The Challenge by Author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Space, The final frontier- Those words will echo in my memory for all time. I was a huge fan of ‘Star Trek’ and when I left high school to work at my first ‘real’ job it was at Grumman Aerospace in Bethpage, Long Island. I was thrilled to learn that one of the projects that I would be working on was the Lunar Excursionary Module ( LEM for short) even though I was a mere factory hand.

As I worked at creating parts for the LEM, and Navy aircraft, I felt a sense of exhilaration to see a finished product of it one day only thirty feet from my work bench. It began the thoughts turning to a propulsion system that could move future spacecraft through our own solar system and beyond.

Based on my studies of Carl Sagan (before he became a household word) I was delighted to find that he also had explored the possibilities of a starship. This said I began looking for the components that would go into such an engine. My first step was to find a fuel and a containment vessel for it. By chance I read up on Hydrogen and stumbled across an instrument known as a
hydrogen stellarator to move ionized hydrogen. After toying with the idea I then developed an engine around it. Not bad for a mere seventeen-year old, and my company had the same thought. After awarding me with a tour of all the plants within the company by an engineer by the name of Kennedy, the company kept their eye on me.

My next thrill came two years ago when, as a birthday present, I was treated to a tour of the Green Bank National Observatory in West Virginia.


This was extremely exciting for me and I was able to see my first earth-based facility devoted to the exploration of outer space. Recently I joined NOVAC ( Northern Virginia Astronomy Club) and I will be using my small, but efficient, Meade EXT-90 telescope while amongst the company of professional, and semi-professional, observers such as my self.

Now, publishing a magazine that is viewed by college students all across America and around the world, I  decided to make my first of two  challenges. I would like to offer all colleges the chance to contribute stories about their work pertaining to their research of the exploration of space. I am making this offer to professionals and scientists in this field as well. These articles  will not be limited by those enthusiasts from the United States, but will be gladly accepted from Universities and professionals from around the world as well. The exploration of space must be made by participants from every country as we all have major contributions towards this endeavor.


The Oceans- Our planet’s other frontier. One of the closest laboratories for space exploration is our own oceans. We have only began to penetrate the depths of what is hidden there, and with some of the moons of our solar system thought to have hidden oceans of their own, what more convenient way to begin exploring them than to begin here on earth.  We have begun to find a widely diverse forms of life at the depths of our oceans that are wholly strange and different than those above or just below sea level. Strange and exotic creatures are just now being discovered, and many species are awaiting to be found.

With the many resources and the abundant bounty of food the oceans have to offer, exploration of them is paramount. Scientists now agree that long term duration space travel will also need personnel trained for them and are turning to members of the Navy submarine services for candidates.

There are many institutions who are performing valuable research in the field of oceanography. Research centers, such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, are valuable tools at mankind’s disposal. Their work in this are has not only provided us with much information about this planet’s oceanographic life, but can be a great blueprint for use in space exploration.

Therefore, I am setting down my second great challenge. I am offering  students, institutions of higher learning, and professionals world-wide who are studying and exploring the ocean’s depths to submit articles about their work so that they can share them with all the world. Stories and articles can be submitted to us via the e-mail address in the Contact section located on the toolbar of our homepage. The world will look forward to these contributions and those that make them will be recognized for making them.

JOD/ TAEM