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November 06, 2010

Google blocks easy upload of email contacts into Facebook

Techcrunch reports that Google is preventing Facebook from using the google API to upload email contacts until Facebook allows recipricol access to its social graph

Both Facebook and Google have alternative means of accessing the data that the other has. Plus Google is still allowing users to take their data into a spreadsheet. It is also possible to export Facebook contacts.

IMF doubles its financial resources and shifts its voting formula

The IMF has changed its quota and voting share formulas.

The Executive Board proposes completion of the 14th General Review of Quotas with a doubling of quotas to approximately SDR 476.8 billion (about US$755.7 billion at current exchange rates) and a major realignment of quota shares among members. It will result in a shift of more than 6 percent of quota shares to dynamic emerging market and developing countries and more than 6 percent from over-represented to under-represented countries, while protecting the quota shares and voting power of the poorest members

China is number 3 in votes behind the USA and Japan. the USA with about 17% can still veto as a it takes a 85% vote to pass anything.

Ultra-hard graphite will be able to crack diamond

Graphite squeezed between two diamond jaws at pressures of 170,000 atmospheres managed to produce a crack in the diamond. A team modelled various crystal structures that could result when graphite is compressed, and found that bct-carbon requires the least energy to form. bct-carbon's shear strength - a measure of how difficult it is to slide the carbon layers over one another - is 17 per cent greater than that of diamond. Their findings raise the prospect of making exceptionally hard materials without extreme heating.

Computer simulations by Hui-Tian Wang at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, and colleagues have shown that the compressed material could be at least partly made of bct-carbon, which is built up from rings of four carbon atoms. Bct-carbon has attributes of both diamond, which has a cubic structure, and graphite, composed of loosely linked sheets of carbon atoms in a hexagonal lattice. In bct-carbon, layers of carbon rings are linked by strong vertical bonds.

Michael Bloomberg wants 1 million electric cabs for the top 40 cities in the world

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg vows to promote the use of electric taxis as he takes over the leadership of the C40 a global coalition of 40 major cities.

The billionaire mayor urged delegates at the C40 conference in Hong Kong to wield the power of its large collective population, which accounts for about 1 in 12 people in the world. (about 570 million people). C40 is a coalition of 40 cities. It was founded in 2005 with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. Nineteen other cities are affiliate members.

The 19 of the C40 cities where statistics were available are home to more than 20 million cars and 25 member city governments represented in the coalition have oversight of taxi fleets controlling more than 1 million cabs.

November 05, 2010

Fujitsu Develops Gallium-Nitride HEMT Power Amplifier and Extends transmission range by 6x that of existing amplifiers


Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of a power amplifier using gallium nitride (GaN) High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMT) that has achieved the world's highest output performance of 1.3W for wireless communications in the millimeter-wave W-band, for which widespread usage is expected in the future. The new amplifier will offer transmission output equivalent to approximately 16 times that of existing amplifiers that use gallium-arsenide (GaAs), thereby enabling W-band transmission ranges to be extended by approximately six times.

Fujitsu's new GaN HEMT-based power amplifier will make high-capacity wireless communications possible in regions in which it is unfeasible to lay optical fiber cables, in addition to ensuring high-quality communications in rain and under other conditions where the millimeter-wave signal is known to attenuate.

Video of my Tedx talk Uncommon wisdom about Energy

Video of my Tedx talk Uncommon wisdom about Energy

The previous article about the presentation.

The embedded links to the slides and the video of the talk are below.

One of the questions was about the linear no threshold radiation issue. Here is more information about that.

Traditional approach based on linear model (LNT)

“Whether there is a threshold dose below which no effect is produced is still open to doubt, but on present knowledge it seems unlikely that any such threshold exists. It must, therefore, be assumed that even very small doses produce some small risk of cancer and, if the individual is not beyond reproductive age, some risk of causing subsequent offspring to have a genetic defect.”

From ‘Epidemiological evidence of effects of small doses of ionising
radiation with a note on the causation of clusters of childhood
leukaemia’R Doll 1993 J. Radiol. Prot.13233-241

This is not logical. Resolution should be determined by data not by preconceptions.

lacerations, blood loss.
-modest laceration, 10 days and then complete recovery
-intermediate laceration, leaves scar tissue but full function
-severe laceration, permanent loss of function
–incapacity

even death tissue overheating also have lower thresholds.


A presentation by a physics professor at Oxford university.

An extraordinary incident occurred 20 years ago in Taiwan. Recycled steel, accidentally contaminated with cobalt-60 (half-life: 5.3 y), was formed into construction steel for more than 180 buildings, which 10,000 persons occupied for 9 to 20 years. They unknowingly received radiation doses that averaged 0.4 Sv, a ‘collective dose’of 4,000 person-Sv.

Is Chronic Radiation an Effective Prophylaxis Against Cancer?

W L Chen is Director, Department of Medical Radiation Technology, National Yang-Ming University; Head, Radiation Protection Department of AEC; and former Head, Health Physics Division of INER. Y C Luan is Senior Scientist and Manager of Radiation Protection, NUSTA; consultant to NBC Society; former Manager, Radioactive Waste Management Plant; etc

General conclusions (within factors of 2)
•Radiation is like other hazards –life has defences
•Low-dose repair time is on the scale of a day or so
•Doses below threshold (100mSv) cause no damage.
•Above threshold, permanent damage (scar tissue) results. Such scar tissue may remain benign, or later become malignant, like other scars
•A single dose of 100mSv or a dose rate of 100mSv in any
week should be allowed (5000mSv/yr).
Current legal limits: Public: 1 mSv/year;
employees working with ionising radiation: 20 mSv/yr.
Note: in radiotherapy healthy tissue receives up to 1500mSv/day
repeatedly, with generation of scar tissue.
•This is 500,000Xcurrent legal limit &100Xsuggested limit

One milliamp stimulation to parietal lobe gave signifiant on long lasting improvement to math puzzle solving performance

A new study used a one milliamp current to stimulate the parietal lobe of a small number of students. The current could not be felt, and had no measurable effect on other brain functions. The volunteers tried to learn a puzzle which involved substituting numbers for symbols. Those given the current from right to left across the parietal lobe did significantly better when given, compared to those who were given no electrical stimulation. The direction of the current was important - those given stimulation running in the opposite direction, left to right, did markedly worse at these puzzles than those given no current, with their ability matching that of an average six-year-old.

