Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Martian Winds Carve Mountains, Move Dust, Raise Dust: On Mars, wind rules. Wind has been shaping the Red Planet's landscapes for billions of years and continues to do so today.
$100 Million US Per Seat: Elon Musk Already Has Two Super-Rich Astronauts Ready To Take The Giant Risk And Fly Around The Moon!!!
SpaceX plans to fly private astronauts round the moon Elon Musk aims to launch first such trip out of earth’s orbit before end of next year Read next Fast FT SpaceX plans to send two people around the moon in 2018 ‘Man on the Moon’ by Dani Caxete, from the 2016 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London © Dani Caxete Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share on LinkedIn (opens new window) Email3 Save YESTERDAY by: Richard Waters in San Francisco Elon Musk raised the bar again for private space flight on Monday, as his SpaceX rocket company said it planned to fly two private individuals around the moon before the end of next year. If successful, it will be the first trip by private astronauts out of earth’s orbit, and the first time since 1972 that anyone has made it around the moon. However, SpaceX has yet to even carry out a test flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket that would be needed for the trip, or the Dragon 2 capsule that would carry the astronauts. Mr Musk has made a career of setting hugely ambitious deadlines at SpaceX and for his electric car company, Tesla, only to see the dates slip. SpaceX’s customers have generally stuck by it despite the setbacks, though satellite company Intelsat switched a contract to a rival launch company last year because of delays with the Falcon Heavy. SpaceX said two unnamed individuals had approached it about making the flight and paid “a significant deposit” for a trip around the moon. The launch plan points to a timetable that would put SpaceX ahead of Space Adventures, a space tourism company that has been trying for years to get a lunar trip off the ground. Space Adventures some years ago set a price of $150m for a seat on its proposed trip. SpaceX did not disclose how much it would charge, but Richard Rocket, chief executive of NewSpace Global, which researches the private space industry, said it was likely to cost a minimum of $100m a seat to mount such a mission. Related article SpaceX reaches for the stars and back again The technology behind the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket The first test flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket is scheduled for this summer, with the Dragon capsule set to take its first, unmanned trip to the International Space Station before the end of the year. SpaceX hopes to launch its first humans into space in the second quarter of 2018, under a contract with Nasa to get supplies and astronauts to the ISS. “I’m wondering how they’re about to go from having yet to get anyone to the International Space Station to sending two astronauts around the moon,” said Mr Rocket. Mr Musk “has never been afraid to announce deadlines and miss them”, he added. A launch-pad explosion last September for its existing Falcon rocket was the latest setback for the company’s plans to achieve a regular launch schedule with several rockets a month blasting off for space. It has returned to flight this year with two successful launches. The ambitious goal for reaching the moon echoes Mr Musk’s tactic of using attention-grabbing targets to galvanise support for his projects, even if his original timetables end up slipping. Last September he caused a stir when he laid out a timetable to get astronauts to Mars by 2025. The same effect has been apparent at Tesla, which has been able to maintain a fanatical Wall Street following despite delays in hitting its production targets. Tesla is about to face its biggest test of all, with Mr Musk promising to boost its vehicle production to 500,000 in 2018, from fewer than 100,000 in 2016.
This Epic Short Film Reveals What Life Will Look Like Once We've Conquered the Solar System: If you really want to leave the earth and go to some other planet in our solar system. Then, don’t worry about this now, as scientists are working very hard on it and may be they are in more hurry than you. The dream of leaving Earth behind and go on a lunar or Martian base is far from realization just yet, but in the meantime, this classic short film by digital artist Erik Wernquist gives you an indication of what it’s really going to look like if when humans conquer the Solar System.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
NASA's Europa Flyby Mission Moves into Design Phase: A mission to examine the habitability of Jupiter's ocean-bearing moon Europa is taking one step closer to the launchpad, with the recent completion of a major NASA review.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Sunday, February 19, 2017
2/19/2017: Space-X Scores A Home Run With A Satellite On The Way To The ISS Successful First -Stage Falcon 9 Recovery
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
LONDON — Even as he was preparing for the biggest struggle of his life, leading Britain in its fight against Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill had something else on his mind: extraterrestrials.
In a newly unearthed essay sent to his publisher on Oct. 16, 1939 — just weeks after Britain entered World War II and Churchill became part of the wartime cabinet — and later revised, he was pondering the likelihood of life on other planets.
Churchill, who went on to become prime minister during much of World War II and again from 1951 to 1955, was so enthralled by the subject that he even ordered a suspected sighting of an unidentified flying object by the Royal Air Force to be kept a secret for 50 years to avoid “mass panic.”
