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REALSPACE: Terraforming is not an option

Kevin Long's picture

Today I'm going to talk about why Terraforming is not an option. Terraforming, of course, is the process of changing a planet into an earthlike one that can support an ecosystem and human life just like earth can. This is often put forward as the goal of space colonization, most frequently with regard to the planet Mars.

 

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EPISODE REVIEW: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey: “Some of the Things That Molecules Do” (Episode 2)

Kevin Long's picture

Last week I mostly bitched and moaned about how the Cosmos of 2014 wasn’t as good as the Cosmos of 1980. I expressed my disappointment at the music, the pacing, the lame design of the “Spaceship of the Imagination,” and the general lack of wonder and awe.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Cosmos – A Spacetime Odyssey: “Standing up in the Milky Way” (Episode 1)

Kevin Long's picture

Thanks to Ganesha, I became aware that a sequel to Carl Sagan’s seminal “Cosmos” was going to premier last night (Sunday), on Fox of all places. My first impression was, “What, has Seth McFarlane run out of off-color gags?” But, no, that'll never happen. Seth is actually one of the producers of this, oddly enough. Also, Brannon Braga, “The Man Who Killed Star Trek,” is a producer. Disconcerting. On the other hand, it starred Neil DeGrasse-Tyson as our host/narrator, so, you know, not entirely without promise.

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REALSPACE: Virgn Galactic SpaceShipTwo Flies Again

Republibot 4.0's picture

Boy, I'd love to be Sir Richard Branson. First you make a mint on a record store, then you make another mint on an airline, and now you're playing with civilian space ships. How cool is that? And I'm not even factoring in the way he looks like a jolly lion and has a personality the size of Antarctica. This guy is my hero--!

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo successfully made another test flight over the Mojave Desert on Thursday, and Sir Richard is promising to start taking paying passengers aloft for two hour suborbital flights sometime in 2014.

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EFFORTLESSLY INTERESTING: I doubt it'll ever fly, but this is what the Orion will be doing if it does

Republibot 3.0's picture

Welcome to "Effortlessly Interesting," our low-impact feature that we throw up to fill space when there's something kinda' snazzy out there that's worth sharing, but at the same time we're not really invested in it.

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REALSPACE: That Brilliant Starship Engine All You Scientists Have Been Yammering About For 50 Years? Um, yeah...about that....

Republibot 3.0's picture

What with this being a science fiction website, and what with the embarrassingly poor science education afforded people in our country, it's easy to overlook the fact that a few starships have *actually* been designed. Nothing's built, obviously - NASA can't even be bothered to put people in space anymore, so good luck with that whole "Alpha Centauri" thing - but there have been several concepts developed to a greater or lesser extent.

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REALSPACE: Just a little blurb on Asteroid Mining

Republibot 3.0's picture

Asteroid mining is one of those things that comes into and goes out of fashion regularly and quickly. Here's a little blurb from Wired about its economic viability, and it plays in with my ongoing rant about how Space should be a commercial concern first, and a scientific one second. Worth a look-see if you've never thought about this, then come back here and we'll chat.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/04/planetary-resources-asteroid-m...

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