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Space – Fiction and Reality Both Equally Entertain

I am a child of the Space Age. When I was a young boy we had one color television. On one day I was watching the original Star Trek TV series with my father (through reruns), then the next day watching the Apollo missions take men to the Moon. The fiction and reality of space travel were intermixed in my young mind of around 1970.

Fast forward to today, fifty years later. With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, it seems like everyone has been consuming more entertainment content at home in recent months. And similar to 1970, there is an entertaining mix of fiction and reality.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the popular interest last month in SpaceX's private Dragon vehicle launching humans into space to deliver them to the International Space Station. This was a seminal milestone in the history space travel. See Falcon 9 rocket was 'totally different' ride than the space shuttle.

On the fiction side, my family and I have been recently been fascinated by the streaming series The Expanse – currently showing on Amazon Prime. We are currently working on finishing Season 4, which happens to be the final season available. Season 5 is planned to debut later this year.

The Expanse covers the exploration and development of the outer Solar System, plus lots more I won't spoil for you. We think it is really good and I recommend it.

To get people to the other parts of the Solar System, Mars will be a first step. And a difficult one at that. Before I founded AFT I worked in the space and nuclear industries. Combining these two fields into nuclear propulsion would make a Mars mission much easier. An article published last week discusses the benefits. SpaceX has its own ideas about going to Mars.

I trust there are now young children watching the fiction and reality of today…and dreaming of what humankind will be doing in space fifty years from now. 

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Tuesday, 28 November 2023
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