Projections of Space Exploration

Karl Constantine FOLKES 1935 (Portland)

All my grandchildren.
And all their children’s children.
Will, by reading this.
Receive important glimpses.
Of what our world was once like.

At early stages.
Of scientific wonder.
When Man was earthbound.
And dreamt of explorations.
Travels to distant planets.

Having gone to moon.
Mankind became excited.
And wanted much more.
To go to outer planets.
Of the celestial realms.

At time of writing.
It is Twenty Twenty Two.
And scientists speak.
About the very prospect.
To get to Mars in six weeks.

Science caption reads:
“Mars in just forty five days!”
A prediction made:
With laser-guided systems.
To reach Mars, the Red Planet.

NASA is cautious.
“More likely five hundred days.
To reach Red Planet.
Our state of technology.
Needs to be much more advanced.”

But engineers dream.
“A laser-based construction.
Could cut the Journey.
Into just forty five days.
That is our expectation.”

Nations are planning.
With U.S. space agency.
China — and elsewhere.
To visit the Red Planet.
A decade from this present.

The plan has started.
Canadian engineers.
Have begun working.
To heat hydrogen fuel.
As laser-thermal boosters.

Fired from the Earth.
Photovoltaic arrays.
Giving enough thrust.
To deliver the spacecraft.
Electrically powered.

Our spacecraft near Earth.
With quick acceleration.
Now races swiftly.
And, over the next four weeks.
The main vehicle lands on Mars.

Voltaic arrays.
Could allow rapid transport.
To distant planets.
Within our solar system.
With directed energy.

Using laser beams.
At relativistic speeds.
To propel spacecrafts.
A fraction the speed of light.
Out into very deep space.

Sending a spacecraft.
A two hundred pound system.
To the Red Planet.
A massive undertaking.
To execute in six weeks.

Awesome the concept.
Gigawatt-powered laser.
That’s arrayed on Earth.
To accelerate spacecrafts.
Rapidly into deep space.

But let’s be grounded.
Ultimate application.
Is some time away.
With hypothetical crews.
On hypothetical ships.

Technology key!
Inflatable reflectors.
To sustain power.
With an array of lasers.
Would reduce time to travel.

And reduce space time.
Astronauts with fast speeds face.
Less radiation.
And faster speeds in deep space.
Would make Mars trips much safer.

All is still challenged.
Technology is still new.
Not “real-world” tested.
Viability questioned.
Earmarked for six-week journey.

A decade away.
Planned for the Twenty Thirties.
It seems feasible.
Experimental testings.
At full scale is the answer.

To make this happen.
The laser technology.
Is a game-changer.
From small steps to giant ones.
Science forges — space-ward bound.

About this poem

The role of literature in the promotion of science and technology has been well documented. Indeed, various fields of literature (drama, essays, fiction, biographies, diaries, memoirs, letters, prose, and poetry) have been employed for centuries as a means of spreading knowledge of developments in scientific explorations. Literature has been described broadly as a method of recording, preserving, and transmitting both knowledge and entertainment. It is hoped that this poem, “Projections of Space Exploration,” will serve the purpose of engaging readers, along with science’s own thrust into the future, to document their personal journeys of exploration and discoveries as they pave their own pathways on Earth, and perhaps leave a trail for others to pursue and continue.  

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Written on February 19, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on February 19, 2022

Modified by karlcfolkes on May 04, 2022

2:38 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 2,627
Words 529
Stanzas 21
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

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