The effects were not short-lived, either. When the volunteers whose performance improved was re-tested six months later, the benefits appear to have persisted. There was no wider effect on general maths ability in either group, just on the ability to complete the puzzles learned as the current was applied.

Previously we reported that direct current stimulation improved visual memory

The Microwave Thermal Thruster and its Application to The Launch Problem

PHD Thesis - The Microwave Thermal Thruster and its Application to The Launch Problem by Kevin Parkin (2006)

The full pdf is here (38.5 Megabytes)

Nuclear thermal thrusters long ago bypassed the 50-year-old specific impulse (Isp) limitation of conventional thrusters, using nuclear powered heat exchangers in place of conventional combustion to heat a hydrogen propellant. These heat exchanger thrusters experimentally achieved an Isp of 825 seconds, but with a thrust-to-weight ratio (T/W) of less than ten they have thus far been too heavy to propel rockets into orbit.

This thesis proposes a new idea to achieve both high Isp and high T/W: The Microwave Thermal Thruster. This thruster covers the underside of a rocket aeroshell with a lightweight microwave absorbent heat exchange layer that may double as a re-entry heat shield. By illuminating the layer with microwaves directed from a ground-based phased array, an Isp of 700–900 seconds and T/W of 50–150 is possible using a hydrogen propellant. The single propellant simplifies vehicle design, and the high Isp increases payload fraction and structural margins. These factors combined could have a profound effect on the economics of building and reusing rockets.

A laboratory-scale microwave thermal heat exchanger is constructed using a single channel in a cylindrical microwave resonant cavity, and new type of coupled electromagnetic-conduction-convection model is developed to simulate it. The resonant cavity approach to small-scale testing reveals several drawbacks, including an unexpected oscillatory behavior. Stable operation of the laboratory-scale thruster is nevertheless successful, and the simulations are consistent with the experimental results.

In addition to proposing a new type of propulsion and demonstrating it, this thesis provides three other principal contributions: The first is a new perspective on the launch problem, placing it in a wider economic context. The second is a new type of ascent trajectory that significantly reduces the diameter, and hence cost, of the ground-based phased array. The third is an eclectic collection of data, techniques, and ideas that constitute a Microwave Thermal Rocket as it is presently conceived, in turn selecting and motivating the particular experimental and computational analyses undertaken.

November 04, 2010

Prototype multi-megawatt microwave space launch system by 2018


More information on the renewed microwave launch into space project.

According to Escape Dynamics, "the key operational components of the microwave beam power launch system are a ground-based microwave array and an engine based on the heat exchange between the hydrogen propellant and the incoming microwave radiation. Hydrogen heating is achieved with the heat exchanger, which heats the propellant to a temperature above 2,000 [degrees Kelvin], which is necessary for efficient operation of the engine."

The new microwave launch effort was announced along with the hundred year starship program.

Kinect for Gesture based gaming without a controller and next kinect for PCs and G-speak the MIT Lab system

Microsoft began selling its Kinect sensors for Xbox gesture based gaming and facial recognition without a controller.

Microsoft’s newly commercialized NUI (natural user interface) could soon be on PCs

Leaked slides suggested that gesture based interface and facial recognition could be in Windows 8. Windows 8 is expected in 2012

G-speak is at MIT Labs. G-Speak uses a mounted camera to track the user’s gloves as they move in space. It has sub millimeter precision and can handle quick motions and multiple users. In his TED talk (video below), Underkoffler promised that in a few years, we wouldn’t even need the gloves anymore – computer vision and tracking would improve enough so you could just use your bare hands.

Hitachi is also working on a Minority report like gesture control interface.

iPhone 5 will use Near Field Communication and Samsung targets 40 million smartphone sales in 2011 and an 11 inch android tablet

Samsung expects to ship 40 million smartphones in 2011. The number would double the 20 million Samsung is hoping for this year. Most of its effort would lean on the Galaxy S, about 10 million of which could be sold through all of 2010. Samsung also dropped hints that it would expand its tablet line next year and would soon have a 10-inch parallel to the Galaxy Tab.

Cult of Mac reports - Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless connection technology that would turn the iPhone into an electronic wallet or security passkey. Apple is also researching NFC for remote computing.

If users wave a NFC-equipped iPhone at a NFC Mac (they need to be in close proximity to interact), the Mac will load all their applications, settings and data. It will be as though they are sitting at their own machine at home or work. When the user leaves, and the NFC-equipped iPhone is out of range, the host machine returns to its previous state.

DARPA Blue Angel project to develop a vaccine surge capacity for flu viruses

Each well in the MIMIC system’s 96-well plastic plate represents a human immune system. The MIMIC system's highly sensitive functional assays simulate a clinical trial for a diverse population without ever putting human subjects at risk. Photo by Todd Lemoine, courtesy of VaxDesign

A DARPA effort, called Blue Angel, has been working since May 2009 to develop a surge capacity for flu viruses Eighteen months and $100 million later, Blue Angel and the companies it funds have created new technologies for developing, testing and quickly mass-producing new vaccines.

1. The DOD/Darpa progress on tobacco plant production (with several companies) of vaccine is progressing to industrialization to ramp up production of a seed vaccine instead of using chicken eggs.

2. Speeding phase 3 testing and lowering costs - Now, pharmaceutical company with a candidate vaccine needs to enroll 10,000 people for three years and $100 million. An alternative may be MIMIC, a DARPA technology developed by Florida-based biotechnology company VaxDesign Corp. $1 million and 2 months to predicts the vaccine to produce for humans.

3. Venter working on synthetic biology for 12 hour identification and production of seed vaccine.

4. DNA vaccine technology also being developed in seperate projects. Success could scale up the seed vaccine in 12 hours to fully produce the vaccine doses in one day.

For the largest program, called AMP for Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals, companies in four states are building facilities where they can quickly produce vaccine-grade proteins grown in the cells of tobacco plants. Once they produce the proteins, the goal is for each company to scale up its process to produce 100 million doses of H1N1 flu vaccine per month. Existing vaccine manufacturers worldwide produce a fraction of that -- about 300 million doses of vaccine in six months, Magill said.

Craig Venter had indicated that synthetic biology can produce the seed stock for a vaccine in 12 hours. It would need to be used in conjunction with DNA vaccine technology to achieve one day vaccine production.

