THE RETURN TRIP – Complete Episode Catalog

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The one-stop shop for the ongoing post library of

(scroll down for episodes)

THE RETURN TRIP

 “The Space Family McKinney”

Episode 1    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6xV      Chapter 1   The Red Planet

Episode 2    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yu

Episode 3    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yD

Episode 4    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yS

Episode 5    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6zh

Episode 6    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6A2

Episode 7    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ad

Episode 8    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Au

Episode 9    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6AP

Episode 10  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6B0

Episode 11  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Bb

Episode 12  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Bn

Episode 13  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6By

Episode 14  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6BK

Episode 15a  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Cc    Chapter 2   Complications

Episode 15b  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Cs

Episode 16  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6CB

Episode 17  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6CQ

Episode 18  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6D1

Episode 19  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6De

Episode 20  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Dy

Episode 21  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6DD

Episode 22  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6DQ

Episode 23  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6E3

Episode 24  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Eh

Episode 25  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Es

Episode 26  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6ET

Episode 27  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Fa

Episode 28  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Fg

Episode 29  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6FF

Episode 30  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6FO

Episode 31  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6G3

Episode 32  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Gm

Episode 33  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Gs

Episode 34  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6GB

Episode 35  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6GK

Episode 36  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6GT

Episode 37  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ht

Episode 38  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6HR

Episode 39  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6HZ

Episode 40  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6I8

Episode 41  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ii

Episode 42  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Is

Episode 43  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6IB

Episode 44  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6IZ

Episode 45  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ja

Episode 46  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Jj      Chapter 3   Up a Creek

Episode 47  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ju

Episode 48  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6JD

Episode 49  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6JL

Episode 50  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Kc

Episode 51  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Kl

Episode 52  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ks

Episode 53  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6KJ

Episode 54  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6KW

Episode 55  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6L7

Episode 56  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Lw

Episode 57  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6LB      Chapter 4   Space Family Confidential

Episode 58  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6LK

Episode 59  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6LS

Episode 60  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6M4

Episode 61  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Mc

Episode 62  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6My

Episode 63  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6MH

Episode 64  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6MW

Episode 65  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6N4

Episode 66  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Nc

Episode 67  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Nm

Episode 68  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6NS

Episode 69  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6O4

Episode 70  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Oj

Episode 71  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ow

Episode 72  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6OG

Episode 73  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6OT

Episode 74  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Pk

Episode 75  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Pp      Chapter 5   Change-up

Episode 76  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6PC

Episode 77  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6PK

Episode 78  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6PZ

Episode 79  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Q9

Episode 80  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Qv

Episode 81  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6QI

Episode 82  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6QX

Episode 83  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6R8

Episode 84  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Rg

Episode 85  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ro

Episode 86  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6RU

Episode 87  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6RZ

Episode 88  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6S9

Episode 89  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Sk

Episode 90  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Sy

Episode 91  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6SL

Episode 92  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Tg

Episode 93  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Tr

Episode 94  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6TD

Episode 95  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6TR

Episode 96  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6U0

Episode 97  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ug

Episode 98  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Um

Episode 99  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6UC

Episode 100  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6UP

Episode 101  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6UY

Episode 102  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6V8

Episode 103  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6VF

Episode 104  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6VL

Episode 105  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6VQ

Episode 106  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6W8

Episode 107  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Wi    Chapter 6   Timeout

Episode 108  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Wv

Episode 109  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6WK

Episode 110  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6X8

Episode 111  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6XK

Episode 112  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6XS

Episode 113  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Y9

Episode 114  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Yl

Episode 115  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6YD

Episode 116  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Zb

Episode 117  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Zj

Episode 118  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Zy

Episode 119  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6ZG

Episode 120  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6ZX

Episode 121  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-705

Episode 122  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-70w

Episode 123  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-70C

Episode 124  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-70M

Episode 125  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-70X

Episode 126  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-715

Episode 127  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-71f

Episode 128  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-71H

Episode 129  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-71S

Episode 130  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-722

Episode 131  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-72c

Episode 132  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-72o

Episode 133  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-72B

Episode 134  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-733

Episode 135  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-739

Episode 136  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-73o

Episode 137  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-73B

Episode 138  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-73J

Episode 139  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-73X

Episode 140  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-74C    Chapter 7   Pick a Pew

Episode 141  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-74H

Episode 142  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-74R

Episode 143  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-752

Episode 144  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-75k

Episode 145  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-75y

Episode 146  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-760

Episode 147  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-76g

Episode 148  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-76t

Episode 149  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-76D

Episode 150  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-76L

Episode 151  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-773

Episode 152  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-77w

Episode 153  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-77F

Episode 154  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-77R

Episode 155  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-786

Episode 156  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-78k

Episode 157  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-78w

Episode 158  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-78W      Chapter 8   Going Somewhere? (very far)

Episode 159  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-795

Episode 160  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-79h

Episode 161

Episode 162

Episode 163

Episode 164

Episode 165

Episode 166

Episode 167

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Episode 173

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Episode 175

Episode 176

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Episode 186

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Episode 190

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Episode 195

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Episode 199

Episode 200

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Episode 205

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Episode 207

Episode 208

Episode 209

Episode 210

Episode 211

Episode 212

Episode 213

Episode 214      Chapter 9  Meanwhile Back @ the Ranch

Episode 215

Episode 216

Episode 217

Episode 218

Episode 219

Episode 220

Episode 221

Episode 222

Episode 223

Episode 224

Episode 225

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Episode 231

Episode 232

Episode 233

Episode 234

Episode 235

Episode 236

Episode 237

Episode 238

Episode 239

Episode 240

Episode 241

Episode 242

Episode 243    Chapter 10  Where are we?

