A while back I developed my ideas about how Mars would be explored to firm up the back story of my story “Felix”. This week I came across some material that suggests that real scientists have thought along the same lines.
In my earlier blog post: http://dynamiclethargyfilms.ca/felix-and-the-exploration-of-mars/, I suggested that before people would visit Mars, we would send robots ahead to survey and then build a Mars base where people would live on Mars. I did a follow up to that blog post: http://dynamiclethargyfilms.ca/felix-and-the-exploration-of-mars-part-2/
I found this article: http://www.popsci.com/we-could-be-living-on-moon-in-10-years-or-less, that reports on a conference about the possibilities of building a Moon village. The papers from the conference can be found at: http://online.liebertpub.com/toc/space/4/1
Moon and Mars Bases
Their focus is on the creation of a Moon base rather than a Mars base, although one of the participants said that he saw it as a step toward the creation of a Mars base. Although their focus is on the Moon, the approach they proposed was similar to what I had come up with for Mars. That gives me a little more confidence in my ideas.
I hadn’t really thought about it as the background to my story, but it makes a lot of sense to me to test out the approach on the Moon before any attempt to do the same on Mars. That aspect wouldn’t show up explicitly in “Felix”.
Ideas for My Story
This report got me to think about my story again. I think I may have a solution to one of the problems with the story. In the story my Mars rover, Felix, is lost, which is why the astronauts were sent to search. However, the quality of the satellite images is so good now, that it would be very difficult for a rover to get lost.
I came up with two things I could add to the story that would explain how Felix could get lost. My first idea is that there would be a great dust storm, which happen now and then on Mars. That would prevent satellites from tracking the rover, and would also cover up its track way. The second idea is that the big discovery would in a large cave, which would be hidden from the satellite’s view.
The more I think about these ideas, the more I think they could give the story some added interest and drama. That is another problem I have with the story: it doesn’t seem to have much excitement. I just might get back to my rewrite one of these days.