Gutmann asked Venter whether, by next flu season, we could "have a one-day production, through synthetic biology, of a flu vaccine?" To which he answered that researchers could produce the seed stock for the vaccine in just 12 hours. Venter added that with "rapid DNA sequencing, we can predict, we think, well in advance what the changes will be for next year's flu before the WHO even makes the decision as to the vaccine stocks." Production, he said, is a whole different story entirely.

Prather agreed. "If you're still making [a vaccine] in chicken eggs, it's not going to happen in a day. It's just not gonna happen," she said. "So, there's a difference between the tools of synthetic biology being able to give you what that starting material is, if we're stuck with chicken eggs it's not going to happen, if you go to chicken cell culture, it's gonna be faster, if the DNA vaccine technology proves out and you can do it in microbes, you can absolutely do it in a day." This, she was quick to point out, is an immunological issue, not a synthetic biology problem.

National Space Society Announces the Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative for Space Based Solar Power

The National Space Society held a press conference Thursday, November 4 at the National Press Club to reveal one of the first initiatives ever undertaken by a non-profit American organization and a former head of state.

* electricity demand by 2035 will increase 87%, the NSS argued that earth based renewable power will only be able to meet 23% of anticipated demand

* Neither the U.S. nor the Indian Government is officially funding the development of space based solar power, so it isn't clear who would pay for development of this technology.

Hong Kong and other places for 1 Gigabit per second internet now and soon parts of Tennessee

Hong Kong ISPs provide 1 gigabit per second internet connections for about US$26. I was in Hong Kong a few weeks ago and there were posters and salespeople all over Tsim Sha Shui and other areas of Hong Kong selling. Some other places are selling 1 Gbps connections but for ten times or more cost than in Hong Kong.

City Telecom made provides symmetric 100Mbps connections for about US$13/month. Several companies provide 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home offering; a fully symmetric, 1Gbps connection costs HK$199... or US$26 a month.

The Hong Kong broadband network currently offers a FTTH/FTTB 1 Gbps service is available to over 800,000 households.

EPB Fiber Optics (Tennessee) announced September 2010 that by the end of 2010 it will offer ultra-high-speed Internet service of up to 1 Gbps to the end user’s home or business. The utility plans to charge $350 a month for its 1 Gbps service tier, a high-ticket price tag that will likely only appeal to a handful of businesses, even though the service will be offered to every customer in its service area

As noted in the Akamai state of the internet, when broadband quality, adoption and average speed is taken into consideration the leading cities are in South Korea and are followed by cities in Japan

South Korea’s government has pledged to roll out gigabit ethernet to homes by 2012. Korea also plans wireless networks of one-tenth that capacity, or 100 megabits per second South Korea has a $24.6 billion budget for the rollout.

A Daily Blend notes what 1 gigabit per second can do - 1Gbps connection allows you to download at the speed of 128 megabytes per second. This will allow you to download a 700MB movie in just 5.47 seconds, a 4.7GB DVD would finish in 37.6 seconds, and a 50GB Blu-ray disc would appear on your computer in 6 minutes and 40 seconds


Akamai State of the Internet for second quarter of 2010

Each quarter, Akamai publishes a quarterly "State of the Internet" report. This report includes data gathered across Akamai's global server network about attack traffic, average & maximum connection speeds, Internet penetration and broadband adoption, and mobile usage, as well as trends seen in this data over time.

100 Fastest Cities Worldwide

Akamai once again examined the average measured connection speed of cities around the world. As with last quarter's report, 'city size' (at least 50,000 unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai) and 'academic network' filters were applied to the data to ensure the most accurate representation. Once again, Masan, South Korea held the title as the city with the fastest average connection speed. Masan's average speed increased by more than 5 Mbps quarter-over-quarter, making it the only city in the world with an average connection speed higher than 20 Mbps. Reviewing the top 100 fastest cities around the world in the second quarter of 2010 reveals the following:

* Asia continues to dominate the list, with 62 of the top cities in Japan and 12 more in South Korea
* Hong Kong ranked #2 on global average connection speed
* Only eight U.S. cities made the list, with Monterey Park, CA remaining as the fastest U.S. city (#76 out of 100), ahead of Riverside, CA; Union, NJ; and Oakland, CA
* Umea, Sweden ranked as the fastest city in Europe (#20 out of 100)


Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2010

Technorati is publishing their report on the State of the Blogosphere 2010

The 2010 edition of State of the Blogosphere finds blogs in transition—no longer an upstart community, now with influence on mainstream narratives firmly entrenched, with bloggers still searching for the next steps forward. Bloggers’ use of and engagement with various social media tools is expanding, and the lines between blogs, micro-blogs, and social networks are disappearing. As the blogosphere converges with social media, sharing of blog posts is increasingly done through social networks—even while blogs remain significantly more influential on blog content than social networks are.

The significant growth of mobile blogging is a key trend this year. Though the smartphone and tablet markets are still relatively new and most analysts expect them to grow much larger, 25% of all bloggers are already engaged in mobile blogging. And 40% of bloggers who report blogging from their smartphone or tablet say that it has changed the way they blog, encouraging shorter and more spontaneous posts.

Another important trend is the influence of women and mom bloggers on the blogosphere, mainstream media, and brands. Their impact is perhaps felt most strongly by brands, as the women and mom blogger segment is the most likely of all to blog about brands. In addition to conducting our blogger survey, we interviewed 15 of the most influential women in social media and the blogosphere.

Part 1 of 3 parts (not including the intro)

Blogger Demographics
Bloggers and Traditional Media
Influencing the Influencers
Brands in the Blogosphere
Media Habits of Bloggers
Consumers in the Blogosphere

Part 1 of 3 parts (not including the intro)

* Motivations and Consequences of Blogging
* Company Blogging
* Blogging Topics
* 2010 Trends: The Impact of Social Media on the Blogosphere
* 2010 Trends: Traction of Tablets and Smartphones in the Blogosphere
* 2010 Trends: Moms who Blog


David Leblanc explains why Thorium reactors need a lot less fissile nuclear material to start and for ongoing operation

Joseph Friedlander asked David LeBlanc about the starting fissile requirement for Thorium nuclear reactors.
David Le Blanc, Physics Dept, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and Ottawa Valley Research Associates Ltd

A 12 page paper by David LeBlanc , Denatured Molten Salt Reactors (DMSR): An Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come?

