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Index to our previous shows

  • January 15, 2005 - Frank Kelly Freas
  • Shows from December, 2004
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  • Shows from August, 2003
  • Shows from July, 2003
  • Shows from June, 2003
  • Shows from May, 2003
  • Shows from February, 2003
  • Shows from January, 2003
  • Shows from December, 2002
  • Shows from November, 2002
  • Shows from October, 2002
  • Shows from September, 2002
  • Shows from August, 2002
  • Shows from July, 2002
  • Shows from June, 2002
  • Shows from May, 2002
  • Shows from April, 2002
  • Shows from March, 2002
  • Shows from February, 2002
  • Shows from January, 2002
  • Shows from December 2001
  • Shows from November, 2001
  • Shows from October, 2001
  • Shows from September, 2001
  • Shows from August, 2001
  • Shows from July, 2001
  • Shows from June, 2001
  • Shows from May, 2001
  • Shows from April, 2001
  • Shows from March, 2001
  • Shows from February, 2001
  • Shows from January, 2001
  • Shows from November - December, 2000
  • Shows from September - October, 2000
  • Shows from July - August, 2000

  • Frank Kelly Freas     Listen to this show

    On Saturday - January 15th, 2005 - Hour 25 remembered artist Frank Kelly Freas with an interview that we did with him shortly before we started doing the show on-line.

    Kelly Freas has had a long and prolific career as one of the premier artists in the science fiction field. In his 50+ year career he has crafted numerous iconic images for the field and has done much to shape our ideas of science fiction art and illustration. When not doing paintings for SF books and magazines, his work has appeared in a wide variety of 'main-stream' venues, including Mad magazine, airplane nose art, glossy magazines, NASA posters and mission patches, rock albums and even pictures of the Saints for the Franciscan monks.

    Outside of his art he was known to his friends and acquaintances as a friendly and dapper gentleman who warmed any room or gathering by his presence. His sense of humor was legendary and it can easily be said that he was loved by everyone who met him.

    You can find out why the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction calls Kelly 'the most popular science fiction artist in the history of the field' by checking out his web site.

    Sadly, Kelly died on January 2nd, 2005 and we deeply mourn his passing.

    Please note; All of the examples of Kelly's art used on this Web Site are Copyright © Kelly Freas, All Rights Reserved, and are used with the kind permission of his estate.

    Kelly and Laura, Picture copyright 2000 © Burt Handelsman Against the Fall of Night. Copyright © Kelly Freas All Rights Reserved.
    Kelly and Laura Freas

    Kelly's first professional book cover.

    Martians Go Home! Copyright © Kelly Freas All Rights Reserved.    The Gulf Between. Copyright © Kelly Freas All Rights Reserved.
    When Kelly painted the cover for the Fredric Brown story Martians Go Home he created one of the iconic images of science fiction. The 'little green guy' is an instantly recognizable sign that, "Here be strange and fantastic stories".

    Likewise, when he did the painting for The Gulf Between he created a haunting image for the relationship between humans and our machines that speaks as loudly as any words could. This picture has been reprinted numerous times on various books and anthologies and even appeared on the Queen album, We Are the World.

    A NASA poster done by Kelly. Copyright © Kelly Freas All Rights Reserved.    The Pirates of Ersatz. Copyright © Kelly Freas All Rights Reserved.
    Long a friend of the space program Kelly has lent his artistic talents to the exploration of space by doing series of commissioned posters for NASA explaining why we go into space. His contacts with NASA even led him to designing the patch the astronauts wore on one of the Skylab missions.

    And if you want to appreciate his ability to juxtapose unexpected elements in a painting you need look no farther than his cover illustration for the Murray Leinster story The Pirates of Ersatz. Every time I see that image of a pirate with a ray gun in his hand and a slide rule in his mouth I just have to smile.

    Thank you Kelly, for the images you created and for having made the world a nicer place to live in. We'll miss you.

