What an exciting time we live in! I was totally fascinated by the landing of the robotic probe, Philae, on a speeding comet – 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. I’ve followed Philae’s botched landing with bated breath, rooting for the washing machine-sized probe as it bounced several times when its thrusters failed to deploy, sending it reeling about due to 67/P’s lower gravity. I’ve sighed with disappointment as its battery shut down because it landed in the shadow of an overhang and did not have the requisite sunlight to recharge itself. I’ve jumped with joy when 67/P sped nearer the sun and Philae was rejuvenated. I’ve watched with admiration as that plucky little robot sent back streams of data. I’ve read with curiosity the articles that there may be alien microbes on 67/P which Philae could unearth, and now, water, on Mars!

Then there is that TED Talk,“How We’ll Live on Mars,” by Stephen Petranek. I didn’t know if I want to be an early pioneer colonizing Mars, or protest against this imperialist colonization of a distant planet by infecting it with microbes from Earth and changing its environment using global warming even as we are fighting this phenomenon here on Earth.

In short, how could I not write about Philae, 67/P, and “our” future Mars colony?

Thus Cosmic Cowboy came about. I envisioned a god(s) that created the universe and our Milky Way galaxy. In particular, the goddess Tia, daughter of Tiamat, the Mother of Creation of the ancient Sumerians, patrolling our little part of the universe on a comet, riding its bucking, fiery body like the cowboys of old.

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