocalypse Moon" has taken priority for this year and hopefully I can fit two publication projects into this year!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Apocalypse Moon New Release Date Announced

The latest Aaron Seven Adventure, APOCALYPSE MOON,  is currently scheduled for release during the first quarter of 2014.  Sorry for the delay - but like a good wine - sometimes time is also an essential ingredient to a great novel!  I promise to keep you updated more regularly.  But stay tuned right here as Aaron Seven continues his adventures.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Radiation Exposure on Mars - On the 10th Anniversary of NASA Mars Rovers

     When the NASA Rover Curiosity landed on Mars, it carried with it a radiation meter to assess the dose of ionizing radiation on the surface of the Red Planet.  Since there is so much interest in launching human missions to Mars, the greatest known risk was thought to be radiation exposure from cosmic rays.  Unlike earth, Mars has a fractional atmosphere and equally insignificant natural magnetic shield to buffer and push the high energy – high mass cosmic radiation away from human contact.  But after more than a year on the surface of Mars watching the radiation meter daily – here is what Curiosity has reported – and it is not good news at all for would be Martian explorers:
     The rover discovered that the ‘natural’ background radiation exposure on Mars (almost entirely- 95% - from high energy cosmic rays) was on the order of 0.67 millisieverts per day.  Let me put that in perspective.  On the earth – with its very effective cosmic ray shield of a thick atmosphere and the magnetosphere protects us from this natural cosmic environment endless bombardment of ionizing radiation.  Thus, for the average human at the average spot on earth, we routinely receive on the order of 0.007 millisieverts per day of background radiation – a difference of almost 100 times less!  Here are some other comparisons.  One day on Mars would be the equivalent of receiving 33 chest x-rays per day, or on average, one whole body CAT scan every 5 days.  The Martian astronaut would be receiving 244 times the allowed radiation dose from all nuclear power sources for the public and 60 times the maximum dosage allowed for professional nuclear power plant workers.  And at that rate, the astronaut would be receiving in a single one year nearly twice the current allowable lifetime dose for career NASA astronauts – and the minimal Mars mission is estimated at three years for a cumulative over-dose of six times the current career radiation exposure.  Further – during the time of measurement, the sun was unusually quiet and did not add its typical solar induced dose to the picture, which only inevitably adds to the bleak picture.
     What is the solution?  I believe it is ‘relatively simple’:  increase the transit speed and thereby reduce the transit time and future Martian explorers and settlers will all inevitably live under the Martian surface where they can be effectively and safely shielded from the hazardous environment on the surface.   
PS.  The same is true for lunar explorers as well as practically everywhere outside of low earth orbit.