Title

Life on the Kind of Red Planet

Identifier

etd-04032015-204943

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Life on the Kind of Red Planet, a novel, is the story of Meredith Ballenger, one of four NASA astronauts in the early 2030’s tasked with performing the last major simulation of a Mars expedition before the real deal. They collect soil and rock samples while wearing spacesuits, live and conduct experiments in a cramped habitat, recycle their water, ration their food supply, communicate with Mission Control slowly via radio, and take every precaution to protect themselves from the outside environment—all in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The hope of being the first humans on Mars drives them, but nine months into a nearly two-year mission, the mundane realities of their everyday lives have sunk in. When they dig up a skeleton on a routine excavation, Meredith disagrees with how her fellow astronauts and superiors at Mission Control react. As they continue their work, Mission Control’s orders become increasingly bizarre, and Meredith and the other astronauts begin to question the nature of their mission and the motives of those who command them.

Date

2015

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wilcox, James

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