Random Thoughts On Space

As usual I am going to post on space news for it gets so little coverage in the Age Of Trump when we go from one crisis to another.

For decades we have been on the hunt for our ET brethren out there…SETI….other tries to find our relatives (according to some)…..but instead of finding the perfect planet for life as we know it maybe we should look elsewhere as well…..

Assuming that alien life will be similar to what evolved here on Earth could severely limit the potential for big discoveries, researchers said. 

On Friday (Aug. 2) at the first annual TESS Science Conference here at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a panel of scientists  discussed what’s next in the search for signs of life on other worlds — and just how close we might be to finding such signs. (TESS is NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which just marked one year of planet hunting in Earth orbit.) 

https://www.space.com/alien-life-hunt-not-limited-earth-like-life.html

After reading that….I saw that a “super Earth” has been found…..

What was once considered pure fantasy in movies like “Avatar,” is now looking a little more plausible. Earlier this week, NASA announced the discovery of a possible Earth-like planet, located just 31 light years away – a hop, skip and a jump in cosmic terms – that may be able to support life.

“I think it’s an amazing discovery,” Lisa Kaltenegger, from the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell, said. “We have a small mission called ‘Tess’ that’s scanning the whole sky, where the brightest and closest objects are, to find planets like ours and this is the first one.”

The planet named GJ 357 d, is six times larger than Earth. It orbits a dwarf star with two other previously unknown planets.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/planet-gj357-d-potentially-habitable-super-earth-discovered/

It appears that NASA is finally getting serious about a trip and colonization of Mars…..the biggest problem other than the trip there is the habitat that will be needed to house our colonists……

If humans hope to colonize Mars someday, we’ll need to figure how to survive and grow crops on a large scale in an inhospitable environment. A new study in Nature Astronomy suggests a potential part of the solution: Build greenhouses and other structures out of an extremely light insulating material called aerogel, per NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This material, made mostly of silica and similar to Styrofoam, is nicknamed “frozen smoke” for its appearance, notes CNET. In their study, researchers mimicked the environment on Mars to show that the aerogel structures would allow in light for photosynthesis but block harmful UV radiation, all while raising temperatures beneath them to levels that would melt frozen water beneath the surface.

That, crucially, would allow habitats to be built in wide swaths of otherwise inhabitable parts of the planet. “Mars is warmer around the equator, but most of the water ice is located at higher latitudes,” says co-author Laura Kerber of NASA. “Building with silica aerogel would allow us to artificially create warm environments where there is already water ice available.” The next step is to test the concept on a larger scale in areas such as the Atacama Desert in South America and the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, reports Wired. “This regional approach to making Mars habitable is much more achievable than global atmospheric modification,” says researcher Robin Wordsworth. “Unlike the previous ideas to make Mars habitable, this is something that can be developed and tested systematically with materials and technology we already have.”

But before we build habitats……Nukes the planet…..Mars that is…

This is a private businessman that wants to nuke Mars to make it ready for humans…..Elon Musk…..

Musk believes that by hitting Mars with nuclear weapons, the planet’s polar ice caps could melt and release vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which would essentially create a greenhouse effect that raises the temperature and air pressure of the planet — like a really quick version of climate change.

Musk has shared this opinion for years, dating back to interviews with the billionaire from 2015. He even went on Stephen Colbert’s late-night talk show to discuss his idea of bombing Mars

https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-wants-to-nuke-mars-plans-t-shirts-2019-8

He should check the Outer Space Treaty before he goes off half cocked (pun intended)…..

Finally I have been a critic of Trump’s proposal for a Space Force…..but apparently some in the EU do not want to be upstaged by Trump…..

Emmanuel Macron’s race into space makes Germans nervous.

The French government is poised to lay out details on Thursday of a plan to staff up a “space high command” in Toulouse, as it expands the remit of its air force to cover orbital defense and ward off potential threats to infrastructure in space from big powers including China, Russia and India.

https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-wary-emmanuel-macron-space-force/

Now you can see why I am concerned about these space force units….they will violate treaties signed in the 1960s….let me help…..https://2009-2017.state.gov/t/isn/5181.htm

Please read the treaty and tell me that we are NOT violating it….but in case there is any confusion…..

The treaty’s key arms control provisions are in Article IV. States-parties commit not to:

  • Place in orbit around the Earth or other celestial bodies any nuclear weapons or objects carrying WMD.
  • Install WMD on celestial bodies or station WMD in outer space in any other manner.
  • Establish military bases or installations, test “any type of weapons,” or conduct military exercises on the moon and other celestial bodies.

When I post on the space stuff I reference the Outer Space Treaty a lot…..so I feel I need to dedicate a post to this document so my readers can better understand where I come from….Date TBA…..

