TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.



Showing posts with label Colonization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colonization. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

NASA's Plan to Colonize Mars


Developing adequate supporting technology is a pre-existing requirement in NASA's plan to colonize Mars. Image Source: NASA via Daily Mail.

Interplanetary communications systems are being developed in plans to colonize Mars. I first covered Google's InterPlanetary Internet Protocols in 2011, here. Delay-tolerant network protocols must cope with huge distances between our planet and a future Martian settlement. On 9 October 2015, NASA released its plan for a manned journey to Mars, including a stated need for IPFS development:
"Currently, Mars robotic rovers have data rates around two million bits per second, using a relay, such as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The ISS data rate is 300 million bits per second, two orders of magnitude faster. Future human Mars missions may need up to a billion bits per second at 1,000 times greater range than ISS, requiring laser communications to reduce weight and power. In addition, disruption and error-tolerant interplanetary networking and improved navigation capabilities are required to ensure accurate trajectories and precision landing."
This networking requirement for space exploration will potentially establish a permanent Internet, which I have discussed - coming from other sectors - here. On 18 March 2016, The Daily Mail reported that NASA plans to develop nuclear-powered rockets to travel to Mars, following a similar statement from the Russians in January 2016. With a nuclear rocket, spacecraft could reach the Red Planet in six weeks. The only problem is finding the money.

Planet Mars, As Seen by the 100 Inch Telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory: "Before we sent any spacecraft to Mars, these were the best images we had of the Red Planet." Image Source: The Carnegie Institution for Science via Tech Insider.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Planet Walkers


Press imagery for the BBC series, Voyage to the Planets (2004). Image Source: BBC.

For today, here are two fictional Youtube videos on what it would be like for astronauts to walk on the surfaces of Venus and Pluto. The clips are modified, taken from the 2004 BBC TV series, Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets. This award-winning, fake-umentary series speculated on what a manned exploration of the solar system would be like:
Five astronauts pilot the nuclear thermal rocket powered Pegasus spacecraft on a tour of the solar system. Their mission is a collaboration of the NASA, CSA, ESA and РКА space agencies and takes the crew to Venus, Mars, a close flyby of the Sun, Jupiter’s moon[s] Io and Europa, Saturn, Pluto, and the fictional Comet Yano-Moore. Most of the planetary destinations the crew reaches are followed by a manned landing there. Prior to the mission large tanks of hydrogen were deposited in stable orbits around the planets to allow the crew to refuel to have sufficient delta-v for the multi-year mission.

The crew encounter many hardships and disappointments along the way. A Venus EVA that almost ends in disaster when the lander Orpheus encounters launch delays, the near-loss of the shield during the aerobrake in Jupiter's upper atmosphere and the loss of samples from Jupiter's moon Io all test the crew's resolve. The most devastating blow comes when the ship's medical officer dies of solar radiation-induced lymphoma in Saturn orbit, forcing the crew to decide whether to continue the mission to Pluto, or abort and return to Earth. In the original British release, the crew decides to press on to Pluto, making history. The American version, broadcast on The Science Channel, was trimmed for length, the crew deciding to turn back at this stage rather than continue. The programme is narrated by David Suchet.
I don't know how long the links will last, but the series is up in parts on Youtube and another link is on Vimeo:

Voyage to the Planets still (2004). Image Source: BBC via The Space Review.

Voyage to the Planets (2004) concept art by Daren Horley. Image Source: The Rogue Verbumancer.

The Youtuber who posted the Venusian clip argues:
Theoretically , we can build VENUS SPACE SUIT. "Chief Navy Diver Daniel Jackson (US Navy) holds the depth record using an ADS. On August 1, 2006 he was submerged at 2,000 feet (610 m) deep off the coast of La Jolla, California." Venusian pressure is an equivalent to a 1-km-deep water ocean. Pressure isn't even the biggest problem , the biggest problem is temperature and acid in atmosphere. But if we landed on the highest mountain Maxwell Montes, conditions would be much more better: pressure - equivalent to a approx. 325 m(!) in ocean , temp. 650 F (+343 C). We can create suits made of titanium [melting point is more than 1,650 °C or 3,000 °F] and use basalt-based fiber technology with a thermal range of -260 C to +982 C (1800 F) and melt point of 1450 C . The biggest problem is to create corrosion resistant coating and effective cooling system. 

Atmospheric diving suit (2006), a potential precursor for a Venusian spacesuit.
Image Source: U.S. Navy photo / Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chelsea Kennedy via Wiki.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Godspeed to the Stars, Mr. Nimoy


Image Source: Star Trek.

Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015), who played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, has died, aged 83. He played a half-alien, always relying on cold logic, but saved by his capacity for human empathy and emotion. Nimoy's final tweet, telling his followers to 'Live Long and Prosper' (Hat tip: The Verge):



Clip from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). Video Source: Youtube.

Long Lovejoy and Little Dumbell. NASA's astronomy picture of the day, 27 February 2015. Image Source and © Rolando Ligustri (CARA Project, CAST) NASA APOD.

Caption for the above photograph: "Buffeted by the solar wind, Comet Lovejoy's crooked ion tail stretches over 3 degrees across this telescopic field of view, recorded on February 20. The starry background includes awesome bluish star Phi Persei below, and pretty planetary nebula M76 just above Lovejoy's long tail. Also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula, after its brighter cousin M27 the Dumbbell Nebula, M76 is only a Full Moon's width away from the comet's greenish coma. Still shining in northern hemisphere skies, this Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is outbound from the inner solar system some 10 light-minutes or 190 million kilometers from Earth. But the Little Dumbbell actually lies over 3 thousand light-years away. Now sweeping steadily north toward the constellation Cassiopeia Comet Lovejoy is fading more slowly than predicted and is still a good target for small telescopes."

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mars Colonizers and the Secrets of the Universe


Image Source: BBC.

Space exploration will tell us the secrets of the universe. This is because space exploration is a synthetic act. It demands a united vision from, and intense cooperation among, diverse experts. It will require a Millennial convergence of many fields of research and knowledge, which have been divided and sequestered through overspecialization over the past two hundred years. No matter the focus - from cryptocurrencies to the relationship between anti-ageing and cancer - every area of human endeavour and study seems set for epiphany. We are coming from many different paths to a higher consensus of understanding which we cannot yet see.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Interview: Heidi Hecht, Mars One Candidate


Panorama under a pink sky at the NASA Mars Pathfinder landing site, 12 October 1998. Image Source: Dr. Timothy Parker / JPL / NASA.

At some point between the moon landing and Survivor, space colonization became a media event about amateur astronauts. In the rush to have humans land on Mars, the first trip will likely be one way only (see here and here) - and fully televised.

A manned Mars mission is vastly expensive and technologically demanding. The list of manned missions which never materialized is long. Telepresence proposals involved astronauts reaching Mars and studying the planet only from orbit.  NASA has a manned Mars mission scheduled for around 2030. But Mars One, a Dutch non-profit co-founded by Gen Xers Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders, aims to beat them to the punch, sending its first four-person team by 2025, with five more four-colonist teams to follow by 2035.

Terraforming Mars is expected to take one thousand years. Image Source: ScienceBlogs.

Mars One sent out a global recruitment call from 22 April 2013 until 31 August 2013. Out of 200,000 applicants, 705 candidates remain in the Mars One selection pool. Final selection is expected by July 2015. By now, older applicants have already withdrawn. Most applicants are members of Generation Y: they are largely under the age of 36 and well educated. Of the 705 pre-interview candidates, 313 are from the Americas; 187 are from Europe; 136 hail from Asia; 41 come from Africa; and 28 are from Oceania.

Mars One organizers plan to fund the project by covering the candidates' Round 3 selection, training, preparation and departure in the biggest reality TV and Internet spectacle in the history of modern media. The show will have to raise USD $6 billion. Mars One takes its media model from the Olympics, which raised USD $8 billion between 2009 and 2011. Lionsgate was initially slated to produce the show. Those production rights have now passed to Darlow Smithson Productions, whose strengths lie in "factual storytelling to an international audience." Darlow Smithson is owned by the unfortunately homophonously-named company, Endemol (end 'em all). Wiki: "Endemol created and runs reality and talent game show franchises worldwide, including Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Wipeout, The Money Drop, and Your Face Sounds Familiar."

Today, Histories of Things to Come is pleased to interview Mars One candidate, Heidi Hecht, about her application to travel to Mars. Heidi told me:
"My main attraction to Mars One is that it’s giving ordinary people a chance to prove they have what it takes to handle space work and especially the colonization of other worlds. If it works out, it’ll show that space travel doesn’t have to be just for rich people paying for rides or an elite few who do it professionally. Sure, it’s hazardous, but have you ever tried to cross the street in New York City? It’s about being willing to choose what I’m risking my life for."
Heidi studied computer networking and she is also a blogger. Her blog, Nothing in Particular, covers her Mars One experience here. She has a great post on time-keeping on Mars, which mentions the Mars watch crafted by master watchmaker, Garo Anserlian; she also discusses the Martian year, marked by the signs of the Zodiac, which was the basis of the Martian Darian calendar.

Mars One habitat. Image Source: NBC.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

China's Dawn of Lunar Missions


Image Source: Peter Parks / AFP / Times Live.

