Science Fiction and Adventure

The Hive, Red Moon, Star Pirates, and Das Bell

                     RED MOON!

The Conquest of Space just turned deadly!


Review and Comments from former NASA astronaut and first US crew member of the Russian MIR Space Station:


"Red Moon" is captivating. I found myself reading it in very short order because I couldn't bear to stop reading. Although the action is almost nonstop, the characters are very well developed. With a background as fighter pilot, engineer, physician, and astronaut, I am sensitive to the point of loss of interest in stories that erroneously portray those professions and it is this quality that frequently turns me off to science fiction works. That was not a problem with "Red Moon." To the contrary, a great strength of the book is that, while fiction, it is very believable. The book is also timely. It is obvious at the time of this writing that the Chinese are serious about becoming major players in space. Their exploits of the past few years and their apparent plans for the future leave no doubt that the intent is to compete with and ultimately exceed the capabilities of the United States in human spaceflight. I recommend "Red Moon" without reservation. It is well-researched and well-written. The book should hold the attention of even the most jaded reader.

Norman E. Thagard, M.D. NASA Astronaut (Retired) 


   Dr. Norman Thagard NASA (retired) with author Chris Berman

RED MOON has been released through Leo Publishing, LLC Please see Barnes and Noble. com for the new re-edited hardcover edition.



 The battle for resources is as old as man himself: First between individuals, then tribes and later, nations. In the 1500s with Spain’s discovery of the riches of the new world, treaties and agreements were promptly drawn up between the nation states of Europe to equitably divide those resources and just as promptly those agreements were shredded by canon and musket fire as those nations battled each other on land and the high seas to possess them.


In 1998, the NASA spacecraft, Lunar Prospector made a startling discovery: water in the form of ice accumulated over billions of years from comet impacts might lie frozen below areas of the Atkins Basin, under the soil of the Moon’s South Pole, blanketed in perpetual darkness, frozen to minus three hundred and seventy degrees Fahrenheit. In 2009,NASA confirmed the existence of frozen water at the lunar south pole.  Then, in 2014, an unmanned Chinese lunar probe confirmed that huge ice fields lay  just over one meter below the rubble strewn surface of the Moon. 


For the conquest and exploitation of the Moon’s wealth of titanium and aluminum ores, and the harnessing of the riches of the solar system, a readily available supply of water for colonists as well as fuel in the form of hydrogen and oxygen, the two elements of water needs to be present. Whatever nation or nations control these resources controls the Moon and control of the Moon is control over what nations are permitted access to space and who has ownership over the vast bounty of the solar system.


This is the story of just such a battle in the near future to gain and hold the high ground in man’s new frontier.  It is a cautionary tale as well, for while mankind’s technology advances at a fearful rate, man’s acquisitive and aggressive nature remain as they were when his most deadly weapons were the spear and the bow and arrow.  This is the story of Red Moon.


The first act of war is about to be committed...




           He stood motionless as the bitterly cold wind clawed at his flight suit. His mind was trying to will away one word on the paper he had just been handed: “not” “The addition of this item has not been approved.”

          “Nikolai, I don’t like it, not one damn bit, especially how they waited ‘till now to tell us.”

         “What is expression of the English?  Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do and die?  We are soldiers you and I da? So, we obey our orders even if we know they are given by idiots.”

          Major Roy Jackson took in a deep breath, feeling the inside of his nostrils ice up in the sub zero air of a Russian winter.

          “Yeah, only it’s shame on my country that the idiots are in the American Congress who think our friends up there are going to obey treaties and play by the rules.                

          “Don’t feel bad.  My country’s idiots went along with them.”

Major Jackson looked at the message again shaking his head and called over to the Russian officer.

          “Hey, what are you doing?”

          Colonel Scheyenskey had turned his back to the American to face the massive Soyuz rocket on the launch pad. Unzipping the pants of his flight suit he took aim at the rear tire of the transport van that had delivered both men to the launch pad, soaking it with a steaming stream in the freezing air.

          “I’m pissing on the transporter.  It is tradition since first done by Yuri Gagarin.  Ever since then all cosmonauts must do this before launch…for luck”

           Jackson grabbed the zipper on his own flight suit and opened it.

