Tag Archives: Curiosity

Alien thigh bone on Mars

The interwebs are all atwitter at the alien thigh bone found on Mars by the Curiosity rover. I’m sure this is old news by now.

IMG_3098.JPG

More likely than not it is actually a volcanic bomb formed as molten rock thrown from one of the Martian volcanoes or impact craters cooled while flying through the air.

One wishes they would send Curiosity over to run an analysis on it. If it had the chemical composition of Martian rock, one could more forcefully argue against it being a fossil.

Rocket Man

For background context on this story, you are encouraged to read: Phobos Rising and Jumper.

Rocket Man – a short story

Copyright © 2014 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t.

Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it’s cold as hell. – Elton John, Bernie Taupin (1972)

“Rocket Man, burning out his fuse, out here alone.” I recall the lyrics of the ancient Elton John song that has become the anthem of our profession, as I prepare for our deorbit burn. “Pressurizing the primary fuel loop … now,” I call out to my copilot.

“Roger that. Pressures coming up nicely,” Sam replies. “Prepping the igniters. I have New Masdar on the com. They have us in the flyway.”

“Roger that. Double-check the voltage on main B bus. I don’t like what I’m seeing.”

“It’s on the low-end of nominal, but within tolerance. It should get us home.”

“Okay, bringing reserve batteries online. Request NAV fix.”

“Patching in NAV from New Masdar”

“Got it. Ten minutes to ignition,” I confirm. “Better notify our passengers.”

Continue reading Rocket Man

Curiosity

Curiosity – a short story

Copyright © 2013 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t.

The traffic on the Foothill Freeway is particularly light today, due to the fact that almost everyone is taking the week of Christmas off. I am approaching an old pickup truck poking along what must be 45 to 50 mph in the far left-hand lane. At 80 mph, I am closing the gap quickly. Deftly sliding over one lane to the right, I punch the accelerator of my 12 year old ‘pre-owned’ Tesla Roadster, passing the pickup with ease. Inside the pickup truck an old Latino couple are arguing away, oblivious to the traffic hazard they present. I check my rearview mirrors left and right and realize that we are the only two vehicles on the road. My exit is coming up fast, so I let off the accelerator and ease over to the far right lane applying ever-so-light regenerative breaking to slow down for my left turn on to Berkshire Place. I swing under the Foothill Freeway and continue coasting and decelerating as I approach the dead-end ‘T’ into Oak Grove Drive.

The light is red. As I pull to a stop, I mutter out loud, “why am I waiting on a signal light when I’m the only car as far as the eye can see?” With that I check my surroundings one last time, swear under my breath, and pull deliberately into Oak Grove Drive heading north. I smile as I power up to the speed limit. “I am an outlaw,” I think to myself as I double check the radar detector and rear view mirrors.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory main entrance appears ahead. Once again, I decelerate as I pull up to the guard shack. I immediately recognize the guard on duty and show him my badge. “Hey Al, Merry Christmas. I thought you were off to see the grandkids.”

Continue reading Curiosity