Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Science fiction was always my favourite type of literature. As a boy, I expected to be able to travel on commercial space flights to the moon and even Mars when I grew up. Sadly for my child-like expectations, just traveling to low earth orbit today costs more than almost all people earn in a lifetime.

Since the cost of human space travel is so expensive, I, and the rest of humanity, had to experience the exploration of our solar system vicariously. One of these interplanetary missions excited the world in July of 1976. The Viking 1 lander touched down on the Martian surface on the twentieth day and began sending back never-before-seen panoramas of the planet's rock-strewn landscape.

I remember the excitement I felt when the news came over the radio of the landing. At long last, humanity would learn if Mars had life and what minerals its surface was composed of. A few days later, magazines delivered to the CNIB smoke stand in which I worked showed a brick-red world. Though I should have been working, I spent considerable time gazing at this alien vista depicted on the magazine covers.

I learned later that the NASA scientists had adjusted the colours of the photos to suit the expectations of us earthlings. When they tested the cameras with a pure white light source and examined newly-received photos, they saw that the surface was ochre-coloured.

I also learned that the reddish colour of mars was due to its thin atmosphere which contained finely-ground dust particles. The blue end of the solar spectrum was reflected back into space, causing Mars to have its reddish appearance.

As for Martian life, the instruments on the Viking 1 lander indicated that there was no life forms present. I felt sad at the news. It would have been wonderful to find life on another planet. On the other hand, I felt that evolutionists would have claimed that Martian life proved Darwin's theory. So the news of Mars' lifeless condition held mixed emotions for me.

Thanks to the Internet, we can receive direct photos and reports from NASA regarding its interplanetary explorers and what they discovered. On August 6, 2012, I was able to see the control room as the techs awaited the landing of the Curiosity Rover. On hearing confirmation of its safe landing, the room broke out in jubilant pandemonium. I saw it happen in real time as I sat  in front of my computer and watched the live video stream, something I couldn't imagine doing back in 1976.

In my latest book called How I Was Razed, I wrote about a minister of a house church who claimed that aliens watched our planet to see how the battle between God and Satan was going. I now know that his stories were utter humbug. You can read more about this wondrous testimony of God's providential guidance of me out of this errant church at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.