Episode 244

Episode 245

Episode 246    Chapter 10.5  Company is Coming

Episode 247

Episode 248

Episode 249

Episode 250

Episode 251

Episode 252

Episode 253

Episode 254

Episode 255

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Episode 257

Episode 258

Episode 259

Episode 260

Episode 261

Episode 262

Episode 263

Episode 264

Episode 265

Episode 266

Episode 267

Episode 268

Episode 269

Episode 270

Episode 271     Eleventh and Final Chapter

Episode 272

Episode 273

Episode 274

Episode 275

Episode 276

Episode 277

Next to Last

The End

“Get to know the people, places and things.”

Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for the sequel – THE NULL SOLUTION

NULL SOLUTION-001

 

©Copyright Gwendolyn Hoff 2020 All Rights Reserved

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 159

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 159

 …Americans love the movies. Cold War Americans are fearful of communists. Movie Stars associate with communists. Connect the dots

Feeling frustration and fresh off another in a string of failed mischievous deeds, Pentateuch is pushing L. Dick Cannon into going public with his new Hollywood recruit, John Garfield. If Cannon get Garfield to join him on a publicity tour, Pentateuch is convinced they can offset anything that that damned Graham can put together.

Garfield has been blacklisted by the motion picture industry because of his alleged communist ties. His wife was a member of the Communist Party in the near past, but there is no real evidence that John himself had pledged allegiance to the group. But that does not matter to men like Wisconsin’s Joseph McCarthy, who choose to accuse huge numbers of American citizens with communist sympathy.

In the previous year the newsletter COUNTERATTACK published a report on the communist influence in radio and television. In the pamphlet Red Channels, the groundwork is laid for the blacklist, a toxic list of some 200 actors, writers and directors, following the original outing of the notorious Hollywood Ten of 1947.

This is an overt fearmongering campaign by anti-communist China and textile importer, Alfred Kohlberg. He has made it a simple equation: Americans love the movies. Cold War Americans are fearful of communists. Movie Stars associate with communists. Connect the dots

As a result of this ostracism, Garfield is ripe for the picking, with Spiritual Engineering giving him a liberal platform from which to operate. Never mind that he doesn’t really buy into as a religion. He can use it, just like it intends to use him.

But this blacklisting is a California thing and the only work he can get now is in New York on the stages of Broadway.

“I think I can get some of the other blacklisted people to join us. Most of them, probably like me, don’t have a clue about what diabetics is!”

“It is called Dianetics and its foundational principle is that all living creatures are trying to survive. Using the methods of Dianetics, I can get the human brain to cast off the negative thoughts that hold them back.”

“Well irregardless, we only want to tell our side of the story.”

“That would be ‘regardless’ and all we want to do is have you show us your public support.”

“Whatever… what’s with this we stuff, who is we?” Garfield is from Manhattan’s rough & tumble Lower East Side.

“Mr. Winters and I,” the mysterious Winters appearing out of nowhere to Cannon’s surprise. He has been writing Science Fiction for years, but seeing someone appear out of nowhere is quite another thing.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 137

The NULL Solution = Episode 110

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The NULL Solution = Episode 110

…In a fashion, much like the members of the ancient NEWFOUNDLANDER crew, the Defender makes off with valuable Earth treasure…

Sampson & Son have not seen the Heinlein’s Green Hills of Earth for a very long time. Cruising handily past 6 planetary orbits and beneath a crescent moon, the alien spacecraft named Defender silently glides down next to the homestead both men have been longing to see. For Sam it has been 24 years, for Deke, his 4 years seems like an eternity.

Aside from remodeling, updating and a brand new barn, locating Cerella and Joyner was relatively easy. To avoid from alarming Roy, Francine, Gus, Mindy and Marscie is priority one. Doing so would unnecessarily complicate the operation by upsetting Earth’s timestem, as well as the King Ranch equilibrium.

Deke McKinney barely recognizes his earthen-ized mate, who he suspects had suspected such a mission would come to pass, even after her parapsychological ties were severed by the birth of their son. She had told Joyner many stories of his father and the planet from which they came, seeing that the worlds are as opposite as opposite can be.

As Deke hugs him for the first time, Cerella explains to the child, who is sprouting like a weed, “There will be time to acquaint after we return to Eridanus. Remember your experience here with fondness, my son. The emotional ties of these people is strong, to be treasured for all time.”

