Page 11234..1020..»

Category Archives: Space Travel

Five reasons to explore Mars – Brookings Institution

Posted: August 23, 2020 at 1:26 am

The recent launch of the Mars rover Perseverance is the latest U.S. space mission seeking to understand our solar system. Its expected arrival at the Red Planet in mid-February 2021 has a number of objectives linked to science and innovation. The rover is equipped with sophisticated instruments designed to search for the remains of ancient microbial life, take pictures and videos of rocks, drill for soil and rock samples, and use a small helicopter to fly around the Jezero Crater landing spot.

Mars is a valuable place for exploration because it can be reached in 6 months, is a major opportunity for scientific exploration, and has been mapped and studied for several decades. The mission represents the first step in a long-term effort to bring Martian samples back to Earth, where they can be analyzed for residues of microbial life. Beyond the study of life itself, there are a number of different benefits of Mars exploration.

The site where Perseverance is expected to land is the place where experts believe 3.5 billion years ago held a lake filled with water and flowing rivers. It is an ideal place to search for the residues of microbial life, test new technologies, and lay the groundwork for human exploration down the road.

The mission plans to investigate whether microbial life existed on Mars billions of years ago and therefore that life is not unique to Planet Earth. As noted by Chris McKay, a research scientist at NASAs Ames Research Science Center, that would be an extraordinary discovery. Right here in our solar system, if life started twice, that tells us some amazing things about our universe, he pointed out. It means the universe is full of life. Life becomes a natural feature of the universe, not just a quirk of this odd little planet around this star.

The question of the origins of life and its ubiquity around the universe is central to science, religion, and philosophy. For much of our existence, humans have assumed that even primitive life was unique to Planet Earth and not present in the rest of the solar system, let alone the universe. We have constructed elaborate religious and philosophical narratives around this assumption and built our identity along the notion that life is unique to Earth.

If, as many scientists expect, future space missions cast doubt on that assumption or outright disprove it by finding remnants of microbial life on other planets, it will be both invigorating and illusion-shattering. It will force humans to confront their own myths and consider alternative narratives about the universe and the place of Earth in the overall scheme of things.

As noted in my Brookings book, Megachange, given the centrality of these issues for fundamental questions about human existence and the meaning of life, it would represent a far-reaching shift in existing human paradigms. As argued by scientist McKay, discovering evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars would lead experts to conclude that life likely is ubiquitous around the universe and not limited to Planet Earth. Humans would have to construct new theories about ourselves and our place in the universe.

The U.S. space program has been an extraordinary catalyst for technology innovation. Everything from Global Positioning Systems and medical diagnostic tools to wireless technology and camera phones owe at least part of their creation to the space program. Space exploration required the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to learn how to communicate across wide distances, develop precise navigational tools, store, transmit, and process large amounts of data, deal with health issues through digital imaging and telemedicine, and develop collaborative tools that link scientists around the world. The space program has pioneered the miniaturization of scientific equipment and helped engineers figure out how to land and maneuver a rover from millions of miles away.

Going to Mars requires similar inventiveness. Scientists have had to figure out how to search for life in ancient rocks, drill for rock samples, take high resolution videos, develop flying machines in a place with gravity that is 40 percent lower than on Earth, send detailed information back to Earth in a timely manner, and take off from another planet. In the future, we should expect large payoffs in commercial developments from Mars exploration and advances that bring new conveniences and inventions to people.

In the not too distant future, wealthy tourists likely will take trips around the Earth, visit space stations, orbit the Moon, and perhaps even take trips around Mars. For a substantial fee, they can experience weightlessness, take in the views of the entire planet, see the stars from outside the Earths atmosphere, and witness the wonders of other celestial bodies.

The Mars program will help with space tourism by improving engineering expertise with space docking, launches, and reentry and providing additional experience about the impact of space travel on the human body. Figuring out how weightlessness and low gravity situations alter human performance and how space radiation affects people represent just a couple areas where there are likely to be positive by-products for future travel.

The advent of space tourism will broaden human horizons in the same way international travel has exposed people to other lands and perspectives. It will show them that the Earth has a delicate ecosystem that deserves protecting and why it is important for people of differing countries to work together to solve global problems. Astronauts who have had this experience say it has altered their viewpoints and had a profound impact on their way of thinking.

Many objects around the solar system are made of similar minerals and chemical compounds that exist on Earth. That means that some asteroids, moons, and planets could be rich in minerals and rare elements. Figuring out how to harvest those materials in a safe and responsible manner and bring them back to Earth represents a possible benefit of space exploration. Elements that are rare on Earth may exist elsewhere, and that could open new avenues for manufacturing, product design, and resource distribution. This mission could help resource utilization through advances gained with its Mars Oxygen Experiment (MOXIE) equipment that converts Martian carbon dioxide into oxygen. If MOXIE works as intended, it would help humans live and work on the Red Planet.

One of the most crucial features of humanity is our curiosity about the life, the universe, and how things operate. Exploring space provides a means to satisfy our thirst for knowledge and improve our understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe.

Space travel already has exploded centuries-old myths and promises to continue to confront our long-held assumptions about who we are and where we come from. The next decade promises to be an exciting period as scientists mine new data from space telescopes, space travel, and robotic exploration. Ten or twenty years from now, we may have answers to basic questions that have eluded humans for centuries, such as how ubiquitous life is outside of Earth, whether it is possible for humans to survive on other planets, and how planets evolve over time.

The author would like to thank Victoria E. Hamilton, staff scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, for her helpful feedback on this blog post.

See the original post here:

Five reasons to explore Mars - Brookings Institution

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Five reasons to explore Mars – Brookings Institution

The fastest star ever seen is moving at 8% the speed of light – Space.com

Posted: at 1:26 am

In the center of our Milky Way galaxy, scientists have spotted the fastest star ever detected, moving at more than 8% of the speed of light.

Our galaxy's center features the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), which is as massive as about 4 million suns. Being so massive, it has hundreds of stars pulled closely into its orbit, traveling extra-fast from the gravitational boost presented by this close proximity. In a new study, scientists discovered the fastest of these stars, S4714, which orbits around Sgr A* at more than 8% of light speed, or 15,000 miles per second (24,000 km/second), faster than any other known star.

Another star orbiting close to Sgr A*, called S2, was once thought for to be the fastest star. But last year, a new speedy contender, the star S62, was detected by a team led by astrophysicist Florian Peissker of the University of Cologne in Germany. At the time, S62was said to be the closest star orbiting Sgr A*, speeding around the black hole. Now, the same team has discovered five new "S stars," or stars which travel in long, elliptical orbits around Sgr A*, that are even closer S4711, S4712, S4713, S4714 and S4715.

