The Western Lines

September 24, 2010

Sci-Fi Science – Galactic Colonization

Today on Discovery Enterprise we present the second episode of the second season of Dr. Michio Kaku’s renowned and highly acclaimed documentary series “Sci Fi Science” and explore the exciting possibility of creating a galactic civilization.

In this exciting episode of Sci Fi Science, Dr. Michio Kaku comes up with some very intriguing plans for expanding humanity’s presence throughout the Milky Way Galaxy.

Sci-Fi Science Physics of the Impossible -Galactic Colonization


September 7, 2010

Living on the Moon

“If God wanted man to become a spacefaring species, He would have given man a moon.” ~ Krafft Ehricke

Today on Discovery Enterprise we present a fascinating episode from the National Geographic Channel’s documentary series “Naked Science”.

In this instalment of “Naked Science” we look at the exciting possibility of using our celestial neighbour, the Moon, as a stepping stone that will allow humanity to colonise the solar system and beyond.

Last November, the dream of colonizing the Moon and solar system, came a step closer to reality with the exciting discovery of substantial amounts of water ice in the permanently shadowed Cabeus crater near the Moon’s South Pole. The LCROSS spacecraft and a companion rocket stage made twin impacts in the Cabeus crater on October 9th, 2009 that created a plume of material from the bottom of a crater that has not seen sunlight in billions of years. This important discovery justifies our returning to the Moon before the end of the next decade.

The Moon will play an important role in humanity’s future expansion into space. A revitalized manned lunar exploration over the next ten years is the only next logical step if our planetary culture is truly going to evolve into a spacefaring civilization.

Living On The Moon Part 1

Living On The Moon Part 2

August 8, 2010

New Ways To Explore Space II

Filed under: Future of Space Exploration,Ralph Buttigieg — ralphbuttigieg @ 5:50 am
Heres some real innovation, NASA is offering to buy Luna data from a commercial provider:

 Astrobotic Technology, a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off company devoted to robotic exploration of the Moon, announced that it will pursue NASA’s offer to buy up to $10 million in data from a commercial lunar lander mission. The space agency announced its Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) program today with a total budget of $30 million.

The company’s first expedition will revisit Apollo 11 in December 2012 to claim a trifecta: up to $10 million in NASA data purchases, up to $24 million in the Google Lunar X Prize, and Florida’s $2 million bonus for launching from that state. The mission will connect the Internet to the Moon, deliver HD video in 3D, carry payloads and convey the experience to the world……

New Ways to Explore Space

Filed under: Future of Space Exploration,Ralph Buttigieg — ralphbuttigieg @ 12:47 am

Does exploring space really require big expensive space probes? Maybe not any more. Consider:

Nanosatellites. Small satellites between 1-10 kilograms. 

Solar Sails like the Japanese IKAROS

Inexpensive nanosat launchers.

Put all of it together and robotic space exploration becomes possible for small nations and organizations.

May 1, 2010

Exodus Earth – Exoplanet

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer in final installment of the exciting documentary series Exodus Earth. Today we join Dr. Singer exploring the possibility of mounting an interstellar voyage to the exoplanet Gliese 581c and establishing a permanent human colony there in the next century.

What kind of propulsion system would be needed to accomplish such a voyage? Basil must investigate extreme propulsion methods, including solar sails and nuclear bombs. And, what can we say about the mission’s destination?

Gliese 581c is an extrasolar planet orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581. It is the third planet orbiting this star. With a mass at least 5.36 times that of the Earth, it is classified as a super-Earth, a category which incorporates planets exceeding the mass of Earth but smaller than 10 Earth masses.

Gliese 581c initially generated interest because it was originally reported to be the first potentially Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of its star, with a temperature right for liquid water on its surface, and by extension, potentially capable of supporting extremophile forms of Earth-like life. However, further research on the potential effects of the planetary atmosphere casts doubt upon the habitability of Gliese 581c and indicates that the fourth planet in the system, Gliese 581 d, is a better candidate for habitability and possible colonization.

However this is based on scant observational evidence. One day we may find a more promising contender for our future aspirations. The prospects may vastly improve when the Kepler space telescope completes its survey and with the next generation space based advanced astronomical observatories such as NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder, the James Webb Space Telescope and their successors.

Exodus Earth – Exoplanet

April 27, 2010

Exodus Earth – Mercury

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer in exploring the potential, challenges and hazards of establishing a human outpost on Mercury, the most extreme planet in the solar system. It is deadly hot on one side, but fatally cold on the other. Yet in craters near the pole Basil finds water, and conditions that might make Mercury home.