Sam has wandered off to the west wing to have a gander at his other grandchild. How could he resist the temptation? It takes every ounce of his strength not to wake Gus’s sleeping Marscie. He cannot help but lament the circumstances that caused the Space Family McKinney to be separated by trillions of miles, not just another wing of the sprawling ranch home, but he does.

In a fashion, much like the members of the ancient NEWFOUNDLANDER crew, the Defender makes off with valuable Earth treasure, this time in the form of living creatures. However, on this occasion, the aliens leave behind a calling card, in the form of Celeste McKinney’s love/”kidnapping” note, discovered by Francine Bouchette-Crippen, on the island counter in the main kitchen at King Ranch, in Waller County Texas USA. She is up early to make breakfast. There will be two less place settings on this most melancholy of mornings.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 110


page 109

THE RETURN TRIP – The End

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THE RETURN TRIP – The End

…“President Crippen! Stellar Explorer is back on our screens, it made the Pluto turnaround…

#Gus McKinney travels in a vehicle of which there is no match. He will return to the 251.025 time-stem without knowing how the improvements came to be. He will experience strange dreams in the aftermath, dreams that will haunt him, taunt him and cause him to search for their meaning.

#We on Eridanus will be watching and waiting#

 Those that Gus leaves behind, The Space Family McKinney on Eridanus stand together, bolstered by the wise Ekcello, pinning their hopes on Gus and his indomitable spirit of exploration.

Back on Earth

 January 9 2051 {Years Earlier}

“President Crippen! Stellar Explorer is back on our screens. It made the Pluto turnaround! The crew of the SLAV revises their previous report. “There is no way they could have made that turn at Sol x3, but they did, Crip!”

Roy Crippen crumples in a heap, relieved beyond measure at this turn of events. He could not bear the loss of more family, adopted or otherwise. “Thank you my dear Lord,” is all he can say.

The entire SOL Project Mission Control, led by Braden King erupts in applause when they hear the voice of Gus McKinney, “Lovell Space Center, this is Stellar Explorer… we’re heading back to Earth!”

Francine Bouchette-Crippen and Mindy McDonald melt into an embrace, as women who love test pilots do.

At that declaration of success, Gus McKinney glances over from the co-pilot seat, to check on how brother Deke McKinney came through the intense G-Forces of the turn screaming, “We did it man!!!!”

The pilot seat is empty ___________

The End of THE RETURN TRIP


THE RETURN TRIP

The End


& the Beat Goes On

Coming next @ WIF…

Sequel to THE RETURN TRIP Coming to WIF

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Sequel to THE RETURN TRIP

Coming to WIF

Beginning on or about September 20th.


The Sci Fi – Family Saga of the Space Family McKinney continues, as the connection between Eridanus and Earth is inescapable…

… BUT nothing is as easy as it seems.

Sampson, Celeste, Deke, Gus & Deimostra McKinney are spread out across the Milky Way, at the mercy of superior alien races and an omnipotent higher power Earth has named Lorgan.

In the middle of the 21st Century, the planet Mars has been restored to its former glory – with even greater enhancements as it becomes the unofficial/official headquarters for Universal harmony…

… BUT before intergalactic harmony can be achieved, a puzzling riddle must be solved AND everyone has a crack at it.

Ultimately, the solution comes from an unlikeliest of sources.

The future of the Space Family McKinney, and their planned reunion, is at stake.

Day by day – 250+ Episodes w/art, music, graphics and more

The McKinneys have become a daily part of hundreds of readers here at WIF. THE NULL SOLUTION picks up where THE RETURN TRIP leaves off.

I want to personally thank you being a part of my fiction.

If you good wholesome Science Fiction, you have come to the right place.


Sequel to THE RETURN TRIP

Coming to WIF

Sequel to THE RETURN TRIP Coming to WIF

Leave a comment

Sequel to THE RETURN TRIP

Coming to WIF

Beginning on or about September 20th.


The Sci Fi – Family Saga of the Space Family McKinney continues, as the connection between Eridanus and Earth is inescapable…

… BUT nothing is as easy as it seems.

Sampson, Celeste, Deke, Gus & Deimostra McKinney are spread out across the Milky Way, at the mercy of superior alien races and an omnipotent higher power Earth has named Lorgan.

In the middle of the 21st Century, the planet Mars has been restored to its former glory – with even greater enhancements as it becomes the unofficial/official headquarters for Universal harmony…

… BUT before intergalactic harmony can be achieved, a puzzling riddle must be solved AND everyone has a crack at it.

Ultimately, the solution comes from an unlikeliest of sources.

The future of the Space Family McKinney, and their planned reunion, is at stake.

Day by day – 250+ Episodes w/art, music, graphics and more

The McKinneys have become a daily part of hundreds of readers here at WIF. THE NULL SOLUTION picks up where THE RETURN TRIP leaves off.

I want to personally thank you being a part of my fiction.

If you good wholesome Science Fiction, you have come to the right place.


Sequel to THE RETURN TRIP

 

Coming to WIF

Man On Mars – Press to Start

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10 Reasons We

Will Colonize Mars

We’ve got some awesome news for you. Right now, you are standing on the edge of history. Yeah, you. Sometime soon, something’s gonna happen that will send you tumbling over into a whole new era of human evolution. We’re gonna colonize Mars.

