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Category Archives: Moon Colonization

Civilians’ R&D In Process: DROWN MY BOOK – Extended Play

Posted: May 4, 2020 at 3:48 am

I once asked an acting teacher, after a few months of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Durang, Shepard, and Kushner, whether it might be possible to introduce some works by writers who werent white men. She furrowed her brow in confusion, frowned, cocked her head, and, placing both hands palm down on her desk, responded: But Mattyoure not black.

And anyway, the class wasnt about all that, it was aboutgetting better at acting and engaging with text, and these writers were masterplaywrights. Their work was universal.

Ever since then I knew what all artists of color come toknow eventually: that our white counterparts are rarely required or expected tobe familiar with work by great artists of color who came before them (with afew exceptions), but developing artists of color must know all the same work astheir white counterparts even while taking it upon themselves to stretch beyondthat.

Though I wound up performing a Nilo Cruz monologue as theculminating project in that class tomake a point, I was nevertheless over the moon for Shakespeare.

Besides a short stint as a stegosaurus in a daycamp betweenfirst and second grade, my first real experience acting was in a Shakespeareplay. In my sophomore year of high school, I was cast in the schoolsproduction of As You Like It, where Iwas cast as Charles the wrestler and Corin the old shepherd, which set me offon the long theatrical path to eventually winding up part of the CiviliansR&D group. I worked at a Shakespeare theater two summers in a row, playedparts in Midsummer and Macbeth in college (and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, forgood measure). I loved understanding Elizabethan English or, where I didnt,researching it. I loved breaking apart towering sentences for their imagery,their antithesis, their double meanings. I loved scanning lines and beating outrhythms on the table or my thigh, each irregularity a treasure, a clue, amessage from Shakespeare himself.

I had read a bunch of the plays and sonnets in various Englishclasses, too, which always produced the weird feeling Im sure is common indiaspora kids of being in two camps at once: both ownership over the text assomething youre native to (The greatest writer in the English language!) anda simultaneous foreignness. I bristled every time a teacher assertedShakespeares universality, noting that a major reason everyone getsShakespeare is that the culture that produced him and that he in turn helpedproduced was imposed on people around the world at gunpoint. Its no wonder Iwas drawn to Shakespeares own outsiders, his rare depictions of racial or religiousminorities providing a weird window into Elizabethan conceptions of race andthe other. Othello and Shylock were particularly compelling (and continue tobe, as borne out by my play TheVenetians), as characters who are often monstrous racial stereotypes on theone hand while still rendered with surprisingly human moments on the other.Human enough that it made me want to salvage pieces of them. As activist andUniversity of Arizona professor Curtis Acosta said when we spoke, thosethings were really attractive to me as someone who was just figuring out whatit really meant to be a man of color I think I was just attracted to it because of all these things Irecognized in it.

Drown My Book began in 2012 when Id readthat the Tucson Unified School District had begun removing Mexican AmericanStudies texts from classrooms and boxing them up in storage facilities incompliance with a ruling that accused ethnic studies programs of, among otherthings, advocating for the overthrow of the US government. As horrible as allthis was, I wasnt expecting Shakespeare to be part of all of this, andcertainly not on the opposite side of the law. In a news release dated January17th, 2011, TUSD Director of Communications Cara Rene lists sevenremoved books (Critical Race Theory,by Richard Delgado; 500 Years of ChicanoHistory in Pictures, edited by Elizabeth Martinez; Message to AZTLAN, by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales; Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement, byArturo Rosales; Occupied America: AHistory of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuna; Pedagogyof the Oppressed by Paulo Freire; and RethinkingColumbus: The Next 500 Years by Bill Bigelow) and goes on to say:

Other books have also been falsely reported as being banned by TUSD. It has been incorrectly reported that William Shakespeares The Tempest is not allowed for instruction. Teachers may continue to use materials in their classrooms as appropriate for the course curriculum. The Tempest and other books approved for curriculum are still viable options for instructors.

When I spoke to Acosta, however, hetold me a different story. The Tempest isa difficult text to teach and discuss without touching on colonialism, slavery,and the genocide of indigenous peoples in the Americas. In fact, as RonaldTakaki points out in his essay, The Tempest in the Wilderness: TheRacialization of Savagery, The Tempest invitesus to view English expansion not only as imperialism but as a defining momentin the making of an English-American identity based on race. The characterCaliban the wizard Prosperos powerful, surly, supernatural, half-humanslave, born to rule the island but usurped when the Wizard arrived has beenrefigured by creators such as Aim Csaire and Jimmie Durham as a victim ofcolonization, struggling under the yoke of a foreign oppressor. In Acostashands, the inevitability of discussing these topics became a tool forillustrating certain failures of the law:

