The UK space industry: ready to launch

A nice infographic on the UK space industry, hidden away at the back of the new LaunchUK prospectus, promoting the UK as a space industry hub.


Soviet space sculpture

A double-page splash on Soviet space sculpture, in the latest New Scientist magazine. Love the optimism the picture conveys, but you also have to wonder if this is actually some Social Justice Worrier’s attempt to further normalise the horrendous legacy of state socialism. To paraphrase Debord: “Under the rocket-boosters, the gulag”.


Red Mars – bound for TV

The hard sci-fi colonisation epic Red Mars is to be adapted as a TV series. The news that a TV adaptation of the novels was being written has been around for a while now, but apparently the filming has now been approved (or ‘green lit’, as they say in the industry) for filming in 2016. It looks very promising, given the veteran team they have on board.

Asking the writer of the superb Babylon 5 (story-arc viewing/skipping order) to adapt seems like the perfect choice. The team on Mars suggests that they will stick close to the can-do ethos of the novels, and a tight ten episodes should ensure there’s no padding out the series with disposable ‘problem-of-the-week’ episodes.

“Author Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy is heading to television, under the title of its first novel Red Mars. American network Spike TV has confirmed a ten-episode season set to premiere in January 2017. Game of Thrones producer Vince Gerardis is attached as executive producer. Sci-fi veteran and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski will write. Robinson himself will oversee as a consultant on the show.”

NASA report – Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration

Wired UK reports that “NASA unveils ambitious plan for human colony on Mars”

NASA has detailed its long-term plan for astronauts to research, explore and eventually live on Mars. Called Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration [PDF link], the report is NASA’s most detailed plan yet and spells out the incremental strategy necessary to develop and test essential technologies, explore human health implications and further understand what happens when we enter deep space for long periods of time.”

Picture: National Geographic Mars colonisation timeline graphic. Art by Stefan Morrell, based on NASA, Mars Society and CalTech content.