Posts Tagged ‘Space’

Flash of light in the sky

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Just after 5 AM today I saw a flash of light in the nightsky when I looked through the window of my room. It looked like a pretty light star suddenly appeared and disappeared in a matter of a second.

I immediately thought it to be notable because, even as someone who likes to observe meteorites, I don’t quite remember seeing this. It’s just a flash of light, but every time I see a flash of light in the night sky it is either an airplane (multiple recurring flashes and usually quite obvious), iridium flares (which last more than this flash lasted, which was practically a blink of an eye) or meteorites which leave a trail and also last longer.

And I don’t recall myself being prone to hallucination either. I saw it!

So it seems anomalous. I should scour the astronomy related sites later to see if maybe I saw something others have noticed. Perhaps I witnessed a distant supernova explosion? :) That’d be cool.

In any case I love seeing something unusual in the sky, for some reason, even if it is a mere anomalous flash of light. It makes the universe feel more real and exciting, as it should.

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We will go to space

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

A few decades from now privately owned space ships will roam through Earth space and perhaps throughout the solar system.

Virgin Galactic appears to have made a historic move towards making this happen, and this time I am not referring to them building a uber-futuristic space port nor sending tourists to space with one of theirs SpaceShipTwo’s. Oh, they will be doing that, next year or so. But what they did in January this year may prove to have much more dramatic ramifications. Let’s see…

Virgin Galactic on Wednesday (January 23rd) unveiled designs for SpaceShipTwo and the WhiteKnightTwo, two vehicles that are designed to usher in private spaceflight. The technology behind the system will have an open architecture “like Linux,” said officials.

This comes from a story titled “Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo; Plans open architecture spaceship”.

And here I was, tongue in cheek, searching for instructions on how to build my own space ship (so I can escape should dreaded predictions for this government-fscked up Earth come true). Little did I know that my little dream isn’t that far from impossible anymore.

With openly available space ship architectures an army of what we could term “space geeks” (many of which are, no doubt, star trek fans) will be all over this looking for ways to not only improve the current design, but perhaps build completely new ship designs. Some of them, with entrepreneurial spirit and some (big) cash in their pockets might even start contracting builders for even better, faster, cheaper space ships – ones that could go on much further than “sub”-orbit and orbit of the Earth.

If you ask me, the genie is out of the bottle. The private somewhat free market finally took the ball (or was allowed to) in order to actually do something exciting about space flight and exploration, something that actually matters to me and you and your.. grandma. We’re talking about Linux for the masses.. er.. did I just say that? We’re talking Space Flight for the masses.

Given these news I don’t feel surprised anymore that someone on 43things is thinking about an “Open Source Space Ship”. I reckon if an alliance of people and companies who really care about this stuff would come together they might not only design private space ships in an open freedomware-like fashion, but actually build them, and build them as such to be operable with little training.

There is really nothing too tangible standing in the way of us starting to buzz around through Earth’s close space within decades in cool private space ships. All the basic technology is there, the market is forming and the idea of breaking out of our atmosphere is common sense since god damn seventies! It’s about time we break free!

I am going to go to space, in my life time.


Cool links:

- Virgin spaceship to use open source?
- SpaceDev to Build Piloted Spaceship
- Virgin Galactic Space Flights FAQ
- And.. how about some serious space shippery, Building an Antimatter Spaceship! ;)

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Killing for a fraction of a dot

Monday, December 17th, 2007

A lot of what we do is driven by our emotions. A lot of what we see is through a template of our own perception, built by our life experience. From fear to fearlessness. From power to powerlessness. From happiness to sadness. From bliss to trauma. It all defined the template through which we see the world.

In an information era we are living in, it is easy to see just about anything there is to see on Earth. We just have to look for it. Perhaps it is time to look for more and to see beyond, even beyond that which is immediately available. To be a seeker may be the most rewarding calling one can take. We may all have an explorer sitting deep within us.

This Earth, for pieces of which humans still continue to fight, manipulating each other into incredible sacrifices in the name of what may be incredibly insignificant causes, is just a pale blue dot.

But to see it this way, we have to look beyond the confines of a little world we created for ourselves, in which we see so many things as too important not to drown our lives into. Seeking beyond is choosing to free ourselves from these confines and allow ourselves to realize that there are things bigger than us, bigger than mankind, bigger than Earth, bigger than the solar system, bigger than our whole galaxy, bigger then our own perception of significance.

This may be the best case one can make for space exploration. Space tourism is not going to be just about mere joy rides into space. It is going to be an individually inspiring venture to open people’s minds towards what is above the realm we bask in every day. And the farther we can go the better we can realize the relative insignificance of this realm. Space tourism and furthermore space exploration in general may very well have the power to unite the humanity in peace – eradicate greed, injustice, violence, war – the things that are fuelled by the limited world-view most of us easily fall to, a template that defines our perceptions which in turn activate our emotional responses.

It seems as if the more limited our view is, the more closed minded and ignorant we are, the more negative our emotional responses will be to the reality we perceive.

And yet, all it takes is to choose to look beyond all that, which can be accomplished by a moment took to look up to a specific star in the sky and ask yourself – what is out there? Is it like our home? How far is it? Will I ever be able to get there? What are we doing to get there? What the HELL are we doing to ourselves anyway???

Once you get your eyes down to a horizontal, you just might see things a little differently. You might just conclude that things you were incredibly upset about aren’t all that important, or that you were upset about wrong things. You may instead become upset about why ARE so many people upset about such stupid petty things and decide to do something more with your life.

Space does not care about what is happening on Earth, but we should. Many have said, one way or the other, that the only way to change the world to the better is to change the mentality of people who build and maintain that world. So if looking up is a way to inspire change of human mentality so radically for it to evolve to the next level, beyond the semi-savage state we are in now — then looking up and trying to go out there may be the only way forward.

And if we don’t go forward, we can only go backward.

“Free thinking is the only way to further the species.” — PAINTANK (on YouTube)

– Inspired by “Pale Blue Dot: Wanderers” by Carl Sagan.

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