This whole Mars thing… it really just started off as a crazy idea. You know how it is, you’re watching TV, and there’s NASA showing off with its latest Rover, a whole room full of Science Geeks wearing 3D glasses, watching the video feed… from a different planet. I bought my own 3D glasses that day, took a couple days to get them, but from then on, I Was HOOKED!
Realistically, Mars isn’t that different from some places I’ve lived, sandy, desolate, hot, windy. Maybe that’s why I could imagine being there, going there, kicking the dust around with my boots. I was stationed at Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, for 3 years. That’s in the Mojave Desert part of California, in case you’re wondering. Not in China. Heck, its not even a lake anymore, its a dry lake. Funny place for a Navy Base, don’t you think? No water?
I’ve probably always been a bit of a whack job. I keep getting these crazy ideas, and rather than just shugging them off, I’d spend the rest of the afternoon exploring why everyone else thought they were so crazy. As a kid, we think we really can fly, right? Maybe that’s why our parents try so hard to plant the seed of “reality” in our noggins. They don’t want to be those parents, you know, the ones on TV trying to explain why their sons jumped off the barn with wings made from duct tape and cardboard boxes… again!
The way I see it, I’m thinking most inventors, explorers, and certainly at least a few other whack jobs are like me. Some how, we managed to ignore that voice of reason, to protect the curious child long enough, to get actually good at asking more questions. Ask the right question, and the one after that, and the one after that… and you uncover something. It may not be what you were looking for, but dang it, is it ever cool when it leads to something shiny you didn’t even dare hope to find!
I started having The Dream, not that people were going to Mars, but that I was going to Mars. At first it was vague, just glimpses. I had been spending hours online, looking at the pictures, it felt like I was there. So, then at nights, in my dreams, it was like I was there. It was… Real… Then in the mornings, when I woke up, I was kind of disappointed. But the feeling of being there was strong. So then I thought, how can I build that feeling into a reality?”
Thoughts Become Things, right? Just ask Mike Dooley! Go ahead, look him up. I’ll wait. Yeah, that guy, from The Secret. Cool…
So, its always been kind of a hobby of mine. I’ve always liked taking a strange problem, maybe something impossible, and putting in the time to solve it, as an exercise in just solving problems. Like when I was stationed on Guam, one night on a 8 hour “phone watch” my shipmate and I figured out how to make a Solar Powered Submarine that we could use to drive home in. From Guam, back to the US.
We managed to each use up most of a legal pad, and a pot of coffee, and the 8 hour watch just flew by! Not very practical, but between the two of us, we figured we’d solved the major issues at hand! So going to Mars will be like that, only longer, and a bit more complicated. But maybe not a lot more complicated right?
So begins my journey!
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