science fiction

Project Mars

Project Mars

Bruce Ediger

The first workable proposal for a space program is apparently Wernher von Braun’s Project Mars. Project Mars is a work of fiction, but it lays out a space program that could probably take humans to Mars with the technology of 1955.

Project Mars didn’t see print until 2006, although it’s technical appendix was published as The Mars Project. in 1953.

Base Seven

Bruce Ediger

An intelligent species (or confederation of species) might choose to use base 7 for their numeral system, no matter the exact number or nature of digits at the terminal end of their manipulative appendages.

Even entities with 8 terminal sub-appendages might use base 7.

Von Braun's Lunar Trajectory

Bruce Ediger

In my post about Lester Del Rey’s 1956 sci-fi thriller Mission to the Moon, I criticized Del Rey’s cis-lunar flight orbital mechanics. Del Rey had his moon missions leaving from a polar orbit around the earth. This struck me as very odd - all real lunar and interplanetary missions have left from a more-or-less equatorial orbit, or maybe even fly directly into an interplanetary orbit. I thought Del Rey had completely misunderstood orbital mechanics, or had mis-read von Braun.

I was wrong.

1984

Bruce Ediger

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I read George Orwell’s 1984 sometime during “Junior High”, which in the 1970s was what we now call “middle school”. My district, Adair County R-III, had grades 7, 8 and 9 in their own building.

The school library had a copy of 1984. I was busy reading a lot my 7th and 8th grade years, so I read it.

Mission to the Moon

Mission to the Moon

Bruce Ediger

I’ve been reading science fiction for a long time, since maybe second grade, circa 1968. I believe that the first scifi book I read was Lester Del Rey’s Mission to the Moon.