Take 1970s technology, add perhaps $3 billion of R&D over 15 to 20 years for a trillion dollar per year potential energy market.

Molten Salt Reactors are one of six next generation designs chosen by the Gen IV program. Traditionally these reactors are thought of as thermal breeder reactors running on the thorium to 233U cycle and the historical competitor to fast breeder reactors. However, simplified versions running as converter reactors without any fuel processing and consuming low enriched uranium are perhaps a more attractive option. Uranium consumption levels are less than 1/6th that of LWR or a 1/4th of CANDU while at the same time offering clear advantages in safety, capital cost and long lived waste production along with increased proliferation resistance. A review of previous work and potential improvements proposed by the author will be presented.

David answers are below.

Molten salt reactors can come in several forms with the two main factors being

(1) whether it is a Single Fluid (one salt for everything) or Two Fluid (one fuel salt for U233, one blanket salt for Thorium). There is also an intermediate called the 1 and 1/2 fluid that has a mixed fuel salt surrounded by a blanket salt. The second factor

(2) is how thermal versus fast the neutron spectrum is. This is what really determines how much starting fissile one needs.

The French Molten Salt Fast Reactor design with a faster neutron spectrum needs a great deal of starting fissile material (typically 5 to 10 tonnes per GWe) whereas a well moderated (lots of graphite) design is typically 1.5 tonnes and as little as 0.5 tonnes. As well of course, molten salt (liquid fluoride) reactors don't need to be breeders, they can act as very simple and very attractive converter reactors that only need a small fraction the uranium of LWRs.

Carnival of Space 176

Carnival of Space 176 is up at Kentucky Space

If you're interested in repeatable and affordable micro-g research, contact Kentucky Space about your payload.

This site submitted an article on the Fermilab holometer to test if the universe is a hologram

Ian O'Neill at Discovery covers the tests to see if our universe is a hologram as well.

In the early 1990's, University of Florida physicist Charles Thorn conceived the holographic universe hypothesis. In Thorn's view of the Universe, the 3-dimensional world we know and love is actually a hologram projected from the furthest-most reaches of the cosmos. The easiest way to imagine it is that we are contained within the Universe's event horizon and any 3D object we conceive (as 3D objects ourselves) are projected from the event horizon's 2-dimensional "shell." We are basically a projection.

If the Universe is a holographic projection from the universal event horizon, it is predicted that the projection will be fuzzy. Although all the information to create the Universe is "encoded" in Planck-scale "bits" in the universal event horizon, by the time it's projected over billions of light years to our location, these "bits" will have become enlarged -- like the light being emitted from a projector onto a wall.

Meta-flex: Your new brand for invisibility clothing

Photograph of a Metaflex membrane placed on a disposable contact lens and illuminated with office light. The inset is an enlargement of the membrane.

Flexible smart materials that can manipulate light to shield objects from view have been much-theorised but now researchers in Scotland have made a practical breakthrough that brings the possibility of an invisibility cardigan – or any other item of invisibility clothing - one step closer.
Two challenges to the creation of smart flexible materials that can cloak from visible light are making meta-atoms small enough to interact with visible light, and the fabrication of metamaterials that can be detached from the hard surfaces they are developed on to be used in more flexible constructs.

Research published today, Thursday 4 November 2010, in New Journal of Physics (co-owned by the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society), details how Meta-flex, a new material designed by researchers from the University of St Andrews, overcomes both of these challenges.

New Journal of Physics - Flexible metamaterials at visible wavelengths

The response of MMs is determined by a tailored distribution of meta-atoms (typically periodically arranged and metallic), such as split ring resonators or, more recently, fishnet lattices. If the MM operates at optical wavelengths, the size of the meta-atoms has to be scaled down to a few tens of nanometers. For this reason, traditional fabrication techniques rely on approaches inherited from nanotechnology, e.g. electron beam lithography, which typically requires rigid substrates such as quartz or silicon.

The unique properties of MMs have led to the demonstration of exciting concepts such as superlensing and invisibility cloaking. Both these concepts, as well as other possible applications of MMs, are constrained by the limitation imposed by the fabrication constraints. For example, a 'real' cloaking device would have to be deformable and extend over a large area, rather than being fabricated on rigid substrates such as silicon.

The same is true for the superlens, where the flat geometry only allows for the formation of an image in the near field, while a magnifying superlens that pushes the focal length to more practical distances would require a curved realization. Such a curved realization has recently been demonstrated via a tour-de-force in lithography, again on a planar substrate, but it is not obvious how this method would scale up in size.

Metaflex can operate in the true optical regime by demonstrating plasmonic resonances down to a wavelength of 620 nm.

Metaflex can be fabricated using standard nanotechnology (e.g. electron beam lithography), but we have developed a fabrication technique to obtain supple and deformable substrates.

One of the most exciting applications of Metaflex is to fabricate three-dimensional flexible MMs in the optical range, which can be achieved by stacking several Metaflex membranes on top of one another.

While the experiment was realized on a flat membrane and for normal incidence, we believe that this sort of structure is the ideal candidate for addressing an advanced implementation of bulk MMs that consist of a multilayer stack.

Assembling such a stack requires an inter-layer distance of the order of a few hundreds of nanometers, which can be done using the Metaflex approach.

The critical factor then becomes the thickness of the membranes. SU8 can indeed be spun at thicknesses down to 100 nm, but there may be practical limitations in terms of the possible membrane area; a quantitative study of these limitations is currently in progress.

We have fabricated and characterized plasmonic nano-structures that were realized on flexible polymeric substrates. We studied both nanoantennas with varying geometrical parameters and fishnet structures, and demonstrated their operation in the NIR and the visible wavelength range, respectively. The experimental curves agreed well with the numerical calculations. These results confirm that it is possible to realize MMs on flexible substrates and operating in the visible regime, which we believe are ideal building blocks for future generations of three-dimensional flexible MMs at optical wavelengths.

November 03, 2010

Novel plastic could enable real-time 3D holographic projections without needing special glasses in the home by 2020

The challenge was to find a rewritable material that could store data encoding successive holographic images. Now Peyghambarian and his colleagues at the University of Arizona have developed a material that can record and display 3D images that refresh every two seconds

The team's system captures 3D information by filming an object from multiple angles, using 16 cameras that each take an image of the object every second. The 16 views are processed into holographic pixel data by a computer, which sends a signal to two pulsed laser beams that then write the data into the recording material.

