Take a look at the week that was!
Take a look at the week that was!
If there’s going to be a hotel on the Moon, does it have to be a Hilton? From BBC Future:
It is more than half a century since the idea of a Hilton hotel on the Moon was first mooted . Ever since, the plan has resurfaced periodically, making Matt Novak wonder if we are now any closer or whether there was ever a plan at all.
In 1958 the Boulevard Room at the swanky Conrad Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago offered delicious steaks, a lavish stage show, and a curious peek at the future.
At the front of the grand hall was what was billed as the “largest hotel ice rink in the country”, on which troops of tutu-wearing girls danced for the crowds of diners. It was here, in the summer heat of August that black-tie wearing customers were given the first teaser of a legend that survives to this day: Hilton Hotels was going to the Moon.
Guess how they’ll get there? Via a reality television event that will fund the whole project. Seriously, that’s what the promoters are claiming and the story has spread far and wide. From the official Mars One site:
Mars One’s mission objective
Mars One plans to establish the first human settlement on Mars by April 2023. The first crew of four astronauts emigrate to their new planet from Earth, a journey that takes seven months. A new team will join the settlement every two years. By 2033 there will be over twenty people living, working and flourishing on Mars, their new home.
The vision of Mars One
A manned mission to Mars is one of the most exciting, inspiring and ambitious adventures that mankind can take on. We see this as a journey that belongs to us all, and it is for this reason that we will make every step one that we take together. This will also be our way to finance the mission: the mission to Mars will be the biggest media event ever!
The entire world will be able to watch and help with decisions as the teams of settlers are selected, follow their extensive training and preparation…
Space: The final frontier. Hollywood and Silicon Valley superheroes Cameron and Schmidt plan to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before… Emma Rowley reports for the Telegraph:
Power players including Eric Schmidt, the Google chairman, and James Cameron, the film director, are planning to mine the final frontier: space.
They are among the backers of a new venture that will reach for the riches lying elsewhere in the solar system. Planetary Resources will be a “space exploration company to expand Earth’s resource base” according to scant information released ahead of the start-up’s launch in Seattle on Tuesday.
“The company will overlay two critical sectors – space exploration and natural resources – to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP,” was the bold claim. “This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources’.”
Mr Schmidt and the internet giant’s co-founder Larry Page are listed alongside Mr Cameron, the director of Titanic and Avatar, among the venture’s investors and advisers.
Last week, a new U.S. spy satellite was launched into orbit as part of a secretive military program enabling the surveillance of Earth from space.
A live webcast showing the Delta IV rocket blast into the sky from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Tuesday was blacked out just three minutes after liftoff due to the sensitive nature of the mission, dubbed “NROL-25.”
An official at the Vandenberg base told the Los Angeles Times that the NROL-25 was part of a “national security payload,” which could mean it is to be used for any number of purposes, possibly including domestic surveillance. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2007 that U.S. intelligence agencies, in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, had approved the use of spy satellites for domestic purposes, such as for monitoring border security.
Sometimes strange and wondrous things are closer than we realize. For instance, did you know that space is only an hour’s drive away, if you somehow drove your car straight upwards? Perhaps someday you will. Via kottke.org:
Space always seems so far away and much of it actually is. But space is actually quite close to where we are all sitting right now. The Kármán line, the commonly accepted boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space, is only 62 miles above sea level.
A distance of 62 miles can covered by a car on the interstate in less than an hour. Stable Earth orbits are achievable at only 100 miles above the Earth, with the ISS and Space Shuttles usually orbiting at a height of ~200 miles.
Terrence Aym submitted this story to BeforeItsNews.com [disinfo ed.'s note: we do not endorse this story, but it has received a lot of attention so we decided to link to it here]:
Although NASA covered up the strange photon cloud that’s now enveloped the solar system, the word has leaked out from some scientists.
And now, as the ominous cloud approaches it’s affecting the sun and planets in measurable ways.
Amazingly, as the bizarre energy invades our space, some of the world’s most famous pyramids are generating intense energy.
Several incredible incidents of visible power beams shooting skywards into space towards the region of the alien photonic cloud are well-documented.
At the same time, people around the world began hearing and recording frightening sounds—noises that seem as if the Earth itself is moaning and wailing.
All the phenomena—including measurements of the never-before-seen gigantic electrification of the turbulent sun—seem to be centered on the deadly photonic cloud that some have called a ‘potential Doomsday space event.’…
Wondering if the Constitution still applies when gravity does not? Newt Gingrich believes so. Buzzfeed dug up Newt’s 1981 bill laying out rules of governance for a future 20,000-person U.S. colony on the moon or Mars. At the moment he’s being bashed from all sides for this, but I think it’s fantastic:
Yesterday Newt Gingrich revealed his “weirdest idea ever” — to provide a path to statehood for a hypothetical lunar colony.
With the help of the skilled research librarians in the Library of Congress Law Library, BuzzFeed tracked down the bill, which Gingrich called the “Northwest Ordinance for Space,” or formally the “National Space and Aeronautics Policy Act of 1981.”
“The Congress declares that the United States is committed to the expansion of free people and free institutions into space,” the bill stated, calling for an array of near earth and solar space travel vehicles to be completed by 2010.
A simulated sunset from a foreign solar system — what a dreamy dusk. PhysOrg writes:
Professor Frederic Pont, of the University of Exeter, imagined what it might really look like if a person were able to visit another planet and to then sit quietly watching as the sun set. He used data from a camera onboard Hubble, knowledge of how the color of light changes based on chemicals it encounters, and computer modeling, to create an actual image of what a sunset on an actual planet far out in space would look like. The planet in question, exoplanet HD209458b, nicknamed Osiris, just happens to be quite large and circles its star rather closely.
Though we couldn’t technically sit on the surface of Osiris, since it doesn’t have one, the picture that Pont produced approximates what it would look like, and the results are truly beautiful. The light from Osiris’s star is white, like our own sun, but when it passes through the sodium in Osirisi’s atmosphere, red light in it is absorbed, leaving the starlight to appear blue.
So that’s what’s out there … Jason Palmer reports from the annual American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin for BBC News:
Researchers have released the biggest images yet detailing dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up three-quarters of the Universe’s mass.
Each image, a billion light-years across, shows vast dark matter clumps and voids scattered through the cosmos.
The team from the Canada-France Hawaii Telescope inferred the dark matter’s existence by the way it bends light.
The images were presented at the 219th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, US.
The four images were taken at four different seasons of the year, each capturing a swath of the sky about as large as a palm held at arm’s length.
They are a big step forward in understanding both dark matter itself, and the means by which dark matter influences the way normal matter clumps into the galaxies we see in the night skies.