The rover developed for China's Chang'e 3 (嫦娥三) lunar mission  is going to land tomorrow on the moon in a historic event. If the landing is successful, it will be the first spacecraft on the moon in four decades. The first launch under this programme, Chang'e 1, occurred in 2007. Beijing will follow tomorrow's landing with another lunar lander mission, Chang'e 4, in 2015. From The Planetary Society:
According to numerous Chinese news reports, Chang'e 3's landing on the Moon is now scheduled to begin at 21:40 Beijing time on December 14, which is 13:40 UT[, 8:40 Eastern] or 05:40 PT. That's about two hours earlier than previously stated. Once deceleration begins, the whole process will take about 750 seconds. Here is a Xinhua news site in English that may contain news updates about the landing. It is possible that this CCTV website will contain a news feed. Chinese television coverage will begin at 11:00 UT [or 6:00 a.m Eastern].
For China's English language Youtube channel, CCTV, go here. Their videos, tagged, 'Journey to the Moon' are here; the playlist will likely feature new videos tomorrow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Plutonium at the Bay of Rainbows


The Bay of Rainbows (Sinus Iridum). Image Source: NASA via Space.com.

Next month, China will launch an unmanned lander mission to the moon, which, if successful, will be the first non-crash landing on the moon since Apollo 17's 1972-1973 manned mission and Russia's unmanned Luna missions from the mid-1970s. Although the International Space Station has contributed invaluably to our knowledge of how to live in outer space, there is a sense now (not least with mythical movies like Apollo 18 - see my posts on that film, here and here) America got sidetracked when she abandoned the moon. Of course that myopic view also excludes NASA's great accomplishments in the exploration of Mars over the past twenty years.
Apollo 17 mission insignia. Image Source: Wiki.

Nevertheless, it was an American flag that was first planted on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Apollo 17 was also the most recent, and sixth, manned mission to the moon. For all Russia's contributions, humans had walked on the moon, and the moon was American! For over a generation, that claim has rested on laurels which lay neglected and undisturbed.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Interplanetary and Interstellar Cultural Modeling


Painting the Future © by keppu. Image Source: deviantART via The Mars Society.

The Mars Society, which is dedicated to human colonization of the Red Planet, held its 16th annual symposium from 15-18 August 2013. NASA public outreach spokesperson Kent Nebergall discussed cultural models which he believes will be required for Mars colonization and interstellar space exploration. Nebergall imagines limited resources, a subsistence life combined with medieval guilds, and a strong focus on the humanities and arts so that space colonists will be able to absorb and survive extreme cultural shocks: "We have to unthink the whole globalism that we have been indoctrinated with ... since 1945 and start thinking about it in different terms that are a bit more ... hunter gatherer and less industrial. ... We've learned how to do technology, but we haven't learned how to think. And we haven't learned how to create ... [which is why] a lot of things have become more derivative of previous things." You can see his talk, Interplanetary and Interstellar Cultural Modeling on Youtube here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Space Colonization and its Historical Precedents 3: Space Travel as Exploration

American Progress (1872). This vision of manifest destiny embodied in American settlers moving westward was painted by John Gast.

The Space Review has an August 2 article up by Stephen Pyne, "Space Travel as Exploration," which is a topic I have touched on in a couple of earlier posts here.  My view is that space exploration is part of a long theme in human history of exploration, colonization and imperialism. Pyne repeats some things I considered (seems I am in with people who he says take the long historical view): "The Viking landers on Mars are but an iteration of the longships that colonized Greenland. The Eagle, the Command Module orbiter, and the Saturn V rocket that propelled the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon are avatars of Columbus’s Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria. The “new ocean” of interplanetary space is simply extending the bounds of the old."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Space Colonization and its Historical Precedents 2



Martian Sunset. Captured by the Rover Spirit on May 19, 2005.  NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell.

Count James C. McLane III among the enthusiasts who want to colonize Mars - and do it quickly!  Over at The Space Review, the former NASA engineer has just written an article in which he strongly advocates one-way manned missions to Mars, just to ensure that the United States achieves the milestone of sending humans to the Red Planet first.  But to start, this will be a colony of one.  One cosmonaut, one-way.  Hmmm.  It is a debate that relies heavily on realities and clichés from colonial history.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Space Colonization and its Historical Precedents 1

Water Ice at North Pole of Mars © European Space Agency Mars Express 28 July 2005.

The colonization of Mars seems inevitable if we look to the precedents of human nature – if we can conceive of it, we will do it. Every void of ignorance and experience is an undiscovered country. But the uncertainty of such efforts inevitably provokes fear as much as it inspires. The embrace of the unknown renders it comprehensible and even mundane. It can take hundreds of years for society to successfully absorb that transition in thinking.