I am currently the Director of the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, ID. The CSNR is engaged in facilitating research and education of nuclear technologies for space exploration. Currently, the CSNR is investigating the development of radioisotope-powered Mars Hopper, a nuclear rocket design that enables a Mars Sample Return mission, and the fabrication of fuels for nuclear reactors for power and propulsion in space. I have recently been named as a finalist in the Space Exploration catgeory in the 2011 World Technology Summit.
Prior to this position, I was a staff member in the Thermonuclear Applications group of the Applied Physics Division (X Division) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In this position, I was investigating the importance of energetic nuclear reactions in modeling the physics of extreme plasma environments.
Over the past few years, I have also been involved in developing new, small businesses to commercialize the use of antiprotons. I am currently the CEO and co-founder of the Hbar Technologies, LLC based out of West Chicago, IL. Hbar Technologies is pursuing the development of a low energy source of antiprotons for use in a variety of commercial applications including Homeland Security and radiotherapy medical treatments for inoperable tumors. I am also a co-founder and shareholder of Greenlight Industries, Inc which is developing a new, high-efficiency power conversion system for hybrid cars.
In addition to over fifty technical papers published worldwide and my published fiction works, I have also appeared in numerous television programs about space and rocketry. My television credits include: “Living and Working in Space”, PBS and Sci-Fi channel; “Mission to Mars”, Ultra Science, The Learning Channel; “Rocketships,” Discovery Channel (June ‘98); “Rockets in Space”, Wingspan (August ‘98); and “Voyage to the Milky Way”, PBS, (May '99).
Earth Rise covers the long, tortuous path taken by the races of the Earth to climb out of the mud, scrape, crawl and drag our way “one small step” at a time and join the glorious community of galactic civilization -- in essence, to reach the stars. The three novellas Wrench and Claw, Honor Bound Honor Born, and First Mars strive to highlight the science that will take us to the stars.
First Mars takes the next step – the first human mission to Mars. Because of the advances in virtual reality, humans have learned to control the awesome power released in the gas core nuclear rocket. Unfortunately, some people believe that no one should go to Mars at all.
Honor Bound Honor Born
Honor Bound Honor Born, follows the tortuous travails of Hawk Stanton as he tries to stay alive on the Moon. A family man with a sense of purpose, Hawk is willing to risk his life to build the first commercial lunar base, the first real step for humanity off of the mother planet. But when his return is thwarted by governmental politics, Hawk must find a way to live for months instead of weeks.
Wrench and Claw
Vesquith is a regular citizen, enlisted into the Army and assigned to work at a remote base on the Moon. After the lunar base is destroyed by a meteor consciously diverted by a rebel religious sect, Vesquith must figure a way to survive the harsh environment, protect his fellow comrades, and defend against invaders.