Future Home For Mankind

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Thought these artist renderings of the Trappist-1 Star were awesome. 


NASA discovered this star and 7 Earth-size planets around it that could conceivably have water and sustain human life. 


As we continue to gobble up Earth’s resources and build incredibly powerful weapons that may one day soon destroy it, we need to have a viable Plan B.


Hence, the race to find another planet(s) with resources and environmental conditions where human civilization can survive and thrive.


I’m not sure what is more exciting than finding that magic planetary home of the future, where everything is new and pristine again like the Garden of Eden.


A place to go where hopefully we take not only the bits and bytes of our current world, but also the lessons learned to do it better again. 😉


(Source Photo: NASA JPL here and here)

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Reconstituting The Water Of Antarctica

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So Antarctica is the 5th largest continent of 7 in the world. 


It is 5.4 million square miles, and it is larger than both Europe and Australia. 


But it has only a temporary population of 5,000 people, mainly researchers. 


About 70% of the world’s fresh water is held in the Antarctic ice sheet, which is 90% of all the world’s ice. 


And the ice there extends 7,000 feet thick.


If all the ice would melt, the global sea levels would rise 2,000 feet!


Despite 95% of models over the last 30 years predicting the ice sheet melting due to global warming, it actually continues to expand.


It’s a paradox for the science community, but one of the explanations is that as ice shelves break off, they actually forms a protective barrier for the new ice being formed along the main ice landmass. 


Even with global warming, the average temperature in Antarctica is still -35 degrees Fahrenheit, and most parts never get above freezing. 


So here’s an idea–rather than fear global warming, is there an opportunity to use it and advance it, if only we can channel the effects of it for the good of humanity. 


The Antarctic Treaty System prevents nuclear weapons explosion there, but wouldn’t that be a cool way to melt some ice and get some fresh drinking water for this thirsty planet or even to somehow move to MARS for colonization there?


Also, we could place solar mirrors in space to redirect sunlight to melt the ice–that’s either some probably some pretty big mirrors or the dispersion ray of a space laser(s). 


The key now is to get the water to where you want it to go and not to destroy by massive flood our worldwide seaboard cities–and that’s where a mass molecular transporter comes along. 


There is still much to discover and invent, but when it’s done, I think we will definitely be heading to Mars and beyond.


Really, we have to, there is no other long-term survival choice for humankind. 


And perhaps, G-d placed the survival pod for us right under our feet at literally, the southern most point of the world, Antarctica! 😉

(Source Photo: here via Wikipedia)

The Planetary Colonization Imperative

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I read something so simple yet profound from theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking (The Guardian).


First, he enunciated many of the threats we face these days, including:


– Accelerating technological change [I would elaborate that these include more advanced weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them]


– Automation, [robotics,] and rise of artificial intelligence


– Economic inequality, mass migration, job destruction, [and divisiveness] augmented by immersive social media that accentuates “Instagram [and Facebook] Nirvana” versus the real poverty and struggling of the masses, 


– “Environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, and acidification of the oceans.”


In one sentence then, Hawking says it all about the high level of risk we face:

“We now have the technology to destroy the planet, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it.”


His call to action:

“Perhaps in a few hundred years,  we will have established human colonies amid the stars. but right now we have only one planet. and we need to work together to protect it [and develop the means to eventually be able to escape it for the survival of humanity.]”


In short, we must get to and colonize other planets as quickly as possible, because it the realm of history, it’s only a matter of time and our collective lives are depending on it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal Via National Geographic)

To MARS and Beyond

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So excited about the new show called MARS (and yeah, it’s on National Geographic). 

I watched the season premier and it was awesome!

They did this cool combination flipping between the non-fiction of the here and now on Earth in 2016 with all the plans and advances being made to go to settle Mars someday, and the fictionalized future 2033 actual voyage and colonization there. 

The spaceship, rovers, colony are all pretty amazing and it seems so real like we’re practically there!

Elon Musk (SpaceX) does a nice job explaining the vision and the reusable rockets they are focused on to get us cost-effectively to the Red Planet and beyond. 

