17 April 2009

Shifts on board the Namaste

(click on image to enlarge)

The crew on board Namaste lives according a shifts plan that translates several objectives and some worries too.

First objective is to have at least one of the Officers (the Commander or the 1st Officer) on his post; at any time, there's always someone in charge.

Second objective is to have at least two other crew members in "Task Period", so that no complex or heavy task becomes impossible to get done.

On the worries side, working and living as a couple on such a confined environment and for a long duration raises several questions.

As pregnancy in space has never been addressed (at least that we know of...) it is not desirable to deal with such a big question mark during a mission meant to take its crew to another planet, both because of the foetus' development and the inherent risks to a crew member, the mother.

Furthermore, to avoid a complete segregation among the crew (Indians vs. Brazilians), the task teams are not coincidental with the couples, having men and women in different shifts thus also keeping eventual jealousies aside (never a husband stays a Task Period alone with the other's wife).

The psychology behind such a mission must deal with highly trained professionals carrying with them the most primitive feelings and reactions.

Banner image

These are photos of a very special granite rock, taken by me six years ago.
I cannot disclose the place where the rock is.

The third image was used (trimmed and stretched a bit) to produce the banner of "Monsalvarga - the novel" blog.

The mystery surrounding this rock is lost in time; the obvious explanation for its internal features - erosion by water - collide with its location: atop a hill in a highland area with no sea, lake or even a river nearby.

The strange display - like a cup upside down - goes against a "natural" placement, as its weight would most probably force it to be turned over its actual position.

Moreover, some of the holes carved on this rock look almost like perfect circles, as if a gigantic sand jet had "burned" tunnels into it, as shown in the last image.

This turned-over cup-like rock stands on several points of contact with the terrain (as seen in the 2nd and 3rd images - mind the plastic bag that some previous barbarian left behind...) and you can crawl underneath it and look at its disturbing inner features.

The incredible flow of forces that carved and shaped this big rock is precisely what I have in mind for the crucial element behind the original idea to write my novel.

A mystery to a mystery.

15 April 2009

March 2009 poll

image courtesy of atom.smasher.org

The poll "I think Monsalvarga stands for..." is now closed.
The global results were as follows:

37% - An ancient god;
25% - A small village;
25% - A code name for a mission;
12% - A character yet to be known.

In a future chapter we will confirm who had the right perception...

25 March 2009


image courtesy of atom.smasher.org

Welcome to my new blog, where an obvious connection exists with "Monsalvarga - the novel".

Soon after I've started publishing my novel, I felt the need to clarify certain details or facts that where explicit or implicit but lacked the full explanation.

Instead of creating too much, too long chapters just for the sake of including (sometimes rather dull) explanations or justifications, I decided to create this other secondary blog, a kind of "Behind the Scenes", so my readers could find useful and interesting info about the building blocks of "Monsalvarga - the novel".

I hope you enjoy it.