 You read that right. That big, cold, lonely lump of rock spinning through the endless void 54.6 million kilometers away? We’re gonna land there. And we’re gonna build. Small bases. Biodomes. Research labs. Houses. And, eventually, even cities.
We can guess what you’re thinking: Yeah, right. Sure, Mars seems a long way away right now. Colonizing it sounds like the stuff of a science-fiction film, one that probably stars Matt Damon freaking out about a bunch of space potatoes. But it’s much, much closer than you think. At some point, in your lifetime, there’s gonna be a functioning civilization on the red planet. How can we be so sure? We’re glad you asked.

10. Risk Insurance

 Imagine you’re out and about, strolling along the beach or whatnot, when you stumble across a nest of dinosaur eggs. Like, real-life dino eggs, the kind that haven’t been seen for millions of years. As far as you know, they’re the only ones in existence.

They seem to be doing OK, but you can’t help but wonder whether they’re as safe as they seem. What if some predator comes along and eats them? What if some kid stomps on them? Isn’t it kinda your responsibility to move a few of those eggs, to make sure they survive?

In a nutshell, that’s the problem facing humanity today. Like the eggs, we’re doing fine right now, safe and sound on planet Earth. But, like with the eggs, our safety could be an illusion. There’s a chance that a meteor could come along at any moment and wipe us out. It’s slim, sure, but not impossible. And here the worry starts to creep in. As far as we know, we humans are the only intelligent life in the universe. Like the dino eggs, we could be invaluable. Isn’t it our responsibility to spread out, in case some meteor metaphorically stomps on us?

That’s the argument guys like Elon Musk are putting forward for why we need to colonize Mars: as a form of interplanetary risk insurance. And it’s proving pretty powerful. Already SpaceX are gearing up to send a manned craft to Mars by 2022, for this very reason.

9. It’s a Challenge

Make no mistake, getting to Mars is probably the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. Most of us probably can’t even grasp the technical leaps required to colonize a whole other celestial body. But you know what else once seemed an impossible challenge? Establishing a permanent base on Antarctica. Heck, even getting to Antarctica in the first place. Or climbing Everest. Or navigating the Northwest passage. Or colonizing the New World. Or…

Well, you get the idea. If humans were a sensible species that erred on the side of caution, we’d probably still be living in caves, congratulating ourselves on not being dumb enough to venture out into the sabretooth tiger-infested woods around us. But sensible is exactly what humans aren’t. We do dumb things, like climbing a mountain we know could easily kill us, just to say we reached the top. We even build civilizations in horrifically hostile places like Greenland and the Sahara, for Pete’s sakes.

What we’re trying to say is that humans rise to challenges, especially crazy ones like setting up a base on Mars. And especially when there’s the added incentive of competition…

8. Competition Between Nations (and companies)

Landing on the Moon was, arguably, one of the biggest wastes of money in US history. The entire Apollo program cost the equivalent of $110 billion in today’s dollars, a sum that doesn’t include the earlier Mercury and Gemini programs necessary to prepare NASA for Apollo. And what did America get out of it?

Well, there are two answers to that question. The utilitarian one would go something like “a dude, standing on a lump of rock.” But the other one would ring much truer. The US got something intangible from Neil Armstrong stepping on the lunar surface: a sense of prestige, of national pride.

The last part is the key here. The only reason man ever set foot on the Moon was because the Americans were terrified Russia would get there first. During

the Space Race, it was calculated that spending insane amounts of money was preferable to losing the propaganda war. Fast forward to 2017, and we may be witnessing the dawn of Space Race II.

Like all sequels, SRII is gonna be bigger, crazier, and chock full of extra characters. China has already declared it wants to get to Mars in the next decade. NASA wants a man on Mars by 2030. India is sending satellites and probes. Then there are the private actors. SpaceX is already facing competition from Blue Origin and, to a lesser extent, Mars One. With everyone fighting for that sweet Martian prestige, expect SRII to start hotting-up like crazy.

7. We Already Have the Technology to Get There Safely

One of the big stumbling blocks for a Mars mission – let alone a colony – has long been getting there. Mars is 182 times the distance from Earth as the Moon. Getting there will require flying for over six months. There are cosmic rays to deal with. The problem of landing on a planet with gravity and atmosphere conditions very different to Earth’s. Many have called the idea “impossible” (at least, without killing all the astronauts).

Yet all this overlooks one key fact. We already have the technology to get there.

For years now, SpaceX have been flying payloads for NASA to the ISS. As part of each mission, they’ve casually tested some of their Mars-landing tech on the side. Importantly, they’ve been doing it at a distance of 40 kilometers to 70 kilometers above Earth’s surface, where our atmosphere perfectly mimics conditions on Mars. And they’ve succeeded. Repeatedly. The ingredients for a successful Mars landing are essentially already there.

What about those pesky cosmic rays? NASA already has the tech to eliminate around 33% of the risk they pose, and engineers are confident that number is only gonna increase.

