“Impossible it isn’t, but the Inspiration Mars Foundation’s proposed mission would run the risk of catastrophic failure”
Space News of the Day
Future is in the making! The asteroid mining firm Deep Space Industries, Inc. launched today with an ambitious plan to build an entire fleet of spacecraft by 2015 and deploy them to harvest resources from asteroids near the Earth.
“Nanotechnology expert Robert Freitas has outlined a plan for the elimination of lungs, making breathable air unnecessary. Ray Kurzweil has speculated that future humans won’t require food, equipped instead with nanobots that can energize our cells. And even Craig Venter has chimed in, putting out the call to develop an advanced inner ear that can allow people to escape motion sickness, genes for bone regeneration, and DNA repair for radiation He’s also suggested that we develop a small stature, higher energy utilization, hairlessness, and slower skin turnover. And yet others have speculated about transforming humans into gangly octopus-like creatures who would be far more adapted to slithering around in zero gravity environments.”
Excited to announce that I am a member of a congressionally-requested study on the future of human spaceflight!
Thought I’d also share my exciting news on here since it is future-related! Do check out the link to the study’s site, it’ll elaborate on the exact future it’s looking at.
27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012
We covered some of these topics last year on the Future of Science tumblr. Here’s the quick list, but be sure to read the full article for further details on the awesomeness:
1. Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm
2. DARPA Robot Can Traverse an Obstacle Course
3. Genetically Modified Silk Is Stronger Than Steel
4. DNA Was Photographed for the First Time
5. Invisibility Cloak Technology Took a Huge Leap Forward
6. Spray-On Skin
7. James Cameron Reached the Deepest Known Point in the Ocean
8. Stem Cells Could Extend Human Life by Over 100 Years
9. 3-D Printer Creates Full-Size Houses in One Session
10. Self-Driving Cars Are Legal in Nevada, Florida, and California
11. Voyager I Leaves the Solar System
12. Custom Jaw Transplant Created With 3-D Printer
13. Rogue Planet Floating Through Space
14. Chimera Monkeys Created from Multiple Embryos
15. Artificial Leaves Generate Electricity
16. Google Goggles Bring the Internet Everywhere
17. The Higgs-Boson Particle Was Discovered
18. Flexible, Inexpensive Solar Panels Challenge Fossil Fuel
19. Diamond Planet Discovered
20. Eye Implants Give Sight to the Blind
21. Wales Barcodes DNA of Every Flowering Plant Species in the Country
22. First Unmanned Commercial Space Flight Docks with the ISS
23. Ultra-Flexible “Willow” Glass Will Allow for Curved Electronic Devices
24. NASA Begins Using Robotic Exoskeletons
25. Human Brain Is Hacked
26. First Planet with FOUR Suns Discovered
27. Microsoft Patented the “Holodeck”
“We may see, in the next decade, an end to the search for the laws of physics,” the eminent physicist said. The Large Hadron Collider may well be the last of its kind—governments will probably balk at anything bigger. The James Webb Space Telescope has sucked the oxygen out of other projects and, even so, may be going the way of the Superconducting Supercollider. Elsewhere at the meeting, NASA indicated that major astrophysics missions may now occur only one every several decades. Little Science is in even bigger trouble. A National Science Foundation official told astronomers that there was only enough money this year to fund one in six grant proposals. Conversations over coffee (preferably, beer) routinely turn to the job vacuum that postdocs, in particular, face.”
“Broadening its challenge to the United States, the Chinese government on Thursday announced an ambitious five-year plan for space exploration that would move China closer to becoming a major rival at a time when the American program is in retreat.”
Space History - I found this amazing chart on the MIT Technology Review site. It shows the number of space launches for each country over time, starting with the very first launch ever, to the end of the Space Shuttle era. One thing that immediately struck me was that the often mentioned “US leadership in space flight” people were so worried about losing when the Shuttle retired isn’t as self-evident as some would like to believe.
Actually, the list of nations on that chart is pretty long, and growing every year! Just as all nations share the responsibility of stewardship for planet Earth - and the consequences when any one of them fails in that responsibility - it will take all of humanity’s resources and efforts to make us a multi-planetary society. No matter what flag is on it (although personally I’d prefer it to be none at all), any spaceship that successfully claws its way out of Earth’s gravity is an accomplishment for all of us.
World’s First Commercial Space Station Planned in Russia
Called the Commercial Space Station, the orbiting space laboratory and hotel will be able to host up to seven people at a time. It is being planned under a partnership between the Russian companies Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia.
The space station is expected to launch sometime between 2015 and 2016. The cost of individual trips may vary based on launch vehicle, duration and purpose of missions.