           “In that case, I’ll join you.  We’re going to need all the luck we can get”

            Closing the front of his suit, Roy Jackson looked around; letting his eyes drink in the snow covered landscape, the green of the pine trees against the impossible depth of a blue winter sky. He did so with a deep sense of foreboding. It was a sense of finality that many men on the eve of battle feel, giving away possession and writing final letters to loved ones. It was the hollow feeling in Jackson’s gut that this would be the last time he would ever stand upon the world of his birth.  Finally he turned to Nicolai Scheyenskey, his breath steaming out in clouds.

           “Okay, let’s light this candle and get the hell out of here.”


           Colonel Scheyenskey adjusted the orbital path of the Soyuz-Salyut lunar station, watching the dirty gray half illuminated sphere of the moon swell before his eyes.  Roy Jackson, a veteran of over a dozen spaceflights sat next to him in the cramped quarters of the Soyuz.  They had exited the Salyut station an hour earlier to prepare for the braking maneuver that would place them in a circum polar orbit about the moon.  The Salyut, one of four that had sat in storage at the Baikonur launch complex in Kazakhstan for over forty years had gone through a complete upgrade with modern computers and control systems.  It was rolled out and launched into space on top of a mighty Proton rocket.  Once in orbit, the station was mated to a NASA built Antares rocket to hurl it out of Earth’s gravity well and place their ship on a course for the moon.  In a separate launch from Plesetsk, the military rocket base in Northern Russia, Colonel Scheyenskey and Major Jackson piloted their Soyuz to the ungainly looking moon station, docked and then set off for lunar orbit.       

           After three days of watching the half illuminated and cratered orb grow ever larger, it was time for the final braking maneuver that would take them over the lunar South Pole and the no man’s land of the Moon’s far side, blocking any radio transmissions from the Earth.

           As the station closed the distance to the battered and pock marked world below, sweat was beading up on both men despite the chilly temperature of the capsule.  In a matter of minutes the station would be over the Atkins Basin at the Moon’s South Pole. Hidden below was a land that had been blanketed in ever lasting night for billions of years.  Somewhere on that dark rubble strewn plain was the Chinese moon base and fuel production facility hidden in the darkness.  Just minutes earlier, the radar detectors on the outer hull of the station sent a signal to the internal alarm system bleating out a warning that they had been found by powerful Chinese search radar.  The space station was now standing out like a brilliant point of light on Corporal Chang Wu’s radar screen situated in the command dome of the Chinese base. He would need to wait only a few more moments until the spacecraft slid behind the southern limb of the moon and away from the prying eyes of those on Earth. Wu again glanced at his screen: it was time. With the nod of his head, the base’s senior officer authorized Wu to transmit a launch command to a bank of Han anti-satellite missiles sited five hundred meters from the base’s camouflaged dome.

          As the Soyuz-Salyut spacecraft passed out of radio contact behind the moon’s far side all hell broke loose…

            Jackson, I show a launch from South Pole!  It is a missile; it has radar lock on our ship!”

            Roy Jackson stared down at his own display and desperately applied power to the attitude jets to alter the path of their ship.

           “Damn it!  I can’t shake it!  Hang on Colonel, I’m going to try and outrun it!”

            The valves on the Antares fuel and oxidizer tanks opened and began pouring the ingredients of liquid fire on their paths down engine’s the fuel lines. . “Five, four, three two, one…ignition!”

           Pumps spinning at thousands of RPMs, sent liquid oxygen and hydrogen on a collision course to a controlled explosion in the rocket’s reaction chamber, and the main engine fired. At that same instant, the Han missile closed to within twenty meters of the craft and a shaped charge in the warhead detonated.  Like a shotgun blast, over a thousand ten millimeter steel balls closed the gap to the moon station at several thousand feet per second, slamming into the Antares engine, blasting apart the reaction chamber and starting an explosion that propagated through the Salyut station, pealing its outer hull back like a banana.  Finally, the steel balls reached the Soyuz, shredding the capsule and slicing off the two extended solar panels like denuding a dragonfly of its wings. Colonel Nicolai Schevyenskey’s last thoughts like that of Major Jackson’s were of his family and his sincere wish that the politicians that sent them on this mission without defensive weapons would rot in hell.