6. We Already Have the Technology to Make Mars Habitable

Here’s a quote to blow your mind. It comes from aerospace experts Chistopher McKay and Robert Zubrin, and we’re gonna reproduce it exactly as they said it, just to let the full weight of its craziness sink in. In a paper, the two wrote: “a drastic modification of Martian conditions can be achieved using 21st century technology.”

We’ve highlighted that last bit, because it’s the important one. What McKay and Zubrin are saying is that it’s totally possible for humanity to start terraforming Mars, using technology we have at our disposal right now. That’s right, 2017 man is so advanced he can literally change the surface of an entire alien world (though for some reason he still chooses to wear sweatpants in public. Weird, huh?).

If you don’t read Sci-Fi, terraforming means changing a planet so it becomes more Earth-like, and thus more-livable for humans. On Mars, that means we could trigger a deliberate greenhouse gas effect that would melt the ice at the poles, release a load of CO2, make the atmosphere denser, and trap more heat and energy from the sun. Then we’d have liquid water and could start planting; little mosses at first, but then plants, flowers, and even trees.

The end result would be a planet that looked like Earth, was warm enough to not kill us and with a bearable pressure. The air wouldn’t be breathable, but even that could change. A few centuries after terraforming, Mars could have an atmosphere as breathable as that on Earth.

5. We Already Know There’s Water There

Water is the main ingredient we humans need to live. No water, and the deal is off. Luckily, Mars has something that very, very few other places in our solar system do: ice. Lots and lots of ice. Frozen H20, just waiting to be thawed, filtered and used to keep a human colony alive.

We’re not exaggerating. Beneath just one stretch of the Martian plains, NASA have discovered a single ice deposit containing as much water as the whole of Lake Superior. It exists in an area known as Utopia, because it would be easy to land a craft there and then drill down to and extract the water. And that’s just on the plains. Go to the poles, and you’ll be sitting on enough water to keep a civilization running more or less eternally. If you melted all the ice on Mars, you’d wind up with enough liquid to drown the entire planet beneath an ocean some 30 feet deep.

This means you wouldn’t need to transport your own water from Earth, something so hideously impractical as to make it effectively impossible. It also means you could sustain not just an expedition, but an entire colony. Even if we reach the point where there are a million or so people living on Mars, we could rest safe in the knowledge that the water supply was unlikely to ever run out.

4. Mars Probably Has the Minerals We Need, Too

Of course, building a habitable city on another planet takes a lot more than water. It requires an insane amount of construction materials, which would cost eye-watering sums of money to send from Earth. At least, it would if we had no alternative. But we probably do. There’s a relatively good chance that Mars has the minerals we need to start building our space utopia.

We should stress the ‘relatively’ part of that sentence. We don’t have a huge amount of geological data on Mars, and NASA have been unable to identify any large ore deposits. However, they have identified areas where the probability of mineral deposits is quite high. Nickle, copper, platinum, titanium, iron and silicone dioxide are all likely to exist on Mars, along with clay for making porcelain and pottery. Put it all together, and you have the fundamentals for building some pretty complex stuff.

As for the technology to extract it… well, the basics are already there. We could use bacteria to mine from ore, or we could just develop robots to do some old-fashioned digging.

3. The Idea Has Big Backing

Every grand scheme needs its visionary backers. Without Columbus, you don’t have the new world. Without Genghis Khan, you don’t have the Mongol Empire. Without JFK, you don’t have Neil Armstrong standing on the Moon. Lucky for humanity’s interplanetary prospects, we already have our Mars visionary. In fact, we’ve got more than one.

The most-famous is a guy we’ve already namechecked a few times in this article. Eccentric billionaire/possible supervillain Elon Musk has been key to pushing private space exploration from a dystopian dream to a benign reality. Through his company SpaceX, he’s made huge technological leaps toward making Mars colonization a Thing We Could Actually Do. But he’s not the only one. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos isalso determined to get millions of humans into space and living on other planets. Like Musk, he has the money and the technology – via his private space company Blue Origin – to potentially make it happen.

Then there’s the signals coming from the current administration. In March 2017, President Trump signed a bill adding manned exploration of Mars to NASA’s official mission statement. The last time humanity looked this serious about space exploration, it resulted in Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon.

2. It Will Drive Technological Change on Earth

One objection that often gets raised when talking about Mars is that we should focus on solving problems here on Earth first. Well, what if we told you that the two aren’t mutually exclusive? That by going to Mars, we will improve life for billions of people on Earth?

Intrigued? You should be. Technological advances in one area often bleed through into others, in hugely unpredictable ways. When Hubble was first launched, it had a fault in its lens that meant images came back all blurry. For 3 years, NASA scientists were stuck trying to decipher space photos that looked like a dog’s regurgitated dinner. So they developed an algorithm to detect images in the mess. A really good algorithm. So good, in fact, that it turned out to be excellent at detecting early-stage breast cancer from X-ray images. There are thousands of people alive today because NASA messed up Hubble.