    Dateline: Mars

    NASA is releasing all of the images from the two Mars Exploration Rovers almost as soon as they arrive at JPL. The raw images for the Spirit rover can be found at the following Web Page and raw images for Opportunity can be found here. The images that have been released to the press, along with animations and explanatory text, can be found here. You can find larger versions of the images shown below at that last NASA Web Site.


    Burns Cliff, color, detail. Image credit NASA/JPL.
    Image Credit: NASA/JPL
    Here is a true color close-up of the Burns Hill region of Endurance crater. {This is in fact, a small portion of a much larger and higher resolution picture.} This image was taken not long before the engineers and scientists at JPL found a route that would let them drive Opportunity out of that crater so it could explore other parts of the Martian surface.

    Heat shield impact area. Image credit NASA/JPL.
    Image Credit: NASA/JPL
    Now that Opportunity has driven out of Endurance crater it is free to explore other Martian mysteries. But first it will take a look at the heatshield that protected the rover during its entry into the Martian atmosphere.

    Heat shield. Image credit NASA/JPL.
    Image Credit: NASA/JPL
    Heat shield pieces. Image credit NASA/JPL.
    Image Credit: NASA/JPL
    The above two images give you a closer look at Opportunity's heat shield and some of the other debris. The engineers who worked on this hardware are anxious to study it closer since it will give them clues as to how they can improve the designs for the vehicles that will land on Mars in the future.


    Spirit traverse path.  Image credit NASA/JPL.
    Image Credit: NASA/JPL

    The above image shows the route that Spirit has taken while it roves across Mars. Pay particular attention to the crater in the lower right hand part of the image, the one with the dark streak in it.

    A dark streak on Mars.  Image credit NASA/JPL.
    Image Credit: NASA/JPL

    The upper portion of the picture above shows two images of that same area taken in March and August of last year. Note that the dark streak wasn't there in March but had been created sometime before August. Scientists think that it was caused by a dust devil that swept light colored dust off of darker rocks.

    The bottom part of the above picture shows that crater with a dark streak as seen by Spirit. In this picture taken from the surface of Mars you can see that same dark streak that was seen by a spacecraft in orbit hundreds of miles overhead.

    False color rock.  Image credit NASA/JPL.
    Image Credit: NASA/JPL

    Here is a false color image of Martian rocks and sand. Several of these rocks appear to be rounded, as if they had been smoothed by blowing sand or perhaps moving water. Other rocks lack that appearance and may have been transported in from other parts of Mars by volcanic action or meteor impacts.

    Dateline: Saturn/Titan

    Information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, including the newest released images from Huygens, can be found at this ESA Web Site. The University of Arizona Web Site for the imaging system used to take these pictures has much information about how they were obtained and processed as well as a collection of processed and unprocessed images.

    The Huygens probe carried a microphone and recorded the various sounds that it heard while descending to the surface of Titan. You can listen to those sounds at this Web Page sponsored by the Planetary Society.

    Information about the Cassini mission can be found at the Project's Official Web Site at JPL. Pictures taken by the Cassini spacecraft can be found by going to this JPL Web Page.

    Huygens descent image, 16km altitude, 40m resolution. Image credit ESA/NASA/University of Arizona.
    Image Credit: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona
    This picture was taken when Huygens was 16 km above the surface of Titan and shows features as small as 40 meters across, roughly 120 feet.

    The lighter colored material is rougher and at a higher elevation that the smooth dark material on the right hand side of the image. There appear to be a number of drainage channels flowing from the high elevations to the dark low lying area, although it is not yet clear what fluid formed those channels. {The temperatures on Titan are far too low for liquid water to exist.}

    It is not yet clear what the dark materials are made of. It is not even clear if they are solid or liquid. They may be hydrocarbon soaked ice or could even be liquid hydrocarbons. Hopefully, further analysis of these and other pictures will offer some answers to these questions.

    Huygens oblique descent image. Image credit ESA/NASA/University of Arizona.
    Image Credit: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona
    This composite image was taken at a lower altitude and is looking obliquely toward the boundary between the smooth dark material and the light colored higher elevations. Some of the relatively smooth white areas might be clouds or fog. The absence of details toward the horizon is probably caused by atmospheric haze.