Video: How the Milky Way's Black Hole Ejected Runaway Star

Related: The biggeststar mysteries of all time

The team has been studying our galaxy's center and the ultra-fast stars orbiting its supermassive black hole using the ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile for the past seven years. They have also used near-infrared data from SINFONI (Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near Infrared).

"I am constantly working on the galactic center and I am pretty sure that this was not our last publication," Peissker told ScienceAlert. "The high dynamical environment is for scientists like a candy-shop for children..

This discovery doesn't just highlight S4714 and its incredible speeds, it also gives scientist a window into studying a theorized type of star known as "squeezars" that orbits so close to black holes that they are "squeezed" by the black hole's tidal forces. Theresearch also suggests that there could be even more of these ultra-fast stars zipping around supermassive black holes like this, scientists said.

This work was published Aug. 11 in the Astrophysical Journal.

Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@space.com or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

More:

The fastest star ever seen is moving at 8% the speed of light - Space.com

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on The fastest star ever seen is moving at 8% the speed of light – Space.com

Need a Job? Elon Musk May Have One for You in South Texas. – Reform Austin

Posted: at 1:26 am

It may not be welcomed by residents, but the tiny south Texas town of Boca Chica Village may wind up as a spa destination for the well-heeled who are interested in space travel. Its all part of Elon Musks plans to turn the area into a 21st Century spaceport.

According to a recent job posting, the hunt is on for a resort development manager to oversee the development of SpaceXs first resort from inception to completion.

SpaceX is committed to developing revolutionary space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets, the job posting reads. Boca Chica Village is our latest launch site dedicated to Starship, our next generation launch vehicle. SpaceX is committed to developing this town into a 21st century spaceport. We are looking for a talented resort development manager to oversee the development of SpaceXs first resort from inception to completion.

Applicants will need experience bringing teams and processes from development to production, strong leadership skills and be willing to work long hours and weekends.

Residents arent exactly enamored with Musk. They complain of noise from rocket launches and bullying tactics to get them to sell their homes. SpaceX reportedly now owns half of the villages 35 homes.

Musk is putting down more roots in Texas. In late July, Musk announced plans to build a Tesla Cybertruck plant just outside Austin.

Written by RA News staff.

Read the rest here:

Need a Job? Elon Musk May Have One for You in South Texas. - Reform Austin

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Need a Job? Elon Musk May Have One for You in South Texas. – Reform Austin

Five Reasons to Explore Mars – Darrell West – GoLocalProv

Posted: at 1:26 am

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Darrell West, Guest Contributor

View Larger +

Mars, PHOTO: NASA

UNDERSTAND THE ORIGINS AND UBIQUITY OF LIFE

The site where Perseverance is expected to land is the place where experts believe 3.5 billion years ago held a lake filled with water and flowing rivers. It is an ideal place to search for the residues of microbial life, test new technologies, and lay the groundwork for human exploration down the road.

The mission plans to investigate whether microbial life existed on Mars billions of years ago and therefore that life is not unique to Planet Earth. As noted by Chris McKay, a research scientist at NASAs Ames Research Science Center, that would be an extraordinary discovery. Right here in our solar system,if life started twice, that tells us some amazing things about our universe, he pointed out. It means the universe is full of life. Life becomes a natural feature of the universe, not just a quirk of this odd little planet around this star.

The question of the origins of life and its ubiquity around the universe is central to science, religion, and philosophy. For much of our existence, humans have assumed that even primitive life was unique to Planet Earth and not present in the rest of the solar system, let alone the universe. We have constructed elaborate religious and philosophical narratives around this assumption and built our identity along the notion that life is unique to Earth.

If, as many scientists expect, future space missions cast doubt on that assumption or outright disprove it by finding remnants of microbial life on other planets, it will be both invigorating and illusion-shattering. It will force humans to confront their own myths and consider alternative narratives about the universe and the place of Earth in the overall scheme of things.

As noted in my Brookings book,Megachange, given the centrality of these issues for fundamental questions about human existence and the meaning of life, it would represent a far-reaching shift in existing human paradigms. As argued by scientist McKay, discovering evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars would lead experts to conclude that life likely is ubiquitous around the universe and not limited to Planet Earth. Humans would have to construct new theories about ourselves and our place in the universe.

DEVELOP NEW TECHNOLOGIES

The U.S. space program has been an extraordinarycatalyst for technology innovation. Everything from Global Positioning Systems and medical diagnostic tools to wireless technology and camera phones owe at least part of their creation to the space program. Space exploration required the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to learn how to communicate across wide distances, develop precise navigational tools, store, transmit, and process large amounts of data, deal with health issues through digital imaging and telemedicine, and develop collaborative tools that link scientists around the world. The space program has pioneered the miniaturization of scientific equipment and helped engineers figure out how to land and maneuver a rover from millions of miles away.

Going to Mars requires similar inventiveness. Scientists have had to figure out how to search for life in ancient rocks, drill for rock samples, take high resolution videos, develop flying machines in a place with gravity that is 40 percent lower than on Earth, send detailed information back to Earth in a timely manner, and take off from another planet. In the future, we should expect large payoffs in commercial developments from Mars exploration and advances that bring new conveniences and inventions to people.

ENCOURAGE SPACE TOURISM

In the not too distant future, wealthy tourists likely will take trips around the Earth, visit space stations, orbit the Moon, and perhaps even take trips around Mars. For a substantial fee, they can experience weightlessness, take in the views of the entire planet, see the stars from outside the Earths atmosphere, and witness the wonders of other celestial bodies.

The Mars program will help with space tourism by improving engineering expertise with space docking, launches, and reentry and providing additional experience about the impact of space travel on the human body. Figuring out how weightlessness and low gravity situations alter human performance and how space radiation affects people represent just a couple areas where there are likely to be positive by-products for future travel.

The advent of space tourism willbroaden human horizonsin the same way international travel has exposed people to other lands and perspectives. It will show them that the Earth has a delicate ecosystem that deserves protecting and why it is important for people of differing countries to work together to solve global problems. Astronauts who have had this experience say it has altered their viewpoints and had a profound impact on their way of thinking.

FACILITATE SPACE MINING

Many objects around the solar system are made of similar minerals and chemical compounds that exist on Earth. That means that some asteroids, moons, and planets could be rich in minerals and rare elements. Figuring out how toharvest those materialsin a safe and responsible manner and bring them back to Earth represents a possible benefit of space exploration. Elements that are rare on Earth may exist elsewhere, and that could open new avenues for manufacturing, product design, and resource distribution. This mission could help resource utilization through advances gained with its Mars Oxygen Experiment (MOXIE) equipment that converts Martian carbon dioxide into oxygen. If MOXIE works as intended, it would help humans live and work on the Red Planet.

