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February 26, 2013

Carnival of Space 290

The Carnival of Space 290 is up at the Venus Transit

Discovery News - 3D printing is a genuinely incredible new technology. After taking off in the 21st century on Earth, it looks set to become one of the defining technologies in human space travel and colonization. Could 3D printed food provide astronauts with the meals of the future?

The Meridiani Journal - Colourful exoplanets may be first to show evidence of alien life




Nextbigfuture - Dennis Tito is planning a space mission that would involve a flyby of Mars with a free return back to Earth, without stopping. That type of low-energy trajectory requires a special set of orbital circumstances: The presentation says those circumstances exist for the 2018 opportunity but won't repeat until 2031. Two astronauts living in spartan conditions could make the 501-day trip in a modified SpaceX Dragon capsule, launched by SpaceX's yet-to-be-flown Falcon Heavy rocket.

Nextbigfuture - Carver Mead said that we're all taught that there was a revolution in scientific thought that started with relativity and quantum mechanics. "Actually, that's not the case," he said. "A revolution is when something goes clear around. And what happened starting in the first 25 years of the 20th century was that there was the beginning of a revolution, and it got stuck about a quarter of the way around."

From Computer pioneer Carver Mead's point of view, the key to a more intuitive explanation of the universe lies in not only the interrelationships of matter and forces, but also a better understanding of the electron. ""We need to treat the wave functions of our electrons as real wave functions,"" he said. "I have found personally that I had to go all the way back and reformulate the laws of electromagnetism, starting with the quantum nature of the electron as the foundation."

A more holistic approach was suggested by none other than the Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach. As Mead tells it, Mach "took Newton to task. He said, 'Look, your idea of absolute motion is a stupid idea. Motion can only have meaning when what it is that's moving is moving relative to other matter in the universe'.

Nextbigufuture - Although hundreds of planets orbiting other stars have been discovered in the past 15 years, we cannot yet answer the age-old question of whether any of these planets are capable of sustaining life. However, new NASA technology may change that, by giving us our first look at distant planets that not only are the right size and traveling in the temperate habitable zone of their host star, but also show signs of potential life, such as atmospheric oxygen and liquid water.
Although hundreds of planets orbiting other stars have been discovered in the past 15 years, we cannot yet answer the age-old question of whether any of these planets are capable of sustaining life. However, new NASA technology may change that, by giving us our first look at distant planets that not only are the right size and traveling in the temperate habitable zone of their host star, but also show signs of potential life, such as atmospheric oxygen and liquid water.

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