Need some more examples? OK. NASA tech has given us everything from portable vacuum cleaners, to freeze-drying, to modern firefighting gear, to grooved tires and roads that lower the number of car crashes. Artificial limbs have improved drastically due to Nasa tech, as have insulin pumps. That’s just from trundling around in our planet’s orbit. Imagine what totally unexpected stuff could result from the process of landing on and terraforming Mars?

1. Destiny

Stop and think about the future for a minute. No, we don’t mean five years from now. We don’t even mean fifty years from now. We mean hundreds, if not thousands, of years from now. We mean a span of time as great as that separating you from Jesus or Julius Caesar. What do you see happening to our species when all that time has passed? Where are we?

One cynical answer might be: “dead. Wiped out by war or disease or a marauding AI.” But move away from the worst case scenario, and a clearer picture likely emerges. Of humanity, spread out among the stars. Of colonies on Titan and Ganymede. Of cities in space. Of exploration beyond the edges of the Oort Cloud, out into the depths of our galaxy. Imagine: a future where we have the space and minerals for everyone. You could even call it our destiny.

Now, terms like “manifest destiny” come with a lot of historical baggage. It was ‘destiny’ that led European settlers to kill a whole lotta Native Americans. But Mars doesn’t have any native population at all (unless they’re really, really good at hiding). Nor does the rest of our solar system. Humanity can expand without prejudice or violence, or anything but a Star Trek-style desire to learn and explore. And when you put it like that, we come to maybe the simplest, best reason we have for colonizing Mars: why on Earth would we choose not to?


Man On Mars

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Man On Mars – WIF Into Space

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10 Reasons We

Will Colonize Mars

We’ve got some awesome news for you. Right now, you are standing on the edge of history. Yeah, you. Sometime soon, something’s gonna happen that will send you tumbling over into a whole new era of human evolution. We’re gonna colonize Mars.

 You read that right. That big, cold, lonely lump of rock spinning through the endless void 54.6 million kilometers away? We’re gonna land there. And we’re gonna build. Small bases. Biodomes. Research labs. Houses. And, eventually, even cities.
We can guess what you’re thinking: Yeah, right. Sure, Mars seems a long way away right now. Colonizing it sounds like the stuff of a science-fiction film, one that probably stars Matt Damon freaking out about a bunch of space potatoes. But it’s much, much closer than you think. At some point, in your lifetime, there’s gonna be a functioning civilization on the red planet. How can we be so sure? We’re glad you asked.

10. Risk Insurance

 Imagine you’re out and about, strolling along the beach or whatnot, when you stumble across a nest of dinosaur eggs. Like, real-life dino eggs, the kind that haven’t been seen for millions of years. As far as you know, they’re the only ones in existence.

They seem to be doing OK, but you can’t help but wonder whether they’re as safe as they seem. What if some predator comes along and eats them? What if some kid stomps on them? Isn’t it kinda your responsibility to move a few of those eggs, to make sure they survive?

In a nutshell, that’s the problem facing humanity today. Like the eggs, we’re doing fine right now, safe and sound on planet Earth. But, like with the eggs, our safety could be an illusion. There’s a chance that a meteor could come along at any moment and wipe us out. It’s slim, sure, but not impossible. And here the worry starts to creep in. As far as we know, we humans are the only intelligent life in the universe. Like the dino eggs, we could be invaluable. Isn’t it our responsibility to spread out, in case some meteor metaphorically stomps on us?

That’s the argument guys like Elon Musk are putting forward for why we need to colonize Mars: as a form of interplanetary risk insurance. And it’s proving pretty powerful. Already SpaceX are gearing up to send a manned craft to Mars by 2022, for this very reason.

9. It’s a Challenge

Make no mistake, getting to Mars is probably the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. Most of us probably can’t even grasp the technical leaps required to colonize a whole other celestial body. But you know what else once seemed an impossible challenge? Establishing a permanent base on Antarctica. Heck, even getting to Antarctica in the first place. Or climbing Everest. Or navigating the Northwest passage. Or colonizing the New World. Or…

Well, you get the idea. If humans were a sensible species that erred on the side of caution, we’d probably still be living in caves, congratulating ourselves on not being dumb enough to venture out into the sabretooth tiger-infested woods around us. But sensible is exactly what humans aren’t. We do dumb things, like climbing a mountain we know could easily kill us, just to say we reached the top. We even build civilizations in horrifically hostile places like Greenland and the Sahara, for Pete’s sakes.

What we’re trying to say is that humans rise to challenges, especially crazy ones like setting up a base on Mars. And especially when there’s the added incentive of competition…

8. Competition Between Nations (and companies)

Landing on the Moon was, arguably, one of the biggest wastes of money in US history. The entire Apollo program cost the equivalent of $110 billion in today’s dollars, a sum that doesn’t include the earlier Mercury and Gemini programs necessary to prepare NASA for Apollo. And what did America get out of it?

Well, there are two answers to that question. The utilitarian one would go something like “a dude, standing on a lump of rock.” But the other one would ring much truer. The US got something intangible from Neil Armstrong stepping on the lunar surface: a sense of prestige, of national pride.

The last part is the key here. The only reason man ever set foot on the Moon was because the Americans were terrified Russia would get there first. During

the Space Race, it was calculated that spending insane amounts of money was preferable to losing the propaganda war. Fast forward to 2017, and we may be witnessing the dawn of Space Race II.

