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with room
to spare now
moon dust footprints

-- Ann K. Schwader
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Yes, it's a real -- though very new -- thing, thanks to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, and officially proclaimed by the Governor of Minnesota. Find out more here:

November 3rd was selected to honor the 60th anniversary of space dog Laika's historic mission aboard Sputnik 2. She was (thank you, Wikipedia) the first animal to orbit our planet -- and also the first Terran female in space:

In honor of International Speculative Poetry Day, the SFPA has put up a special page of poems (and one lovely artwork) remembering Laika. One of them is mine.

Please go read, enjoy, & remember.
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Want to help find Planet 9? (No, it's not Pluto. Nor, alas, Yuggoth.)

According to several sources of space news -- like,, & EarthSky -- NASA and the University of California, Berkeley are looking for a few good citizen scientists to check through images from WISE, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. Apparently, there are still things the human eye does better than a computer program -- and noticing moving bright spots is one of them.

The project is called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9. To learn more, or join in the search, check here.

Good luck! I haven't joined yet, but I'm seriously considering it. After all, this is pretty much how Pluto got discovered by Clyde Tombaugh back in 1930.
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of a waning moon
last footprints

                      -- Ann K. Schwader

                Gene Cernan, last astronaut on the moon, is gone at 82
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even through time’s vacuum moonsteps

                                              ---- Ann K. Schwader
                                                    (for the 47th anniversary of Armstrong's footsteps)
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The latest issue of Spectral Realms, a weird poetry journal (plus articles & reviews on that topic) has been announced for sale at Hippocampus Press.

Edited by S.T. Joshi, this twice-yearly journal always offers a bumper crop of dark poetry & poets, but this time around it’s massive: 144 pages! Delivered in a nicely produced trade paperback format, it’s less a magazine than a permanent addition to any weird lit lover’s collection. Good for your dark-minded Valentine, too!

For the full TOC and ordering details, check here. The journal ships free within the USA, & free worldwide with any other qualifying purchase from the press.

[Truth in LiveJournaling: yes, I do have two poems in this issue. One is a very up-to-date bit of cosmic horror based on the discoveries of New Horizons.]
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so clear again
Canaveral sky

                         -- Ann K. Schwader

(a memorial article from The Washington Post is here)
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I just got a boarding pass for Mars.

Nope, not the trip – just the boarding pass, for NASA’s InSight lander due to launch in March 2016. All names submitted & approved will be inscribed on a chip which actually is headed to Mars with the lander.

It’s all free, but unfortunately I just found out about this -- & today is the last day to register. If you’re a fellow Mars-o-phile & reading this before 11:59 PM ET, you can go here for all the information.

See you – or your name, at least – on Mars!

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To the possible detriment of the world’s collective sanity, Cthulhu Fhtagn! is available today from Word Horde.

Editor/publisher Ross E. Lockhart reports that copies will be arriving at Word Horde HQ “later today,” & that direct orders will be being fulfilled this week.

Retailer links to Amazon (where you can preorder your Kindle copies already!), Ingram, B & N, and other places will be appearing on the anthology’s page as they go live. Find all the ordering information you’ll need here.

[Truth in LJing: yes, I’m very happy to say that I’ve got a story in this puppy. “Dead Canyons” is a tale of Martian exploration, ancient warfare, Mythos entities, AI, & a desperate woman no one will listen to . . . . all set in Boulder, CO.]
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no end
to new horizons
Tombaugh’s ashes

                                    -- Ann K. Schwader

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Originally posted by [ profile] science_at_nasa at Mars Rover Takes Selfie
A sweeping view of the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover has been working for five months, surrounds the rover in Curiosity's latest self-portrait. The selfie scene is assembled from dozens of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the rover's robotic arm.


I've never used this new Share feature before, but this item is too cool not to pass along! Looks like Curiosity is still paying back the taxpayers while taking time out for a little social fun.

Very relieved to see that this little rover is still OK out there.
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stars and stripes
in black and white
first footprints

                                      -- Ann K. Schwader

(If you weren't around for Apollo 11, or just want to remember what it felt like, here's a link to some excellent Smithsonian articles & images.)
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StarShipSofa podcast’s latest return to the Poetry Planet offers Diane Severson ([ profile] divadiane1) reading the winning & placing poems in the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s recent poetry contest.

Winners & two runners-up in Long, Short, & Dwarf forms are included. The winning Dwarf entry, however, managed to escape the good ship Sofa before it could be read! All winners & runners-up for this competition may be found here, with Diane's MP3 readings of the winners.

With or without escaped poems, I’ve been enjoying each & every visit to the Poetry Planet, and I commend the Sofa’s captain Tony C. Smith for making this a part of his podcast.

As ever, you can find this episode (#320) here, or on iTunes. The whole episode is well worth your listening time, & includes a fascinating interview with Cassini Project scientist Dr. Linda Spilker.  
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fallen stars
yet by their light
we rise

                                          -- Ann K. Schwader

In memoriam Apollo 1, Challenger, Columbia.

NASA Day of Remembrance 2014
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Remember my posting -- months ago -- about how NASA's Mars Atmosphere & Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) would be launching with a special DVD of haiku (including one of mine) from their "Going to Mars with MAVEN" contest?

Well, that day has finally arrived -- or will on Monday, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41.  The launch window  extends from 1:28 p.m. to 3:28 p.m. EST.

Find all the details & events here, or watch the launch live on NASA Television here.

I think this will be my first-ever interplanetary publication . . .

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Just a reminder: haiku contest entries for the Going to Mars with MAVEN message project close on July 1.  (I posted about this on 5/15.) Have you sent an entry yet? The invitation info is here.

I just posted mine. To read it, you may go here.

If you missed my prevous post, or just can't get enough Mars info (you're not alone!),  all the information on NASA's Mars Atmosphere & Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft can be found here. It launches in November -- and the names of everyone entering (win or lose) will be going along on a specially engraved DVD.  The top three haiku messages will also appear on the DVD.

I suspect this is about as close as I'll ever get to Mars. 
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As part of its Going to Mars campaign to celebrate the forthcoming launch of the Maven spacecraft, NASA is running a haiku contest!  (OK, they are actually asking for "haikus," but I'm not about to tell NASA what the plural of "haiku" is.) 

If you've always wanted a chance to send your very own haiku to Mars -- three will be chosen by popular vote -- or at least send your name there on a specially engraved DVD, check out all the contest info here.  It's free, & anyone on the planet may enter. Deadline for entries is July 1.  Rules are here.

Need some inspiration?  Get up to speed on the Maven mission here.  I'm especially excited, since Maven is being assembled right here in Colorado, not too far from where I live. 

And I'm working on my Red Planet haiku right now.
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