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Monday, February 25, 2013

Red Dragon: Manned Mission to Mars...in Five Years?

If the news speculation is correct, millionaire Dennis Tito via his Inspiration Mars Foundation may be brainstorming a privately-funded manned mission to Mars in January 2018 for a crew of two.

If that sounds a little too far-fetched to believe, you may want to factor in that SpaceX is reportedly looking at using a modified Dragon spacecraft for a Mars mission to be launched with a Falcon Heavy Rocket in the near future. The project is known as Red Dragon.

The mission timeline is expected to be approximately 500 days, and would involve a fly-by of Mars, without entering orbit or landing on the red planet.

Dennis Tito, in addition to being the foundation head, is most well-known for being a paying passenger on the International Space Station for eight days in 2001 after arriving aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He reportedly spent a cool $20 million on that endeavor.

Tito is expected to participate in a news conference in Washington DC on February 27th along with Taber McCollum and Jayne Poynter, officials with Paragon Space Development Corporation, which designs life-support systems. This will be followed on March 3rd when Tito addresses the aerospace conference in Big Sky, Montana on the subject "Feasibility Analysis for a Manned Mars Free Return Mission in 2018."

The reported goal of the mission is to "generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration."

MISSION SUCCESS

I'm a little off schedule this week, so I'm late to post my Mission Success timeline.

We actually dodged a bullet--well, okay, it was actually a blizzard--when we decided to make the five-hour trip to deliver one of our mares to the breeding farm near El Paso on Saturday rather than Sunday. *Whew!* Good choice, there. Saturday...sunny, bright, warm. Sunday...

Blizzard Blasts Southern Plains

Yup, good planning on that one.

TALES FROM THE SFR BRIGADE

I'm very excited about this anthology-to-be! The intent is to showcase a diverse collection of Science Fiction Romance in a free anthology collection selected from submissions by SFR Brigade authors and writers. The tentative title is Tales from the SFR Brigade. The target length will fall somewhere between 65,000 - 85,000 words, depending on the final line-up of stories.

As Pippa mentioned, she submitted a story that the panel of editors chose for the final line-up. The anthology is now entering the editing phase.

NEW REVIEW BLOG: 
AUTHOR REVIEWS ARE CALLED BLURBS

Author D. L. Jackson is launching a new blog where authors are invited to review other authors' work via a blurb with a word count limit. Recent actions by Amazon to discourage authors from commenting on other authors work is reported to be the reason the new blog was created. The blog is expected to launch soon, but is available for viewing now (see link above).

PING PONG

Donna, I loved your blog about Nashville. I'd definitely like to visit one day.

Pippa, congrats on your acceptance and on all the other progress you're making on your career.

Sharon, sending a lot of good thoughts and vibes your way.

Until next week.


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