The imperative is clear for us becoming a true multi-planetary species, so that we drastically reduce (hopefully to zero) the risk of an extinction level event to humanity.

There was a good quote that I remember, something like:

“We go into the dark, so others can follow the light.”

The leap forward of us actually making it to and colonizing Mars is so mid-boggling great that just about everything else literally pales in comparison. 

Mars is just the first real step…after that the possibilities are truly endless. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to NASA Jet Propulsion Lab)

Looking For Astronauts – Apply Here

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So cool!!!


OPM Job announcement today for Astronauts.


Work for NASA at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.


Train for missions to the International Space Station, on two new commercial spacecraft, and for the Orion  deep-space exploration vehicle.


To go where no man or woman has gone before…


Dreams do come true!;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Paul Hudson)

3-D Printing Comes To Life

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So my daughter is graduating high school, but is already taking a class in 3-D printing. 



(This little guy pictured here was made experimenting in the class and was a precious gift from her.)



Already prophetically envisioned in Star Trek as “the replicator,” this technology has been around in primitive trial form since the 1980’s.



In 3-D printing, alloyed material is successively layered under computer control to make complex shapes and products.



It makes traditional 2-D printing (on paper) look like rubbing two sticks together to build a fire (circa the paleolithic period of mankind thousands of years ago). 



The promise of 3-D printing for advanced manufacturing is absolutely incredible.



The Wall Street Journal describes how NASA researchers and engineers are working toward using 3-D printers in space to “make bricks suitable for airtight buildings and radiation proof shelters” simply using the sand already on Mars. 



Moreover, the astronauts on their journey may be eating pizza from these printers as well (except for the sand, but still probably better than MREs–Haha).



Already objects have been printed “19 feet long…stone-like building blocks weighing one-and-a-half ton each”!



In the future, 3-D printers could be sent in advance to planets we look to colonize and “lay down landing pads, roads, and shelters” in preparation of our arrival.



These printers could even build working replicas of themsleves or “swarms of self-assembling construction robots” boosting our capacity for even more building.



Moreover, technology is in the works to recycle from 3-D printing by melting down the printed products back into material that could be reused for new printing projects.



On Earth, where we have long been drawing down our natural resources as well as polluting our environment, the prospect of going to other worlds where their are new resources and we actually have the ability to use them constructively is humanity’s chance for a whole new chapter of life beyond. 😉



(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

We Didn’t Make History

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A sincere congratulations to the European Union for the epic landing of a probe from the Rosetta spacecraft–the first such landing on a comet.


They did this with a landing area of just 550 yards in diameter and away from deep crevices, large boulders, and sharp peaks–it is amazing!



Their European space scientists are exclaiming and rightfully so, “We made history today.”



The problem for us is that we–the U.S.of A.–didn’t!



Yes, we landed the first man on the moon in 1969 and we haven’t done it again since 1972.



I remember in grade school, with great pride and wonder, watching the first space shuttle taking flight–that was in 1981.



Since then, we had the horrific Space Shuttle Columbia disaster (2003), followed by the retirement of the shuttles altogether (2011).



Now, we rely on Russian rockets to bring supplies to the International Space Station and for our military and national security satellites.



Then, just a few weeks ago, we had the explosion of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo (2014) that is said to have been plagued with problems from inadequate rocket thrust, flight control system issues, and deficiencies in basic structural integrity. 



In the meantime, the Indians have made it to Mars on a dime. 



Where are we as a nation looking to advance into space–where resources and our very survival may someday soon depend?



Just think where those multi trillions of dollars spent (some would say squandered) in Iraq and Afghanistan (now being overrun by ISIS or threatened by the Taliban) as well as for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (uh, what did we really accomplish for all that money spent?).


Where we once led, and as children we stood in awe, now we stand in bewilderment and leave our children marveling at the victories and accomplishments of others. 



We can not/must not become complacent or stop investing strategically in our future–we need to act with urgency and commitment again for our nation to succeed.



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)