During the writing process, the two beams combine to create an interference pattern of light and dark patches in the recording material. Firing another light at the pattern reconstructs the 3D image.

They have modified the mix of polymers to develop a 17-inch display that refreshes more than a hundred times faster than in 2008, generating an image that changes in almost "real time", says Peyghambarian.

Along with revolutionizing entertainment, the hologram technique will one day enable surgeons to remotely view live 3D images of operations and give advice. It might also find uses in manufacturing, allowing engineers to visualize and modify 3D models in real time.

There is a video at the University of Arizona

Eurekalert has the press release

MIT Technology Review has coverage

More detailed IEC fusion simulation suggests need for bussard fusion design improvements

Evaluation of Net Power Polywell fusion designs by Joel Rogers. The simulation is not showing closing the cusps (corners of the fields), which means more energy loss. This is a critical aspect of a workable design. The cusps have to close or have very low losses for scaling to work. It is unknown if these are actual issues being faced by EMC2 fusion.

Links to the other papers and posters for the 12th US-Japan Workshop on Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion are at this page

(H/T to Munchausen at Talkpolywell)


China Plans manned space station by 2020 and unmanned space modules starting in 2011

China has formally begun its manned space station program, aiming to complete construction of a "relatively large" manned space laboratory around 2020, said a spokesman for the national manned space program.

China was aiming to develop and launch the first part of a space laboratory before 2016, focusing on breakthroughs in living conditions for astronauts and research applications.

The country would develop and launch a core cabin and a second laboratory module around 2020, which would be assembled in orbit around the earth into a manned space station.

Philippines and Vietnam Future Nuclear Energy Plans and Deals

1. The Philippine Energy Plan 2007-2014 indicates room for the existing Bataan Nuclear Power Plant as well as four more nuclear plants, the earliest to be commissioned by 2015. Candidate sites are also opening up across the country: in Palawan, Cagayan, Cavite, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Bataan, Negros Occidental, Quezon, Batangas, and Sarangani, the district now represented in congress by boxing legend Manny Pacquiao

Haplogroup X DNA helps Mitochondria to function for healthier aging

15 percent of healthy Amish octogenarians have "haplogroup X," a genetic pattern within the mitochondria, which are the regions of cells that generate energy and help guard against deterioration. Haplogroup X is generally found in only 2 percent of Europeans, from whom the Amish descended. In the University of Miami study, only 3 percent of the control group—Amish people who had made it to 80 but suffered from significant disease or disability—had the genetic variant.

Halo Interceptor concept of a car that can become a boat or planes with attachment modules

The Halo Intersceptor is a multi functional vehicle, based around one car that can couple with several vehicle attachments to form the basis of private air, sea and land travel The car is the case unit and it docks to attachments to become boats, planes or helicopters.

The Halo Inersceptor site

the Single Most Significant Technologic Development of the Next 20 Years

The Speculist has a survey of the most significant technological development of the next 20 years. Provide your own predictions and reasoning in the comments below this article.

I pick energy breakthrough. Specifically nuclear fusion of some kind for commercial energy. There are a few leading candidates. Lawrenceville Plasma physics, EMC2 (IEC) fusion, general fusion, Tri-alpha energy and potentially a dark horse from the cold fusion category (I am in corresondence with a researcher in stealth mode). I also expect advances with superconductors (possibly high volume room temperature) and lasers and both those areas will help nuclear fusion research and development. With nuclear fusion at commercial level that also gives us space with space rockets.

AI will get help from zettaflop class machines as we near 2030. There will be progress but I doubt greater than human level AGI before 2030.

I see advances in nanotech and with really good 3D printing but not the full deal diamondoid molecular nanotech (just because the effort and funding is still not happening at the needed level to deliver the results.

There could also be some good human regeneration and life extension progress. However, there is again not great funding yet. Regeneration has decent funding from DARPA and some other sources. However, here is the FDA and regulatory delays.

I will do another more detailed and comprehensive review later.

Futurists David Pearce, George Dvorsky, Michael Anissimov, Phil Bowermaster and Aaron Saenz gave there answer to that question at ilookforwardto.

Saenz Aaron Saenz. Writes for Singularity Hub. The single most significant technological development in the coming 20 years will be the widespread adoption of human stem cells to treat an extraordinary range of medical conditions, from organ failure to Alzheimer's.

November 02, 2010

Discovery in Salamanders Could Lead to Human Limb Regeneration

By tracking individual cells in genetically modified salamanders, researchers have found an unexpected explanation for their seemingly magical ability to regrow lost limbs.

Rather than having their cellular clocks fully reset and reverting to an embryonic state, cells in the salamanders’ stumps became slightly less mature versions of the cells they’d been before. The findings could inspire research into human tissue regeneration.

“The cells don’t have to step as far back as we thought they had to, in order to regenerate a complicated thing like a limb,” said study co-author Elly Tanaka, a Max Planck Institute cell biologist. “There’s a higher chance that human or mammalian cells can be induced into doing the same thing.”

Integrative and comparitive biology journal - Evidence for the Local Evolution of Mechanisms Underlying Limb Regeneration in Salamanders
The most extensive regenerative ability in adult vertebrates is found in the salamanders. Although it is often suggested that regeneration is an ancestral property for vertebrates, our studies on the cell-surface three-finger-protein Prod 1 provide clear evidence for the importance of local evolution of limb regeneration in salamanders. Prod 1 is implicated in both patterning and growth in the regeneration of limbs. It interacts with well-conserved proteins such as the epidermal growth-factor receptor and the anterior gradient protein that are widely expressed in phylogeny. A detailed analysis of the structure and sequence of Prod 1 in relation to other vertebrate three-finger proteins in mammals and zebra fish supports the view that it is a salamander-specific protein. This is the first example of a taxon-specific protein that is clearly implicated in the mechanisms of regeneration. We propose the hypothesis that regeneration depends on the activity of taxon-specific components in orchestrating a cellular machinery that is extensively conserved between regenerating and non-regenerating taxa. This hypothesis has significant implications for our outlook on regeneration in vertebrates, as well as for the strategies employed in extending regenerative ability in mammals.

Fox news, CNN and NBC are projecting a Republican majority in the House

Fox news, CNN and NBC are all projecting that the Republicans will win a majority in the House of representatives.

Fox news is projecting a 60 seat gain for the Republicans.

It is likely that the Democrats will keep the majority in the Senate. However, many of the Democrats ran against Obama to retain their seats.

The result will likely be gridlock.

Myostatin exon skipping shows promise for a wide range of muscle conditions


The myostatin gene has three exons; Prof Dickson suggested that by making the cell skip over the second exon of the myostatin gene, it would no longer be able to read the instructions and so no myostatin protein would be produced. If no myostatin protein is produced, the muscles should be able to grow larger.

Prof George Dickson has used exon skipping technology in mice to block the activity of myostatin, a protein that prevents muscles from growing bigger and stronger. Scientists think that by blocking the activity of myostatin, it might be possible to build up muscle size and strength in people with muscle disease. The team found that small pieces of DNA called antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) were able to inactivate myostatin in muscle cells grown in the laboratory. Injection of AOs into the bloodstream of healthy mice were able to increase the size of one of the three muscles that were analysed. This research has proven the principle that exon skipping technology could be used to control the activity of myostatin.

The 100 Year Starship study to lay the business case and vision for a multi-generation organization

The 100-Year Starship study is trying to create a vision that makes business sense yet will motivate generations to development and create manned interstellar spaceflight. Develop a business case and an enduring organization.

The 100-Year Starship study will examine the business model needed to develop and mature a technology portfolio enabling long-distance manned spaceflight a century from now. This goal will require sustained investments of intellectual and financial capital from a variety of sources. The yearlong study aims to develop a construct that will incentivize and facilitate private co-investment to ensure continuity of the lengthy technological time horizon needed.

DARPA also anticipates that the advancements achieved by such technologies will have substantial relevance to Department of Defense (DoD) mission areas including propulsion, energy storage, biology/life support, computing, structures, navigation, and others. Beyond the DoD and NASA, these investments will reinvigorate private entrepreneurs, the engineering and scientific community, and the world’s youth in a bold quest for the stars

Robert Freitas and Tad Hogg have a nanomedicine paper about powering microscopic robots

(c) 2010 Tad Hogg and Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved

Robert Freitas has a new nanomedicine paper that he has written with Tad Hogg. This is the first detailed theoretical study of the actual power limitations of oxygen/glucose-powered in vivo medical nanorobots in human tissue capillaries. We look at nanorobots that are positioned in single or multiple circumferential rings along the interior surface of capillary blood vessels.

Tad Hogg, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Chemical Power for Microscopic Robots in Capillaries,” Nanomedicine: Nanotech. Biol. Med. 6(April 2010):298-317.

China declares that it will keep coal consumption below 3.8 billion tons per year by 2015 about three and half times as much as number two coal user, the United States

World coal use by country in 2007


China plans to limit annual coal production to between 3.6 and 3.8 billion tonnes in its next five-year development plan, compared with 3.2 billion tonnes mined in 2009

The 2536 million tons in the chart above was for 2007. The 2010 number is 3200 million tons. China's 2009 coal usage was 3000 million tons. So if China keeps 2015 to 3800 tons then it will be 3.5% growth per year (2011-2015). This is somewhat down from 8.1% growth per year (2007-2010).

This is three and half times as much coal as used by the United States. China is currently three times as much as the USA in coal usage.

China's annual primary energy consumption (coal and nuclear and oil and other energy sources) will be kept to 4 billion-4.2 billion metric tons of standard coal by 2015, Jiang Bing, director of the development and planning department of the National Energy Administration



Coal demand in India is expected to increase to about 1 billion tons in 2015 and India's supple of coal could be short 189 million tons in 2015

US and Europe are not increasing coal usage by much.

China would be close to having half of the entire world's demand for coal in 2015.

China's installed power-generating capacity is expected to exceed 1.4 billion kilowatts (KW) by the end of 2015, compared with a forecast 960 million KW this year.

This site has detailed the waste, damage and death caused by coal energy and coal mining.

Radically simple technique developed to grow conducting polymer thin films


Flow process diagram. (A) An array of bottom-contact gold electrodes on SiO2∕Si and (Top Right) a close-up illustration of the electrode geometry.
(B) A self-adsorbed monolayer (SAM) of octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) is deposited on SiO2 by immersion into a 1% solution in toluene for 1 h. (C) The treated
electrode is immersed in a container with a solution of P3HT in chlorobenzene and a fluorocarbon such as Fluorinert FC-40®. This container is vigorously
agitated in order to form an emulsion of droplets that upon contact with the OTS SAM coalesce and lead to the deposition of a P3HT film. (D) The coated
electrode is taken out after 1 min of agitation and immediately annealed on top of a hot plate at 110 °C for 15 min.


A team of UCLA chemists and engineers has developed a new method for coating large surfaces with nanofiber thin films that are both transparent and electrically conductive. Their method involves the vigorous agitation of water, dense oil and polymer nanofibers. After this solution is sufficiently agitated it spreads over virtually any surface, creating a film.

"The beauty of this method lies in its simplicity and versatility," said California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) researcher Richard B. Kaner, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and a professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. "The materials used are inexpensive and recyclable, the process works on virtually any substrate, it produces a uniform thin film which grows in seconds and the entire thing can be done at room temperature."

PNAS - Versatile solution for growing thin films of conducting polymers

The method employed for depositing nanostructures of conducting polymers dictates potential uses in a variety of applications such as organic solar cells, light-emitting diodes, electrochromics, and sensors. A simple and scalable film fabrication technique that allows reproducible control of thickness, and morphological homogeneity at the nanoscale, is an attractive option for industrial applications. Here we demonstrate that under the proper conditions of volume, doping, and polymer concentration, films consisting of monolayers of conducting polymer nanofibers such as polyaniline, polythiophene, and poly(3-hexylthiophene) can be produced in a matter of seconds. A thermodynamically driven solution-based process leads to the growth of transparent thin films of interfacially adsorbed nanofibers. High quality transparent thin films are deposited at ambient conditions on virtually any substrate. This inexpensive process uses solutions that are recyclable and affords a new technique in the field of conducting polymers for coating large substrate areas


Research that shows a path to a cure for the common cold and way to combat other viruses

How the virus is tackled

* 1 Virus (purple) circulating in the bloodstream recognised by antibodies (yellow) of the immune system
* 2 Virus attaches to outer cell membrane with antibodies still attached
* 3 Virus invades the cell membrane and emerges inside the cell
* 4 Remains of cell membrane disappear and the virus is free to hijack the cell
* 5 TRIM21 protein (blue) recognises attached antibodies as foreign material
* 6 Powerful virus-destroying machines (cylinders) attracted to virus by TRIM21
* 7 Virus rapidly broken down and disabled within hours

A study by a team of researchers from the world-famous Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge has shown that this textbook explanation of the limits of the human immune system is wrong because anti-viral antibodies can in fact enter the cell with the invading virus where they are able to trigger the rapid destruction of the foreign invader.

