Feb 272015
Living in California, Working on Mars

It’s not everyday I get to talk with someone who works on Mars. So when I scored an assignment for The Atlantic magazine’s website (Jet Lag is Worse on Mars) on how Martian explorers will adjust to a longer Martian day, my first call was to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I was able to get more »

Jun 152014
"That is how a 21st century spaceship should land"

SpaceX has been making great strides in proving its launch capabilities and competing for acceptance from NASA to carry astronauts back into space on an American rocket. But in the neck-and-neck competition to have a private enterprise spacecraft crew rated, it struck me that SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft was lagging behind Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser when more »

Aug 272013
One-Way to Mars: Is it the only way?

No, but maybe sending colonists first is the better way If you want to go to Mars, you only have a few days left to apply. But if you want a round trip ticket, you’re going to have to wait a while longer. The plan of the Mars One Foundation to send would-be colonists to more »

Aug 262012
Reflections from a July morning on a Florida beach, 1969

We didn’t sleep much that night on the beach, my brother, my cousin and I – and several thousand other people. We kept staring across Indian River at that gleaming needle of white on the Atlantic shoreline of the Kennedy Space Center, a rocket bathed in the brilliant glare of searchlights that surrounded the launch more »

Aug 172012
If we find life on Mars, is Mars off limits?

When Curiosity shakes off all the dust from landing and completes all its system checks, it will begin its one-year trek (by the Martian calendar) up Mount Sharp, with one of its aims to discover if Mars was ever habitable for primitive life. What if it was? Wow! Great, what a find! What if the more »