            Twenty minutes passed at the Houston Space Center.  By now the moon station should have been out of the moon’s radio shadow.  Twenty-five minutes, then thirty, with desperate calls bleating into space.  After more than forty-two minutes had passed from the point that the station would have emerged beyond the lunar far side, a radio transmission broke the palpable tension at the space center.  However, it was not the call that anyone wanted to hear.  In heavily accented English a disembodied Chinese voice spoke with chilling finality.

          Houston, this is the Chinese moon base calling.  This is General Wang in command.  We regret to inform you of an unfortunate accident with your spacecraft.  It has been struck and destroyed by a meteor as it passed near our base.  Our scans reveal no survivors. China deeply regrets the loss of your astronauts due to this very unfortunate matter.”


...Which will push the world to the edge of Armageddon 

          “I’ve only bought us five more hours before a first strike. Simonov was adamant. A Russian armored division has been wiped out a hundred and fifty miles south of Krasnoyarsk, near the Mongolian border.  The Chinese hit a column of about thirty T-90 tanks and several thousand men with a tactical nuke, about ten kilotons. No survivors.  The Russian military command wanted to launch an immediate strike that will take out vast areas of China. I’ve been pleading with President Simonov for a twenty-four hour delay but his generals are out for blood.  Five hours is all that he could promise. Oh my God, we’re going to need a miracle to stop this thing.”

            Cordelier Price, resting her elbows on the situation room’s conference table, placed her head in her hand as tears came to her eyes. My cabinet and the Joint Chiefs be dammed, she thought. In five hours the end of the world would arrive and there was nothing she could do to stop it.  Memories of her family, of being a small girl playing, of high school and then college, her marriage, the birth of her children. In a matter of hours the lives almost everyone she had ever known and the lives of the millions she did not would end and for what? Because a mad man sealed in a bunker nearly half a mile below the city of Beijing could not be stopped? . One man for the lives of millions or perhaps billions?  

          President Price looked up at the men and women assembled in the situation room. All of them were in deep emotional pain.  Wiping the tears away from her coffee colored cheeks she addressed everyone. “I want you to gather your families together quietly and have them report to Andrews Air Force Base to prepare to be evacuated.  I’ll inform the Speaker of the House to be ready as well and to inform the congress and the senate. This city…our beautiful city…it will be one of the first targets.  General Andersen, you expect your SDI systems to be able to stop seventy percent of the incoming warheads?”

        Andersen looked distraught. “Yes…yes Ma’am, that’s correct, maybe even seventy-five percent.”

        “And if the Chinese use their MIRVed ICBMs that would be about seven hundred inbound warheads, is that correct?”

         “Ah…yes Ma’am that is correct.”

          “General, what kind of casualties could the United States expect?”

           General Andersen put his hand to his head.  It was difficult to even think. “About sixty million, maybe a bit more depending on the targets. But…that’s from the immediate strike.  Radiation and the hard freeze that will follow will most likely kill that number again…And, that doesn’t take into account their manned bombers and submarine launched missiles. The total number of dead could easily exceed two hundred million.”

             Cordelier Price put her hands to her face rubbing her forehead, “All right General.  Prepare to transmit the launch codes on my command.  I have no other alternative than to order a first strike and try to take out as many of China’s missile sites as possible.  God forgive me: I’m about to send hundreds of millions of innocent people to their deaths.”

            Then she addressed everyone in the situation room. “Please, right now, bow your heads.  I will lead us…Our father, who art in Heaven…hallowed be thy name…thy kingdom…”



 The Chinese  Military and China's Quest for Domination  of Outer Space 

While both unmanned and manned space planes could serve a range of scientific and commercial missions, it is also clear that the PLA envisions such vehicles to perform military missions.  Chinese military literature has long suggested the PLA seeks to dominate outer space and its successful January 11, 2007 interception and destruction of a satellite demonstrated the PLA now has an initial space combat capability not currently possessed by the United States. 

