Monday, 16 April 2012

NESTA Predictions for the next 10 Years

Really like this < a href="">NESTA post where seven leading scientists predict what we will achieve in the next ten (NOTE: TEN) years. In summary:

1. We will finally set foot on Mars >> very unlikely by 2022 I'd have thought, by we may see the Chinese thee by 2030 and the US by 2040

2. GPs will be able to prescribe 'cosmiceuticals' - medicine designed specifically for our genetic make-up.

3. We will save millions of lives by driving another disease into extinction.

4. We will find Earths's twin. We will discover more and more exoplanets and we will be able to find out whether they bear the signatures of life.

5. We will find life on Mars - We will send robotic probes to Mars and discover water, and new life. ->> that sounds unlikely by 2012 with funding for ExoMars being cut

6. We will discover the Higgs-Boson, the missing piece in the make-up of the known universe.

7. We are not alone - We will find out once and for all that we are not alone in the universe.

Pity though that not all the speakers in the videos didn't stick a bit closer to the 10yr brief or offer more justification for the pronouncements.

***Imported from old blog***

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Manned Space Exploration - ISECG Next Steps

The misleadingly titled "The Global Exploration Roadmap" is a nice report from the
International Space Exploration Coordination Group - a group that includes NASA, ESA and other national space agencies looking at the two possible paths to Mars, one via the Moon and one via the Near Earth Asteroids. Each route is well described, and the following graphics summarise each option:

Moon Next

Asteroid Next

Whilst emotionally I suppose I'm a Moon Firster (or even a Zubrin style Mars Firster) the NEAR case is well argued and in cash constrained times could be attractive - although its lack of real pazzazz may mean its actually a lot harder to fund. Another way of looking at it is that just as NASA is surrendering orbital space to the commercial operators perhaps it should leave cislunar space and Moonbases to them too.

***Imported from old blog***

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Robots everywhere - latest from US projects

A couple of neat videos I came across today that show just how fast robotics are evolving.

First off the formation flying insect like nano-quadrotors from the GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Here is pretty menacing formation flying mode:

And here trying to win our hearts playing the James Bond theme.

Second DARPA's BigDog support robot - looking just like a robotic mule.

At this rate I woudln't be surprised if the US Army has more robots than soldiers by 2030 - particularly if you also consider their Avatar project -

***Imported from old blog***