Volume 90 –September & October 2016
Road to Space
In the latest development in humanity's space exploration, this past week Blue Origin took a successful step to test their reusable New Shepard rocket.To ensure the safety of passengers in the New Shepard suborbital spaceship, Blue Origin tested the passenger capsule's emergency escape system on October 5, 2016.
Blue Origin launched the New Shepard rocket, flying for the fifth time, and then after about 45 seconds they intentionally caused a capsule escape at about 16,000 feet. As the capsule separated, the escape motor fired and pushed the capsule away from the booster and away from a potentially exploding rocket. Reaching 23,269 feet, the capsule then descended under parachutes to a gentle landing while the booster continued its ascent to 307,458 feet and eventually finished with a controlled, vertical landing back at launch site.
To read more and see the video, please visit:
Another point of interest in our space exploration is our neighbor Mars. A joint astrobiology mission, ExoMars, led by the European Space Agency and Roscosmos is scheduled to reach Mars' orbit on October 19, 2016. Upon arrival, the two components, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli lander, will separate. While Schiaparelli is designed to land on Mars about 3 days later, the TGO will scan the Martian atmosphere from lower orbits for signs of previous life on planet such as methane, water vapor and other trace gases.
Schiaparelli's purpose is first to observe the landing technology. Whether it succeeds or fails in its pre-programmed landing, the data is intended to be used for the next phase of ExoMars mission in 2020 when a longer science mission will be launched. If the landing is successful, it will operate the science instruments for a planned two days and possibly longer.
To learn more, please visit:
Speaking of Mars; while SpaceX is planning for a 2024 manned mission to Mars, Boeing CEO believes that his company will be the first to send humans to Mars. We agree with Mr. Musk of SpaceX in the fact that, "I think it's actually much better for the world if there are multiple companies or organizations building these interplanetary spacecraft. You know, the more the better. Anything, I think, that improves the probability of the future is good. And so multiple companies doing it, I think, would be great. So I wanted to come describe the architecture actually in the hopes that this would encourage companies and organizations around the world to perhaps do something like this."
To learn more and also read about SpaceX and Boeing's plans for a manned mission to Mars, please visit:
How many times have you wished you could be in two or more places at once? Well, thanks to ANA Avatar XPRIZE, soon you can!
"At its core, transportation is about improving the health and quality of life for people. Our current worldwide transport network becomes less and less able to support the demands of an increasingly interconnected society, limiting the spreading of knowledge, skills and workforce at a global scale. The Avatar Visioneers Team is focused on creating "limitless travel" by teleporting one's consciousness into a physical Avatar body that will enable people to 'instantly be in multiple places at once, literally.'"
"the human resources needed to solve many of the world's problems are already abundant. It's getting them where they are needed, when they are needed that is the real problem. Avatars erase this barrier by enabling humans to take any form and perform any function, instantly."
To read more, please visit:
You can learn more, while watching videos on:
To see a clip of Anousheh in a virtual avatar with Dr. Kloor, please visit:
Here is a short clip of Anousheh talking about ANA Avatar:
On October 5th, 2016, "the UN's top climate official ... praised nations across the globe for acting swiftly to bring the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement into force."
"The Paris Agreement was adopted in Paris, France at the UN climate conference in December 2015. In order to enter into force, at least 55 parties accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions were required, with the Agreement then entering into force 30 days later." "The Paris Agreement (l'accord to Paris) is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020."
"Securing a world which is safer from the extreme climate change that would undermine any attempt at future sustainable development will still take decades of rising action and constant improvement." However, this is an important start and there are many important consequences of this entry into force, among them: launch of the Agreement's governing body, known as the CMA; the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDSs) of Parties which have joined or subsequently join the Agreement (one key feature being that these plans can be strengthened at any time but not weakened.)
Furthermore, "governments will also be obligated to take action to achieve the temperature goals enshrined in the Agreement -keeping the average global temperature rise from pre-industrial times below 2 degrees C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees."
To read the news release in its entirety and find out the other important consequences, please see: