This Seat of Mars

With all of the noise about Mars and its proximity to the Earth, I figured that I’d spend a few moments trying to see what all of the fuss was about.

So, I dug out my trusty Parisian binoculars, which were made either during the First World War, or shortly thereafter (eh, they work), and hit the porch.  I live in an area that has a tremendous amount of evening light pollution, so I knew that my being able to see much of anything was a crap-shoot, at best.  I did manage to see what should be Saturn (if I remember correctly – otherwise, it’s Jupiter), but either it was too early, or just too bright, for me to see the Red Planet.

The last couple of days have really got me back to thinking about Space.  Certainly on a sci-fi level, but also insofar as actual space research and travel are concerned.  Truthfully, as strange as this might sound, I’d love to fool around with an accurate computer simulation that allowed for exploration of the planets, exo-planets, and universe in general.  Twenty-five years or so ago, Microsoft released their Spaceflight Simulator, the brother to their award-winning Flight Simulator, but Microsoft dropped it almost as quickly as it hit the stands.  It’s still out there, if one looks hard enough, but the graphics and science are all woefully outdated, and I doubt that it would run on a PC using Windows 8 or 10 without heavy modifications.  I’ve heard that there were simulation programs out there, but I’ve been unable to find anything beyond Space Shuttle or Apollo simulations – nothing that goes beyond the confines of the Earth or Moon.

If anyone’s aware of a good space simulation for the PC (that doesn’t need a NASA-level computer to run), let me know – ’cause I’m definitely interested!

Still no sign of Mars.  Guess I’m just going to have to see the photos online tomorrow.  Darn.


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