I found all my notes from all these horrible administrative meetings I had. We were trying to figure out what was legal and illegal, and I knew right away that the day of it was January 10th, I know all these dates now because I was just writing about it January 10th [] was the board meeting, and that night when we were suspended I leaned over to a colleague and said, Tomorrow Im getting Shakespeare banned. And so I went into that meeting with an agenda but also I knew that there was no other way it was gonna go because the law was so poorly written, and so obviously racist, discriminatory that if I just made the argument they would have to. Now this is the thing that changed: In the moment, the day after, there was still a shred of humanity in the administration I was dealing with at my site, and then after, they tried to cover their tracks and didnt know that we were going to release the audio. They went on full scale the district administration went on this full scale attack after I told reporter friends of mine, Yeah, I cant teach it. They told me I cant teach The Tempest. And so they went on this full scale attack all but calling me personally a liar. [] But we ended up being able to prove it because I did record it. That was the last meeting they allowed me to record. It wasnt the last meeting recorded, but it was the last meeting they allowed me to record. But thank God I did!

Caliban, like Othello and Shylock, has come tooccupy a special place in my relationship to Shakespeare, but what gripped meso much about what was happening in Tucson is that this play, part of a reveredWestern canon, found itself on the side of the marginalized, an emblem used topoint out the weaknesses in the structures and impulses it once served to helpprop up.

Theresa line in Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country (the title itself areference to Hamlet), where a Klingon character insists, Youve notexperienced Shakespeare until youve read him in the original Klingon. Its ajoke, and yet

I became taken (and still am taken, and so knewimmediately which project to propose to The Civilians) with the idea of a groupof Latin students grappling directly with these contradictions, takingShakespeares words and turning them on the authorities, using the schoolscurriculum against it.

InThe Tempest, Prosperos books of arcane knowledge are his most prizedpossession, which he guards jealously and devotes himself to entirely; inTucson, books had been torn from classrooms because of the ideas they held andhoarded away in warehouses. The title, Drown My Book, came to meimmediately, and Ive stuck with it. Its from Prosperos last speech, where hethrows away his magic staff and library, pledging never to use them again: Anddeeper than did ever plummet sound / Ill drown my book.

In her play UneTempte, Csaire turned Caliban into arevolutionary; the students in my play would use The Tempest as arevolutionary tool.

DurhamsCaliban Codex shows us a Calibanobsessed with trying to figure out what his own fact looks like, having neverseen a reflection and only knowing what Prospero tells him about himself; mycharacters, accustomed to not seeing themselves reflected in other parts of thesyllabus, would use a canonical text to fight to keep the one mirror theydbeen given.

Ratherthan bend and compartmentalize themselves, as so many young people are forcedto (as I was forced to in that acting class) the characters in my play wouldbend Shakespeare to serve them.

Maybethats what we should mean when we say that Shakespeare is universal: not anappeal to bland relatability, but instead that the sheer reach of Shakespearesinfluence over how we understand stories and the written word now means that hecan be enlisted by anyone to serve new purposes.

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WHY WE EXPLORE SPACE – The Advocate

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 7:36 pm

Many ask, what is the point of space exploration? It costs a lot of time and resources, to do just what? Look at stars? Why venture up there, when we have so many problems down here? Why dedicate such a monumental amount of money that could be spent on the poor? It just doesnt make sense.

But space exploration represents so much: the future of the species. We human have spent our history toiling, warring, and innovating to make life on our planet better. But we often forget the immense size and scale of the actual universe and that even on the scale of our solar system, we are living on an insignificant speck of dust.

Morbidly enough, it would not take very much to wipe us out erasing everything we worked so hard to build. Take a meteor, for instance: In one fell swoop, one wiped out the dinosaurs just one of many cosmic bullets that could eliminate life on Earth. The age-old saying, Dont put all of your eggs in one basket applies here. Moving on to other planets branches us out and plants humanitys literal footprint in the infinite. We can prevail, if our home planet suffers a major extinction event.

SHARED DESTINY

The future often envisions human colonization of other planets, because sci-fi writers and scientists alike realize that space is, indeed, our future. There is a unique desire in the hearts of all of us, to go out and explore. In the endearing words of President John F. Kennedy, Why climb the highest mountain? Why, 50 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Simply, because we are a remarkably ambitious species, in that our desire to explore takes us far from home. We are destined to depart in pursuit of knowledge, to advance our story and establish our legacy in the cosmos.

Also, space is a remarkable unifying force. The need to explore is not limited to any one nationality, religion, or ideology. Its a constant in our shared history. When Columbus set sail to the new world, curiosity drove him. When Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay became the first to summit Everest, the spirit of adventure soared. Just as when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to leave boot marks on the moon. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon (amidst the U.S.-U.S.S.R. cold war) the world did not say an American or Neil and Buzz landed on the moon, it said WE landed on the moon! A collective human triumph had occurred.

