Boeing’s futuristic CST-100 space capsule tourists won’t hate

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Boeing CST-100 space capsule

When private space is an established industry in the not-so-distant future, different carriers will provide distinctive customer experiences for space tourists—just as Jet Blue and Delta airlines provide different inflight amenities. At least that’s what Boeing is banking on with its recently unveiled interior designs for the CST-100 space capsule.

 

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They sound like science fiction, but these 5 energy technologies are getting close to reality

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Space-based solar

Some newer clean energy sources are becoming mainstream industries with low prices and established financing models like solar panels and wind turbines. But even in this era of emerging predictable clean energy, there are some pretty weird, experimental and ambitious energy projects under development. And they’re trying to move out of the lab and off of research papers, and into actual production.

 

 

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Commercial space travel revs up

SpaceShip2 Rockets Ahead

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two

NASA has lost the urgency of the space race years of the 1960’s, but today’s commercial space sector looks to be recapturing some of that fervor. On Friday, May 2nd at New York City’s historic Explorer’s Club the players in America’s private space race were out in force at this event, each one promising major breakthroughs that will arrive within the next year or two.

 

 

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to build an orbiting solar farm

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Mirrors in orbit would reflect sunlight onto huge solar panels.

What if you could imagine looking at Tokyo Bay from high above and seeing a man-made island in the harbor, 3 kilometers long. There is a massive net stretched over the island and studded with 5 billion tiny rectifying antennas, which convert microwave energy into DC electricity. Also on the island is a substation that sends that electricity coursing through a submarine cable to Tokyo, to help keep the factories of the Keihin industrial zone humming and the neon lights of Shibuya shining bright.

 

 

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Afrofuturism: where space, pyramids and politics collide

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Jazz musician, Sun Ra.

Popular culture tends to turn to the fantastical, providing an escape from the harsh realities of life during times of economic and political crisis. However, what is usually represented as Utopian in mainstream science fiction is often culturally European with a story that frequently revolves around a white male character. Even when depicting “multiracial” future societies, culturally the tropes of that imagined culture are regularly not representative of the races seen. If we accept that all humanity will be present in the future, why is it that non-European cultures seem to disappear once we get through the Earth’s atmosphere?

 

 

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Google X really did try to design a space elevator

space elevator

A space elevator is just the thing that is needed to open up the high frontier of space.

A working space elevator is still not a reality as of yet. But some of the most intelligent and imaginative minds on Earth have been looking into the logistics of building such a space elevator. Rich DeVaul, head of Google X’s Rapid Evaluation team, has confirmed for the first time ever that Google’s super hush-hush R&D lab actually tried to design one.

 

 

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Space X founder Elon Musk eyes huge colony on Mars

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Musk hopes for flights to Mars to be available through his private space travel company at a cost of around $500,000 per person.

The billionaire founder and CEO of the private spaceflight company SpaceX, Elon Must, wants to help establish a Mars colony of up to 80,000 people by ferrying explorers to the Red Planet for perhaps $500,000 a trip.

 

 

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NASA plans to make water and oxygen on the surface of the Moon and Mars by 2020

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NASA is taking steps that could lead to colonization of other planets.

NASA is working on plans to make water, oxygen, and hydrogen on the surface of the Moon and Mars. It is vital that we find a way of extracting these vital gases and liquids from moons and planets if we ever want to colonize other planets, rather than transporting them from Earth (which is prohibitively expensive, due to Earth’s gravity). The current plan is to land a rover on the Moon in 2018 that will try to extract hydrogen, water, and oxygen — and then hopefully, Curiosity’s successor will try to convert the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into oxygen in 2020 when it lands on Mars.

 

 

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