Life beyond us

Home » Universe

Category Archives: Universe

Win a trip too space with KLM

KLM has lanced this week’s contest “Claim your place in Space. Participants in this competition can win the ultimate prize: a trip through space. And also you can join!

Joining this contest is simple. On Monday, April 22, KLM will launch a balloon with onboard cameras and a GPS in the Nevada desert.  Once the balloon reach, it will expand and eventually pop apart. The load  in the balloon along with it, then sail to a parachute back to earth.

Win

To win you just have to predict when to balloon pops and were it will pop.

Go to klm space to make a chance!

 

 

Advertisements

The hidden planet of the Incas

Deep in the jungle and high in the mountains of Peru, live the last members of an ancient highly developed civilization. Discover the hidden planet of the Incas.

From the thirteenth century the Incas to an unprecedented expansion in the difficult terrain Andean region.

Eighty years later extended the power of the Incas themselves from the extreme south of Colombia to the northwest of Argentina and Chile, over a length of 4000 km. This was the Inca empire territorially the largest in the world.

Characteristic of the Inca Empire was the high degree of political and cultural integration. Aided by an extensive road network were the Inca rulers their empire under control. Their religion based on worship of the sun god Inti, spread throughout the empire.

The Incas had no formal writing, but through knotted ropes or messages were passed. The discovery of America by Columbus in 1492 eventually led to the fall of the empire.

 

asteroid-mining-deep-space-industriesNewly formed Deep Space Industries unveiled an ambitious plan on Tuesday to extract raw materials from nearby asteroids and turn it into fuel and spare parts for satellites.

It may sound like science fiction, but the company’s chief technology officer, John Mankins, who previously worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said there’s really nothing magical about it.

“The technology may not have been used in space for the exact purposes that we propose, but the fundamental technologies are really at hand,” Mankins said at a press conference at the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, Calif., to announce the new venture.

Interestingly, another startup, Planetary Resources, rolled out a similar business plan in April. Though the two companies may end up vying for the same customers, they are taking different paths.

Planetary Resources plans to start off building, launching and operating small telescopes in Earth orbit to scout for potential mining targets. Deep Space Industries’ idea is to use inexpensive, off-the-shelf CubeSat-based spacecraft to visit select asteroids.

The six-month “Firefly” missions, each of which would cost about $20 million, would begin in 2015, said Deep Space chief executive David Gump told Discovery News.

Those would be followed a year later by slightly larger “Dragonfly” spacecraft capable of putting themselves into orbit around a target and extracting up to about 100 pounds of material to bring back to Earth.

Gump figures money for the venture will come from space agencies, including NASA and other research institutions, as well as from companies interested in advertising, sponsorships and marketing programs.

Ultimately, Deep Space wants to extract water and other volatile materials from huge chunks of asteroids brought back to Earth orbit. The materials would be used to make fuel for communications satellites, adding another $20 million to $25 million in value to each. Gump figures a commercial refueling service should be available by 2020.

Also of value are the asteroid’s metals, which could be used in 3D space printers to manufacture solar cells and other satellite components.

The company’s founders include engineer Stephen Covey, who has a patent application pending for what he calls a “Microgravity Foundry,” — a 3D printer that uses lasers to etch patterns in a nickel-charged gas. The process deposits the metal in precise patterns, similar to how Earth-based 3D printers use nickel powder to produce components.

There should be more than enough asteroids to go around. Recent surveys, initially launched to find asteroids with the potential to hit Earth, are adding about 1,000 targets a year to the list of nearby asteroids, the vast majority of which pose no threat.

Currently there’s about 9,500 known near-Earth asteroids, about 850 of which are bigger than 1 kilometer (.62 mile).

“They are the planet-busters. If they hit the Earth there is worldwide climate disruption. They’re the sorts of things that killed off the dinosaurs,” said mining consultant Mark Sonter, a Deep Space Industries science adviser.