Further travel to the stars is vastly expensive; our pursuit of Mars requires help from all quarters. For instance, the life support for those future astronauts is provided by the ESA (European Space Agency), not NASA. The current International Space Station is was a herculean effort with help from many nations, and as a result, all countries are welcome.

COUNTLESS BENEFITS

Spaceflight takes place far above where borders are recognizable, mostly to conduct research that benefits everyone. One orbiting Earth satellite uses reflected light to accurately measure soil around the world and predict droughts, to prevent food shortages. The data is open to use, in order to benefit humanity. Likewise, Hubble, Kepler, Gaia, Voyager and countless other probes provide knowledge for all citizens, not just Americans.

Dont forget the spillover technologies. Do you need glasses? Well, NASA developed the material for modern lenses, for use in the Space Shuttles windows. Have you ever used a handheld (cordless) drill? NASA created the first one for use on the lunar surface. The list goes on and on.

If doubting exploration in light of so many earthly problems, realize these same questions have been asked throughout history. Those who sailed the seas invented the compass; the sextant was created in 1731 to navigate the vast ocean separating Europe and the new world. Without exploration, the United States wouldnt even exist. Nobody truly knows what untold fortunes, nations, technologies and histories may lie ahead for us, in space.

Finally, when we feel inspired, we look up up to our future, our possibilities not down to the ground. Our future is not where we have been, it is where we are going. Its as if some force is trying to show us the way. The stars are not mere specks of light in the sky, but invitations to come see what they have to offer. For the sake of all who have come before us, and all who will come after, it is time to unify, collaborate, innovate and establish our permanent footprint in the sky for the benefit of all.Were on the brink of something truly magnificent, where humanity dances among the stars we have gazed upon, in awe, for so many centuries.

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NASA Scientists Say We Could Colonise The Moon by 2022 …

Posted: April 2, 2020 at 5:47 pm

A lot of focus over the past 12 months has been on NASA's journey to Mars. But a group of space experts, including leading NASA scientists, has now produced a special journal edition that details how we could establish a human colony on the Moon in the next seven years - all for US$10 billion.

Although that's pretty awesome, the goal isn't really the Moon itself - from an exploratory point of view, most scientists have bigger targets in sight. But the lessons we'll learn and the technology we'll develop building a human base outside of Earth will eventually be the key to colonising Mars, and other planets, according to the experts.

"My interest is not the Moon. To me the Moon is as dull as a ball of concrete," NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay, who edited the special, open-access issue ofNew Spacejournal, told Sarah Fecht over at Popular Science. "But we're not going to have a research base on Mars until we can learn how to do it on the Moon first. The Moon provides a blueprint to Mars."

The journal articles came out of a workshop held back in August 2014, when some of the greatest minds in space research and business were brought together to explore and develop low-cost options for building a human settlement on the Moon.

We haven't gone back to the Moon since 1972 simply because of how expensive it is - the Apollo program that put the first humans on the lunar surface would have cost US$150 billion by today's standards, Fecht reports. And with a budget of US$19.3 billion for the whole of 2016, NASA hasn't been able to consider the Moon as well as Mars.

But thanks to new technology, it no longer has to be that way.

"The US could lead a return of humans to the surface of the Moon within a period of 5-7 years from authority to proceed at an estimated total cost of about $10 billion (30 percent)," conclude NASA'sAlexandra HallandNextGen Space's Charles Millerin one of the papers.

As Jurica Dujmovic notes for MarketWatch, that's cheaper than one US aircraft carrier.

"The big takeaway,"McKay toldPopular Science,"is that new technologies, some of which have nothing to do with space - like self-driving cars and waste-recycling toilets - are going to be incredibly useful in space, and are driving down the cost of a moon base to the point where it might be easy to do."

NASA

According to the research papers, the lunar base would house around 10 people for stays of up to a year at first - and could eventually grow to a self-sufficient settlement of 100 within a decade.

They'd get to the Moon on SpaceX's soon-to-be-launched Falcon Heavy, and while they'd have to take quite a lot of equipment on the first trip, 3D printing could be used to produce pretty much everything else once they get there.

The colony would most likely be established on the outer rim of one of the Moon's poles, which receive more sunlight than the rest of the surface, so would help keep solar-powered equipment running. As Marketwatch reports:

"Furthermore, all that energy could provide power for robots that would excavate large amounts of ice detected within the craters. Water gathered that way could then be used for life support, as well as for providing oxygen, or it could be processed into rocket fuel, which would be sold or stored for refuelling space crafts."

The astronauts would probably live in the something similar to Bigelow Aeropsace's inflatable habitat, the researchers write, which is radiation resistant and would allow for a range of living areas, as well as easy storing and transport.