ADVANCE SCIENCE

One of the most crucial features of humanity is our curiosity about the life, the universe, and how things operate. Exploring space provides a means to satisfy our thirst for knowledge and improve our understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe.

Space travel already has exploded centuries-old myths and promises to continue to confront our long-held assumptions about who we are and where we come from. The next decade promises to be an exciting period as scientists mine new data from space telescopes, space travel, and robotic exploration. Ten or twenty years from now, we may haveanswers to basic questionsthat have eluded humans for centuries, such as how ubiquitous life is outside of Earth, whether it is possible for humans to survive on other planets, and how planets evolve over time.

@DarrWest

The author would like to thank Victoria E. Hamilton, staff scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, for her helpful feedback on this blog post.

This article was first published by Brookings.

Visit link:

Five Reasons to Explore Mars - Darrell West - GoLocalProv

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Five Reasons to Explore Mars – Darrell West – GoLocalProv

Space Tourism Market Share and Growth Analysis 2025, Impact Of Covid-19 On The Industry And Top Companies (Space Adventures, EADS Astrium, Virgin…

Posted: at 1:26 am

Space tourism is space travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. To date only orbital space tourism has taken place provided by the Russian Space Agency, although work continues developing sub-orbital space tourism vehicles by Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. In addition, SpaceX announced in 2017 that they are planning on sending two space tourists on a lunar free return trajectory in 2018 aboard their Dragon V2 spacecraft launched by the Falcon Heavy rocket.

ACCESS THE PDF SAMPLE OF THE REPORT @HTTPS://WWW.ORBISRESEARCH.COM/CONTACTS/REQUEST-SAMPLE/3159167

The global Space Tourism market will reach xxx Million USD in 2019 with CAGR xx% 2019-2025. The main contents of the report including:Global market size and forecastRegional market size, production data and export & importKey manufacturers profile, products & services, sales data of businessGlobal market size by Major ApplicationGlobal market size by Major Type

Key manufacturers are included based on company profile, sales data and product specifications etc.:Space AdventuresEADS AstriumVirgin GalacticArmadillo AerospaceExcalibur AlmazSpace Island GroupSpaceXBoeingZero 2 Infinity

MAKE AN ENQUIRY OF THIS REPORT @HTTPS://WWW.ORBISRESEARCH.COM/CONTACTS/ENQUIRY-BEFORE-BUYING/3159167

Major applications as follows:CiviliansThe Rich

Major Type as follows:SuborbitalOrbital

Regional market size, production data and export & import:Asia-PacificNorth AmericaEuropeSouth AmericaMiddle East & Africa

Browse the complete report @https://www.orbisresearch.com/reports/index/global-space-tourism-market-data-survey-report-2013-2025

Table of Contents

1 Global Market Overview1.1 Scope of Statistics1.1.1 Scope of Products1.1.2 Scope of Manufacturers1.1.3 Scope of Application1.1.4 Scope of Type1.1.5 Scope of Regions/Countries1.2 Global Market Size2 Regional Market2.1 Regional Production2.2 Regional Demand2.3 Regional Trade3 Key Manufacturers3.1 Space Adventures3.1.1 Company Information3.1.2 Product & Services3.1.3 Business Data (Sales Revenue, Cost and Margin)3.1.4 Recent Development3.2 EADS Astrium3.2.1 Company Information3.2.2 Product & Services3.2.3 Business Data (Sales Revenue, Cost and Margin)3.2.4 Recent Development3.3 Virgin Galactic3.3.1 Company Information3.3.2 Product & Services3.3.3 Business Data (Sales Revenue, Cost and Margin)3.3.4 Recent Development3.4 Armadillo Aerospace3.4.1 Company Information3.4.2 Product & Services3.4.3 Business Data (Sales Revenue, Cost and Margin)3.4.4 Recent Development3.5 Excalibur Almaz3.5.1 Company Information3.5.2 Product & Services3.5.3 Business Data (Sales Revenue, Cost and Margin)3.5.4 Recent Development3.6 Space Island Group3.6.1 Company Information3.6.2 Product & Services3.6.3 Business Data (Sales Revenue, Cost and Margin)3.6.4 Recent Development3.7 SpaceX3.7.1 Company Information3.7.2

Continued.

ABOUT US:

Orbis Research (orbisresearch.com) is a single point aid for all your market research requirements. We have vast database of reports from the leading publishers and authors across the globe. We specialize in delivering customized reports as per the requirements of our clients. We have complete information about our publishers and hence are sure about the accuracy of the industries and verticals of their specialization. This helps our clients to map their needs and we produce the perfect required market research study for our clients.

CONTACT US:

Hector CostelloSenior Manager Client Engagements4144N Central Expressway,Suite 600, Dallas,Texas 75204, U.S.A.Phone No.: +1 (972)-362-8199 ; +91 895 659 5155

More here:

Space Tourism Market Share and Growth Analysis 2025, Impact Of Covid-19 On The Industry And Top Companies (Space Adventures, EADS Astrium, Virgin...

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Space Tourism Market Share and Growth Analysis 2025, Impact Of Covid-19 On The Industry And Top Companies (Space Adventures, EADS Astrium, Virgin…

Beyond Fermis Paradox VI: The Berserker Hypothesis – Universe Today

Posted: at 1:26 am

In 1950, Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi sat down to lunch with some of his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he had worked five years prior as part of the Manhattan Project. According to various accounts, the conversation turned to aliens and the recent spate of UFOs. Into this, Fermi issued a statement that would go down in the annals of history: Where is everybody?

This became the basis of the Fermi Paradox, which refers to the disparity between high probability estimates for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) and the apparent lack of evidence. Since Fermis time, there have been several proposed resolutions to his question, which includes the Berserker Hypothesis. This theory suggests we havent heard from any alien civilizations because theyve been wiped out by killer robots!

Also known as the deadly probes scenario, this hypothesis may sound like something science fiction (the name itself is actually taken from an SF franchise, in fact), but its actually rooted in scientific research. It also touches on other proposed resolutions to the Fermi Paradox, such as the Hart-Tipler Conjecture (i.e. aliens dont exist) and that its the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself or others.

Central to Fermis famous question was a discrepancy between the assumed likelihood that extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) and the lack of evidence to support this assumption. But given the number of stars in our galaxy (200 to 400 billion), the number of Earth-like planets in our galaxy (an estimated 6 billion), the number of galaxies in the Universe (as many as 2 trillion), its not farfetched to assume intelligent life must exist elsewhere.

