Mars has been in the news again a lot over the past year, as humanity’s robot explorer “Opportunity” was declared not merely defunct but “dead.” Meanwhile, the rover named “Curiosity” checked in before moving on from its current location. Puffs of gas that hints at the possibility of life, and the discovery of more water, have kept us intrigued.
In some future short story or novel set on Mars, it would be interesting to explore how Muslims who find themselves on the Red Planet pray. I have been working on a couple of science fiction stories recently, and one of them involves Mars. But I won’t be including the question of which direction Muslims face when praying on Mars in this particular story, since that isn’t its focus, and introducing that element would be gratuitous. If I ever expand the story towards a novel, then who knows. And I might reconsider this, since I probably could work this in if I really tried. I’ll have to decide whether the discussion of religion that is already part of the story is sufficient.
Of related interest:
A creeping robot that may be useful for exploring other worlds
Mars can play a role in cinematic storytelling about climate change
In case you wondered what Mars rovers sound like
What do you consider the most interesting Mars news of late? What kinds of science fiction stories involving Mars have you enjoyed, or have you never come across but think ought to be written?
More generally about pushing the boundaries of space exploration was a Skeptic podcast. Here’s a bit of the blurb about it:
Zubrin shows how projects that sound like science fiction can actually become reality. But beyond the how, he makes an even more compelling case for why we need to do this—to increase our knowledge of the universe, to make unforeseen discoveries on new frontiers, to harness the natural resources of other planets, to safeguard Earth from stray asteroids, to ensure the future of humanity by expanding beyond its home base, and to protect us from being catastrophically set against each other by the false belief that there isn’t enough for all.
Finally, given the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, let me also share a few links related to the moon here, lest our planet’s natural satellite feel left out…
See also how moon landing conspiracies spread prior to the internet, a piece that connects the moon with canon, and an article in Physics Today.