Like all sequels, SRII is gonna be bigger, crazier, and chock full of extra characters. China has already declared it wants to get to Mars in the next decade. NASA wants a man on Mars by 2030. India is sending satellites and probes. Then there are the private actors. SpaceX is already facing competition from Blue Origin and, to a lesser extent, Mars One. With everyone fighting for that sweet Martian prestige, expect SRII to start hotting-up like crazy.

7. We Already Have the Technology to Get There Safely

One of the big stumbling blocks for a Mars mission – let alone a colony – has long been getting there. Mars is 182 times the distance from Earth as the Moon. Getting there will require flying for over six months. There are cosmic rays to deal with. The problem of landing on a planet with gravity and atmosphere conditions very different to Earth’s. Many have called the idea “impossible” (at least, without killing all the astronauts).

Yet all this overlooks one key fact. We already have the technology to get there.

For years now, SpaceX have been flying payloads for NASA to the ISS. As part of each mission, they’ve casually tested some of their Mars-landing tech on the side. Importantly, they’ve been doing it at a distance of 40 kilometers to 70 kilometers above Earth’s surface, where our atmosphere perfectly mimics conditions on Mars. And they’ve succeeded. Repeatedly. The ingredients for a successful Mars landing are essentially already there.

What about those pesky cosmic rays? NASA already has the tech to eliminate around 33% of the risk they pose, and engineers are confident that number is only gonna increase.

6. We Already Have the Technology to Make Mars Habitable

Here’s a quote to blow your mind. It comes from aerospace experts Chistopher McKay and Robert Zubrin, and we’re gonna reproduce it exactly as they said it, just to let the full weight of its craziness sink in. In a paper, the two wrote: “a drastic modification of Martian conditions can be achieved using 21st century technology.”

We’ve highlighted that last bit, because it’s the important one. What McKay and Zubrin are saying is that it’s totally possible for humanity to start terraforming Mars, using technology we have at our disposal right now. That’s right, 2017 man is so advanced he can literally change the surface of an entire alien world (though for some reason he still chooses to wear sweatpants in public. Weird, huh?).

If you don’t read Sci-Fi, terraforming means changing a planet so it becomes more Earth-like, and thus more-livable for humans. On Mars, that means we could trigger a deliberate greenhouse gas effect that would melt the ice at the poles, release a load of CO2, make the atmosphere denser, and trap more heat and energy from the sun. Then we’d have liquid water and could start planting; little mosses at first, but then plants, flowers, and even trees.

The end result would be a planet that looked like Earth, was warm enough to not kill us and with a bearable pressure. The air wouldn’t be breathable, but even that could change. A few centuries after terraforming, Mars could have an atmosphere as breathable as that on Earth.

5. We Already Know There’s Water There

Water is the main ingredient we humans need to live. No water, and the deal is off. Luckily, Mars has something that very, very few other places in our solar system do: ice. Lots and lots of ice. Frozen H20, just waiting to be thawed, filtered and used to keep a human colony alive.

We’re not exaggerating. Beneath just one stretch of the Martian plains, NASA have discovered a single ice deposit containing as much water as the whole of Lake Superior. It exists in an area known as Utopia, because it would be easy to land a craft there and then drill down to and extract the water. And that’s just on the plains. Go to the poles, and you’ll be sitting on enough water to keep a civilization running more or less eternally. If you melted all the ice on Mars, you’d wind up with enough liquid to drown the entire planet beneath an ocean some 30 feet deep.

This means you wouldn’t need to transport your own water from Earth, something so hideously impractical as to make it effectively impossible. It also means you could sustain not just an expedition, but an entire colony. Even if we reach the point where there are a million or so people living on Mars, we could rest safe in the knowledge that the water supply was unlikely to ever run out.

4. Mars Probably Has the Minerals We Need, Too

Of course, building a habitable city on another planet takes a lot more than water. It requires an insane amount of construction materials, which would cost eye-watering sums of money to send from Earth. At least, it would if we had no alternative. But we probably do. There’s a relatively good chance that Mars has the minerals we need to start building our space utopia.

We should stress the ‘relatively’ part of that sentence. We don’t have a huge amount of geological data on Mars, and NASA have been unable to identify any large ore deposits. However, they have identified areas where the probability of mineral deposits is quite high. Nickle, copper, platinum, titanium, iron and silicone dioxide are all likely to exist on Mars, along with clay for making porcelain and pottery. Put it all together, and you have the fundamentals for building some pretty complex stuff.

As for the technology to extract it… well, the basics are already there. We could use bacteria to mine from ore, or we could just develop robots to do some old-fashioned digging.

3. The Idea Has Big Backing

Every grand scheme needs its visionary backers. Without Columbus, you don’t have the new world. Without Genghis Khan, you don’t have the Mongol Empire. Without JFK, you don’t have Neil Armstrong standing on the Moon. Lucky for humanity’s interplanetary prospects, we already have our Mars visionary. In fact, we’ve got more than one.