In 1961, American physicist and SETI researcher Dr. Frank Drake illustrated this conundrum during a meeting at the Green Bank Observatory. In preparation for the meeting, Drake created an equation that summed up the probability of finding ETIs in our galaxy. Thereafter known as the Drake Equation, this probabilistic argument is expressed mathematically as:

And yet, after an additional 70 years of searching, Fermis Paradox and the Great Silence persist as no compelling evidence has been found. This has led to multiple proposed resolutions from astrophysicists, astrobiologists, and other scientists and researchers. One of the most notable is the Great Filter Hypothesis, which was coined by economist Robin Hanson from Oxford Universitys Future of Humanity Institute (FHI).

The term first appeared in a 1996 essay by Hanson titled The Great Filter Are We Almost Past It?, where he proposed that there must be something that prevents non-living matter from coming together to form living organisms (abiogenesis) and reaching a high level of development. Using humanity as a template, Hanson created a nine-step process for the evolution of life. This consisted of:

Essentially, Hansons Filter would have to be located somewhere within this process, possibly indicating life has a hard time emerging (if its at an early step) or becoming advanced (if its at a later step). Philosopher Nick Bostrom (also from the FHI) summarized the hypothesis beautifully in his 2008 essay, Where Are They? Why I Hope the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Finds Nothing:

The Great Filter can be thought of as a probability barrier. It consists of [one or] more highly improbable evolutionary transitions or steps whose occurrence is required in order for an Earth-like planet to produce an intelligent civilization of a type that would be visible to us with our current observation technology.

In the case of the Berserker Hypothesis, the Filter would be placed between step 8 and 9 with the assumption that life doesnt have a hard time taking root or evolving, but ends up creating the machines that will destroy it. In this sense, intelligent life dooms itself to extinction at the very moment that it is poised on becoming an interstellar civilization.

The Berserker Hypothesis traces its origins to the mid-20th century, where mathematician John von Neumann, who began lecturing about his idea for self-replicating automata in 1948-1949. He called these machines Universal Assemblers, which would come to be referred to as von Neumann machines. Essentially, these machines would harvest local resources in order to produce copies of themselves.

In 1966, almost a decade after his death, von Neumanns ideas and notes concerning Universal Assemblers were compiled and published in a book titled, Theory of self-reproducing automata. In time, his theories about robots that could endlessly self-replicate had implications for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Fermi Paradox, since the presence of such machines in our galaxy would be easily detectable.

In 1981, Frank Tipler wrote a study titled, Extraterrestrial intelligent beings do not exist, where he argued that the absence von Neumann probes was evidence that ETIs didnt exist. Consistent with the Hart-Tipler Conjecture, he asserted that a sufficiently-advanced species would eventually develop universal assemblers that would explore and/or colonize the galaxy in less than 300 million years

In short, Tipler argued that based on the history of our galaxy (and even at a moderate-rate of production), a species of self-replicating probes would be widespread in our galaxy and humanity would have encountered them by now. In 1983, Carl Sagan and William Newman produced a study in response titled The Solipsist Approach to Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

In it, Sagan and Newman argued that Tipler had underestimated the rate of replication and that any von Neumann probes would have consumed most of the mass in the galaxy by now. Therefore, Sagan and Newman argued that an advanced race would avoid building self-replicating machines and would destroy any they encountered.

However, the suggestion that von Neumann probes would inevitably be destructive inspired another interpretation. Could it be that the reason we havent heard from any ETIs is that they have been wiped out by von Neumann probes that were designed to seek out life and destroy it? Or could it be that a species of benign probes went berserk, wiped out their creators, and have been destroying any life they encounter ever since?

Rather than having a single proponent, the Berseker Hypothesis is one that appears to have emerged over time, both as a popular science fiction trope and as a potential resolution to the Fermi Paradox. In the case of the former, science fiction writers like Fred Saberhagen explored this idea at length with his Berserker novels (1963-2005), the popular SF series from which the theory gets its name.

Astrophysicist and SF writer Gregory Benford explored the idea further in his Galactic Center Saga (1976-1995). Throughout these novels, Benford depicts a first contact scenario with alien machines (the Mechs) that are the creation of an extinct species that sees all biological life as inherently unstable and prone to self-destruction. The fact that the Mechs annihilate all advanced life they find is offered as the reason for the Great Silence.

Beyond science fiction, you have scientists like Glen David Brin, an astrophysicist, science fiction author, and NASA-consultant. In 1983, he published a study titled The Great Silence the Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life, where he conducted a thorough review of the proposed resolutions to the Fermi Paradox which included the Berserker interpretation of the classic von Neumann probe theory.

Addressing the arguments put forth by Tipler and others who supported the notion that humanity is unique in the Universe, Brin summarized the case for Berserker probes thusly:

Let us say many advanced ETIS get the robot-emissary idea and ship out first-generation probes as Tipler suggests, to replicate and fill the void with messages of brotherhood. Then suppose that for every 100 or 1000 or 10,000 sane ETIS, there is one that is xenophobic, paranoid even. Such a race might program its self-replicating emissaries to add powerful bombs to their repertoire, and command them to home in on any unrecognized source of modulated electromagnetic radiation.

The frightening thing about these Deadly Probes, argued Brin, is that it is consistent with all of the facts and philosophical principles that have been raised ever since Fermi asked his famous question. In response to the many decades in which SETI efforts have been conducted (and their failure to find evidence of ETIs) the Berserker Hypothesis offers a sensible explanation:

There is no need to struggle to suppress the elements of the Drake equation in order to explain the Great Silence, nor need we suggest that no ETIS anywhere would bear the cost of interstellar travel. It need only happen once for the results of this scenario to become the equilibrium conditions in the Galaxy. We would not have detected extra-terrestrial radio traffic nor would any ETIS have ever settled on Earth because all were killed shortly after discovering radio.

There have been a number of variations on this argument, such as cosmologist Edward Harrison. In 1981, he argued that an advanced species that has overcome its own self-destructive tendencies might be motivated to create Berserker probes out of a sense of self-preservation. This idea, where destruction is implemented out of some sense of the greater good, has come to be known as the Cosmic Quarantine Hypothesis.

Theres also the version of this hypothesis where the first lifeform (or lifeforms) to achieve interstellar space travel and colonization will prevent others from arising and achieving the same ends. This may be intentional, or simply the result of the tragedy of the commons and the anthropic principle, where one party working for their own self-interests invariably holds back others.

While the Berserker Hypothesis does provide a reasonably succinct resolution to the Fermi Paradox, it is itself subject to some of the same problems. For instance, if berserk hunter-killer robots are the reason we are not seeing any advanced civilizations, then why is it that were not seeing any evidence of hunter-killer robots?

