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Thursday, December 2, 2004


New Short Story: Boy Droid: A Superhero's Story

An android.
An android.
Credit: Big Black Tiny Heart
We received a new short story from Jason Galore: Boy Droid: A Superhero's Story. Here's a snippet:

Ron Ron, a smashing sixty-third generation robot, leapt out of a tree and landed smack in the middle of a plum field, with a loud mechanical thud. His gleaming platinum body shined in the afternoon sunlight. He stood valiantly overlooking the expanses of the plum trees. Somewhere, his sidekick was lost. Alone. Vulnerable. And with the dreaded Exonerator on the loose, there was no telling what sort of madness was afoot.

Jason is also the author of Counting Stars, and we hope to hear more from him in the future.


- posted by Alex @ 21:14 EST

(permanent link)

Saturday, December 11, 2004


New Short Story: Comet 13

Ares, god of war.
Ares, god of war.
Credit: Unknown
Yet again, we have received another great short story submission. Entitled Comet 13 by Tim Volkert, this is an absolutely great piece of fiction. Tim's writing ability really shines in this piece, and his story is as captivating as it is imaginative. The work makes a comment on humanity's inherent desire for power through war and imagines a political scene which seems it could be not too distant. Here's a snippet:

“Good morning, little one!” Sheena said as Darrick stumped into the cafeteria. Her pet name for him had irritated him at the start of their relationship, especially since he was a bit over six feet tall, but over the months it seemed to merely enhance her charm.

“Morning,” Darrick replied as he plopped down at their usual table, one by a fairly large window overlooking Ophir Chasma. Mariner Prime was situated just ten meters under the northern cliff of Valles Marineris. Only the cafeteria and the gym had windows; it was expensive to rad-shield them in northern winter, when the sun shone down onto the north side of the canyon. After a long, dazed look out the window, Darrick shook his head to clear it and poured some coffee.

“Still having nightmares?” Sheena asked as she accepted a piece of sihkdahla Darrick passed her.

“What? Oh, I guess. I don’t remember,” Darrick answered with his eyes on his pancakes.

Sheena saw this and said, “Tell me what’s bothering you. You may not remember your dreams, but you know your nightmares.”


Tim is the founder of the Marquette High School Astronomy Club, the most recent Red Colony chapter, already with 16 members!


- posted by Alex @ 15:23 EST

(permanent link)

Sunday, December 12, 2004


NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe to Resign

Sean O'Keefe.
Sean O'Keefe.
Credit: NASA
NASA's tenth administrator, Sean O'Keefe is set to resign sometime this week. His most probable successor is Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, retired director of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency. O'Keefe is likely to become school chancellor at Louisiana State University, in his native state. Both criticized and applauded for his management skills, having directed reforms in the Navy and as deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, O'Keefe is considered a high profile choice for LSU.

The change in command comes at a turbulent time in NASA's long existence, with the administration under fire for its apparent irrelevance and wasteful spending. Champions of a privately funded mission to Mars (who received a victory on Wednesday with the US Congressional approval of space tourism) have long despised O'Keefe's apparent insensitivity to a cooperative effort with private enterprise for human exploration of the solar system. His resignation will also remove a major roadblock for the reparation of the Hubble Space Telescope. However, should President Bush appoint Lt. Gen. Kadish to the position, the administration could be criticized for investigating military involvement in space. The new appointment could come on Thursday.

O'Keefe became NASA Administrator on December 21, 2001, replacing Daniel Goldin.

(More info: Space.com)


- posted by Alex @ 13:25 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, December 13, 2004


JIMO Preempted by Mars Mission?

Artist's conception of JIMO.
Artist's conception of JIMO.
Credit: NASA/JPL
The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) was to be a grand flagship mission. It would be the first mission powered by NASA's exciting Project Prometheus nuclear reactors, and would explore the tantalizing hints of potential life that we've gotten from such moons as Europa, where scientists believe the entire surface is made up of a layer of ice sitting on a vast global ocean. However, a recent analysis done at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory suggests that, while JIMO is being developed, NASA should work on smaller, faster missions to utilize Project Prometheus's immense potential. One of the proposed missions is a "Next Generation Mars Telecommunications Station." It's not clear exactly what it would be used for, but it would probably be similar in concept to the 2009 Mars Telecommunications Orbiter (link, link).

(More info: Yahoo! News [Space.com])


- posted by Brian @ 23:35 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


British Scientists Propose Planetary Parks for Mars

View of a national park in Quebec.
View of a national park in Quebec.
Credit: Bounjour Québec
In the first known major move by "Reds," British scientists have proposed cordoning off seven areas of Mars to be isolated from human influence. No spacecraft would be allowed to land, however visitors would be allowed in designated trails. "It is the right of every person to stand and stare across the beautiful barrenness and desolation of the Martian surface without having to endure the eyesore of pieces of crashed spacecraft scattered across the landscape."

It is unlikely that their specific proposal will be adopted, however. Some of the areas that they wish to cordon off, such as the polar caps, may be vital to survival on Mars through the resources that they contain.

Many have considered this a valid form of preserving the old Mars if Mars were to be terraformed. Proponents of this approach would put massive domes across these areas to protect them from changes to the atmosphere. The scientists did not appear to be considering terraforming when making this proposal, however.

(More info: CNN.com)


- posted by Brian @ 14:57 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, December 24, 2004


New Article: Lunar Laws

Earth's beautiful moon.
Earth's beautiful moon.
Credit: Joanne Hailey
Steven Wintergerst has sent us an article to celebrate some of the concerns of lunar colonization this Christmas Eve. His article covers ways to preserve both the natural beauty of the Moon and the historical sites visited by the Apollo missions. This is from Steven's email:

For some time, I have thought about colonizing the moon, and what it might entail. I certainly haven’t come up with all the answers, and in fact, I couldn’t even find a decent site to talk about it on. I’ve posted on Red Colony before, and found it to be a very useful, informational, and casual site for discussing Mars. I thought to myself it would be great if a site like that existed for the moon. After countless searching, I wrote to Red Colony, to ask them if they knew of any such site. Alas, such a site did not exist, but Alex informs me that maybe, if I’m really good, and Red Colony gets a lot of interest in the subject, maybe Santa will build such a site.

As I’ve already discovered, writing about something enough can sometimes create just that sort of interest. Thus, I bring you my very first article about lunar colonization.


The first article on Red Colony about lunar colonization, Lunar Laws breaks new ground in our recognition of humanity's need to colonize both Mars and the Moon.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!


- posted by Alex @ 17:58 EST

(permanent link)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


NOVA to Air Overview of MERs

Blueberries on Mars
Blueberries on Mars
Credit: NASA/JPL
While not directly related to the colonization or terraforming of Mars, part of the job of Red Colony is to build general interest in Mars, which will lead to other things. It is with this in mind that we encourage all viewers of Red Colony and their friends and families to watch an upcoming NOVA broadcast on PBS. The producer's goals seem in line with our own. "I want people to come away from the show with a sense of exploring another planet, that they feel this is worth doing and that it's done by regular human beings. What I really try to do is reach other people who don't have science backgrounds and show them how interesting it can be."

The show will air one day after the one-year anniversary of Spirit landing on Mars, on January 4 at 8 PM EST on PBS. Local times may vary.

(More info: Boston Herald)


- posted by Brian @ 17:38 EST

(permanent link)

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