About 2,900 of the known asteroids are bigger than about 300 meters (984 feet) and millions in the 10-meter to 20-meter (33- to 66-foot) diameter range.

“The number of near-Earth asteroids is going up all the time. It’s going up very fast. This represents the number of our potential targets for mining or for resource recovery,” Sonter said.

NASA Beams Mona Lisa to Moon with Laser

mona-lisa-nasa-laser-520x280Call it the ultimate in high art: Using a well-timed laser, NASA scientists have beamed a picture of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, to a powerful spacecraft orbiting the moon, marking a first in laser communication.

The laser signal, fired from an installation in Maryland, beamed the Mona Lisa to the moon to be received 240,000 miles (384,400 km) away by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting the moon since 2009. The Mona Lisa transmission, NASA scientists said, is a major advance in laser communication for interplanetary spacecraft.

“This is the first time anyone has achieved one-way laser communication at planetary distances,” David Smith, a researcher working with the LRO’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter — which received the Mona Lisa message — said in a statement. “In the near future, this type of simple laser communication might serve as a backup for the radio communication that satellites use. In the more distance future, it may allow communication at higher data rates than present radio links can provide.”

The LRO spacecraft was the prime choice to test out the novel communication method because the spacecraft was already equipped with a laser receiver. While most spacecraft exploring the solar system today are tracked using radio signals, NASA is tracking LRO via lasers as well.

But the timing had to be just right.

NASA used its Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging station at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to send the Mona Lisa signal to LRO. The team divided the famous da Vinci painting into sections measuring 150 by 200 pixels and then transmitted them via the pulsing of the laser to the orbiter at a data rate of about 300 bits per second.

Once the lunar orbiter received the image, it reconstructed the photo, corrected for distortions created as the laser signal zipped through Earth’s atmosphere, and then sent the image back to Earth using its normal form of communication: radio waves.

“This pathfinding achievement sets the stage for the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration,” Richard Vondrak, another researcher with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter said, “a high data rate laser-communication-demonstrations that will be a central feature of NASA’s next moon mission, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust environment Explorer.”

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer is slated to launch toward the moon later this year and will focus on mapping the lunar atmosphere and environment.

 

Watery Science ‘Jackpot’ Discovered by Curiosity

Curiosity-Yellowknife-Bay-Sol-157_4Ca_Ken-Kremer-580x267Curiosity found widespread evidence for flowing water in the highly diverse, rocky scenery shown in this photo mosaic from the edge of Yellowknife Bay on Sol 157 (Jan 14, 2013). The rover will soon conduct 1st Martian rock drilling operation at flat, light toned rocks at the outcrop called “John Klein”, at center. ‘John Klein’ drill site and ‘Sheep Bed’ outcrop ledges to right of rover arm are filled with numerous mineral veins and spherical concretions which strongly suggest precipitation of minerals from liquid water. ‘Snake River’ rock formation is the linear chain of rocks protruding up from the Martian sand near rover wheel. Credit: NASA

The Curiosity rover hit the science “jackpot” and has discovered widespread further evidence of multiple episodes of liquid water flowing over ancient Mars billions of years ago when the planet was warmer and wetter, scientists announced. The watery evidence comes in the form of water bearing mineral veins, cross-bedded layering, nodules and spherical sedimentary concretions.

What is enlightenment?

The demons in this world are in our hearts and that is where the battle must be fought, Gandhi once said.

Enlightenment is simply a western notion that some terms are indicated. Part of it is ‘awakening’ and ‘understanding’.

In the West, the concept lighting synonymous with self-realization and true self, conceived as a substantial essence that is covered by civil and social conditioning.

In practice, there are strong similarities with Romanticism than with the Enlightenment or Age of Reason: the emphasis on feeling, on intuitive understanding and the true essence behind the world of phenomena.

In particular, DT Suzuki spoke of a timeless, transcendent reality. Further popularization of the concept was facilitated by Heinrich Dumoulin, who saw metaphysics as the expression of a transcendent truth.