The most-famous is a guy we’ve already namechecked a few times in this article. Eccentric billionaire/possible supervillain Elon Musk has been key to pushing private space exploration from a dystopian dream to a benign reality. Through his company SpaceX, he’s made huge technological leaps toward making Mars colonization a Thing We Could Actually Do. But he’s not the only one. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos isalso determined to get millions of humans into space and living on other planets. Like Musk, he has the money and the technology – via his private space company Blue Origin – to potentially make it happen.

Then there’s the signals coming from the current administration. In March 2017, President Trump signed a bill adding manned exploration of Mars to NASA’s official mission statement. The last time humanity looked this serious about space exploration, it resulted in Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon.

2. It Will Drive Technological Change on Earth

One objection that often gets raised when talking about Mars is that we should focus on solving problems here on Earth first. Well, what if we told you that the two aren’t mutually exclusive? That by going to Mars, we will improve life for billions of people on Earth?

Intrigued? You should be. Technological advances in one area often bleed through into others, in hugely unpredictable ways. When Hubble was first launched, it had a fault in its lens that meant images came back all blurry. For 3 years, NASA scientists were stuck trying to decipher space photos that looked like a dog’s regurgitated dinner. So they developed an algorithm to detect images in the mess. A really good algorithm. So good, in fact, that it turned out to be excellent at detecting early-stage breast cancer from X-ray images. There are thousands of people alive today because NASA messed up Hubble.

Need some more examples? OK. NASA tech has given us everything from portable vacuum cleaners, to freeze-drying, to modern firefighting gear, to grooved tires and roads that lower the number of car crashes. Artificial limbs have improved drastically due to Nasa tech, as have insulin pumps. That’s just from trundling around in our planet’s orbit. Imagine what totally unexpected stuff could result from the process of landing on and terraforming Mars?

1. Destiny

Stop and think about the future for a minute. No, we don’t mean five years from now. We don’t even mean fifty years from now. We mean hundreds, if not thousands, of years from now. We mean a span of time as great as that separating you from Jesus or Julius Caesar. What do you see happening to our species when all that time has passed? Where are we?

One cynical answer might be: “dead. Wiped out by war or disease or a marauding AI.” But move away from the worst case scenario, and a clearer picture likely emerges. Of humanity, spread out among the stars. Of colonies on Titan and Ganymede. Of cities in space. Of exploration beyond the edges of the Oort Cloud, out into the depths of our galaxy. Imagine: a future where we have the space and minerals for everyone. You could even call it our destiny.

Now, terms like “manifest destiny” come with a lot of historical baggage. It was ‘destiny’ that led European settlers to kill a whole lotta Native Americans. But Mars doesn’t have any native population at all (unless they’re really, really good at hiding). Nor does the rest of our solar system. Humanity can expand without prejudice or violence, or anything but a Star Trek-style desire to learn and explore. And when you put it like that, we come to maybe the simplest, best reason we have for colonizing Mars: why on Earth would we choose not to?


Man On Mars

 

– WIF Into Space

Meet The McKinneys – Space Family Confidential

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Space Family McKinney

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Intergalactic Backdrop

waybac-machineWayback in ancient times (the 1980’s), I sat down at my typewriter and fashioned myself a little story about an orbiting colony around the planet Mars.

I had been a huge fan of space ever since my membership in a Science Fiction Book Club, back in the day when hardcover books were what people read. In that club, which I shared with my 6th grade buddy, Scott Jacobs, I consumed The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov, Farnham’s Freehold by Robert Heinlein and the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

Image result for isaac asimov foundation trilogyImage result for farnham's freeholdImage result for martian chronicles

A few years later, the TV show Star Trek came along. God bless creator Gene Roddenberry. Before the star-trek-logo1advent of the DVR, or VCR for that matter, my teenage fanny was planted in my family’s basement anxiously awaiting the week’s next episode about the crew: Capt. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov and Uhura.

 THAT DID IT. I was a Sci-Fi devotee for life

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Before I could say, “Beam me up Scotty!”, I was a high school senior and launching my writing career. But this isn’t about a couple ignominious paperbacks. The is about THE RETURN TRIP and the Space Family McKinney.

The Space Family McKinney

We enter the story with the husband/wife team of Sampson and Celeste McKinney winging their way return-trip-3-16-001out to the Red Planet aboard the deep-space shuttle Chronicle. Their 1 year mission: to start up Space Colony 1, a World Space Consortium orbiting outpost, with the goal of building a manned colony on the surface of Mars. I can tell you that there are 2 countries that are not onboard with the WSA colony. Sadly, in the year 2030, jealousy and envy are entrenched human emotions.

Back on Earth, the historic astronaut’s 15 & 16 year old sons, Gus & cropped-stay-tuned-001.jpgDeke wait anxiously, along with the rest of a hopeful planet. I can guarantee that they plan to follow in their parent’s contrails.

There are plenty of surprises along the way, but I want you to read along, so I will not give anything else away…

… Sunday thru Friday, like the inevitable passage of time and space, you will be treated to one episode after the next until the exciting final episode.


Meet The McKinneys

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Space Family Confidential


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