It could also provide protected habitats for basic crops, which would be fertilised with the help of a toilet that recycles human waste into energy, clean water, and nutrients, such as the Gates Foundation-funded blue toilet.

BigelowAerospace

The rest of the food and supplies for 10 people that couldn't be grown and 3D printed on the Moon could be shipped by SpaceX for less than US$350 million per yearusing the reusable Falcon 9 rocket.

It all sounds amazing, but the elephant in the room is the fact that the US$10 million establishment cost is more than NASA's existing space flight budget of US$3-4 billion per year. But assuming setting up the colony is a flat fee, it's definitely still affordable and could run alongside plans to Mars, the scientists write.

And things could get even cheaper if commercial service providers are involved, which would then beprime position to sell propellant from the Moon's orbit to NASA and any other space agencies trying to get humans to Mars.

All of the papers in the special edition of New Spaceare freely available online for you to peruse and use to plan your future in space. Get dreaming, because it's closer than you think.

"It is time to go back to this Moon, this time to stay," concludes the journal's preface. "and funding is no longer the main hurdle."

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Astronauts could use their own urine to build moon bases: study – New York Post

Posted: at 5:47 pm

Stuck on the moon with no lunar base? Just take a whiz and youre in biz!

An international team of researchers have proposed that NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Chinas space organization build their future structures out of lunar soil and urea yes, pee. Turns out, the bodily fluid is a pretty effective binding agent for concrete.

In the event of global disaster, there has been some discussion of colonization of the moon. However, the monumental effort poses a number of logistical issues, such as how to get building materials to the desolate, dusty wasteland that is the moons surface. Study authors note that transporting just 0.45 kilograms (just under a pound) of cargo to space costs about $10,000.

Urine, however costs $0.

Engineers from Norway, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy, whose findings were recently published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, showed that incorporating urea into a concrete blend could make the mixture more pliant and thus easier to handle under the moons harsh conditions.

To make the geopolymer concrete that will be used on the moon, the idea is to use what is there: regolith (loose material from the moons surface) and the water from the ice present in some areas, said study author Ramn Pamies, a professor at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Murcia).

In his statement, he added, with this study we have seen that a waste product, such as the urine of the personnel who occupy the moon bases, could also be used. The two main components of this body fluid are water and urea, a molecule that allows the hydrogen bonds to be broken and, therefore, reduces the viscosities of many aqueous mixtures.

To test out the pee theory, the researchers used a material supplied by the ESA, which is similar to the moon dirt, or regolith, along with urea and various other plasticizers to 3D print mud cylinders for testing under various conditions. They revealed that the samples made with urea supported more weight and kept their shape better compared to the others.

They also held up when exposed to ultra high and low temperatures.

Scientists admitted that there is the problem of how an astronaut would be expected to separate the urea, which is ammonia and carbon dioxide, from the rest of the stuff in pee, including mostly water, expelled nutrients and other compounds.

We have not yet investigated how the urea would be extracted from the urine, said researcher from the Netherlands Anna-Lena Kjniksen.

However, she added, Perhaps its other components could also be used to form the geopolymer concrete. The actual water in the urine could be used for the mixture, together with that which can be obtained on the Moon, or a combination of both.

In other words, no, they did not use their own pee to conduct these experiments. They concluded that more research is needed.

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Cosmos: Possible Worlds’ brings the search for E.T. down to Earth – Space.com

Posted: at 5:47 pm

In episodes 7 and 8 of "Cosmos: Possible Worlds," host Neil deGrasse Tyson explores themes of science as an instrument of hope and tenacity, and as a means by which the human race can realize its true potential.

Episode 7, titled "Search for Intelligent Life," focuses specifically on first contact and the search for intelligent life in the vastness of the cosmos. Are humans ready to make first contact with other intelligent beings? Is our technology even sophisticated enough to detect communication signals from another world?

Seeking an answer, Tyson introduces us to China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, as it's more commonly known. FAST is the largest radio telescope on Earth and can detect radio waves across the universe.

Related: 20 sci-fi movies and TV shows to binge watch on Netflix right now

Tyson points out that we've only had the technology to detect radio signals for a little over a century, making FAST a truly monumental achievement. FAST has already detected a number of pulsars or compact stellar corpses and will continue to search for gravitational waves and signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, among other data it collects.

However, there's an intricate global communications network hidden here on Earth that we've only just become aware of. Tyson turns our attention to a "hidden matrix the creation of an enduring collaboration among fungi, plants, bacteria and animals." He's referring to the mycelium, a complex network of threadlike filaments that forms the functional structure of a fungus and extends to other species, such as trees. These hauntingly beautiful hyphae, or the branching filaments that make up the mycelium, illustrated in the show by special effects to interweave in the soil beneath our feet, reveal the forests' complex and interlinked nature.