“The most amazing thing is that he started this essay when Europe was on the brink of war and there he is, musing about a question about a scientific topic that is really a question out of curiosity,” he said in an interview.
Churchill first defines what life is, then details the requirements for life to exist and progressively expands his reasoning to the existence of life in other solar systems, Mr. Livio said. “He’s really thinking about this,’’ Mr. Livio said, “and though he didn’t have all the knowledge at hand, he thinks about this with the logic of a scientist.”
Churchill’s interest in science stemmed from his early years as an army officer in British-ruled India, where he had crates of books, including Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” shipped to him by his mother.
He later became friends, at least for a time, with the writer H.G. Wells, whose novel “The War of the Worlds,” about Martians invading Britain, had been adapted by Orson Welles for a famous CBS radio broadcast in 1938 — a year before Churchill wrote his article. (Churchill once said Wells’s “The Time Machine” was one of the books he would like to take with him to Purgatory.)
Churchill argued that it was probable that extraterrestrial life existed somewhere in the universe. This was years before Frank Drake, the American astronomer and astrophysicist, presented in 1961 his theory about the number of communicative civilizations in the cosmos. “It is astonishing that Churchill wasn’t a scientist and yet he showed such an interest in science,” Mr. Livio said.
The manuscript was passed on to the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Mo., the site of Churchill’s famed 1946 Iron Curtain speech, in the 1980s by Wendy Reves, the wife of Churchill’s publisher, Emery Reves. It had been overlooked for years until Timothy Riley, who became the museum’s director last year, stumbled upon it recently. Soon after news of the discovery, two other copies were found in a separate archive in Britain.
Although the article was sent to Mr. Reves in 1939, it was not published. Churchill had revised it a number of times in the 1950s.
In his article, Churchill wrote: “I am not sufficiently conceited to think that my sun is the only one with a family of planets.”
“I, for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilization here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures,” he wrote, “or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time.”
Largely self-educated in the sciences, Churchill had boundless curiosity for practically anything, an attitude he once described as “picking up a few things as I went along.”
He wrote about 30 million words in his lifetime, including wartime speeches, an African travelogue, a book on oil painting, a lengthy memoir, and even an essay on an imagined invasion of Russia when he was just 15. For his body of work, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.
Welding an active imagination with scientific thought, Churchill produced a few madcap ideas — which he called “funnies” — that he actually championed while he was prime minister, as a means to defeat Nazi Germany.
There was Operation Habakkuk, an imagined fleet of aircraft carriers made from wood pulp and ice to fight German U-boats in the mid-Atlantic. Then there was the Great Panjandrum, an enormous, rocket-propelled wheel packed with explosives. Churchill even invented a green velvet “siren suit” to be put on in a hurry during air raids.
While none of these ideas came into being (the giant wheel having run amok in the testing stage), science was not just a hobby for Churchill.
He was the first prime minister to hire a science adviser. Frederick Lindemann, a physicist, became Churchill’s “on tap” expert and once described him as a “scientist who had missed his vocation,” said Andrew Nahum, who organized an exhibition on Churchill and science at the Science Museum in London. He found a separate copy of the essay in the Churchill Archives Center at the University of Cambridge.
Churchill also met regularly with scientists such as Bernard Lovell, the father of radio astronomy and the Lovell telescope.
“Churchill presided over a culture that encouraged technological development,” Mr. Nahum said. Churchill had such a genuine interest in science, he added, that as chancellor of the Exchequer in prewar Britain, he complained to a friend of having to draft the budget instead of reading a book on quantum physics.
During World War I, when he was lord of the admiralty and later secretary of state for air and war, he encouraged military aviation, chemical warfare and tanks. During World War II, which he called in his memoirs “The Wizard War,” he supported the development of radar, rockets and Britain’s nuclear program.
Churchill founded in 1958 the British equivalent of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge — Churchill College — which has since produced 32 Nobel Prize winners.
In the interwar period, Churchill wrote numerous scientific articles, including one called “Death Rays” and another titled “Are There Men on the Moon?” In 1924, he published a text asking readers “Shall We All Commit Suicide?” in which he speculated that technological advances could lead to the creation of a small bomb that was powerful enough to destroy an entire town.
Churchill’s recently unearthed article on extraterrestrial life was probably written in the same vein and was probably intended to be published as a popular science piece for a newspaper.
Two other scientific essays — one on cell division in the body and another on evolution — are stored in the museum’s archives in Fulton, Mr. Riley, the museum director, said in an interview.
Churchill had a “natural curiosity and general optimism about life,” Mr. Riley said. He had “a willingness to see technical and scientific advances improve not only his immediate world or his country, but the world.”