As I told Leonard David at the beginning of our conversation, getting him on this week's Planetary Radio allowed me to put checkmarks by two items on my bucket list. The first was sitting down with one of my space journalism heroes, someone who has been pushing the final frontier for more than 50 years. But I've also wanted to talk to someone about China's burgeoning plans for space exploration. Leonard conveniently wrote a great article about this topic just days before we met in Boulder, Colorado.
We were there to attend a media workshop for MAVEN, the Mars orbiter that launches in November. It was a great couple of days devoted to this terrific mission that isn't getting the attention it deserves. I'll feature it on next week's show.
I think you'll enjoy what Leonard has to say, whether you're thrilled or threatened by the great strides China is making and planning. You'll also hear him talk about "Mission to Mars" the nonfiction book he has written with a guy named Buzz Aldrin.
Sidenote: Leonard's encouragement put a concoction called a Tres Amigos in front of me at our Mexican dinner. That's a Margarita with a bottle of Corona held upside-down by a bracket on the side of the glass. The Corona gradually and automatically empties into the Margarita as the Margarita was emptied into me. Then there's the spare shot of tequila hanging on the other side. Ad astra, Leonard!