The race to Cydonia

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The race to Cydonia


"As a kid who grew up reading Tom Swift, Elon Musk is my adult version of him. He is redefining what the words "bold" and "vision" mean."

Elon Musk sat in his office strumming his fingers. "Why does time go so slowly, when you need it to pass quickly?" Then he thought about Einstein, who thought time and space were intertwined, and could be a variable rather than a constant. In any event, his mind was deep in his upcoming launch of his first manned rocket to Mars. As exciting as this was, it was only the precursor to the main event.
This was going to be his first launch from Goaltender, Musk's brand new launch facility on the Moon. It had finished completion at the end of 2024, with everyone going at a breakneck speed to make that date happen. But breakneck was the only speed Musk knew how to operate at.
This launch was not the first he sent to Mars. Two others had been launched from an Earth facility and were still in transit. Neither were manned, both had supplies aboard. This rocket on the other hand, had twelve hand picked, well trained astronauts aboard. Their job was to "set the table" for Striker One, when it launches in late 2025 or early 2026. By setting the table, that means finding buried or frozen water, finding the right chemicals to make fuel, and getting the first rudiments of a base put together. Tall orders with not much time to make them happen.
The destination that Musk and his team had settled upon was Cydonia. Why? Human interest, as well as the fact it is one of the most studied places (via telescope) from Earth. It was felt that would be a good place for Musk's first Mars base. First? Oh yes - that mind of Elon Musk was constantly looking over the horizon. Cydonia Base would be his first, and he sure did not want to screw it up with this launch.
There were many reasons Musk wanted to get to Mars in a huge hurry. One which he shared with the media over and over again, was his fear of not having a "Plan B" for mankind, should something bad happen to our planet. The other ones, he was more more taciturn about.
Since Musk was a young man, he thought Mars held secrets that nobody knew as yet. He wanted to be the first to find out about those secrets. What kind of secrets? For starters, what really happened to Mars. How it went from an Earth like planet to what it is today. No theories, he wanted facts. Also, was there ANY kind of life on Mars before things went bad? Intelligent or otherwise? Finally, and this one he is really holding close - what is the origin of the pyramid structure, and "face", we have been seeing in Cydonia for decades?
There is also one more reason Musk wanted to get Mars colonized. And this is his business mind working. Mining. There could be copper on Mars, and lots of it. Besides copper, there could be the same minerals there are on Earth. How much? Who knows?
When Striker One launches, it will have one hundred "guests" on board, not counting the crew. Every "guest" will have something important to do. Some will be geologists, some astronomers, some chemists, some physicians, and some ancient historians. Enough diversity of talent to carve out a small city.
On or before the launch date for Striker One from Goaltender, unmanned rockets carrying additional supplies would continue to be launched from Earth sites, headed for Cydonia Base. And in a year or two once Striker One lands, and after things are settled, Striker Two, with another hundred of so "guests", should be ready to launch.
Of course this story is fiction. However, I have been studying up on Mr. Musk and his plans for Mars. The story I weaved here is not the truth, but I dare say it could be close. He is planning to send 100 people to Mars in a mega-spaceship. That is fact. The testing for that launch is ongoing today. As a kid who grew up reading Tom Swift, Elon Musk is my adult version of him. He is redefining what the words "bold" and "vision" mean.
Stay tuned for more stories about settling Mars. Today, these stories are fiction. In a few short years, they might just be history.