"Who are we to search for alien intelligence when we can't even recognize or respect the consciousness all around us, or even beneath our feet," Tyson says, strolling through the forest on top of the soil that's protecting the mycelium beneath his feet. Still, conversations with different worlds, Tyson says, will be done in the language of science.

"The symbolic language of the scientist, mathematician and engineer avoid those things that are lost in translation from one culture to another," Tyson says, explaining that this type of language is more precise and less open to misinterpretation. If we find extraterrestrial intelligent life, will we be communicating with them in a language that resembles a computer programming language, built on the binary code?

Humans have actually already made "first contact" with other intelligent life that communicates through equations and a symbolic language, Tyson points out: bees. Insects in general have played an instrumental role in the development of the natural world, mostly by spreading pollen. Each grain of pollen has been"sculpted differently by evolution each a novel strategy for survival, sharpened by vast expanses of time, " Tyson says.

Insects are as much a part of the Earth's history as the earth itself; The "great Ordovician biodiversity event," when our world began to change as plants and insects left the sea and began to make the land their home, occurred approximately 480 million years ago (or Dec. 20 on Tyson's "cosmic calendar," where the Big Bang marks New Year's Day). The world Tyson describes is an alien one; giant mushrooms tower over trees that only grew a few feet tall, and insects ruled the skies, undisturbed by other winged creatures.

It was Austrian ethologist Karl von Frisch who unlocked the secrets of bee behavior in the early 20th century. "For thousands of years, bees have been symbols of mindless industry shackled to the dreary roles assigned to them by nature," says Tyson, but von Frisch found in his studies that bees lead much more complex lives. They communicate through mathematical equations expressed in their movements, appearing to the untrained eye to be little more than a waggle, but in reality can be an incredibly accurate set of coordinates to a food source meters away.

Tyson calls this a "first contact story" because bees and humans evolved on very different trajectories, and yet both species risked everything and chose the unknown; it's as if there were an unwritten code common to bees and human beings driving those ambitions. This echoes the work of legendary scientist Charles Darwin, who realized if all life is related, certain philosophical implications had to follow. Darwin realized we are "surrounded by other ways of being alive and conscious," Tyson says, and that science had the potential to expand our capacity for empathy and compassion.

Building on those themes of compassion and ambition, episode 8, "The Sacrifice of Cassini," chronicles tales of sacrifice and reveals the little-seen sentimentality and emotion that often accompany our greatest scientific endeavors. The episode honors the efforts and sacrifices of scientists Giovanni Cassini, Galileo Galilei, Christiaan Huygens, and Alexander Shargei, among others.

The episode opens with Tyson's recap of the Cassini-Huygens mission, a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency that launched Oct. 15, 1997. The spacecraft would embark on an epic voyage that would last more than two decades and culminate in a final, fatal mission of self-destruction by flying itself into Saturn's atmosphere in 2017.

Spacecraft sent to the outermost regions of our solar system, like Cassini, have brought back valuable data. Researchers are especially interested in any information about the mysterious ringed planets, which puzzled early planetary scientists like Galileo. These ring systems have been notoriously difficult to detect; Galileo's early research on Saturn had him believe the planet had two symmetrical moons, which we now know to be Saturn's rings. What would Galileo say if he could see Saturn as we see it now through the eyes of powerful scientific instruments?

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft and Cassini also sent back valuable data about the atmospheres and other physical properties of our cosmic neighbors, like the elusive Uranus. Without Voyager 2, we wouldn't know about the planet's long summers and winters, or that while Uranus doesn't generate any internal heat and the outer edges of its atmosphere is hotter than 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius), Uranus also has the coldest clouds in the solar system, nearly 400 degrees Fahrenheit (240 degrees Celsius) below zero.

Interestingly, as Tyson reviews Giovanni Cassini's early life in what is now Italy, he notes that the Italian scientist began his career as an astrologer; a pseudoscientist. Louis XIV of France, the "Sun King," who would be the first monarch to recognize the power of science and the opportunities it afforded national security, would play a pivotal role in Cassini's career development. It was Louis XIV, who established the Paris Observatory a scientific powerhouse and who gave Cassini the tools he needed to pursue his research.

Cassini's observations of Saturn and its moons would have an enduring effect on the scientific world among his other accomplishments, like having discovered Jupiter's Great Red Spot (independently from Robert Hooke) and having calculated the length of a day on Mars; he was only off by 3 minutes.

Cassini's work on Saturn also greatly furthered human beings' knowledge on the planet at the time; he was the first to know Saturn's rings were composed of natural satellites orbiting the planet, and that there were gaps between them. Decades later, a bus-size 12,000-lb. (5,400 kilograms) spacecraft, sent on a years-long voyage to that same celestial body, would be named in his memory.

