Researchers in the UK, USA, Italy and the Netherlands are working on a “living spaceship” to launch in 100 years. The self-sustaining spacecraft will rely on biotechnologies to carry people beyond our Solar System. Organic matter, algae, artificial soil, production of biofuel and sustainable foods are all part of the plan.
The project, dubbed Project Persephone, is part of Icarus Interstellar, a nonprofit foundation aiming to achieve interstellar flight by 2100. Other projects include Icarus (an unmanned fusion-powered interstellar probe), Helius (an investigation of laser-initiated pulse propulsion), Tin Tin (a nanosat mission to Alpha Centauri) and Forward (a beamed energy/sails initiative for interstellar propulsion).
Image: The Daedalus, another Icarus Interstellar concept (artist’s impression). Credit: David A Hardy
And it was built by a company called Foro Energy with funding assistance from the Department of Energy’s advanced research projects agency, ARPA-E. The agency says the innovation makes drilling for petroleum and geothermal sources of energy faster and cheaper.
Foro engineers overcame major physical obstacles to make their high-powered lasers. They can now deliver laser energy through fiber optic cable over long distances because they figured out how to counter an effect called stimulated Brillouin scattering. This physics problem occurs when the electric field of a high-energy laser triggers vibrations in the fiber that interfere with the movement of photons. The vibrations cause the photons to scatter, often back in the direction from which they traveled.
Reaching a kilometre into the sky, China’s new environmentally friendly skyscrapers will feature pollution-absorbing coatings, vertical gardens, insect hotels, wind turbines and solar cells. They’ll clean the surrounding water and provide sustainable power to neighbouring buildings.
“A three second exposure meant that subjects had to stand very still to avoid being blurred, and holding a smile for that period was tricky. As a result, we have a tendency to see our Victorian ancestors as even more formal and stern than they might have been.”
I’ve reblogged this before and I will reblog it again.
Weather modeling and forecasting in recent decades have benefited enormously from the availability of more data. For example, satellites now measure wind speeds over the open ocean, instead of data simply coming from isolated ships and buoys. The satellites do this by measuring the roughness of the ocean using radar or GPS signals bounced off the ocean surface. From this researchers can construct a map of wave height and direction like the one in the animation above. For a large body of water, waves are primarily generated by wind shearing the water at the interface. The waves we see are a result of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability between the wind and ocean. Because this is a well-known behavior, it is possible to connect the waves we observe with the wind conditions that must have generated them. (Image credit: ESA; animation credit: Wired; submitted by jshoer)