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#1 2017-03-17 20:58:58

JohnX
Member
From: Thunder Bay
Registered: 2017-03-10
Posts: 61
Website

Red Planet short story - First of a series?

Here are some linked short stories on the human hazards of space exploration. Follow Don, Asya, Marco and Annika - and many others -
as they train to live on Mars, journey through the vacuum, and land on their new home planet.

So that you know what style to expect: I aim to write good stories with as much solid science and engineering in them as I can. But they are not text-book documentaries. Mainly I want to explore how people will live and experience such a radical new departure, what scientific advances might be like there, and what difference the technology will make.

More are in the works and you will find them linked off the first page below. Happy reading!

By the way, all are free to read. I'm just writing 'cos I enjoy it.

"New World Rising" by John Peace

Last edited by JohnX (2017-04-14 20:10:37)


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#2 2017-04-05 20:35:54

JohnX
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From: Thunder Bay
Registered: 2017-03-10
Posts: 61
Website

Re: Red Planet short story - First of a series?

Second short story is posted on the 'New World Rising' page.


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#3 2017-04-14 20:12:51

JohnX
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From: Thunder Bay
Registered: 2017-03-10
Posts: 61
Website

Re: Red Planet short story - First of a series?

Here's more of an intro to the story:

Not far into the future, the first steps have been taken on Mars. The next frontier is finally open. Many players are gathering their teams; many plans are being laid. Companies are developing the systems and technologies they will need to stake their claim and build a lasting settlement in unforgiving conditions.

One of these teams is a corporation named Sabir Space Industries. The goal of its CEO and majority shareholder, Nowal No'man, is to make Mars an independent world where mankind can begin again. She is recruiting a band of explorers and dreamers, experts and cast-offs, students and scientists and engineers and astronauts, while struggling to keep her company free from the heavy hand of Big Money.

But even from within her own company and from among her relatives the threat comes quicker than she had expected. How will it be possible to keep the dream alive? Or was the dream nothing but a fantasy?

Don Luther, PhD, lectures in Planetary Science at the University of Washington, Seattle, while researching the climate history of the Red Planet. He would love a chance to research the climate and geology of Mars first-hand and even to settle the big questions of life on Mars. But his wife has made it clear she isn't going along with his dreams. What can he do?

Abdul Qawi is many things, but stupid isn't one of them. He has led a hard life as a petty criminal, a Yemeni soldier and an intelligence officer and now finds a chance to work with his distant relative, Nowal No'man, in Dubai, using his energetic intellect to solve technical challenges. The ultimate adventure of exploring Mars beckons irresistibly, but he doesn't seem to have the right skill set to work his way onto the crew. Is there a way to beat the system? And what would it cost him if he did?

Follow the stories of these and other characters as the first SSI crew trains and launches, and lands on Mars at last.

Of course, landing is just the beginning. It doesn't get any easier from here onwards. In fact, death is always just one small accident away. But for those who survive and thrive, a new world is beckoning.


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#4 2017-05-07 20:29:19

JohnX
Member
From: Thunder Bay
Registered: 2017-03-10
Posts: 61
Website

Re: Red Planet short story - First of a series?

Update:
The series now includes these short stories, with another in the planning stage:

- Kayaks and Cosmonauts
  - Don Luther is faced with the choice of committing himself to the Mars mission.
  - Cosmonaut Komarova is on the last ISS crew before decommissioning. How can she follow that?

- Simulator: Tensions grow unbearably as major flaws in the SSI Mars Mission come to light.

- Going Red: How is the crew going to build a new world if they can't stand each other anymore?


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#5 2017-07-31 10:23:54

JohnX
Member
From: Thunder Bay
Registered: 2017-03-10
Posts: 61
Website

Re: Red Planet short story - First of a series?

Update:
For all you SpaceX fans (and SpaceX critics?) here's a short story depicting the first human landing on Mars - in a SpaceX Red Dragon II capsule. So already some of you may be scratching your heads or flexing your critic typing fingers! Elon Musk and his amazing engineers have decided for now that Red Dragon may not be carrying out propulsive landings: SpaceFlightNow article

Here's a quote from that article:
“The reason we decided not to pursue (powered landings) heavily is it would have taken a tremendous amount of effort to qualify that for safety, particularly for crew transport,” Musk said. “And then there was a time when I thought that the Dragon approach to landing on Mars, where you’ve got a base heat shield and side-mounted thrusters, would be the right way to land on Mars, but now I’m pretty confident that is not the right way, and that there’s a far better approach.”

“It could be something that we bring back later, but it doesn’t seem like the right way to apply resources right now.”

So they've backed off from the propulsive landings in order to get the Dragon qualified with NASA for crewed missions to and from ISS. Good focus.

But, hey, this is fiction, so I can write what I like! Anyway, my Red Dragon II is the Mark Two - the engineers overcome their problems in a few years and upgrade the RD so that the service module trunk stays attached and provides the necessary power and life support (etc...) so that RD II can land safely on the surface of Mars. But still, it's a hair-raising ride, which I hope you will enjoy.

If there are any comments... be my guest, either here or on the blog itself at Ice And Fire , the new instalment of my slowly-growing epic. If you have solid technical advice on how to make this story more realistic, please, please post or email me and if it's sound advice I will at least give you an acknowledgement somewhere.

Currently I'm writing the back story of two more characters, and should be posted to the blog within the next month or two, summer vacations permitting.

Postscript:
Same article, E.Musk also says:
“Plan is to do powered landings on Mars for sure, but with a vastly bigger ship,” he tweeted Wednesday after his remarks in Washington.
So maybe they are looking into no powered Mars landing until their giant ITS is operational. But I'm sorry, that doesn't fit my fiction plan. 50 or 100 characters at once is too much for my meagre talent. Kim Stanley Robinson managed it, mainly by not introducing us to most of the First 100, but I'm happy starting with small crews who set up base camp for the larger settlement teams in the ITS ships.

Last edited by JohnX (2017-07-31 10:35:15)


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