    I don't know about you, but this sure looks to me like a picture of a beach.

    Huygens color picture from the surface of Titan. Image Credit: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona.
    Image Credit: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona
    And finally we have a color picture taken from the surface of Titan. Those rocks in the foreground are probably made of ice and are a few inches across. The sky is orange because of the hydrocarbon haze that blankets Titan's atmosphere. More images and interpretations will be released from the Science Team over the coming weeks. I can hardly wait to hear what they have found.

    Huygens Images Processed by Enthusiasts

    Huygens descent mosaic. Source Images Credit: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona. Processing and Composition: Ricardo Nunes.
    Source Images Credit: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona.
    Processing and Composition: Ricardo Nunes

    Only a few of the images from Huygens have been processed and released by the Project's Science Team, but all of the raw images are available from various sources on the web. Some people can't wait to see the processed images and so they have been doing their own processing of the raw images. The Enthusiast Compositions of the Huygens Images Web Page is a focal point for this activity. The pictures there give us a preview of what will be officially released in the coming weeks.

    As an example of their work, the above image is a portion of a mosaic created by Ricardo Nunes showing details of the drainage channels that flow from the highlands to the dark colored low areas on Titan. Way cool!

    Listen to this show


    Click here to listen to the entire show. {1:00:46}


        Kelly Freas at work. Picture copyright © Kelly Freas.  All rights reserved.
    Kelly Freas at work.
    {Picture © Kelly Freas.}
    • Click here for the show's intro music.{0:41}
    • Click here for the show's opening and our thoughts on the passing of Kelly Freas. {15:45}
    • Click here for news about Sir Arthur C. Clarke and the tsunami relief efforts. {1:38}
    • Click here for news about the recent ISS resupply mission. {0:47}
    • Click here for news about the one year anniversary of the Mars Exploration Rovers. {1:11}
    • Click here for news about the landing of the Huygens probe on Titan. {3:38}
    • Click here for our interview with Kelly Freas. {35:09}
    • Click here for the show's closing.{1:59}

    • Click here for our current show.
    • Click here for links to all of our previous Shows that you can listen to on the Hour 25 Web Site.
    If you enjoyed this show and would like to know when other interviews are uploaded to the Hour 25 Web Site, then send an email to me at wwjames@earthlink.net and I will add your name to the free Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list. That way you'll get a brief notice in your email every time a new show gets uploaded to the web.

    Links for more information relating to this week's show

    Frank Kelly Freas
  • Much information about Kelly, along with samples of his work, can be found at his official Web Site. If you are interested in owning prints of Kelly's work or even original paintings of his then be sure to follow the link on his home page to the Kelly Freas store.
  • Jerry Pournelle was a long time friend of Kelly Freas and his reflections on the death of Kelly are a tribute to a life well lived.
  • Obituaries for Kelly may be found at the SFWA Web Site, CNN and the Guardian, among others.
  • Here is a nice retrospective on the work of Kelly Freas.

    Tsunami Relief
  • Information about the impact of the Tsunami on Sri Lanka and on relief efforts and much more can be found at the Web Site for the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.
  • Here is the link to Jerry Pournelle's Web Site that has information from Sir Arthur C. Clarke concerning places to send donations to for Tsunami relief.
  • Below are a number of organizations that are providing Tsunami relief.
  • American Red Cross International Response Fund
    PO Box 37243
    Washington, DC 20013
    (800)-HELP NOW
  • Catholic Relief Services
    PO Box 17090
    Baltimore, MD 21203-7090
  • Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres
    PO Box 2247
    New York, NY 10116-2247
    (888) 392-0392
  • Oxfam America
    Asia Earthquake Fund
    PO Box 1211
    Albert Lea, MN 56007-1211