After all, a species of robots that have become so pervasive that they would have eliminated any ETIs in our corner of the galaxy would have surely left undeniable signs of its existence. If planets (and/or stars) were being dismantled within thousands of light-years from Earth, observers here would certainly notice the massive energy signatures produced. In addition, the sudden disappearance of planets and suns would be an indication.

In 2013, Anders Sandberg and Stuart Armstrong of the FHI tested the Berserker Hypothesis in a study titled Hunters in the dark: game theory analysis of the deadly probes scenario. They analysis determine that even at a slow rate of self-replication, a population of von Neumann probes would have been able to spread to the point that it would have encoutered (and annihilated) humanity already.

It has also been suggested that Berserker robots would turn on their own, eliminating the evidence of themselves the same way they would eliminate ETIs. However, a recent study by Duncan Forgan of the University of St. Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science concluded that a berserk population of probes couldnt possibly eliminate their non-berserk brethren fast enough to stop them from spreading throughout the galaxy.

Alas, it seems that theories involving von Neumann probes and berserker robots run into the same difficulties as other potential resolutions to the Fermi Paradox. In the end, these difficulties all come down to one stark reality: humanity is the only intelligent life and the only civilization in the Universe that we know about. At least, for now.

Until we find some other examples of ETI and learn to recognize the signs of their biological and technological activity (i.e. biosignatures and technosignatures), we wont know how to find more like them. At present, theoretical analyses and probabilistic arguments are about the best we can do. That, and to keep on looking! Because, after all, Fermis Paradox only needs to be solved once!

We have written many interesting articles about the Fermi Paradox, the Drake Equation, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) here at Universe Today.

Heres Where Are All the Aliens? The Fermi Paradox, Where Are The Aliens? How The Great Filter Could Affect Tech Advances In Space, Why Finding Alien Life Would Be Bad. The Great Filter, Where Are All The Alien Robots?, How Could We Find Aliens? The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and Fraser and John Michael Godier Debate the Fermi Paradox.

Want to calculate the number of extraterrestrial species in our galaxy? Head on over to the Alien Civilization Calculator!

And be sure to check out the rest of our Beyond Fermis Paradox series:

Astronomy Cast has some interesting episodes on the subject. Heres Episode 24: The Fermi Paradox: Where Are All the Aliens?, Episode 110: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Episode 168: Enrico Fermi, Episode 273: Solutions to the Fermi Paradox.

Sources:

Like Loading...

Read this article:

Beyond Fermis Paradox VI: The Berserker Hypothesis - Universe Today

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Beyond Fermis Paradox VI: The Berserker Hypothesis – Universe Today

Inside Google’s feud with the battered online travel industry – CNBC

Posted: at 1:26 am

Philipp Schindler

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

Behind closed doors, Google is engaged in a bitter standoff with the online travel industry. The issue is global but German travel companies have been particularly outspoken.

Activity booking platform GetYourGuide, hotel finder Trivago, and Airbnb rival HomeToGo have been feuding with the search giant about their unpaid advertising bills since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Online travel companies were particularly exposed to the devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak as lockdowns brought worldwide mobility to a near standstill. New bookings dried up and the sites had to refund tens of millions of dollars to customers that were unable to travel.

In a joint letter, a group of German travel start-ups asked Google, which has helped the businesses thrive over the years by promoting their websites in its search results in exchange for a fee, to share the burden.

The letter didn't work as the companies hoped it would.CNBC has been able to confirm through multiple sources and materials that Google demanded advertising bills were paid in full.

"Google refused to do anything and instead asked us to pay immediately in the midst of the pandemic," said GetYourGuide Chief Executive Johannes Reck, who persuaded SoftBank to invest $500 million in his Berlin-based company last year.

Reck told CNBC that Google's behavior during the coronavirus "is the match that has ignited a much greater fire."

Google played down the allegations and said it is working with its travel partners to help protect their businesses.

"We've taken a number of measures including helping them surface their cancellation policies in our travel search products," a spokesperson for the company said.

As times got tough, a group of German firms wrote a letter to Google on April 30 two days after parent company Alphabet posted quarterly earnings with $41.1 billion in revenue asking the search giant to postpone collecting their bills. The letter was authored by the German Start-ups Association (The Bundesverband Deutsche Startups) and signed by eight travel start-ups including GetYourGuide and Trivago.

Unlike Facebook and Microsoft's Bing search engine, Google has not been overly accommodating when it came to delaying or reducing unpaid bills, according to three of the companies that signed the letter.

All of the companies that signed the letter paid Google in full in June or July.

"We're absolutely not satisfied with the support Google offered during this ongoing crisis" Patrick Andrae, HomeToGo's co-founder and CEO, told CNBC.

Axel Hefer, chief executive at Trivago, told CNBC that Trivago has "missed a collaborative spirit from Google."

He added: "As one of the largest players in the travel ecosystem and probably one of the very few still generating profits right now, I would have expected more solidarity."

Facebook oered some online travel companies an immediate 60-day delay in payments and proactively provided credits to test new ad products during recovery, thereby osetting some of the incurred losses.

Bing immediately oered payment delays of at least 90 days, with ongoing review, should the recovery not start.

GetYourGuide is one of the firms that is particularly upset with Google. Valued at over $1.5 billion, the start-up wouldn't be the size it is today if it weren't for the U.S. search giant. But the relationship has become increasingly frosty in recent months.

In February and March, GetYourGuide spent over 4 million euros ($4.7 million) in advertising on Google's platforms, acquiring customers who canceled and were refunded. After that, bookings dropped to less than 1% of 2019 levels.

Following April's open letter, there was a media storm, and Reck said Google "shut up for a couple of weeks."

However, on May 8, Google asked GetYourGuide for full payment on all ad bills with no credit or discounts for any canceled and refunded bookings.

On May 15, Philipp Schindler, senior vice president and chief business officer at Google, held a call with online travel companies. He promised a generous recovery package and acknowledged that travel is in dire straits. The package included payment support, credits on non-Adwords platforms and other benefits. He also said Google was struggling, too.

Nothing happened immediately afterward. But in the week of May 25, as Germany eased its lockdown measures and travel picked up slightly, Google started asking travel companies to commit to a payment plan, saying their accounts would be suspended if they didn't comply.

When asked about a possible suspension, a Google spokesperson told CNBC:"We treat payment terms with our customers or partners as confidential and we're not able to disclose details."

Johannes Reck, CEO of travel start-up GetYourGuide.

