12.19.2012

December 20, 2012: This Week's Alien and Space News


By on 11:35 PM

The Kind of Unsurpassable Barrier of Gravity: This isn’t a new idea. Gravity has had a lot to do with terrestrial evolution – and, should it exist, extra-terrestrial evolution, most likely – in ways that we can’t even begin to predict until we send things away from gravity. The most obvious has always been spinal and muscular degeneration, and even issues of sex and reproduction in space have been featured in quite a few internet articles and discussions. Plants, too, suffer from a lack of gravity when tossed into space, and have problems getting sufficient oxygen or dealing with too much water. But a botany professor from Wisconsin-Madison is going to send mouse-eared cress to the ISS in March and see what happens to it. It’ll be one of the first of many steps in getting us ready for potential life in space.

Space Is Good for Business: Spin-off technology is the back-up benefit for any space travel advocate facing an unmoved audience, and it’s a good one. There’s not much that was discovered or created during the race to the moon that didn’t make its way into the commercial sector in innovative and life-saving ways. Fortunately, that trend didn’t stop just because people stopped going to the moon. Layered Composite Insulation (LCI) and a foam-aerogel called Aerofoam have a history in space shuttles and other NASA launch vehicles and they have a probable future in hydrogen cars, military transportation, food storage, and even cryogenic piping. This article discusses both the various uses these insulators have in the commercial market and a focus on the business side of bits of space technology, which is a good thing for people to focus on. As scientists move toward new frontiers and old frontiers become commercial territory, it’s nice to see that there is considerable, and fairly benevolent, commercial interest.

Space Tourism Really Is in the Works: Space tourism has always seemed a bit glorious and Hollywood-esque, for all that it’s completely awesome. The derivative minutiae, on the other hand, makes the idea more real (and still awesome). This article discusses what criteria doctors should use to judge whether their patients are healthy enough to venture to space. Space, after all, is still incredibly dangerous, and not all would-be tourists will be as fit as typical astronauts. But even the fact that this area of focus is even in demand bodes well for the emergence of space tourism – we just can’t screw it up by having people die and giving it a bad name.

Friendly Earth-Orbiting Spidernaut, Dead of Natural Causes: A red-back jumping spider was sent to the ISS as part of the high school YouTube contest from quite a few months ago. This spider, called Neferiti and later Spidernaut, lived above our heads for a while in microgravity and then returned – and adjusted to – Earth at the end of last month. Space doesn’t appear to be the thing that killed her: she ate and behaved in space just as she did on Earth both before and after her trip, which points favorably toward terrestrial life being able to survive in space. However, all scientific benefits aside, we can not escape the horrible precedent of space spiders we’ve created. 

Go to the Moon for a Cool $1.5 Billion: Feel free to whistle at that price tag at any time. It might be the moon, but that’s still five zeroes too big for even a house. Of course, this price isn’t too far off the mark for what NASA or the ESA might need for their own space missions so we can’t be too outraged. There are going to be a whole lot of start-up costs involved in the world’s first forays into space tourism, and it’s not surprising that those factors will put it out of most of our budgets. However, the company offering these rides to the moon is supposed to start fulfilling their promise in 2020, so maybe some of us will live to see it become more reasonably affordable.

Want to share all the good news? Please be sure to recommend this post on StumbleUpon – all it takes is a click! 

Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably be considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.

About Syed Faizan Ali

Faizan is a 17 year old young guy who is blessed with the art of Blogging,He love to Blog day in and day out,He is a Website Designer and a Certified Graphics Designer.

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