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Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

Confession time: I’m a space geek. If I was younger and the opportunity was offered, I expect I’d volunteer to go to Mars.

Which is why I’m looking forward to seeing the new movie, “The Martian” featuring Matt Damon,  based on the self-published book by Andy Weir. (In 2014, the book finally did find a traditional publisher). Not only does the movie look good, but the fact that Andy Weir believed in his writing enough to self-publish it, and then, was “discovered” is pretty cool. (And every self-published author’s dream).

But what I’m really excited about is there’s water on Mars. Hooray! One thing necessary for life (as we know it) checked off the list.

Want to read more about water on Mars? Here’s a link to: NASA Says Signs of Liquid Water Flowing on Mars from The New York Times. Enjoy!

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“The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel.” – John Glenn, astronaut (and more)

Perhaps it’s because I’m writing some science fiction as the moment, but I’ve been remembering the excitement, not only in the USA, but around the world about space travel when I was younger. I’m not sure anything can take the place of the absolute certainty I felt as a child and young adult that humans would travel not only in our solar system, but among the stars. And like John Glenn, I know the students of today are the ones who must take us into the next phase of space travel.

But long before computers were a way of life, John Glenn trusted a woman, Katherine Johnson, to calculate the mathematics for his flight into space. Never heard of her? Most people haven’t. Here’s a Women’s History Minute video to introduce you to Katherine Johnson.

Still want more? Here’s a link to a little more information about Katherine Johnson from NASA.

Let’s encourage kids to learn more math, science, and technology – and reach for the stars once more.

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Happy Star Wars Day and May the Fourth be with you! Here’s a link for a brief history of how this holiday began.

May is a special month in the Star Wars world – not only was George Lucas born in May, but most of the live-action Star Wars movies debuted in May, including Episode IV – the movie that began not only the Star Wars franchise, but was a major leap in film and special effects. And I think my birthday being in May is no coincidence!

Star Wars had a profound effect on my creative life. Since childhood, I’d been a watcher of Star Trek and other science fiction (and fantasy) television shows. When I got the chance to go to the movie theater, I usually chose to see speculative films. Many of the books I borrowed from the library or had on my bookshelves were adventure tales, fantasy, and science fiction. But I hadn’t yet embraced sf/f/h as my creative niche.

After Star Wars, I realized I belonged as an artist and writer in the fantastical worlds of fantasy and science fiction. I wanted to write about heroes (both male and female), sidekicks, magical creatures, faraway galaxies, and strange worlds. I wanted to paint the landscape and inhabitants of those imagined lands (or seas or starships or mysterious places).

When asked to list my creative influences, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Arthur Rackham always make the cut – but in truth, George Lucas should be mentioned, too!

Here’s NASA’s May 4th greeting for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s a short video with a May 4th wish delivered by R2D2.

And finally, a link to a fun and geeky Star Wars website. Enjoy!

(And by the way, my new book, Owl Light, has several science fiction stories in it for SF readers.)

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I love photos of space. The Hubble Telescope and other new technologies give us such spectacular images upon which to gaze. I suspect, like me, other writers of science fiction study these pictures (or ones like them) and use the images for inspiration.

I’ve always dreamed of exploring another world, but I think my age and the lack of space travel opportunities have made that dream unobtainable – except in my imagination. And so, I shall continue to paint images of distant worlds and write science fiction stories where treading upon the soil of a planet in another galaxy is not only possible, but a common experience.

Below is a link to a gallery titled, “Cosmos” NASA Images of  a Space-Time Odyssey. From this link, you can get to other fabulous photos.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/sets/72157642013369213/

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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