    Space News - Mars
  • For more information about the Mars Exploration Rovers be sure to check out the MER Web Site at JPL or this Mars Rover site at Cornell University.
  • To learn more about the Mars Express mission you can go to this ESA Mars Express Web Site, this Mars Express Web Page from JPL, this NSSDC Mars Express Web Page, or this Web Page from Mars News.Com.
  • For more information about the Exploration of Mars be sure to go to the JPL Mars Exploration Site, the Center for Mars Exploration at NASA Ames, or the Mars Missions Web Site at the Planetary Society.
  • Information about the data returned by previous Mars missions can be found at this Mars Web Page at the NSSDC.
  • Information about the Phoenix Mission to Mars can be found at this Press Release from the University of Arizona. You can view a 3D picture of the Mars Phoenix spacecraft here.
  • For more Mars news be sure to check out the Mars News.Com Web Site.
  • Percival Lowell did much to shape our ideas about Mars in the early years of the 20th Century. You can learn more about his work by reading this on-line copy of his 1895 book Mars.

    Space News - The Cassini Mission to Saturn
  • Much information about the Cassini mission can be found at the Project's Official Web Site at JPL.
  • JPL is constantly releasing pictures from Cassini. You can find them by going to this JPL Web Page.
  • Additional information about the Cassini mission can be found at this ESA Web Site.

    For On-Going Updates on Space News
  • Links relating to the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia can be found here.
  • The Reusable Launch & Space Vehicle News Web Site Web Page that is part of the Hobby Space Web Site is a really good place to watch for news about, well... Reusable Launch Vehicles and related subjects. I check it out just about every day and often find news there that doesn't show up anywhere else. Give it a look. {And while you're there be sure to check out some of the site's other pages. Wow! Is there a lot of information there.}
  • The Space Today Web Site is a great place to find space news from all over the 'net.
  • The Spaceflight Now Web Site carries real time information about current space missions and presents a lot of space and astronomy news. This is the place I go to when I want up to the minute information about current space missions. Do I need to say more?
  • The NASA Watch Web Site is another great place for getting information about current space missions. Check there also for news about other 'goings on' within NASA. Highly recommended.

    ISS News
  • The Florida Today Web Site has a very interesting report about the causes of the ISS budget problems and their impact on the space program. It makes very interesting reading.
  • Click here to view the press kits for various ISS missions.
  • Check out the NASA International Space Station Web Page or the Boeing Web Page to learn more about this project.
  • A great source of news about Russian space activities, including their work on the ISS, can be found at the Russian Space Web.
  • Do you wonder where the Space Station is right now? You can use your browser to view real time maps showing the location of the ISS by going to this link at the NASA Space Link Web Site or here at the Johnson Spacecraft Center. Please note that your browser must support Java to make use of this satellite tracking software.
  • You can find out when the ISS - or many other spacecraft - can be seen from your location by going to this NASA Web Page. Please note; your browser must support Java for this application to work.

    Space Related Organizations
    If you are interested in learning more about current space activities there are many local and national organizations you might want to know about. Joining these organizations and taking part in their activities is a good way to stay abreast of things going on in space as well as a way to show your support for those activities. Listed below are some of those organizations.
  • The Organization for the Advancement of Space Industrialization and Settlement has long been place for persons living in the Los Angeles area to gather and discuss the promise of space. Be sure to check out their Web Site for information about their meetings and other activities.
  • The Orange County Space Society is another Los Angeles area organization that provides a focal point for persons who are interested in space developments to get together and share their ideas. They have created a number of displays explaining the history and importance of space exploration that have appeared at various public events. Be sure to check their Web Site for information about their meetings and other events.
  • The National Space Society has a long history of being an advocate for a vigorous space program and provides much information to its members through their magazine and Web Site.
  • The Space Frontier Foundation is a strong advocate for a non-governmental space program and serves as a focal point for much activity in that arena. Their annual conference in Los Angeles during the Fall is a great way to find out what is happening in the non-government space arena.
  • The Space Access Society is focused on reducing the cost of going into space by promoting non-governmental launch vehicle programs. Their annual conference in the spring is a major source of information on non-traditional launch vehicle activities.
  • The Planetary Society is focused on the exploration of the Solar System and has a wealth of information for its members and others.

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