Jens Kalaene | picture alliance | Getty Images

Conversely, the online travel firms needed to secure Google Search ads more than ever at this time. Google has a 90% market share on search engine traffic in Europe and more than 75% of travelers in Europe consult Google before they travel, Reck said. As soon as GetYourGuide started to advertise again, Google essentially said "pay now," or commit to this payment plan, according to Reck.

The payment plan allowed GetYourGuide to delay payments by a maximum of six months but the company would have only been able to do so much advertising with Google while fulfilling the payments. "That didn't make sense because you don't want to constrain yourself in the rebound," said Reck.

In an updated statement provided Thursday, a Google spokesperson said:"We fully recognize the enormous challenges facing the travel industry, and we've been working in close collaboration with travel advertisers to help them protect their businesses and look toward recovery."

They added: "The issue of payments collection applies to only a very small number of travel companies, and virtually all of our partners in the industry do not have overdue bills with us. As a matter of fairness, we're applying the same rules equally to all of our clients asking for relief, across both travel and the many other sectors that've been impacted by the pandemic."

Reck and Dominik Schwarz, chief inbound officer at HomeToGo, told CNBC that Google is trying to become a more dominant player in travel.

Arguably, it all started in 2010, when Google bought ITA, the leading platform for flight data.

"Google has better travel data than any other company on the planet," said Reck. "We see Google aggressively moving forward trying to get content from other companies in the travel space in order to build their own products."

HomeToGo filed a complaint to the European Commission last year.

"While all companies in the industry compete over delivering the best experience and the best product for travelers, Google decided to take a big share of the whole market for free," saidAndrae."Google achieves this by implementing a huge and eye-catching advertising space on the general search after the paid results, rerouting traffic at no costs and that otherwise would go to competitors right into their own product, cutting off other providers from being seen at all."

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has yet to decide whether to investigate the case and it has not offered further comment.

See the article here:

Inside Google's feud with the battered online travel industry - CNBC

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Inside Google’s feud with the battered online travel industry – CNBC

Azul Marisco is open along the Chicago River near Elston – Eater Chicago

Posted: at 1:26 am

Theres a property at the southeast corner of Elston and Division along the Chicago River in West Town that drivers zip past as they cross over to Goose Island. The Riverside property seems uniquely situated to cater to social distancing and has been home to clubs like Estate Ultra Bar, Slow Down! Lifes Too Short, and the Boondocks. Azul Mariscos + Muelle opened Thursday at 1177 N. Elston Avenue. The owners, SocialLight Group (Trophy Room) also ran Estate.

Seafood inspired Nayarit a state in Western Mexico isnt new for the area. Just travel a few blocks west along Ashland Avenue, and Chicagoans will find El Barco Mariscos, Alegrias Seafood, and Mariscos la Costa. Azuls chef, Michael Hernandez is a South Side native. He ran Diez y Ocho, a Pilsen burger restaurant that closed in 2017. Grilled King crab legs and whole red snapper are among the entree choices.

Azuls space distinguishes itself. There are tables set up along the water where customers can sip cocktails held in clay vessels made by youth enrolled in Project FIRE, a not for profit that helps youth heal from gun violence. The kits are making clay pots and cups for the drink with a portion of the drinks sales donated back to the charity. The space offers multiple outdoor areas. Meanwhile, indoor dining restrictions brought by COVID-19 are terrifying to restaurant owners in Chicago. Many dont know how theyll survive when freezing temperatures keep diners from craving patio seating. Keeping that in mind, Azuls management wants to the venue to become an all-season destination.

There are multiple levels inside, including a large rooftop bar. Management says its among the largest in Chicago and should open next week. Goose Island is primed for development if the controversial Lincoln Yards project gets off the ground. If Azul succeeds, theyll be seen as neighborhood pioneers.

Check out the photos of the food and space below. Azul is now open.

Azul Mariscos + Muelle, 1177 N. Elston Avenue, (773) 770-3766; reservations via OpenTable; open 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Hours should expand in early fall.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Dont worry about sharks in the river.

Visit link:

Azul Marisco is open along the Chicago River near Elston - Eater Chicago

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Azul Marisco is open along the Chicago River near Elston – Eater Chicago

Friday essay: vizards, face gloves and window hoods a history of masks in western fashion – The Conversation AU

Posted: at 1:26 am

Masks have emerged as unlikely fashion heroes as the COVID-19 pandemic has developed. Every conceivable colour and pattern seems to have become available, from facehuggers to Darth Vader to bejewelled bridal numbers.

Many show how brevity and style can combine to protect the wearer, offsetting the fear the sight of a respiratory or surgical mask usually inspires.

Some, like those produced by not-for-profit enterprises including the Social Studio and Second Stitch, use on-trend fabrics and benefit both the wearer and the makers. Meanwhile, an Israeli jeweller has designed a white gold, diamond-encrusted mask worth US$1.5 million (A$2.1 million).

Yet, masks remain fundamentally unnerving. Mostly intended to either protect or disguise, they are designed to cover all or part of the face. In societies where emotions are read through both eyes and mouth, they can be disorienting.

In many places around the globe, masks have played an important role in conveying style, spirituality and culture for thousands of years. They have been a part of western fashion for centuries. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) of masks as fashion items.

Read more: How should I clean my cloth mask?

And make our faces vizards to our hearts/Disguising what they are Macbeth

One of the most bizarre accessories in 16th-century fashion was the vizard, an oval-shaped mask made from black velvet worn by women to protect their skin whilst travelling.

In an age where unblemished skin was a sign of gentility, European women took pains to avoid sunburn or significant sun tan. Two holes were cut for the eyes, sometimes fitted with glass, and an indentation was created to accommodate the nose. Disturbingly, they did not always have an opening for the mouth.

To hold the mask in place, wearers gripped a bead or button between their teeth, prohibiting speech. To the contemporary feminist, the mask raises associations with the scolds bridle: a method of torture and public humiliation for gossiping women and suspected witches.

During the following century, masks continued to be fashionable although the guise of protection gave way to mystique and desire. The small domino mask seen in a 17th century Netherlands example below and still worn by superheroes from Batman to Harley Quinn covered the eyes and tip of the nose. It was usually made from a strip of black fabric. For warmer months, a lighter veiling could be substituted.

Read more: Beware of where you buy your face mask: it may be tainted with modern day slavery

Venice has long been associated with masks, thanks to its history of carnival and masquerade. Their theatrical nature might lead to an assumption masks were always worn to deceive or seduce. Travellers expecting a masked amoral free-for-all in the early 18th century were surprised at how innocent the accessory really was in everyday life.

