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Venera 3. Venus lander contact lost — First spacecraft to reach another planet's surface , First Venus impact. Luna 8. Pioneer 6. Luna 9. Luna Surveyor 1. Explorer Lunar Orbiter 1. Pioneer 7. Surveyor 2. Lunar Orbiter 2. Lunar Orbiter 3. Surveyor 3. Lunar Orbiter 4. Venera 4. Mariner 5. Surveyor 4. Explorer 35 IMP-E. Lunar Orbiter 5. Surveyor 5. Surveyor 6. Apollo 4. Pioneer 8. Surveyor 7. Apollo 5. Zond 4. Zond 5. Apollo 7. Pioneer 9. Zond 6. Apollo 8. Venera 5. Venera 6. Mariner 6. Apollo 9.
Mariner 7. Apollo So is there a liberal plot to spread nihilism? For many philosophers, being taken up by pop culture is more a sign of defeat than a cause of celebration. They were certainly not made of stone or metal, for now they seemed to sway a little as he watched; now with a shock that chased the blood from his cheeks he saw that they were alive, that they were moving, that they were coming at him.
He had a momentary, scared glimpse of their faces, thin and unnaturally long, with long, drooping noses and drooping mouths of half-spectral, half-idiotic solemnity.
He escapes his captors—and the grotesque Martians—and flees into the wilderness. Away from pistols and aliens and the arrogant dreams of evil men, his view of Malacandra, as the locals called it, begis to change. Now, this is C. Lewis speaking, both as the narrator of the fictional universe of the book, but also Lewis the writer. Even in Narnia—much shorter, and tailored to children—he will disappear for a page or two into travel guide introductions of the scene.
Before he could fly he found himself in the midst of a herd of enormous pale furry creatures more like giraffes than anything else he could think of, except that they could and did raise themselves on their hind legs and even progress several paces in that position.
They were slenderer, and very much higher, than giraffes, and were eating the leaves off the tops of the purple plants. They saw him and stared at him with their big liquid eyes, snorting in basso profondissimo , but had apparently no hostile intentions. Their appetite was voracious. Then they passed on. The planet was not, as he had begun to fear, lifeless except for sorns [the first creatures he met]. Here was a very presentable sort of animal, an animal which man could probably tame, and whose food man could possibly share.
He was staring about him with some idea of attempting this feat, when he noticed that the devastation wrought by the leaf-eating animals had opened a vista overhead beyond the plant tops to a collection of the same greenish-white objects which he had seen across the lake at their first landing. They were enormously high, so that he had to throw back his head to see the top of them. They were something like pylons in shape, but solid; irregular in height and grouped in an apparently haphazard and disorderly fashion.
Some ended in points that looked from where he stood as sharp as needles, while others, after narrowing towards the summit, expanded again into knobs or platforms that seemed to his terrestrial eyes ready to fall at any moment.
He noticed that the sides were rougher and more seamed with fissures than he had realized at first, and between two of them he saw a motionless line of twisting blue brightness — obviously a distant fall of water. It was this which finally convinced him that the things, in spite of their improbable shape, were mountains; and with that discovery the mere oddity of the prospect was swallowed up in the fantastic sublime.
Here, he understood, was the full statement of that perpendicular theme which beast and plant and earth all played on Malacandra — here in this riot of rock, leaping and surging skyward like solid jets from some rock fountain, and hanging by their own lightness in the air, so shaped, so elongated, that all terrestrial mountains must ever after seem to him to be mountains lying on their sides.
Even the most scientifically incurious reader will notice the stark contrast between the haunting red deserts of Mars and the vibrant valleys of Malacandra. We know that there is no complex life on Mars, and that the barren landscape is not interrupted by purple-tinged ecosystems of flora and fauna sliced into the earth.
So would it be fair to say that Lewis was wrong about Mars in his science fiction? To ask if Lewis, or any science fiction writer of his generation, was mistaken about science is to ask the wrong question, I think. On Dec 28, , he wrote to Roger Lancelyn Green, noting that:. Now, Lewis is aware of some general ideas of science.
That means Mars will appear at its biggest and brightest since —even outshining Jupiter in the night sky for a few weeks. The distinctly orange-hued object will rise in the east as night falls and will be visible in the southeast sky within the constellation Capricornus, the sea goat.
High-magnification views of Mars through backyard telescopes will show off its distinct surface features, such as the ice-covered northern polar cap. Observers in Africa and western Asia will get to see the full show, while Europeans will see the partially eclipsed moon rise and then witness totality. Meanwhile, East Asia and Australia will see part of the lunar eclipse on the morning of the 28th as the moon sets in the west. Watch for the Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower to radiate from the constellation Aquarius on July Namespaces Article Talk.