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Space: Garbage and Garbage men!

April 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Motivation: Reading about this space hebris story reminds me of another story. Are we ready to create a new generation of state of the art garbage men?
Problem statement: none, apart from the garbage in the air.
Findings: Japanese have a rich imagination. Oh, and there is garbage in space that is ours.
Conclusion: In order to improve your imagination, mingle with the Japanese culture. Oh, and watch out for garbage in space.

The European Space Agency reports and visualizes on our unhealthy living style in space:

Space debris: evolution in pictures

Between the launch of Sputnik on 4 October 1957 and 1 January 2008, approximately 4600 launches have placed some 6000 satellites into orbit, of which about 400 are travelling beyond geostationary orbit or on interplanetary trajectories.

Planetes

Today, it is estimated that only 800 satellites are operational – roughly 45 percent of these are both in LEO and GEO. Space debris comprise the ever-increasing amount of inactive space hardware in orbit around the Earth as well as fragments of spacecraft that have broken up, exploded or otherwise become abandoned. About 50 percent of all trackable objects are due to in-orbit explosion events (about 200) or collision events (less than 10).

“Looks like a new burger design of the Mac, complete with small wobbling guys feasting on it.”

It certainly reminds me of fast food restaurants, in more ways than one.

Anyway, there is a Japanese animation series (anime) called Planetes:

Planetes

Plot Summary: In the year 2075, mankind has reached a point where journeying between Earth, the moon and the space stations is part of daily life. However, the progression of technology in space has also resulted in the problem of the space debris, which can cause excessive and even catastrophic damage to spacecrafts and equipment. This is the story of Technora’s Debris Collecting section, its EVA worker, Hachirota “Hachimaki” Hoshino, and the newcomer to the group, Ai Tanabe.

Space garbage men! Awesome. Who would not dream of being a garbage man, now?

“Excellent career choice. Sounds like a blast!”

More to the point, who will say anime is just cartoon for kids? Lots of interesting stuff in the Japanese (animation) culture, as expected. There is a reason why these guys are so technologically advanced: their vast imagination and need to fulfill their goals.

Life on Mars? Not likely. What about Jupiter’s Europa?

February 24, 2008 1 comment

Source: National Geographic News

Early Mars Too Acidic, Salty for Life, Experts Say

Mars likely had liquid water early in its past—but it was probably too acidic and oxidizing for life, scientists say.

That’s the latest news from the longer-than-expected visits to the red planet by NASA’s rovers Spirit and Opportunity, said Andrew Knoll, a Harvard University researcher and member of NASA’s Mars program.

“That’s not a very good place to live, and it’s a worse place for the kind of chemistry that we think gave rise to life on Earth,” he said.

“If I were forced to vote, probably the best place to look for evidence of Martian life is in Mars’ earliest history—the first five or six hundred million years,” Knoll said.

Well, that doesn’t sound too exciting. Maybe we oughta look in a different place then. What about a Jupiter’s moon called Europa?

Read more…