When worn at a masquerade, masks encouraged safe contact between the sexes bringing them close enough to mingle but maintaining the social distance between strangers that etiquette required. In this scenario, masks also encouraged a kind of egalitarianism by allowing people of disparate social classes to mix a freedom never allowed in normal social gatherings.

The gnaga mask, with its cat shape, allowed men to dress as women and skirt Venetian homosexuality laws. Venetian prostitutes were at various times prohibited from wearing or required to wear masks in public, yet married women were required to wear masks to the theatre, fostering an association between masks and sex.

Conversely, the infamous Harriss List of Covent Garden Ladies, published annually between 1757 and 1795, provided a catalogue of prostitutes to hire in London. One entry from 1779 described a woman who

by her own confession has been a votary to pleasure these thirty years, she wears a substantial mask upon her face, and is rather short.

John Clelands controversial 1748 book Memoirs of Fanny Hill describes Louisa, a prostitute, being made violent love to by a gentlemen in a handsome domino as soon as her own mask was removed.

A mask tells us more than a face, wrote Oscar Wilde in his 1891 dialogue Intentions, yet by the 19th century the mask as fashion accessory was dmod. Masks were generally only mentioned in newspapers and fashion magazines when referring to fancy dress and masked balls, which still took place in the homes of the wealthy.

Society is a masked ball, wrote one American columnist in 1861 mirroring Wildes famous quote, where everyone hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding.

Although masks were no longer recommended for maintaining a pale complexion, womens faces were still covered by veiling in certain situations: including, for the first time, weddings. Ironically, one Australian fashion column in 1897 decried the fashion, stating:

Veils are largely responsible for poor complexions This fine lace mask for it is nothing else hinders the circulation but does far more injury by keeping the face heated.

As if this were not enough, veils blew dust from the street into open pores and retained dirt, redistributing it onto the skin every time it was worn.

Veiling still had some fans, who touted its health and beauty benefits, and connotations of intrigue and excitement. It suggests such charming possibilities beneath it, a columnist in The Australasian wrote in 1897.

Fashionable or not, some masks were still worn behind closed doors. Enter the most bizarre masked accessory since the vizard: the toilet mask or face glove.

Devised by a Madame Rowley in the 1870s-80s, the rubberised full-face covering was advertised as an:

aid to complexion beauty treated with some medicated preparation the effects of the mask when worn at night two or three times in the week are described as marvellous.

Advertisements for these precursors to todays sheet mask beauty treatments contained testimonials from women who claimed to be cured of freckles and wrinkles.

The advent of the automobile in the early 20th century brought a whole new fashion range into the public arena. Motorists needed protection from weather, dust and fumes, so accessories had to be practical. For women, protection took the fashionable form of coats and face coverings.

Veils and hoods were wrapped around stylish large hats of the day, and fastened under the chin so that the entire face was safely covered.

Advertisements in the early 1920s describe a complete face mask for drivers ostensibly men as the accessory buttoned to the cap and [is] equipped with an adjustable eye shield against glaring headlights.

A design for women in 1907 was described as a window hood, which completely engulfed the hat beneath and closed with a drawstring around the neck. It had a gauze window for the eyes and another smaller opening at the mouth.

By the swinging 1960s, the cultural and sartorial landscape couldnt have been more different and yet, masks made an unlikely appearance in space age fashion championed by designers such as Andr Courrges and Pierre Cardin. Metallic mini dresses and one-piece suits were topped with space helmets that left an opening for the entire face or eyes.

More commonly adopted were plastic visors worn separately or as part of a hat, sometimes covering forehead to chin and taking on the appearance of a welders shield or indeed, the face shields worn by health workers today.

Sunglasses, a kind of mask in their own right, were taken to the extreme by Courrges with his infamous solid white shades with only a slit for light. Life described this as a built-in squint in 1965 - a design that dangerously narrows the field of vision.

Read more: The fashionable history of social distancing

Discussions during the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic around whether masks would be a fad, how long they would be required, and how to create your own at home, seem eerily prescient now.

This darkly comic mask from 1918 demonstrates the same wish for ingenuity and levity that exists today:

Lebanese fashion designer Eric Ritter has sported a similarly macabre aesthetic. He was already thinking and writing about masks on Instagram in January before coronavirus spread around the world

On growing up without a mask

On being forced to wear a mask

On ecstatically removing a mask

On picking a mask back up

In Australia, entertainer Todd McKenney has launched an online marketplace for costume designers to make and sell one-of-a-kind masks directly to the public.

Face masks dont have to be created by artists, designers or couture fashion houses to make them appealing. But a look through our fashion history shows that ingenuity and humanity have long influenced our face wear whether for the purposes of allure, space travel or pandemic protection.

Continued here:

Friday essay: vizards, face gloves and window hoods a history of masks in western fashion - The Conversation AU

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Friday essay: vizards, face gloves and window hoods a history of masks in western fashion – The Conversation AU

Paul Feig still wants you to make room for Other Space – The A.V. Club

Posted: at 1:26 am

One Season Wonders, Weirdos And WannabesOne-Season Wonders, Weirdos, And Wannabes considers the merits of short-lived TV shows.

Paul Feig created an ideal binge watch for today that ended four years ago. His sci-fi sitcom, Other Space, which debuted April 14, 2015, on the ill-fated streaming service Yahoo! Screen, is perfectly suited to a mini-marathon in these quarantimes. At just four hours (eight half-hour episodes), you could watch the season-one travails of the crew of the UMP Cruiser, led by Captain Stewart Lipinski (Karan Soni), in less time than it would take you to make sourdough bread (we assumethats one stay-at-home hobby we never picked up.) The cast is full of bright comedic talents, including newer (at the time) talents like Soni, Eugene Cordero, and Milana Vayntrub. And with Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu in its crew, Other Space even boasts a mini-Mystery Science Theater 3000 reunion.

Its great escapist fare, even if this band of misfits isnt especially adept at space exploration. Other Space starts off with a premise similar to Star Trek: Voyagers, but instead of accidentally riding an energy wave way off into the Delta Quadrant, the Cruiser crew unknowingly enters a wormhole or ripple on their first trip out of port together and ends up in uncharted lands or some other space. Stewart, whos dreamed of being on a starship since he was a kid, sees this as a great opportunity, while almost everyone else views it as an inconvenienceespecially Tina (Vayntrub), who left her great love Ted (Spys Bjrn Gustaffson) behind when she was ordered to board the Cruiser. Over the course of the season, away missions go awry, robots rebel, and conspiracies are uncovered.