Although this is good research, it is probably better to have a very good immune system boosting methods, instead of more effective treatments after people are already sick and showing symptoms. Prevent the illnesses - instead of trying to cure even if the cures are very good.

The researchers said that many other viruses responsible for a range of diseases could also be targeted by the new approach. They include the norovirus, which causes winter vomiting, and rotavirus, which results in severe diarrhoea and kills thousands of children in developing countries.

Viruses are still mankind's biggest killers, responsible for twice as many deaths as cancer, essentially because they can get inside cells where they can hide away from the body's immune defences and the powerful antibiotic drugs that have proved invaluable against bacterial infections.

Dwave systems and quantum annealing google tech talks

Two videos about D-Wave and quantum annealing from presentations made on October 22, 2010

Dwave has solved over 12 million Ising problems using their adiabatic quantum computer chips over the past 12 months. They are focused on machine learning applications.

They are getting lower generalization error and faster training for binary classifiers for image classication and identification.

Microreactor speeds nanoparticle production by 500 times

A "multilayer micromixer" production process developed at Oregon State University allows a much higher production rate of nanotech particles than conventional approaches, with no loss of quality. (Graphic courtesy of Oregon State University)
Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a new method to speed the production rate of nanoparticles by 500 times, an advance that could play an important role in making nanotechnology products more commercially practical.

The approach uses an arrayed microchannel reactor and a “laminated architecture” in which many sheets, each with thousands of microchannels in them, are stacked in parallel to provide a high volume of production and excellent control of the processes involved.

Microreactor assisted solution deposition page

Why is this technology needed?

Current vapor deposition manufacturing practices suffer from poor energy efficiency and large carbon footprints brought on by poor material utilization and high processing temperatures. Solution-phase chemical bath deposition approaches, while cheaper, provide less temporal control over film morphology and require higher solvent usage.

November 01, 2010

Metamaterial diode - Electromagnetic wave analogue of electronic diode

Arxiv - Electromagnetic wave analogue of electronic diode (11 page pdf)

An electronic diode is a nonlinear semiconductor circuit component that allows conduction of electrical current in one direction only. A component with similar functionality for electromagnetic waves, an electromagnetic isolator, is based on the Faraday effect of the polarization state rotation and is also a key component of optical and microwave systems. Here we demonstrate a chiral electromagnetic diode, which is a direct analogue of an electronic diode: its functionality is underpinned by an extraordinary strong nonlinear wave propagation effect in the same way as electronic diode function is provided by a nonlinear current characteristic of a semiconductor junction. The effect exploited in this new electromagnetic diode is an intensity-dependent polarization change in an artificial chiral metamolecule. This microwave effect exceeds a similar optical effect previously observed in natural crystals by more than 12 orders of magnitude and a direction-dependent transmission that differing by a factor of 65

Biocement research from Murdoch University in Perth to make cement from Bacillus pasteurii and sand

Murdoch University researchers have been able, with the help of added microorganisms, to turn sand into stone rapidly.

There was PHd thesis work in 1999-2002

* This bacterium uses an enzyme to make its surroundings less acidic, which is a good environment for them to grow", said Ms Whiffin. The by-product of this reaction is calcium carbonate, or limestone

* Ms Whiffin believes her biotechnology work will have many applications, not only for restoring historical buildings, but also mine shafts and other industrial structures.

* In 2002, a Dutch company responded to Ms Whiffin's website and shipped sand samples from Holland for testing.

* They were impressed by the capability of the bacteria to cement sand samples from Dutch dykes that protect the land from rising sea levels.

* a similar technique is being used to clean up strontium spills in the United States at the moment.

The biggest block they have made as of 2009 was in a shipping container, just to prove that it can not only work in the laboratory

A major practical application for the biocementation technique will be in mining. It doesn’t need oxygenation. In theory we could solidify the sea bed before drilling for oil. We could also drill tunnels in the sand, we could make the sand harder so it doesn’t cave in.

There was a 2008 patent

Where to find the Future

Mike Treder wrote an article called Are we in the future yet ? He laments failed predictions from the 1980s. Mike Treder does not know where or how to look for the "future".

Mike Treder notes several predictions and here is one - Machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work a man can do.” - Nobel Prize Winner Herbert Simon, 1965

I covered an automation census 6 months ago. The article has points about how automation will effect each job category.

* There are probably about 11 million robots now (start of Q2 2010).
* About 1.3 million industrial robots
* It is estimated that self-service kiosk transactions will be worth more than $775 billion this year, and is expected to hit $1.3 trillion in 2013. The number of self-service kiosks in the United States and Canada is 1.2 million
* Self Service devices are growing at 15% per year.
* Financial kiosks and ATMs are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9 percent to include more than 186,000 financial kiosks and more than 2.4 million ATMs by 2013

If you lose your video store job to a Redbox vending machine or the Netflix business model (mailed DVDs or downloaded movies), then it did not have to be an industrial robot in a brick and mortar store.


Additive Manufacturing company Stratasys and Kor Ecologic of Winnepeg, Canada make Urbee , the first 3D printed car

3D printing company Stratasys has teamed with Kor Ecologic to create the first 3D printed car, the Urbee.

Recently we covered the Airbus projects to develop super large format 3d printing of Airplane parts and eventually all the parts for whole Airplanes.

Stratasys today announced its development partnership with Winnipeg engineering group, Kor Ecologic. The engineering group is creating one of the world's most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles. Code-named, Urbee, it is the first car ever to have its entire body 3D printed by additive manufacturing processes.

The electric / liquid-fuel hybrid reaches more than 200 mpg, highway and 100 mpg, city in U.S. gallons with either gasoline or ethanol (250 mpg highway /125 mpg city, Imperial gallons).

