via crookedindifference:In 1996, scientists took a huge risk when they pointed the Hubble telescope to an inky field that they believed to be void of stars and planets. As images from Hubble are in constant demand, the worry was that devoting so much time to a black space would prove futile. Once the photons finally registered, though, that leap of faith proved fruitful: light from over three thousand galaxies illuminated the image. A few years and missions later, Hubble’s glimpse into what is known as the deep field has revealed that we are just one tiny part of a vast system comprising 100 billion galaxies.
There are moments and experiences that you remember forever. They are signposts that paint a new road ahead of us, and tweak our rear-view mirror so that we may never see the past the same way again. Our lives are full of them: First loves, births, deaths, that one best meal.
Experiencing the Hubble Ultra Deep Field is one of those moments. Take a sec and truly internalize what you’re seeing. When you stare into an empty piece of the universe and find it overflowing with galaxies just like our own, and not like our own at all, stretching to the beginning of time itself … if you are alive in the least bit, you are forever changed.
We are time travelers all.
Private spaceflight company SpaceX caused quite a stir when they tested out their experimental reusable rocket in Texas. Nicknamed Grasshopper, the rocket is able to go into hover mode, move sideways, and return back to its launchpad.
It turns out, cows aren’t that impressed with space exploration as they run in front of the camera as Grasshopper ascends.
Ed note: Check out our article on Elon Musk, CEO and chief designer of SpaceX and winner of our American Ingenuity Award last year.
A coterie of aspiring Martians will descend on Washington, D.C. on Saturday (Aug. 3) for the first Million Martian Meeting.
The group consists of applicants for the Mars One mission, a one-way trip to establish a colony on Mars. The meeting will feature talks by Mars Society president and founder Robert Zubrin, Mars One CEO and co-founder Bas Lansdorp, and five Mars One applicants.
Lansdorp announced plans for the Mars One mission in May 2012. The nonprofit Mars One Foundation, based in The Netherlands, plans to land humans on Mars in 2023. Teams of four people will be launched to the Red Planet every two years, and anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to apply.
As of May 7, about 78,000 people had applied for the one-way trip.
The applicants’ Facebook group, the Aspiring Martians Group, is organizing Saturday’s meeting. After an opening address, Zubrin will address the group via Skype, followed by a guest speaker. Then there will be a screening of the film “One Way Astronaut," an independent documentary about Mars One applicants. Later, five applicants will make presentations, and Lansdorp will give a talk to conclude the event.
Mars One plans to launch and land an unmanned supply mission to the Red Planet in 2016, carrying 5,00 pounds of food and other equipment. An exploration rover is slated to follow in 2018 to scout out the best spot for a human colony. In 2021, the organization plans to install a Mars base consisting of two living units, two life-support units, a second supply unit and two rovers. The first crew of four is slated to launch in September 2022, and scheduled to set foot on Mars in 2023.
Mars One estimates the cost of landing the first four settlers will be about $6 billion. It plans to fund most of this by selling advertising for a reality TV program that would document the mission’s progress, from astronaut selection through the settlers’ first few years on Mars.
Habitat Images: Depicts the interior of a Mars One habitat as envisioned by its designers. Credit: Mars One / Bryan Versteeg
I can’t think of a more suitable time (there will be many more) to refresh our minds with what has been possible for a very long time, and why it’s imperative that we open the space frontier beyond NASA’s
limitationscapabilities. Want a thorough refresher course for the significance of Mars, colonization and space exploration? Watch The Mars Underground. You can view the trailer HERE.
“Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring—not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive… If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.”
― Carl Sagan
“The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date. For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight. Today’s supersonic success opens the way for a rapid expansion of the spaceship’s powered flight envelope, with a very realistic goal of full space flight by the year’s end. We saw history in the making today and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved.”
- Richard Branson
To make discoveries, you have to be curious about why the universe is the way it is.
Isaac Asimov on curiosity, taking risk and the value of space exploration – priceless 1983 Muppets Magazine interview
A press release indicated that a new organization, Inspiration Mars Foundation, led by the first private space traveler, Dennis Tito, would make a major announcement, February 27th concerning a 501 day mission to Mars. http://spaceref.com/mars/the-first-human-mission-to-mars-in-2018.html
NASA’s Kepler mission confirmed the discovery of its first rocky planet, named Kepler-10b. Measuring 1.4 times the size of Earth, it is the smallest planet ever discovered outside our solar system.
Acqua Alta Floods Venice
Spotlight See more photos of the flooding of San Marco Square by visiting the Piazza San Marco location page.
In many parts of Venice, Italy, including the famous San Marco Square, tourists and Venetians are being forced to wade through knee-high waters.
Flooding is common in November and December, the most active months for high water. Today’s level reached a peak of 55 inches (140 centimeters), but was below the 63 inches (160 centimeters) recorded four years ago in the worst flooding in decades. Sea bed barriers that would help to protect Venice from high tides have been in the works for years but will not be operational until 2014.