The scientists who worked closely with the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, some of them since the very beginning, undoubtedly became emotional as it completed its final mission, as did spectators around the world who witnessed its final moments.

The probe's travails, however, cannot compare to the pain and tragedy of scientist and visionary Oleksandr Shargei, a forgotten pioneer of spaceflight. Shargei was orphaned at a young age and, while studying engineering at a university in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was drafted to the army to serve the Russian Empire in World War I. After the Russian Revolution, when the Bolsheviks overthrew the government, he changed his name to Yuri Kondratyuk out of fear for his life.

In 1926, Kondratyuk self-published a manuscript on rocket motion and space colonization, which would end up capturing the attention of an engineer working on the Apollo program, John Houbolt, decades later. Houbolt's updating of Kondratyuk's theories convinced NASA to select the lunar orbit rendezvous flight plan for Apollo, and to win the Space Race.

Seeing footage from Apollo 11 in the episode elicits a sentimental feeling as it dawns on us that we're witnessing Kondratyuk's dreams become reality, and that his dreams are still coming true to this day; even the Cassini mission used gravity assist maneuvers, also conceived by Kondratyuk, to explore the Saturn system.

The final scene of the episode is of Kondratyuk's childhood home a place where he endured much tragedy in his early years, and sought refuge in physics books. It was also here that Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong made a pilgrimage after his historic flight to the moon, to honor the man who made that voyage possible.

"There are all kinds of stories in the struggle to understand the cosmos," Tyson reflects. "Sometimes your dreams die with you, but sometimes the scientists of another age pick them up and take them to the moon, and far beyond."

"Cosmos" airs on the National Geographic channel on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT and will be reprised on the Fox television network this summer.

Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Belgian couple arrested for selling airline tickets to The Moon – Aviation24.be

Posted: at 5:47 pm

Photo byBriana TozouronUnsplash

This morning, a Belgian couple was arrested for selling airline tickets to The Moon. They allegedly sold the tickets on the street for 99,99 to hundreds of people and promised that each ticket reserved the passenger a first-class seat.

Bart, one of the arrested, explained to Belgian newspaper Het Eerste Nieuws he didnt do anything wrong: For less than 100 a bargain I take these passengers to higher spheres, I really do not understand the fuzz. My first-class flying saucer was ready for boarding! Besides, our on-time performance is one of the highest in the industry.

Bart now risks a heavy fine for deliberate deception of passengers. During a further house search, the police found back the money, fake airline tickets and a baby alligator.

Affected passengers can always file a complaint via this link.

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Urine of astronauts will simplify the construction of the lunar base – FREE NEWS

Posted: at 5:47 pm

European engineers have shown that urea can serve as a suitable plasticizer for concrete mortar for the construction of the future lunar base.

Colonization of the Moon is fraught with a great many difficulties and challenges: a dangerous level of radiation, extreme temperature drops, the risk of meteorites falling, and so on. All of them are completely solvable if a reliable, protected and hermetic base is built on the satellite. But for this, the main problem remains to be solved the logistics.

Shipping every kilogram of cargo to the moon costs tens of thousands of dollars, so transporting building materials to a satellite would be too expensive. Therefore, engineers are developing technologies for building a base of lunar regolith using robotic technology and 3D printing. The find made by the team of Anna-Lena Knicksen from Estoll University College in Norway promises to further ease this task.

In an article published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, they examine the possibility of utilizing the urine of future colonists for the construction of a lunar base. According to engineers, urea isolated from it can serve as a plasticizer for cement mortar. Such an additive increases the ductility of concrete makes it easier to work with it and increases the density and resistance to deformation.

The idea is to use what can be found on the spot: regolith and water from the ice present in many areas, the authors explain. Moreover, we have shown that waste such as urine from the personnel of the lunar base is also useful for the matter. Its two main components are water and urea, whose molecules weaken hydrogen bonds and reduce the viscosity of many aqueous solutions.

For their experiments, scientists used a lunar soil simulator created in ESA and a suitable 3D printer, with which they printed out samples, and then sent them for detailed analysis. The components printed with the addition of urea as a plasticizer underwent several cycles of freezing-thawing and heating to 80C but retained their structural properties completely.

We have not yet considered the process of extracting urea, adds Anna-Lena Knicksen, since we have not yet figured out whether other urine components can be used to add to the building mixture. Perhaps water will go into it, along with the one that can be found on the moon itself.

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Bioengineering to help future Mars Colonies and Earths Global Warming – News Landed

Posted: at 5:47 pm

Today many aerospace industries and nations are competing in the race for Mars. Some with a plan for crew flybys, others with short term scientific missions, and some with the higher objective of colonization of Mars. Mars, as we know, is an arid planet that cannot support life. All the necessary life support systems have to come from the Earth, which would be too expensive as we rely heavily on chemical rockets.

