Howell & Booth’s book serves as an anthology of personal Martian stories, revealing that behind the search for life on Mars lay entirely Earthly processes. If you’re looking to really brush up on the science of Mars and the search for life it is a must read.

Danny Bednar, PhD, is Canada’s second-best geographer of space and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Western University. He works 9 to 5 at the Canadian Space Agency and is an author with Mango Publishers. All views are his own.

The Search for Life on Mars by Elizabeth Howell and Nicholas Booth (Arcade, 2020) available now from you local independent book store (Image: Simon & Schuster)

Whether there is, or ever has been, life on Mars…

The following is a discussion piece for #Space2090, an undergraduate course on Space Exploration in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Western University. It is open to others in order to collect comments below for the students and I to discuss. We will discuss the piece and any well thought-out responses in class, as well as the week’s readings, and students’ own conceptions of the evolution of human-space activities.

Danny Bednar, PhD, is Canada’s second-best geographer of outer space and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Western University in Ontario, Canada. He is also an analyst…

A mix-tape for all of humanity, love affairs, space probes destined for the interstellar void, and a tight deadline. Jonathon Scott’s story of the Voyager Golden Records is an effective time warp, with doubled edged food for thought that leaves a positive imprint of its subjects and events for the reader.

The Vinyl Frontier (2019) by Jonathan Scott. Bloomsbury Sigma. Available at your local independent book store and from

There are seemingly endless ways to look at the Voyager Golden Record and wonder what exactly it is an artifact of. As Jonathan Scott recounts in Vinyl Frontier: The Story of the Voyager Golden Record, confronted with the topic, people vary from inspiration to ambivalence, and even to annoyance…

A revealing account of stories that have been largely washed aside in the retelling of Apollo over the last five decades. Maher’s impressive research reveals not only silenced voices in an era of social conflict comparable to our own, but also the inspiring potential for space exploration to respond to (and be driven by) social realities on Earth and therefore truly advance well-being for all (if we want it to). Above all, this book reiterates a critical lesson for other authors: any re-telling of the ‘space race’ that isn’t wholly embedded in social and political context is deeply flawed.

Apollo in the Age of Aquarius (2017) by Neil M. Maher available from Harvard University Press at your local independent book store.


In our book For All Humankind, Tanya Harrison and I interviewed people from around the world about their experiences watching the Apollo 11 landing. In doing research for the book we dug into the pre-space age histories of many of these countries. One of the more interesting cases was that of Britain. A near-global colonizing empire, by the dawn of the space age its history was intertwined with major components of space exploration.

Note: If you are looking for discussion on the U.K.’s potential claim to Third Country in Space, see my earlier article on the subject.

For All Humankind is available now for anyone interested in more stories on the intersection of space exploration and national histories,

Today the UK…

A well-researched account of the Apollo 11 mission in graphic novel form, Fitch, Baker & Collins’ book is surely right up there with LEGO’s Saturn V as a must-have for Apollo dorks.

Apollo cover, art by Mike Collins (Image:

What is it? Graphic Novel

What’s it about? Apollo 11, the first Moon Landing

Who made it? Authors Matt Fitch & C.S. Baker, and artist Mike Collins (not the astronaut)

Where can I get it? SelfMadeHero an independent publisher out of the U.K.

Review: Telling a Famous Story

Even in 2018, the historic successes of NASA’s Apollo program are well known as memories of the first Moon landing…

Authoritarian eugenics, a bad idea anywhere in the solar system, and the ugly side of modern Mars Mania

Image of Hale Crater captured by MRO-HIRISE (Image:

Mars Mania 2.0 (or 3.0 depending on your perspective) is in full swing. At least in certain corners of the internet, and amongst segments of Silicon Valley, escaping to Mars is all the rage. But a special brand of Mars Mania exists among an even more fringe group of people, people who will advocate a ‘space at any cost’ view in order to see their dreams come true.

In all seriousness, putting humans on the surface of Mars is not a bad…

In preparation for my use of the Apollo graphic novel in the classroom, I caught up with its writers.

Cover of Apollo (2018) by artist Mike Collins (Image:

Released in June 2018, Apollo is a non-fiction graphic novel about the first mission to land humans on the Moon, Apollo 11.

The book has received significant praise including from Scientific American and Publishers Weekly and is likely to gain momentum as we head into the 50th anniversary of the landing next July.

The book is a beautiful product published by independent U.K. publisher SelfMadeHero. It combines a well-researched telling of true events with engaging narrative structure and character development. Additionally…

As space advocates, we all get the question: “Why should we spend money on space when there are so many problems here on Earth?”

Frankly, I’m rarely impressed with the answers.


All too often I hear other space advocates say they “hate” or “can’t stand” the “problems here on Earth” question. I think that’s the wrong way to go. I love that question, it is both a necessary and legitimate question for anyone to ask. As space advocates we shouldn’t fear it, but embrace and, humbly, engage it. …

Equally as important as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preparing society for the impacts of climate change is a less celebrated challenge. This series breaks down adaptation one concept at a time.

Danny Bednar Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at Western University in London, Ontario Canada and an analyst for the Canadian Space Agency. His PhD focused on the governance of climate change adaptation in Canada. All views are his own.

The B-Side

Climate change adaptation is a somewhat poorly named field of study and practice. …

Danny Bednar

Space Geographer, PhD & Amateur Musicologist. Asst. Professor #Space2090 I Columns: The Geography of Space Exploration & The Canon of Heavy Metal I Views Mine I

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