But if space is not your thing….12,000 lies, many many golf trips costing millions each and but Obama was ruining the country…..missiles in the Sea of Japan…..Afghans walk…..playing tanker bingo……255 mass shootings in 2019……the race is on.

My day is begins.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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Space Tech

I am one of the few bloggers that are watching the region we call space for I believe it will become more important than it is today.

For over a year I have been a member of Dr. Parcak’s “Global Explorer” program…..it is taking satellite images and looking for the possibilities of archeological sites yet undiscovered…..

The human story—the story of us—is evolving at breakneck speed thanks to new technologies. Armed with new data sets, we can spin fresh tales that bring us closer to getting more right than wrong about our ancestors and ourselves.

What we can find with new technologies such as satellite imagery is simply astounding. It is helping us rewrite history. We’ve gone from mapping a few dozen ancient sites in one summer-long archaeological season to mapping hundreds, if not thousands, of sites in weeks. With advances in computing and artificial intelligence, we are on the verge of achieving those same results in a few hours.

In case you want to be an archaeologist and are worried that we space archaeologists will find everything first, fear not. Knowing the location of an ancient site is only the first step. We still have to survey sites on the ground, a process known as ground-truthing, and then undertake years of excavation to get a better understanding of what is there. And wow, do we have a lot of work to do.

How Space Technology is Revolutionizing Archaeology

That’s the premise that has guided Sarah Parcak in her career as an archaeologist who relies on remote sensing data gathered by airplanes, satellites and unpiloted drones. Observations from these systems can help scientists tap into visual cues that are invisible on the ground — and in turn, find long-lost traces of humans who lived millennia before we took to the skies

https://www.space.com/archaeology-from-space-sarah-parcak-book.html

Dr. Parcak is making history with her research in space tech…..

For almost 20 years, Sarah Parcak, professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, has combed through satellite images of Egypt and the Middle East to find clues to ancient landscapes.

Parcak’s resume is impressive. She won the $1 million 2016 TED prize, has written a seminal textbook on satellite archaeology, as well as numerous other scholarly publications on the topic.

https://www.natureasia.com/en/nmiddleeast/article/10.1038/nmiddleeast.2017.132

That is my day on this Sunday…looking for sites yet undiscovered.

What does your day hold?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

“et calamum quad lingua autem animi”  (The pen is the tongue of the mind…..or something like that)

Stuff For A Saturday

I have a wealth of thoughts I want to get out there……but time keeps sneaking up on me and events are spiraling…..

A few things that piss me off…..it is the Sahara not the Sahara Desert….for the word Sahara means desert…I hate redundancies

I like BBQ once in awhile…..I use the sauce for a dunking sauce for grilled meat and this one is pretty good in my opinion (no compensation involved)…..

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But I hate a con job…..the label says made with Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey…..but look at the back side of the same bottle…..

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NON-ALCOHOLIC….artificial whiskey flavor…..what part of that is made with Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey?

Can I sue?

Next, Hummus is an Arabic word meaning chick pea…..so there is no red pepper hummus if it is made from anything other than chick peas then it is a freakin’ dip.

Finally those people that equate prawns with shrimp…STOP IT! They are not the same! Prawns live in freshwater and shrimp in salt…,so stop calling large shrimp prawns…that is fake news.

I will stop the bitching and get to it……

There is research that is saying that the mind drugs from the 60s may well be beneficial for such ailments as PTSD, etc…..I tried to keep my readers informed about this research…..

https://lobotero.com/2019/02/02/freaky-saturday-02feb19/

https://lobotero.com/2019/02/23/freaky-saturday-2019-part-2/

The research continues and the results seem to be promising…..

Scientists are testing the impact on brain function of small regular doses of LSD in what they say is a “renaissance” for psychedelic drugs.

In one of the first studies of its kind, Dutch researchers are testing whether ‘microdosing’ with the illegal drug enhances mental performance and mood.

Significantly, the doses are too low to induce hallucinations.

They hope their research could ultimately lead to new, more effective treatments for depression, anxiety and even chronic pain.

https://news.sky.com/story/therapeutic-value-of-psychedelic-drugs-examined-11777072

Speaking of brain control or is it mind control?

Beware of your mobile phone….say what?

In a new study, researchers have invented a device that can control neural circuits using a tiny brain implant controlled by a smartphone.

The finding can speed up efforts to treat brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression, and pain.

The research was conducted by a team in Korea and the United States.

The device uses Lego-like replaceable drug cartridges and powerful Bluetooth low-energy to target specific neurons in the brain.

The wireless neural device enables chronic chemical and optical neuromodulation that has never been achieved before.

Scientists can use smartphone to manipulate your brain

Get off that phone and read a book or talk wigth your kids.