From the Daily Telegraph:

China shocked the U.S. in January of 2007 when it took out one of its own weather satellites that was orbiting 530 miles above the Earth, and the U.S. responded.

“The American Government was so incensed by Chinese actions in space that it privately warned Beijing it would face military action if it did not desist.”

Officials working for then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice offered a stern warning to the Communist nation for making such a threatening move saying, “A Chinese attack on a satellite using a weapon launched by a ballistic missile threatens to destroy space systems that the United States and other nations use for commerce and national security. Destroying satellites endangers people.”

The warning continued: “Any purposeful interference with US space systems will be interpreted by the United States as an infringement of its rights and considered an escalation in a crisis or conflict. “The United States reserves the right, consistent with the UN Charter and international law, to defend and protect its space systems with a wide range of options, from diplomatic to military.”

Beijing justified its actions by accusing the Americans of developing an “offensive” laser weapon system that would have the capability of destroying missiles before they left enemy territory.”


From the New York Times: January 2012

China has rapidly expanded its military in the past year, and plans to spend aggressively in the hopes of creating a military that can match the country’s growing economic might. Last week, China announced ambitious plans to expand its space program and put a person on the moon in the next five years.

That move comes as the American space program is slimming down.

China has also begun releasing information about its own advanced weapons and technology, including its first aircraft carrier and a stealth fighter jet.


NASA finds water on the moon

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A "significant amount" of frozen water has been found on the moon, the US space agency said Friday heralding a giant leap forward in space exploration and boosting hopes of a permanent lunar base.

Preliminary data from a dramatic experiment on the moon "indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater," NASA said in a statement.

"The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon," it added, as ecstatic scientists celebrated the landmark discovery.

"Yes indeed we found water and we did not find only a little bit but a significant amount," said Anthony Colaprete, project scientist and principal investigator for the 79-million-dollar LCROSS mission.

The data was found after NASA sent two spacecraft crashing into the lunar surface last month in a dramatic experiment to probe Earth's nearest neighbor for water.

One rocket slammed into the Cabeus crater, near the lunar southern pole, at around 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) per hour.

Moon holds key to solar system's secrets

The rocket was followed four minutes later by a spacecraft equipped with cameras to record the impact which sent a huge plume of material billowing up from the bottom of the crater, untouched by sunlight for billions of years.

"In the 20 to 30 meter crater we found maybe about a dozen, at least, two-gallon buckets of water. This is an initial result," Colaprete told reporters.

"We are ecstatic," he added in a statement.

"Multiple lines of evidence show water was present in both the high angle vapor plume and the ejecta curtain created by the LCROSS Centaur impact.

"The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water," Colaprete said.

Scientists had previously theorized that, except for the possibility of ice at the bottom of craters, the moon was totally dry.

Finding water on Earth's natural satellite is a major breakthrough in space exploration.

"It's very exciting, it is painting a new image of the moon," said Gregory Deloy, from the University of California hailing it as "an extraordinary discovery."

He theorized that "one of the possible source of water is a comet."

"We're unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and, by extension, the solar system," said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington.

"The full understanding of the LCROSS data may take some time. The data is that rich," Colaprete cautioned.

"Along with the water in Cabeus, there are hints of other intriguing substances. The permanently shadowed regions of the moon are truly cold traps, collecting and preserving material over billions of years."

Only 12 men, all Americans, have ever walked on the moon, and the last to set foot there were in 1972, at the end of the Apollo missions.

But NASA's ambitious plans to put US astronauts back on the moon by 2020 to establish manned lunar bases for further exploration to Mars under the Constellation project are increasingly in doubt.

NASA's budget is currently too small to pay for Constellation's Orion capsule, a more advanced and spacious version of the Apollo lunar module, as well as the Ares I and Ares V launchers needed to put the craft in orbit.

A key review panel appointed by President Barack Obama said existing budgets are not large enough to fund a return mission before 2020.





























Fact and Fiction have just collided!

Amazingly, China has just announced their plans for a manned lunar mission by 2019!  This coupled with the significant military component to their space program makes me believe my prediction is far too close to the truth for comfort!