For Ray on His 92nd Birthday

A look back at Bradbury Landing.

Ray Bradbury would have been 92 today, August 22, and NASA has not forgotten. The space agency celebrated by announcing it has given his name to the site on Mars where its rover Curosity first came to rest — Bradbury Landing.

“This was not a difficult choice for the science team,” said Michael Meyer, NASA program scientist for Curiosity. “Many of us and millions of other readers were inspired in our lives by stories Ray Bradbury wrote to dream of the possibility of life on Mars.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

7 thoughts on “For Ray on His 92nd Birthday

  1. Nice choice. I wonder how many other celestial objects–craters on the Moon and other planets, asteroids, etc, are named after SF & fantasy writers. I saw the other day that a crater on Mercury has recently been been named “Tolkien”

  2. One of the IAU’s rules for naming objects on Mars is that large craters are named after famous scientists and authors who have contributed to Martian lore, so I suspect a lot. A quick list at Wikipedia turns up Asimov, Bonestell, Burroughs, Campbell, Heinlein, Orson, Pal, Roddenberry, Sagan, and (of course) Wells.

    The delay for Bradbury was because he was still alive; features cannot be named after living persons.

  3. My wife Nila and I both think “Bradbury Landing” is an excellent and marvelous name for Curiosity’s landing site. At some point, a future lander site should be named for Robert Heinlein, too.

  4. Well, I see belatedly after looking at Bill Higgins’ list that a natural feature on Mars has been named for Heinlein.

    There should still be a naval warship named for him, and Sir Richard Branson should be given the suggestion that after V.S.S. Enterprise and V.S.S. Voyager are finished, that his third Virgin Space Ship be the V.S.S. Robert A. Heinlein.

    Other possibility which come to mind are the possible V.S.S. Robert H. Goddard, the V.S.S. Virgil I. Grissom (Ed White and Roger Chaffee, too), the V.S.S. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the V.S.S. Willy Ley, the V.S.S. Hermann Oberth, the V.S.S. Wernher von Braun, and so many others could be considered, too, but you have tie idea. Inasmuch as Sir Richard plans eventually an entire fleet of ships, there are plenty of names to be honored.

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