Welcome to my new blog. My name is Kevin Nolan. I’m the Coordinator to Ireland for The Planetary Society and the author of the book “Mars, A Cosmic Stepping Stone” (Springer/Copernicus, NY, 2008).

This blog aims to provide current affairs, analysis and (hopefully) objective insight into aspects of space exploration and astronomy; with particular focus on Mars, Mars exploration, Life in The Universe and our ever-changing perspective of our place in the Universe. There will be healthy doses of science-and-society, space-policy and other sociological aspects to space exploration.

As a science communicator, I have a particular interest in communicating the relevance of science to those not interested in science as a subject, but who are interested in the relevance, value and impact of science on our lives, on society and upon the future.

Thanks for visiting this blog, and I look forward to regular posts (aiming for about one new post every two weeks for the time being and eventually one a week when I find my feet) on the important topics of the moment. It will be an interesting learning experience for me, and hopefully provide some worthwhile information and insight to you; and perhaps prod some interesting comments too.

…and of course – I will be providing details of ALL Planetary Society Ireland events here too!



  1. Good work, looking forward to reading more of this blog! I wonder will you cover the overprotection of Mars debate, kicked off last July by Alberto Fairén and Dirk Schulze-Makuch arguing that the effort to sterilize Mars spacecraft unnecessarily inhibits the search for life on Mars. Would be interested in your views on this. Also on the Mars One mission. Peter Household peterhousehold@gmail.com

    1. Hi Peter – thank you for your words of encouragement – most appreciated. I wasn’t aware of that article by Alberto Fairén and Dirk Schulze-Makuch but I will most certainly check it out. I am intending to cover topics on planetary protection, good practice in space exploration, new paradigms in space exploration and indeed the “Mars One” proposed venture. As indicated in my first post, I aim to be as objective as I can on these topics; and though I have firm opinions on many of these issues (including concerns regarding the Mars One approach); the aim of the blog is for a more objective perspective than to create a soap box for my own ‘pet theories’. That said – you can be confident my perspective will inevitable creep in (it already has in the post above where I clearly expound on the value of the MER Opportunity mission!). But that’s why we have comments and I’ll always be delighted to read other perspective and to stand corrected if I make factual or judgment errors.

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