Sunday, September 20, 2015

Deep Space Here We Come, The Martian, and Kepler Space Telescope

Deep Space Here We Come: Last week Jeff Bezos and his company Blue Origin announced they want millions of humans living in space and he is going to do his best — and spend whatever it takes — to make that happen. NASA recently awarded two contracts to Deep Space Industries Inc. to accelerate the agency’s plans to partner with private industry on asteroid prospecting and harvesting. Elon Musk with SpaceX and Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic are incredible deep space visionaries. 

It’s incredible how in one generation we will have the money and people to make this work. We’ll see it on our life time, even if we witness only the beginning stages. And there are no shortage of best sellers and highly anticipated movies to wet our appetites for exploring that final frontier. 

The Martian: When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. 

With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission. Starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott, The Martian hits the big screens October 2nd.

Glad to see the list of upcoming Sci-fi flicks including Star Wars, The Passengers, Star Trek Beyond and Independence Day Resurgence among others will keep science fiction junkies happy well into 2016. 

Did You Know: Mars exists within our Sun’s habitable zone, or the Goldilocks Zone, although it is slightly towards its outer edge. This is a region around a star that that has the right conditions to find liquid water and possibly a breathable atmosphere on a planet's surface. 

Fun Facts: The Kepler Space Telescope has confirmed more than 1,000 alien planets since its launch in March 2009 and spotted thousands of candidates which scientists expect to confirm a high percentage as planets. In April 2014 it identified the first Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star. While planets have previously been found in the habitable zone, they are all at least 40 percent larger in size than Earth and understanding their makeup is challenging. 

Salem’s Daughters Blog Tour: I’ll be doing the Salem's Daughters Blog Tour during October and the first half of November and you’re all invited! Black tie and glass slippers not required. 

 I’ll announce the All-Star lineup next week. Although the official release of Salem’s Daughters is Thursday October 1st, I won’t kick off festivities until Monday the 5th. 

Question: Do you plan to see The Martian? Would you take a commercial trip into outer space (assuming you had money to burn and buy a ticket).