Above & Beyond Our Pale Blue DotPosted: May 3, 2012
“That pale blue dot? That’s us. On it, everyone one you love, everyone you know, anyone you ever heard of” – Carl Sagan. This is our planet, our “pale blue dot”, but what’s around it? How do we find out? Support the pursuit of knowledge. Step into the beyond, the unknown. Look up at the sky in wonder not fear. The beauty of this universe is vast.
What are black holes comprised of? What are asteroids made of? How are planets created? Is there life on other planets? How can we travel to those planets? Continue to ask questions. You might think you know, but the facts of today could be stone age theories in a thousand years. How can we advance if we don’t ask questions?
A group of billionaires and former NASA scientists is now unveiling the first asteroid mining company in history. They claim they will “add trillions of dollars to the global GDP” and “help ensure humanity’s prosperity” by mining asteroids for rare metals like gold and platinum. Their objective is to “harness resources from passing-by asteroids”. And they claim they are going to launch their first space prospecting ships within 24 months!
read more at: http://gizmodo.com
Later, Neil deGrasse Tyson confirmed in an interview that the asteroid mining is not only possible, but will actually be happening.
To get a spacecraft to the planets in a reasonable period of time (a few years, say) they have to go fast, very fast. It would take an incredible amount of fuel to accelerate spacecraft to the high speeds required so, instead, a technique called a “gravity assist” — or “gravitational slingshot” — is used. It’s a pretty nifty idea where a spacecraft flies close to a planet or other body en route to its final destination. By flying close to another planet, the planet’s gravity accelerates the spacecraft, changing its velocity by at least twice the orbital velocity of the planet without burning any additional fuel. While this is a beautiful solution to the problem it does mean that not only do we have to work out where the target planet will have moved to but also calculate any planetary way-points en route and where they will be!
read more at: http://news.discovery.com
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Every day doesn’t have to be the useless grind of employment. Think. What do you want to know? I want to think about the world around me. I want to be challenged by my beliefs. I want to know what greater knowledge the universe holds. I want to go to space. How would I get there? I Don’t think out of the box. I think out of this world, not to escape, but to explore. Which I feel is an important distinction. Don’t establish an opinion based on nothing. Find out more about the discoveries we are making about our universe.
Special thanks to Brian Cleary.