One of the solutions would be to manufacture the necessary raw materials like fuel, organic compounds, and drugs on Mars, maximizing the available resources on the planet. Mars has abundant carbon dioxide (about 96%) and water at its poles in the form of polar ice caps and likely frozen underground reservoirs. Chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has designed a hybrid system using nanowires and bacteria to harness sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and, water to create the building blocks for organic material.

The system is made by packing Sporomusa ovata bacteria into a forest of nanowires that are one-hundredth the width of human air. The nanowires would absorb sunlight, generate electrons that the bacteria take, and converts two carbon dioxide molecules and water into Acetate and Oxygen.

Acetate is one of the building blocks for many organic compounds, including fuels, drugs, and plastics. We can manufacture other organic compounds from acetate using bioengineering. Oxygen, which is the by-product of this process, can replenish the artificial atmosphere for the colonists. The possibilities are endless.

According to the project leader Peidong Yang, when they tried to pack the bacteria into nanowires to increase efficiency, they faced a problem of elevated pH level of the surrounding water. This increase in pH level (or decrease in acidity) caused the bacteria to detach themselves from the nanowires, causing a break in the circuit. They eventually found a solution to keep the acidity slightly higher and increase efficiency. Their system has a record efficiency of 3.6%, which means 3.6% of solar energy gets converted and stored.

Professor Yang and his team continue to tweak the system to improve efficiency and to manufacture other organic compounds like acetic acid. This system can be a solution to address our global warming issue by absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting them into organic compounds. Professor Yang and his team are also working on other systems to produce sugars and carbohydrates efficiently, which, one day, can provide food to the colonists.

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Source: Phys.org

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Bioengineering to help future Mars Colonies and Earths Global Warming - News Landed

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Growing Vegetables In Space Is Easier Than It Sounds – LIVEKINDLY

Posted: at 5:47 pm

Science fiction has often imagined what food in space would be like. In the various Star Trek series, food has evolved from colorful cubes in the original series to being synthesized by machines. It even predicted cell-based meatand, fresh vegetables grown in space.

In Star Trek: Enterprise, only certain foods can be replicated by technology. An on-board chef provides the intergalactic travelers with fruits and vegetables grown in a hydroponic greenhouse. And thanks to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), space-grown greens are becoming a reality for astronauts.

Between 2014-2016, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) grew leafy greens from surface-sterilized seeds using the Vegetable Production Systems, nicknamed Veggie.

According to research published in the journalFrontiers in Plant Science,space-grown lettuce is safe to eat. This unlocks new possibilities for what mealtime looks like for astronauts as well as sustainable food production in space. Theoretically, future human settlers on Mars could supplement their diets with plant-based food that they grew themselves.

Undergoing intense physical training, floating weightlessly, and witnesses the Earth from the expanse of space, astronauts have unique experiences. The food, not so much. According to NASA, astronauts can choose from a variety of foods that they would eat at home. Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and meat and seafood dishes are all options.

Fresh fruit, nuts, candy, brownies, and ice cream are also available. But, you wont get the freeze-dried astronaut ice cream you can find in science museums. In a zero-gravity environment, crumbs from freeze-dried ice cream or bread could easily fly into the ships controls. Its for that very reason that astronauts use tortillas instead of bread for their sandwiches. Instead of salt and pepper shakers, they have liquid seasoning in packets.

All food comes in disposable packaging and is nonperishable to survive long missions in space.

Although Veggie is a recent innovation, the concept of gardening in space has been in development for more than 30 years. The innovative technology would add variety to astronauts diets and give them access to nutritious, leafy greens.

NASA plant physiologist Ray Wheeler explained to Space.com last November that NASA has been interested in growing plants as a bioregenerative approach for life support, and the plants would provide food and oxygen and could remove carbon dioxide.

In 2015, 44 astronauts aboard the ISS sampled a harvest of Outredgeous red romaine lettuce grown under LED lights. Four years later, in late 2019, astronauts successfully grew mizuna, or Japanese mustard greens. The remainder was stowed in a freezer for later analysis on Earth.

Despite being grown under lower gravity and more intense radiation, research revealed that space greens are free from disease-causing microbes. According to NASA, the Veggie-grown produce is richer in potassium, sodium, phosphorus, sulfur, and zinc. It is also rich in phenolics, molecules with proven antiviral, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory activity. It has about the same antioxidant content as Earth-grown produce.

There is evidence that supports fresh foods, such as tomatoes, blueberries, and red lettuce are a good source of antioxidants. Having fresh food like these available in space could have a positive impact on peoples moods and also could provide some protection against radiation in space, Wheeler said.

Veggie comes with other benefits as well. Gardening provides crew members with a much-valued recreational activity on longer-duration missions.

