Mars Exploration: Surface
& Orbital Reconnaissance

Author: Ian

I may be contacted at


1992-1995: University of Lancaster Religious Studies/History of Science B.A. (Hons) 2/1

Religious Studies:

Among my tutors were Dr. David Smith (Hinduism/The Goddess), Dr. Andrew Rawlinson (Buddhism), Dr. Deborah Sawyer (St. Paul and the Early Church), Stewart McFarlane (Chinese Religions and Philosophies), Dr. Adrian Cunningham (Western Art and Architecture), and Dr. Paul Morris (Judaism).

History of Science:

During my first year my main tutors were Professor John Brooke, Dr. Roger Smith, and Dr. Steven Pumfrey. The historical periods under discussion ranged essentially from the 16th - early 20th centuries. In my third year I studied 'Science and Religion' under Professor Brooke, and 'The Victorians, Darwin and the Debate on Human Evolution 1865-1895' under Dr. Roger Smith.

1996: At Lancaster University I joined a course entitled the 'History of the Universe', an account of Big Bang theory taught by Professor Terry Sloan in the particle physics department. Within the history of science cosmology has held for me a special fascination and this course gave me some of the technical and conceptual tools to better evaluate this subject in what is now a post-20th century context.

In the same year I also contributed four articles on Native American religions & cultures to an Encyclopaedia of World Religions, made available to the World Wide Web by St. Martin's University, Lancaster now known as the University of Cumbria. My articles discussed Sioux Religion, Cherokee Religion, Navaho Religion, and the Code of Handsome Lake. (See PHILTAR: North American Religions.)

Publications & Lectures

The history of space exploration is vast and complex, encompassing scientific, political, social and technological developments. Of equal importance, however, is the question of human aspirations in the history of space flight and how our visions of the cosmos have changed since ancient times down to the present. Some of these ideas were reflected in my paper, 'Human Aspirations in the History of Space Flight', which was published on August 5th, 2004, in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS, 57, pp.340-347 2004).

In the following November I also provided a brief article on the Hubble Space Telescope for the Society's new magazine Voyage, which was aimed at 11-15 year olds, whilst on November 8th, 2004, and February 2nd, 2005, I delivered lectures to two astronomy societies on the subject of 'The Development of Ideas on the Origins of Life on Earth and the Search for Life on Other Worlds', which was informed in part by my interview of geologist Dr. Michael Russell who currently works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California: for him the problem of how life first got started is a geological issue not a biological one.

On the 7th November, 2021, I completed a translation into English of Galileo Galilei's Sidereus Nuncius or Starry Messenger, 1610, the first work of telescopic astronomy, in which the author explored various constellations in unprecedented detail and also nebulae, but especially the Moon and the four stars orbiting Jupiter, discovered by Galileo and which today we know as the Galilean moons. What Galileo learned of the latter two in particular had revolutionary implications for the way we viewed the Cosmos. With many thanks to librarian Kerry Magruder of Oklahoma University Libraries, History of Science Collections, my translation is currently being made available to the students and researchers of that university.