Here is one more comment for Air from a young Wishing Shelf reader. I like this one a lot. I sometimes imagine that The Martian and The Expanse occupy the same universe, with Generation Mars sitting somewhere between.
“I just watched The Martian film which I thought was amazing. This is like that but for kids. I thought this book was very different to most, as the author wants the reader to understand Mars and how it might be possible to live there, but we´ll need to solve a lot of scientific problems first. That´s a good message. This book will make children think a bit.” Girl, aged 11 – with a little help from mum
image: Illustration by Luis Peres Children’s Books Illustrator for Air
Here is another one of the comments for Air from a young Wishing Shelf reader. Generation Mars books lean heavily on procedural plots in which the characters must solve problems with what they have on hand. I’m glad this reader enjoyed that.
“The story is good, but I still thought it wasn´t the best part of the book. The best part was the solving problems using engineering and things like that. I love fixing things and trying to work out how things work, so this book was perfect for me. I did enjoy getting to know Cas and Ori, and I will try to find other books from this writer.” Boy, aged 12
image: Illustration by Luis Peres Children’s Books Illustrator for Scratching the Surface (slightly modified by me)
#wishingshelfbookawards #mglit #kidlit #Mars #scifi #mgfiction #MiddleGradeBooks
Air: Generation Mars, Book One is a Red Ribbon Winner from The Wishing Shelf Book Awards.
“Young readers will love this story of children living on Mars–and they might learn a few things too! A RED RIBBON WINNER and highly recommended!”
– The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
The atmosphere of Mars is thin, but it still transfers sound.
NASA Mars Exploration
How cool is this?
Circling back to my note on solar wind and the Martian atmosphere.
In the note, I described how the solar wind interacts with the ionosphere of Mars to create an induced magnetosphere. Recent data from ESA’s Mars Express mission suggests that this induced magnetosphere actually protects the Martian atmosphere from the ion loss expected to be caused by that same solar wind. Thus, the long held idea that the solar wind blew away Mars’ atmosphere is now in question.
The article below outlines an alternative hypothesis. Rather than losing atmosphere to the solar wind, maybe Mars can’t hold onto one because its gravity is just too weak.
Here are two articles from just the past year, each presenting diametrically opposed findings. This is science! And it’s what makes trying to write accurate science fiction such a pleasant challenge. Continue reading “Solar Wind”
There is plenty of oxygen on Mars, just not in the nice O2 form that we need to breathe. Getting that requires some effort but will be worth it: oxygen is not the sort of thing we want to have to haul with us from Earth, particularly not for long-term colonization. The buzzphrase applied to technology that uses existing resources is In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), and this is what we are going to do, in one form or another. Continue reading “Making oxygen”