Besides having the ability to grow and eat fresh food in space, there also may be a psychological benefit, said Dr. Gioia Massa, NASA Veggie project lead. For example, future habitat-related modifications could include plant life. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropologyfound that active time with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress.

Veggie is growing only greens at the moment. But, Massa explained that future tests will involve other varieties of lettuce as well as peppers and tomatoes. The International Space Station is serving as a testbed for future long-duration missions, and these types of crop growth tests are helping to expand the suite of candidates that can be effectively grown in microgravity, she told SpaceRef.

The team at Kennedy Space Center hopes that space gardening will become a valuable part of space travel.

The ability to grow food in a sustainable system that is safe for crew consumption will become critical as NASA moves toward longer missions. Salad-type, leafy greens can be grown and consumed fresh with few resources, said Dr. Christina Khodadad, a researcher at the Kennedy Space Center.

It may also be an integral part of travel to and life on Mars. Massa explained: The farther and longer humans go away from Earth, the greater the need to be able to grow plants for food, atmosphere recycling and psychological benefits. I think that plant systems will become important components of any long-duration exploration scenario.

Will space colonies be vegan? According to a NASA factsheet, the surface diet on the moon and on Mars will be similar to a vegetarian diet one would cook on Earthminus the dairy products.

The organization predicts that residents could grow crops. This includes multiple varieties of potatoes, wheat, rice, soybeans, peanuts, dried beans, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and herbs. Researchers involved in NASAs Advanced Food Technology (AFT) Project are actively exploring bioregenerative solutions to create sustainable food systems in space.

NASA is expected to kick off the Mars 2020 mission this July. The Perseverance rover will be launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. On Mars, it will seek signs of ancient life and collect soil samples for a possible return to Earth.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur and SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes that Mars colonization is possible as well. Using SpaceXs Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket, Musk hopes to facilitate a colony of one million Martians within the next 50-100 years.

A report titled Feeding One Million People on Mars by Kevin Cannon and Daniel Britt at the University of Central Florida, Orlando predicted how such a colony would sustain itself. It ruled out animal agriculture and, in contrast to NASA, plant-based agriculture. Instead, the report predicted that Mars colonists would thrive on produce, insects, and cell-based meat, aka clean meatreal meat grown from animal cells.

The possibility of growing cell-based meat in space was successfully tested by Aleph Farms, an Israeli food tech company, last November. It grew small-scale muscle tissue from cow cells on the ISS using equipment supplied by Russian company, 3D Bioprinting Solutions.

On the website, Eat Like a Martian, Cannon and Britt acknowledge that further research is needed before humans begin colonizing Mars. But, the Martian diet will have several benefits: no mass suffering of caged animals, and sharp cuts in land, water, energy use, and carbon emissions.

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Growing Vegetables In Space Is Easier Than It Sounds

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What do astronauts eat? Mostly packaged meals, but according to NASA, its Veggie project can provide vegetables, variety, and a recreational gardening.

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Kat Smith

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LIVEKINDLY

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Growing Vegetables In Space Is Easier Than It Sounds - LIVEKINDLY

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Colonization of the Moon | Space Colonization Wiki | Fandom

Posted: March 21, 2020 at 6:47 am

The colonization of the Moon is the proposed establishment of permanent human communities on the Moon. Science fiction writers and advocates of space exploration have seen settlement of the Moon as a logical step in the expansion of humanity beyond the Earth.

Permanent human habitation on a planetary body other than the Earth is one of science fiction's central themes. As technology has advanced, and concerns about the future of humanity on Earth have increased, the argument that space colonization is an achievable and worthwhile goal has gained momentum. Because of its proximity to Earth, the Moon has been seen as a prime candidate for the location of humanity's first permanently occupied extraterrestrial base.

Should attempts at colonization go ahead, economic concerns are likely to lead to settlements being created near mines and processing centers, or near the poles where a continuous source of solar energy can be harnessed. While it would be relatively easy to resupply a lunar base from Earth, in comparison to a Martian base, the Moon is likely to play a large role in the development of long-duration closed-loop life support systems. Duplicating the ecology of Earth so that wastes can be recycled is essential to any long term effort of space exploration. The wealth of knowledge gained by extracting and refining resources on the Moon would positively affect efforts to build colonies elsewhere in the Solar System.

There has been various habitat ideas to settle in the Moon. Some consider staying in the surface using inflatable modulus or the spacecraft itself. Taking in account factors like the risk of meteorites falling into the surface or the radiation from the Sun, another suggestion is to build habitats underneath the surface.

Putting aside the general questions of whether a human colony beyond the Earth is feasible or scientifically desirable in light of cost-efficiency, proponents of space colonization point out that the Moon offers both advantages and disadvantages as a site for such a colony.

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