So much for my random thoughts for the day and my small bitches that I feel I must air.

Peace Out!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Kill Or Be Killed!

For decades we have been sending messages into space and hopefully watch for some reply…..so far little has returned.

First ever considered that those aliens out there may not want to talk to us or even acknowledge our existence?

But that aside….say we get a message in return saying “We are on our way”…..what then?

There have been many many movies that deal with this conundrum….one of my favorites was a Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”…..

If and when they, ET, shows up will we have to fight? (As most SciFi movies would have us believe)

Or will we treat them as we treat most animals?

Scientists often kill animals — that’s just a grisly fact of biological research.

But it’s a bit more complicated in the theoretical future where we’ve made first contact with extraterrestrial life. At that point, science author Guy Harrison argues in a Psychology Today op-ed that biologists may have to come to terms with killing alien life in the name of scientific progress — which raises a difficult question: at what point does scientific inquiry outweigh the value of life?

Harrison suggests guidelines that future biologists may find helpful. For instance, any extraterrestrial life that shows signs of intelligence ought to be spared. In that case, we may be able to learn about the alien lifeform by using our words instead of our scalpels.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/kill-aliens-science

Could we be the lower form of life?

The larger questions of science……and now I leave them for “experts” to answer….if they can.

But the old professor will try……

When considering the prospect of alien life, humankind should prepare for the worst, according to a new study: Either we’re alone, or any aliens out there are acquisitive and resource-hungry, just like us.

These two unpalatable options are pretty much the only possibilities, according to the new study. That’s because evolution is predictable, and alien biospheres should thus produce intelligent creatures much like us, with technological prowess and an ever-increasing need for resources.

But the fact that we haven’t run across E.T. yet argues strongly for the latter possibility — that we are alone in the universe’s howling void, the study suggests.

https://www.space.com/10578-study-fear-aliens-dangerous-extraterrestrials.html

Can we possibly predict the temperament of our alien pals?

Possibly…..

Given the current state of our home planet, and indeed our species, it can seem a bit surplus to needs to speculate on whether extraterrestrials are going to one day come and eat us (or, well, you know, do anything equally unpleasant).

Nonetheless, the question of whether there’s anyone or anything ‘out there’ that might ever show up to cause trouble does seem to come around again, and again, and again. For example, it’s become a bit of a perennial topic for Stephen Hawking to mention, and he’s not alone among serious scientists in speculating on the outcome of any such encounter.

As with any effort to decode the likely thought processes or intents of entirely hypothetical lifeforms, the options are – shall we say – fairly loosely constrained. 

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/how-to-predict-a-hostile-alien-invasion/

I still like the Twilight Zone episode the best…….maybe with some roasted asparagus and a nice Bordeaux.

Any thoughts on this or anything else…maybe the failing dam in the UK?

More later.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Do Laws Apply In Space?

I have watched His Majesty Trump turn everything he touches into a steam pile of manure…..and he has his watery eyes turned to Space.

We Americans pride ourselves to be a nation of laws and we abide by those laws and it is what keeps our nation great among nations….well that was true until the election of 2016.

The new field of law will be that of the issues and situations in space.

I have been writing about space for awhile now (I seem to be the only one that cares enough to post) with the push for a new space force and the mining possibilities in space will give an usual chance for clarity for right now there is very little of that.

The Law and Order (the reality not some idea for a new TV show) is what is interesting and I wrote about it on several occasions…..https://lobotero.com/2019/04/12/space-law/ and again……

The first thing that may violate laws and treaties……

The Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit wants options for an unmanned orbital outpost to support space experiments and operations — a logistics hub that might even grow, DIU’s solicitation suggests, to a larger manned space station.

Pentagon Eyes Military Space Station

Then I read another space story that again made me think of existing laws and treaties……

16 Psyche is composed of iron, nickel, gold and platinum, the only asteroid we know of that is 95% or more metal. Scientists believe that the asteroid had a rocky surface at one time, but lost it due to several violent collisions billions of years ago.

The potato-shaped asteroid is estimated to have a value of $10,000 quadrillion. That’s enough staggering wealth to hypothetically make every single on Earth a billionaire.

A 2018 report said the value of 16 Psyche was $15 quintillion, while another source said the asteroid could be worth an unbelievable $700 quintillion, enough to give every human being on Earth about $92 billion each. What is NASA waiting for?

