Weekly Writing Prompt: Space Travel & Exploration

The Apollo 11 space craft gathers velocity as it travels through the ambiguous darkness of space. The vessel makes its way towards the silvery orb known as the moon and its unexplored surface. An astronaut materializes from the interior of the Apollo 11.

Apollo 11 start rocket launch rocket 1969 take off.

Apollo 11 start rocket launch rocket 1969 take off.

Neil Armstrong vacates the space craft and takes a giant leap for mankind. He is surrounded by a dust covered; infertile and uninhabited terrain. He is soon joined by Buzz Aldrin and the two astronauts conquer the moon with their baby steps and an American flag.

While today doesn’t mark the anniversary of Aldrin and Armstrong’s lunar stroll, March 18, 2014 is in fact the 49 year anniversary of the first walk in space by USSR cosmonaut Alexei Leonov. He was one of the first 20 cosmonauts and in 1965, Leonov became the first man to walk in space when he steeped outside the Voskhod capsule for more than ten minutes. Thanks to Leonov and Armstrong’s space exploration, I spent many childhood nights envisioning space travel to different planets and encountering a wild and strange assortment of alien life forms.

Nearly 20 years ago, I thought I’d be living in a high-rise apartment on the surface of Mars and blowing up Deathstars in my spare time. Although humans have not yet colonized Mars or the Moon, we have discovered planets that may be suitable for sustaining human life.

According to a 2012 article on CNN’s Light Years Blog, The closest planet to our solar system may be inhabitable.  The article notes that there’s a similarly sized planet in the nearby Alpha Centauri system, and judging from its mass, the planet is “a rocky world and not gaseous.”

Well this planet isn’t that close in fact it would take four light-years to get there and only 23.5 trillion miles on your spaceship’s odometer. But imagine the infinite possibilities that this planet holds. The Alpha Centauri system has already captured the imagination of many authors and film makers. In Michael Bay’s 2007 movie, “Transformers,” the home planet of the Autobots and Decepticons originally orbited the system, but was blown out of orbit during the Transformer civil war.

Write a story where a character is part of a space expedition team that travels to a new planet in a distant solar system.  Do they find life on this new planet? Are the natives friendly or hostile?

moon landing apollo 11 nasa buzz aldrin 1969

moon landing apollo 11 nasa buzz aldrin 1969

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