Showing posts with label Why It's Hard to Get to Mars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Why It's Hard to Get to Mars. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2013

Why It's Hard to Get to Mars

 The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

Did the stars align or was God having a whole lot of fun tonight? I think both. He knows what He's doing with the stars and us, and He sure knows how to have a good time.
We had a Mars adventure tonight and here's how it began: Last week, brother had the privilege of author Liz Rusch coming to talk at his school. We had the option of buying her books ahead of time through pre-order, but you know us, we'd already read many of them by the time she arrived, thanks to our local library. So we passed on purchasing and simply enjoyed her visit and an after-school writing class she offered.
Saturday arrived and we made a trip to OSU. While on campus, I saw a flyer for a campus visit by Dr. Stan Love of STS 122. We just had to go! I talked to the kids and they were game. And then I started wishing we had a Mighty Mars Rover book for Dr. Love to sign. Ack! All the local sellers in the area were out of copies. Liz was awesome about making two books available, and we went and made a memory.

His one hour presentation about the difficulty of getting "men" to Mars was fascinating. Great slides and a good sense of humor made the information accessible. Especially, for those of us with earth bound bums lacking boosters beneath our britches. 

His figures about fuel, Mars, mph, and transit orbits were staggering. Further, I might actually be able to dialogue about it next week! Or, maybe even in 8.2 months, which is how long it would take to get a team of astronauts to Mars, then there's the return home. Psychologists are convinced six astronauts might be able to handle a 32 month Mars mission without killing each other. Two didn't fair so welling in testing, but they did make it out alive. I can't imagine 32 months in mini-van sized Mars messenger machine. (The moon takes 3 days with a rocket under you rear :-)

One of many funny points: The kids loved learning about recycling on the ISS. As Dr Love shared, "Today's coffee is being recycled to become tomorrow's coffee on the ISS." (Don't think to hard about that or you might never drink coffee again.)

Liz was also sweet to sign our books. She wrote in brother's, "Follow your dreams-you never know how far they will take you!"

Coming home the night sky was crystal clear. Tomorrow may be rain and clouds, but tonight was clear and cool, very cool.

I'll head back to my quiet place now :-)