Exodus Earth – Mercury

April 19, 2010

Exodus Earth – Callisto

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer in exploring the potential, challenges and hazards of establishing a human outpost in the Jovian system on the moon Callisto.

Callisto is one of the Galilean moons discovered by Galileo in January 1610 along with three other large Jovian moons—Ganymede, Io, and Europa.

Callisto is the third-largest moon in the Solar System and the second largest in the Jovian system, after Ganymede. Callisto has about 99% the diameter of the planet Mercury but only about a third of its mass. It is the fourth Galilean moon of Jupiter by distance, with an orbital radius of about 1,880,000 km.

Callisto is composed of approximately equal amounts of rock and ices, with a mean density of about 1.83 g/cm3. Compounds detected spectroscopically on the surface include water ice, carbon dioxide, silicates, and organic compounds. Investigation by the Galileo spacecraft revealed that Callisto may have a small silicate core and possibly a subsurface ocean of liquid water at depths greater than 100 km. Thus, like Jupiter’s moons Europa and Ganymede, Callisto may prove to be another abode for life in the solar system.

Potential for Colonization and NASA’s Human Outer Planets Exploration (HOPE)

In the late 1970s when the British Interplanetary Society conducted its landmark unmanned starship study Project Daedalus, Jupiter’s moon Callisto was considered the most likely location for the centre of operations during the construction phase of starship Daedalus. Callisto was chosen because unlike Europe and the other other Galilean satellites it is not subjected to a huge flux of radiation due to Jupiter’s extensive magnetic field.

In 2003 NASA conducted a conceptual study called Human Outer Planets Exploration (HOPE) regarding the future human exploration of the outer solar system. The target chosen to consider in detail was Callisto.

It was proposed that it could be possible to build a surface base on Callisto that would produce fuel for further exploration of the Solar System. Advantages of a base on this moon include the low radiation (due to Callisto’s distance from Jupiter) and geological stability. It could facilitate remote exploration of Europa, or be an ideal location for a Jovian system way station servicing spacecraft heading farther into the outer Solar System, using a gravity assist from a close flyby of Jupiter after departing Callisto.

In a December 2003 report, NASA expressed belief that an attempt for a manned mission to Callisto may be possible in the 2040s.

Exodus Earth – Callisto

April 13, 2010

Exodus Earth – Mars

Mars is a world that holds a special mystique for humanity. We have been held under its captive spell for over a century. It is the one world where humanity expected to find life and sentience beyond the Earth. And, in the minds of many space visionaries today, Mars is the one world most likely to sever as a secondary planetary abode for terrestrial life and consciousness.

The colonization of Mars has been the topic of both romantic speculation and serious scientific study before the dawn of the Space Age. But, it has only been during the past forty years, beginning with observations of Mariner 9 and culminating with recent space missions of Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, that we can now assess the full resource potential of this world.

The surface conditions and availability of water on Mars make it arguably the most hospitable planet in the solar system other than Earth. While the Moon has been proposed as the first location for human colonization, unlike Earth’s moon Mars has an atmosphere thus giving it the potential capacity to host human and other organic life.

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer in exploring the potential, challenges and hazards facing humans as we try to make Mars humanity’s second planetary home. And, while we are many years away from being able to send people to Mars, some scientists and pioneering individuals are already practicing for the trip.

Exodus Earth – Mars

April 7, 2010

Exodus Earth – Venus

Venus is a hellish planet and within our solar system the world that is most reminiscent of Dante’s vision of Inferno. Today with our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer we explore the possibility of colonizing Venus.

Venus is perhaps the most difficult planet in the solar system that we could possibly colonize. Yet, the colonization of Venus has been a subject of much speculation and many works of science fiction since before the dawn of spaceflight, and is still much discussed. Are floating cloud cities hovering over Venus’ hellish surface in our future?

Exodus Earth – Venus

April 5, 2010

Exodus Earth – Titan

Today on Discovery Enterprise we begin a brand new series of exciting documentaries entitled “Exodus Earth” hosted by British physicist Dr. Basil Singer. In this series Dr. Singer explores one very important question – If Earth became uninhabitable, where would humans live?

With Dr. Basil Singer we explore the question does humanity have a future in the Cosmos beyond its planetary home the Earth. In Exodus Earth, the six-part series we investigate if humans could possibly call Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn’s moon Titan, and Jupiter’s moons Callisto and Gliese 581c home in the future.

In the name of science, Dr. Singer subjects himself to extreme temperatures; tests new survival technologies designed to keep humans alive in harsh environments; suffers the rigors of travel in zero gravity; explores ideas for new human habitats in the sky; and more.

Exodus Earth – Titan

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