The ability to awaken in every sentient being aawezig and builds on statements that consciousness or spirit of themselves pure and clean, and dirty or obscured by desires and lust. The insight into the essence of the spirit comes upon awakening emerged.

 

300-million-year-old UFO tooth-wheel found in Russian city of Vladivostok

804px-IodinecrystalsLighting the fire during a cold winter evening a resident of Vladivostok found a rail-shaped metal detail which was pressed in one of the pieces of coal that the man used to heat his home. Mesmerized by his discovery, the responsible citizen decided to seek help from the scientists of Primorye region. After the metal object was studied by the leading experts the man was shocked to learn about the assumed age of his discovery. The metal detail was supposedly 300 million years old and yet the scientists suggest that it was not created by nature but was rather manufactured by someone. The question of who might have made an aluminum gear in the dawn of time remains unanswered.

Nowadays, finding a strange artifact in coal is a relatively frequent occurrence. The first discovery of this sort was made in 1851 when the workers in one of the Massachusetts mines extracted a zinc silver-incrusted vase from a block of unmined coal which dated all the way back to the Cambrian era which was approximately 500 million years ago. Sixty one years later, American scientists from Oklahoma discovered an iron pot which was pressed into a piece of coal aged 312 million years old. Then, in 1974, an aluminum assembly part of unknown origin was found in a sandstone quarry in Romania. Reminiscent of a hammer or a support leg of a spacecraft “Apollo”, the piece dated back to the Jurassic era and could not have been manufactured by a human. All of these discoveries not only puzzled the experts but also undermined the most fundamental doctrines of modern science.

The metal detail which was recently found by Vladivostok resident is yet another discovery which perplexed the scientists. The coal in which the metal object was pressed was delivered to Primorye from Chernogorodskiy mines of Khakasia region. Knowing that the coal deposits of this region date 300 million years back, Russian experts inferred that the metal detail found in these deposits must be an age-mate of the coal.

When geologists broke the piece of coal in which the metal object was pressed into and spot-treated in with special chemical agents, it turned out that the metal detail was unusually light and soft. No more than seven centimeters long, the object was found to be composed of 98 percent aluminum and 2 percent magnesium. On the one hand, such an alloy stalled the scientists because nearly pure aluminum is very rarely found in nature. Thus, the detail was most definitely created artificially. On the other hand, however, when it became clear that the object was made from aluminum-magnesium alloy the experts quickly found an answer to the question of how a metal detail could withstand the ravages of time so well. The scientists explained that pure aluminum is increasingly prone to oxidization which contributes to the creation of a special layer protecting it from further corrosion. As a result, the metal detail made 98 percent from aluminum can endure not only high pressure but also heat and other severe natural conditions.

Another question that interests Russian scientists is whether the aluminum alloy is of Earthly origin. It is known from the study of meteorites that there exists extra-terrestrial aluminum-26 which subsequently breaks down to magnesium-26. The presence of 2 percent of magnesium in the alloy might well point to the alien origin of the aluminum detail. Nonetheless, further testing is needed to confirm this hypothesis.

The last property of the object that puzzled the scientists was its distinctive shape which was reminiscent of a modern tooth-wheel. It is hard to imagine that an object could take regular shape of a tooth-wheel with six identical ‘teeth’ naturally. Moreover, the intervals between the ‘teeth’ of the gear are curiously large in relation to the size of the ‘teeth’ themselves which might mean that the detail was a part of a complicated mechanism. Nowadays, such ‘spare parts’ are used in construction of microscopes and other mechanical appliances. This poses yet another unanswerable question to the modern scientists: how can the metal tooth-wheel be 300 million years old if the regular-shaped ‘wheel’ itself was created by man millions of years later.

After the discovery came public, conspirators were quick to dub it ‘a UFO tooth-wheel’. Russian scientists, however, do not jump to conclusions and will run further tests to learn more about the strange artifact.