M is for Mojave: To the world of Gossamer Steel, Mojave is both a bane and a windfall. The Mojave Air and Space Port is where the solar array is launched from before the apocalypse. However, Morena Sokol finds her future and that of her family in the Mojave Desert.
The Mojave Air and Space Port, also known as the Civilian Aerospace Test Center, is located in Mojave, California, at an elevation of 2,791 feet (851 m). It is the first facility to be licensed in the United States for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft, being certified as a spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration on June 17, 2004. Occupying over 200 acres of a former Marine Corps training base, it is home to around 140 companies, many in the area of suborbital vehicle development. When it comes to global ‘firsts’ in flight, flight test, and aerospace, the Mojave Air and Space Port has been a consistent breaker of records and aerospace barriers, from The Scaled Composites Model 76 Voyager, the first aircraft in history to fly around the world without stopping or refueling (1986), to SpaceShipOne, the first non-governmental rocket ship to space (2004).
The Mojave Desert is situated between the Great Basin Desert to the north and the Sonoran to the south (mainly between 34 and 38°N latitudes). A rainshadow desert, the Mojave is defined by a combination of latitude, elevation, geology, and indicator plants. Elevations are generally between three and six thousand feet, although the famous Death Valley National Park includes both 11,049-foot Telescope Peak and the lowest point in the United States 282 feet below sea level at Badwater.
There are several solar power plants in the Mojave Desert supplying power to the US electricity grid. Insolation (solar radiation) in the Mojave Desert is among the best available in the United States, and some significant population centres are located in the area. These plants can generally be built in a few years because solar plants are built almost entirely with modular, readily available materials. Some of the plants are on the eastern side near Boulder City, Nevada – SE of Las Vegas. The world’s largest solar plant, Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating project, is south-west of Las Vegas and opened on February 13, 2014. There are some others on the Californian side around Lancaster and Barstow, around an hour from the Space Port, proving a factual basis for the ‘accident’ that creates the world of Gossamer Steel.
PREVIOUS A TO Z POSTS:
A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei
The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.
My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.