Sci-Fi Film Review: Apollo 18 (2011)

In 1970 the final three Apollo flights---18, 19, and 20---were cancelled, victims of the penny-pinching Nixon administration, and their hardware was either shelved or used for the Skylab program. As a result, only twelve humans from six missions have walked on the Moon. Or so the government would have you believe. I've recently rewatched Apollo 18,... Continue Reading →

TMK-E: The Nuclear Mars Train

Last week I posted a review of the 1963 film A Dream Come True, about a Soviet expedition to Mars, and today I'm going to share the Mars mission the Soviets were actually planning when that movie came out. It was... ambitious, to say the least. "Nuclear-powered Mars train from pole to pole" levels of ambitious.... Continue Reading →

That Time the USAF Nearly Nuked the Moon

The Space Race was a wild time, especially in its early years, when the United States was shocked and humiliated by Sputnik and Gagarin, and threw money at various insane ways to take the lead. I've already written about the proposed one-way trip to the Moon; other highlights include an inflatable re-entry pod and flying to... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Killing Star

Here we will explore how not to write a science fiction novel. Now, I really wanted to like The Killing Star. Pellegrino and Zebrowski's novel is beloved in some sci-fi circles, and I can see why: their vision of the galaxy is a brutal place, where any civilization becomes an existential threat the moment it develops... Continue Reading →

The New Antarctica

Somewhere between the current human presence in the space—zilch, save for three people aboard the ISS—and the most ambitious, wide-eyed, optimistic visions for colonization—Musk's million people on Mars, Bezos' trillions throughout the solar system—there's a middle ground where we work on and explore other planets, but inhabit them only in the same sense that we... Continue Reading →

Book Review: We Are Mayhem

A couple months ago I wrote about Michael Moreci's novel Black Star Renegades, and, as chance had it, the author himself took note—he sent me an ARC of the sequel, We Are Mayhem, for me to review. Here is that review: We Are Mayhem is a worthy follow-up to Black Star Renegades. It excels in the same areas... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Artemis

Well, it looks like it's been almost a month since I last posted, but the hectic days of midterms and Thanksgiving break are behind me, now, and I can give this blog the attention it deserves. I'll start things up again with a review of the newest book on my shelf: Andy Weir's Artemis. This tale... Continue Reading →

Space History: The Lunar Orbiters

Post by Nic Quattromani: The Apollo missions, as intrepid as they were, did not venture into wholly uncharted territory. By the time Neil Armstrong famously planted his boots in the lunar soil, a whole fleet of US spacecraft had already explored and mapped out the globe of the Moon in meticulous detail. There were the... Continue Reading →

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