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Blog: Mars Ambassadors are Catalysts for Change

By James Melton, PhD, Mars Society Chief Ambassador Red Planet Bound Blog OUR STORY In the dark stillness of the night, zero four hundred hours a Zoom link is clicked in Pakistan. Nasir reaches for his notepad for the call. Simultaneously, in Australia, at 0700 hours at dawn, Jonathan is ready for work, but before leaving, he clicks on the Zoom link. In the United Kingdom, at 10:00 PM, Emma and Steve join in. At 4:00 PM in Austin and… READ MORE >

Here Be Radioactive Dragons and Other Stories

A Guest Post for the Red Planet Bound Blog by Kris Davidson, Crew Journalist for Transatlantic MDRS Crew 261 During the zenith of the Age of Exploration, spanning the 14th to 16th centuries, a captivating sway of the monstrous and mythical prevailed over cartography. This period, signified by insatiable curiosity, saw audacious explorers venturing into uncharted territories. The maps of that era, intricate renderings of the known and the unknown, served as essential tools for navigation and understanding Earth’s expansive… READ MORE >

Book Recommendation: The Case for Nukes by Robert Zubrin

Book Review by James Burk, Executive Director of the Mars Society Dr. Robert Zubrin’s latest book, The Case for Nukes, provides a sweeping history of energy technology advances and presents a compelling and detailed defense of one of humanity’s most promising yet misunderstood sources of energy. Many positive reviews are coming in, such as this one from Reason magazine, and I want to join those who are hailing this as an influential and thought-provoking work. In addition to promoting nuclear… READ MORE >

In Person or Proxy to Mars and Beyond?

In Person or Proxy to Mars and Beyond? By Larry Klaes, Guest Writer, Red Planet Bound In 1972, singer, pianist, and composer Sir Elton H. John (born 1947) released a song titled “Rocket Man”. This music piece, which was inspired by a Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) science fiction story of the same name, has an individual who sees his job in outer space not as some grand adventure as one might expect of a typical astronaut, but rather as ordinary and… READ MORE >

The Speed of Change

From the perspective of a human perched in orbit on the International Space Station, the sun appears to rise and fall every 45 minutes. With continents rolling below in fleeting day and night, astronauts report that the passage of time can feel strangely warped.   To those spacefarers hurtling past the whole of civilization, skipping from dawn to dusk and back again, the relentlessness of change and the transience of all things must be palpable. One need not be in… READ MORE >

Humans, Mars and the Solar Ecosystem

Imagine that you have been transported 3.5 billion years into the past. Somewhere on a young planet Earth, you find yourself standing by the edge of a warm tidal pool. In it, life has just taken shape for the very first time on this world, and perhaps anywhere. As the result of circumstances that we still do not fully understand, non-living matter has somehow joined together in just the right way to generate a living system. You are witness to… READ MORE >

Mars, Meaning and COVID Fatigue

As we quickly approach the grim milestone of two consecutive years in a global pandemic, many of us are experiencing a feeling of growing despair. Once again, our holiday season is marred by uncertainty in the shadow of a new and potent COVID-19 variant. The rapid and shocking spread of Omicron is pushing us apart, precisely when we are meant to come together. The closing of a year should be a time for celebration of the little victories, and yet… READ MORE >

Pro-Mars, Pro-Human

There is something curious at the heart of Mars settlement cynicism. Some specific, underlying mindset appears to be driving many critics of humans-to-Mars. Paradoxically, an awareness of that mindset can help us better understand the value of our multi-planetary future. Have you noticed it? Their language frequently resonates with a kind of knee-jerk pessimism. It feels like the sort of response usually elicited when somebody is confronted with an idea that they would rather not actually consider. We pull away… READ MORE >

International Collaboration in Space: Doorway to a Wiser Humanity

International collaboration in space is an important catalyst for the growth of our species. Not only does is bolster our total scientific and economic productivity as a planet, but it also constitutes an important mechanism for our transition into a more planetary-minded people. Humanity is fumbling through its adolescence. We grapple with the messy contradictions found at the intersection of our violent past, and our aspirations for the future. We have matured enough as a species to see the urgent… READ MORE >

Robots Are No Substitute For Human Space Exploration

Space exploration is not just about gathering data. By and large, the last few hundred days on Earth are not going to be remembered fondly. Few will recall the COVID-19 years with a sense of happy nostalgia. Ultimately, however, this time won’t be entirely defined by the beating we took at the hands of a pandemic. Despite the many tragedies and challenges therein, we still managed to pull off some pretty remarkable things. Somewhere high on that list is the… READ MORE >

History as a Bridge Between Worlds

The scope and scale of Mars settlement is so significant that it can defy our intuitions. Generally speaking, thinking about endeavours on this scale does not come naturally to us. Especially for those that are new to the idea, it can feel detached from practical reality. The trick to shrinking this unwieldy concept down into an accessible format, is found by thinking a little bigger. We have to consider it within the broader context of history. In the Northwest corner… READ MORE >

No, Mars is not a Hellhole [Blog]

For the past few weeks, an article has been circulating throughout the Mars science and exploration community that serves as a sharp reminder of how much work remains to be done in educating the public (and apparently journalists) on the subject of the red planet. ‘Mars Is a Hellhole’ seemingly aims to characterize the objective of a long term human presence on Mars as folly. By couching scary-sounding Mars factoids within a blatantly ad hominem swipe at Elon Musk, it… READ MORE >

Beyond Luna

Humanity has some unfinished business with the Moon. The lunar surface has fallen back into the realm of the remote and unfamiliar for too long. The Apollo landings kindled a dream of an expansive, space-faring future for our species, and that vision continues to inspire us nearly a half century later. Though we have sustained an ember of that dream through crewed missions to the International Space Station, it diminishes a little with every passing year that we do not… READ MORE >

To Mars, For Earth

The assertion “we need to protect Earth” is almost invariably met with heartfelt agreement. The fragility of our ecosystem, and the part we have to play in caring for it is well understood. Our efforts (or lack thereof) on that project are justifiably a matter of debate and political action. We have a great deal of work to do, and some of us still need convincing but for the most part we get it; it’s up to us humans to… READ MORE >