The plan is complete the prototype of the three-wheel, two-door Urbee by spring (of 2011), then work on hand-building ten “pilot cars.” The hope is those cars will be mass produced in Manitoba, Kor said, adding, it’s not so outlandish an idea.

Sand hardened by bacteria could create roads without using oil

Sandstone roads could replace regular asphalt. The resulting roads are 20% more reflective and can reduce the urban heat island effect by 2-3 degrees celsius. The project is a part of the iida awards 2010 competition, organized by designboom in collaboration with incheon (south korea) metropolitan city.

UPDATE : The more than ten year history of this research and nearer term applications for stronger and cheaper dikes and for better mining.

Scientists have produced a method of creating a biological substitute to asphalt, that could be produced at much lower costs, and have the same behavior as a paving material.

The new “sandstone” road surface is produced by using sand and a specific type of bacteria. The idea belongs to designers Thomas Kosbau and Andrew Wetzler, who are the winners of the Korean green design competition the iida awards.

The team says that mixing common sand – one of the most abundant resources on the planet – with a solution containing the microorganism Bacillus Pasteurii could result in a cementing process that turns the mix into biologically-engineered hardened sandstone.

After the two are mixed, the solution is sprayed on yet another layer of sand. The microbes act again, solidifying the layer underneath, and resulting in a tough, road-worthy material that can sustain heavy traffic.

Additionally, given the low cost of manufacturing the material, it will be a lot cheaper to repair it as well. When cracks appear, all maintenance crews will have to do is spray some of the bacteria solution within, and leave the road to solidify again.

John Gedmark of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation is interviewed by Sander Olson

Here is the John Gedmark interview by Sander Olson. Mr. Gedmark is the Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, which is dedicated to promoting commercial spaceflight. Recent events indicate that the commercial spaceflight industry may soon reach critical mass and become a self-sustaining industry. Virgin Galactic's Spaceship Two recently completed its second glide flight, and NASA has agreed to purchase data gathered from Lunar X prize robotic missions to the moon. New Mexico recently opened "spaceport America" a major spaceport capable of launching and servicing a variety of space vehicles

Question: The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is one of the few organizations promoting commercial spaceflight. How does the organization operate?

Answer: The CSF was founded about five years ago to encourage the growth of the commercial spaceflight industry in the U.S. It is based in Washington, DC, and we currently have over 30 member companies ranging from Virgin Galactic and United Launch Alliance to Bigelow Aerospace and SpaceX. Our goals are to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry.


Space Manufacturing conference - Session 5: Engineering Materials from Non-Terrestrial Resources

Session 5: Engineering Materials from Non-Terrestrial Resources covered by Hobbyspace and Parabolic Arc

Electrical Energy Storage Using Only Lunar Materials
Dr. Peter J. Schubert, Packer Engineering Inc.

– Resources available on the moon for in-situ battery fabrication
– Can make batteries from in-situ materials by robots before humans land
- Storage requirements for a 2 person base - 1.2kW average, 1000 sq. meters, equatorial location, horticulture 100 W per sq meter for 20 sq. meters per person
- Obtaining Iron and Nickel from the moon

October 31, 2010

Space Manufacturing conference - space solar power and energy systems

Space Solar Power – Achievable Within a Generation? John Mankins, Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC

- Instead of a massive single plan, a roadmap was developed for incremental steps
– Preliminary analysis: SBSP could be possible within 10-15 years within a finite amount of money
– Could be paid for with a Jim Webb Space Telescope class investment by various governments to get a prototype system into orbit
– Key next steps to do end-to-end studies and then tests on components and systems

Hobbyspace has coverage

Brazil Libra Field could have 15 billion barrels of oil and Enhanced oil recovery for the North Sea

Brazil said the government’s Libra field may hold “gigantic” reserves of as much as 15 billion barrels, almost twice initial estimates, which would make it the biggest discovery in the Americas in more than three decades.

Space Manufacturing conference - robotics for space manufacturing

Parabolic Arc and Hobbyspace coverage

Greg Baiden, Laurentian University, Penguin Automated Systems
“Lunar Mining: Taking the Best of Terrestrial Mining and Fitting it on the Moon”

– 3 years ago, CSA came to him asking how to put a mine on the moon
– Canadians (and Scandinavians) are really really good at mining stuff
– to be profitable, need materials in mass…not small amounts of things..
– galactic cosmic radiation is a show stopper
– 80 cm of regolith maximizes production of secondary radiation particles
– need at least 2 meters of regolith cover to protect miners
– study looked at what could be done with subsurface habitation and do it simply (four pieces of equipment)
– mechanical cutting of rock requires gravity — a lot of gravity to do it on a large scale — unless you intend to blast it
– mining industry doesn’t work in parts per million or billion…work in percentages — perhaps 3 percent of material processed will be useful ore
-Telemining – Technology of robotics and information age to change the face of mining on earth and will in space too

Low percentages / parts per million need to use things like insitu leaching. Using acid to get desired material out.

Space Manufacturing conference - space transportation

Transterrestrial Musings and Parabolic Arc has coverage as does Hobbyspace.

- Biggest problem is market demand
- Near term markets - ISS resupply, propellant depots, debris cleanup, tourism can help create markets…
– long-term solution: space settlement
– Changes required:

* no major technical breakthroughs necessary;
* breakthroughs that reduce risk and cost;
* end to space being a jobs program, respect for the private sector;
* sensible engineering and science-based legal regulation;
* financial risk is global economic collapse…”very serious deep structural problem I’m not sure how to fix”. Will the dollar be worth anything in three months?
* availability of risk capital and investor patience (a role for NASA);

Technical needs:

* active cooling
* high reactive engines
* reusable launch systems

Achievable Goal

* RLVs could reduce cost to $500 per pound (within 5 years), $100/lb within ten to fifteen.


Space Manufacturing conference - summarizing extraterrestrial prospecting

Parabolic Arc coverage of space prospecting

NEO (near earth objects) Mining Options

* bag and boil for volatile extraction
* magnetic rake for high grade ore
* take small asteroid pieces home
* new moon — Earth orbit
* hot knife — cut up comet core with nuclear heat

– Asteroid Itakowa is close to being a proper size for mining — Japanese Hayabusa probe landed there
– To NEO mining work, need to minimize project risk, payback time, etc.
– Platinum worth $4,000 per ton; water worth $1 million per ton
– Awaiting development of market in orbit for water delivery