Archive for May, 2013

Will space tourism ever take off?

We live in fantastic times of fast growing high technologies, incredible scientific achievements and new space findings. Things that seemed completely impossible just a short while ago have turned into reality today, such as all these stunning pieces of new technology being infiltrated into our everyday lives changed instantly everything.

So, it’s extraordinary how far humanity has come as a species in a relatively short period of time! No doubt, the world has been changed dramatically but there is always more to discover, right?

Have you ever thought what’s the next or you do not like to think so far ahead? The next big step is space tourism of course, and then settlements of ordinary people are not so far as well. Space tourism is almost here.

Dennis Tito, a 61-year-old California millionaire and former NASA engineer, became the world’s first space tourist paying $20 million to Russian space agency for the fly in space. Now Dennis Tito is financing a new space project – mission to Mars by a two-person, an American man and woman, in 2018. Obivously space tourism is increasingly recognized as an important future market and there is good business plan behind it because millions of people want to go to space.

Reportedly that Kiwis booked on world’s first commercial space flight, a ticket on this flight costs over $234,000. Virgin Galactic hopes to be taking commercial flights outside of the earth’s atmosphere by 2014.

NASA awards grant for 3-D food printer

Thtat’s just fantastic age we’re living on! “One of the major advantages of a 3-D printer is that it provides personalized nutrition,” Contractor told. “If you’re male, female, someone is sick—they all have different dietary needs. If you can program your needs into a 3-D printer, it can print exactly the nutrients that person requires.”

NASA is certainly a believer: The six-month grant comes to $125,000. The agency specifically interested in using the 3-D printer to feed astronauts on long space voyages.

“Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life,” Contractor said to Quartz. “The way we are working on it is, all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years.”

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The home we’ve ever known

We succeeded taking that picture (Voyager 1, in 1990 (NASA)from deep space), and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

From Dr. Sagan’s book Pale Blue Dot