NASA Mission To Explore Solid Metal Asteroid That Is So Valuable It Could Make Everyone On Earth A Billionaire

Now to make clear the US among others signed a treaty called the “Principles and Actions Governing the Exploration and Use of Outer Space”…..read it for yourself (Hahaha like anyone would take the time…I am so cute thinking they would)……https://2009-2017.state.gov/t/isn/5181.htm

Or the UN treaty……https://www.ifrc.org/docs/idrl/I515EN.pdf

Let us not forget what Obama did as president……

On November 25, 2015, President Obama signed into law the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2262). This Act encompasses four titles: I. Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (acronym: SPACE), II. Commercial Remote Sensing, III. Office of Space Commerce and IV. Space Resource Exploration and Utilization.

https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2015/11/frans-vonderdunk-space-launch/

Or more news……https://www.space.com/33440-space-law.html

Read the bill that made the Act possible……https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-114hr2262enr/pdf/BILLS-114hr2262enr.pdf

Since we live in this instant gratification and have lost the ability to read I have included some videos which simpler minds will appreciate (if they get this far into this post)…….

Plus a little more…..

The Market forces will determine the need and the supply……

There is so much more to this situation than anyone wants to admit…..exploitative forces will be at work if they already are not.,,,,someone needs to keep an eye on the legality…..of the Space Force of the commercial ideas for space and the arming of space junk.

That someone might as well be me!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

That Saturday News

It was usually cool for late July in the Deep South but that has been replaced with the more traditional heat and humidity.

Saturday is the day when I give news that is news that NO one hears or sees or reads and most importantly no one cares……this Saturday it is more Space News…..

Since we just celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the Moon Landing I have more news of Apollo 11…….

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on Earth’s moon for the first time in human history. Four days later, they — along with Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins — were locked up on an American battleship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The triumphant astronauts were in quarantine. Per a NASA safety protocol written half a decade earlier, the three lunar visitors were escorted directly from their splashdown site in the central Pacific to a modified trailer aboard the USS Hornet, where a 21-day isolation period began. The objective? To ensure that no potentially hazardous lunar microbes hitchhiked back to Earth with them. [5 Strange, Cool Things We’ve Recently Learned About the Moon]

Of course, as NASA quickly confirmed, there were no tiny aliens lurking in the astronauts’ armpits or in the 50 pounds (22 kilograms) of lunar rocks and soil they had collected. But despite this absence of literal extraterrestrial life, the Apollo 11 astronauts still may have succeeded in bringing aliens back to Earth in another way that can still be felt 50 years later.

https://www.space.com/moon-brought-aliens-to-earth.html

Will children born in space actually be human or not?

The first step to human colonization of the universe is fairly straightforward: we need to figure out how to get people to Mars and beyond.

But evolutionary biologist Scott Solomon isn’t terribly concerned with how humans plan to explore the universe. Instead, he’s focused his attention on what might happen to our species once we settle into our off-world homes. His surprising conclusion: future human colonists might not be humans at all.

“Eventually,” he recently told Business Insider, “people living in space could evolve to be different enough from people on Earth that we would consider them to be different species.”

https://futurism.com/the-byte/biologist-space-birth-babies-not-human

Word is that the Earth is littered with small cones from space…..to what end?  (A Doctor Who episode comes to life?)

Earth is littered with cones from space, and it’s our planet’s own fault.

Most meteorites found on Earth are just randomly shaped blobs. But a surprisingly high number of them, about 25%, are cone-shaped when you fit all their pieces back together. Scientists call these conical space-stones “oriented meteorites.” And now, thanks to a pair of experiments published online today (July 22) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), we know why: The atmosphere is carving the rocks into more aerodynamic shapes as they fall to Earth.

https://www.space.com/space-cones.html

The small IST news round-up is finished and now it is time for MoMo to have that bath….not her favorite thing to do.

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Have a great day and enjoy your weekend.

Saturday Thought–20Jul19

We are about to celebrate 50 years since our historic moon landing in 1969.

Us old farts can remember where we were when the news broke….I was on R&R from Vietnam in a bath house in Bangkok waiting for my happy ending.

Let’s look back……

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1930-) became the first humans ever to land on the moon. About six-and-a-half hours later, Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. As he set took his first step, Armstrong famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy (1917-63) announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972.

https://www.history.com/topics/space-exploration/moon-landing-1969

This was exciting news when it was taking place….and years afterwards there has been a conspiracy grown up around the achievement…..our “One Giant Step” thing was not so notable….I am talking about the Moon Landing Hoax….

Despite the extraordinary volume of evidence (including 382kg of moon rock collected across six missions; corroboration from Russia, Japan and China; and images from the Nasa Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the tracks made by the astronauts in the moondust), belief in the moon-hoax conspiracy has blossomed since 1969. Among 9/11 truthers, anti-vaxxers, chemtrailers, flat-Earthers, Holocaust deniers and Sandy Hook conspiracists, the idea that the moon landings were faked isn’t even a source of anger any more – it is just a given fact.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jul/10/one-giant-lie-why-so-many-people-still-think-the-moon-landings-were-faked

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”