This Alien Shore: 1 Month on sMars


There are a number of oddities inherent to space missions. Some are obvious and predictable: communication delays and dependence upon spacesuits, for example. Others are a little more… unexpected.

One of the unexpected twists on being in simulated space comes from this very blog. It turns out that when you when you go to space, or simulated space, and write a blog, people will sometimes hit you up for interviews via the blog.

This strikes me as a bit of a strange venue by which to approach someone for their time, particularly a scientist who also happens to be a journalist. After all, I am A) published, and therefore easy to find via a number of more formal means and B) going to look at you a little funny. Call me an old-fashioned journalist, but asking someone for an interview via their blog is a little like trying to pick someone up at their own birthday party. It’s not totally out of bounds. Points for boldness, I suppose, but it just lacks a certain style. One might even call it panache.

Then, just recently, someone attempted to conduct an entire interview with me via a comment on my blog. Now that was something special. A lot like asking the birthday girl to be your best girl, when you’ve never gone on a single date. Zero to orbit, without a first or second stage burn.

But hey — I’m on a pretend mission filled with real life, real science and real people, both inside the dome and outside of it. Things are bound to get a little strange. All things considered, it may be a bit off-color for a someone to offer me their varsity sweater out of the blue, but it’s by no means the end of any world. Also, —> Read More