Despite the setting, the series doesnt quite inspire a desire to live vicariously through the exciting adventures of Stewart, his first officer and sister Karen (Bess Rous), and science officer/science experiment Kent (Neil Casey). Other Spaces combination of close quarters, questionable food supply (even in the future, fudge doesnt make for a good breakfast), and a foreboding outside will instead feel awfully relatable. You might not have a wisecracking robot named A.R.T. (voiced by Beaulieu, with some puppeteering help from Sherry OConnor) negotiating to use your bathroom, but the growing sense of cabin fever and the blurring line between home and work space will still hit close to, er, home.

Now Other Space is once again available to stream, thanks to yet another new and free streaming service, Dust, ready to be discovered by anyone who didnt have the chance to watch the show on Yahoo Screen or the Tumblr page created and proselytized by Feig himself. The Freaks And Geeks creator is no stranger to the one-season wonder and having the rug pulled out from under by network executives. But in an interview with The A.V. Club, Feig says its not hyperbole to describe the cancellation of Other Space as the greatest disappointment in my career.

I was so proud of that show, Feig says of Other Space, which he first conceived of in 2004. We put so much work and time into it. Something I created years before and spent years trying to get made was suddenly something that came out but didnt really get the chance for anybody to see it.

When Other Space premiered in 2015 on Yahoo! Screen, it represented, among other things, the potential of new and niche streaming services (another element relevant to todays expanding programming landscape.) The sci-fi/workplace comedy hybrid had something to offer fans of Star Trek and The Office alike. Sonis Stewart is a Jimmy Stewart type: A well-meaning everyman with an idiosyncratic inflection (though a Jimmy Stewart character never fantasized about a pansexual threesome.) As his overly ambitious sister Karen, Rous is fierce but also racked with insecurity at coming in second to her less competent brother. Hodgsons burnout engineer Zalian is a standout, especially in concert with his robotic buddy A.R.T. (theres even a moment when the two riff while watching TV footage), but hes only one of several reliable sources of laughs. Vayntrub and Cordero make Tina and Michael, respectively, into beautiful fools with untapped resourcefulness. Conor Leslie more than holds her own as the ships computer Natasha, who is effectively sequestered from the group. (Feig remains grateful to Allison Jones, who cast both Other Space and Freaks And Geeks: Anybody you like in comedy was basically found by Allison Jones.)

But Feig believes its fundamental appeal is even broader: Having a group of people stuck together who dont really know each other and may not even really get alongthat to me is just a recipe for fun, relatable stories. That idea has been part of his oeuvre from the beginninghigh school is nothing if not a place where people from all walks are thrown togetherand continues to run through even the mismatched pairings at the center of The Heat and A Simple Favor. The conflicting personalities and competing energies just happen to also make for great workplace comedy, because everybody can relate to the idea of being stuck for a big part of your day with people you either kind of know or maybe you dont really like. Other Space is that to the nth degree, the filmmaker says, because now youre trapped with those people for eternity, in a very confined space.

Though it didnt set out to compete with more action-packed or heady sci-fi franchises, Other Space manages in some ways to be even more forward-thinking. As Brandon Nowalk wrote for The A.V. Club in 2015, Other Space flies past the real final frontier into a future where bisexuality is the norm. Gender norms are tweaked throughout: Male officers at Universal Mapping Project (the corporation that funds space travel in the show) wear skirt suits like they came off a Jean Paul Gaultier runway; collar balls have replaced neck ties; and instead of a golf course, its implied that girls night out is the setting for backroom deals and the exchange of insider knowledge. Sexual orientation is a spectrum, but there are no Very Special Episodes or even moments dedicated to queerness. That information is just a part of characters like Stewart, Karen, and Tina.

That sense of fluidity was important for Feig and his team, including showrunner Owen Ellickson and writers like Shelby Fero (a former A.V. Club contributor). That was a big thing for us, Feig says. We loved the idea that the future is very fluid. Even when I wrote the pilot back in 2004, I loved the idea that all the men are wearing dresses. I just wanted to kind of go, Yeah, in the future, it doesnt matter. Youre whatever you are. That should be cool. The fact that theres no judgment is one of the ways the show carries on the speculative traditions of science fiction. Feig was inspired by the President George W. Bushs (and Karl Roves) opposition to marriage equality, and the way LGBTQ+ rights regularly become a wedge issue. They all got in on it, scaring everyone with this ridiculous bogeyman of gay marriage. That was part of the influence in creating the show, but it was always something that weve wanted to do. We love that idea that everybodys very fluid on the show, because I do see that in the future. You see it already, especially in younger generations.

So what happened to bring about Other Spaces precipitous end? Feig says that Yahoo did put a very decent budget into the show that allowed us to have those sets and cool special effects. While Other Space doesnt have the same visual panache as say, Star Trek: Discovery, which launched only two years later in 2017, its still a great-looking show. 2015 certainly felt like the right time for a humorous yet earnest look at the rigors of space exploration, especially when new platforms like Yahoo! Screen were creating space for innovative comedies, including Community. Other Space was mostly well received by critics, though The New York Times Neil Genzlinger found it trucked in far too familiar territory. Feig still feels the sting of that review, but notes that a significant part of the problem was the fact that the platform changed promotional tacks after picking up the series. In a meeting before the launch, Feig was told, Were actually not going to do traditional marketing, were gonna go more through the site and do it through Yahoo and our algorithms. And I was just like, Oh no, I smell trouble. [Laughs.] Because the marketplace is so tough; you have to get known, you gotta get the word out.

Feig is still trying to get the word outespecially now that you can stream Other Space on Dust. With audiences exploring new streaming options and making their way through ever-expanding catch-up lists, theres no better time to binge a sci-fi comedy that remains an incisive reflection of the present day, five years after its premiere (and 16 years after Feig first started writing it.) And the series creator still holds out hope that hell be able to create new adventures for the not-quite-fearless crew of the Cruiser; hed bring the show back in a heartbeat if it ever got picked up again. But as with Freaks And Geeks, Feig can already trace the legacy of his short-lived series. Other Space served as a launching pad for great performers like Soniwhos since moved on to steal scenes opposite Daniel Radcliffe in Miracle Workersbut it also gave Feig a chance to work with and expand his repertory players, including Neil Casey, who co-starred in 2016s Ghostbusters. My wife and I never had kids, Feig says, so these actors are are my children in a way, I feel very parental towards them. [Laughs.] Seeing all of these people, from Freaks And Geeks and Other Space, going on to have great careers you get so happy that their talent was seen, and you get really happy that you were able to see what the rest of the world was going to see in them before anybody else got to see it. Just another one of the ways Other Space was prescient.

Read the rest here:

Paul Feig still wants you to make room for Other Space - The A.V. Club

Posted in Space Travel | Comments Off on Paul Feig still wants you to make room for Other Space – The A.V. Club

Page 11234..1020..»