Welp, It's About Time. Manned Mars Mission by 2018!

Inspiration Mars Foundation is planning a manned flyby mission to Mars for a target launch date of January 5, 2018. The announcement was made today.

A fast, free-return mission is similar in function to the Apollo 8 mission. The idea is to send two private U.S. citizens (probably a married couple, actually) on a 501-day mission to flyby the Martian surface by 100 miles and then return safely to Earth.

I like the patriotic nature of this mission, billed as "A Mission for America." I know it isn't very "politically correct" considering the fact that idealistically access to space is something that all nations should aspire towards and the collaboration between nations is a virtue extolled by Star Trek and other popular ideals, but I don't care. I still like America best.

I completely agree that now is as good a time as any to visit the red planet. It's been technologically possible to achieve this mission ever since the technology of Apollo. But we've just been waiting for someone to take initiative. That initiative came from Inspiration Mars.

Check out this factoid sheet on the preliminary mission specs: http://www.inspirationmars.org/Inspiration%20Mars%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf


Help Name Pluto's Newly Discovered Moons!

You all have the chance to go over to www.plutorocks.com/ and vote for your favorite names for the two new plutonian satellites. Heretofore they have been referred to as "P4" and "P5" and I think scientists are getting tired of such boring nomenclature.

I voted for "Cerberus" because I am in the middle of playing Mass Effect 3 and enjoy links between science and popular culture. Of course, the science people were probably thinking of the three-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld, not the pro-human terrorist group, but that fits, too.

Another option I almost went with was "Vulcan," but I feel obligated to save that name for a distant planet filled with green-blooded logical pacifist pointy-eared hobgoblins.


Friendly Reminder to DO HARD THINGS

While my life in general seems to exude the notion that it isn't going to waste, and while picking a tough major and moving halfway across the country for a tough internship can be considered "doing hard things," a close look at how I've spent my free time lately would reveal a distinct lack of productivity. I looked at my list of project ideas this morning. It is extremely long. I have not completed a single one all year. What have I been doing in my free time? Absolutely nothing.

I'm borrowing this rallying cry from my friends at theRebelution.com, whose banner has graced the bottom of this webpage since the history of this blog: a call to rebel against low expectations for young people and to Do Hard Things. While I am no longer a teen, the temptation to slack off and retreat into my own little world hasn't desisted. I want to do something other than for myself. I'm going to start small. I've noticed I have the ability to post educational videos on YouTube. That is my Start Here.

I hope God will use me to help bring light into this world.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
~Matthew 5:14-16