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Space pollution: Here's every known piece of space debris orbiting Earth

Space pollution: Here's every known piece of space debris orbiting Earth | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Based on a data archive, each spherule in the picture represents a real existing object orbiting in space.

The image was created by German photographer Michael Najjar, a "certified civilian astronauts" who has a ticket to go to space on board Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo in 2014. He titled the piece "Space Debris I", and created it with the help of the Institute of Aerospace Systems at the Braunschweig University of Technology, the world leading institute for space debris tracking. “Based on a data archive, each spherule in the picture represents a real existing object orbiting in space," Najjar says. As you can see, space isn't so empty, at least not in Earth's orbit.


Via Lauren Moss
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How Self-Sustaining Space Habitats Could Save Humanity from Extinction

How Self-Sustaining Space Habitats Could Save Humanity from Extinction | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Physicist Stephen Hawking suggests that our ongoing efforts to colonize space could ultimately save humanity from extinction. As it stands, Earth is our only biosphere — all our eggs are currently in one basket. If something were to happen to either our planet or our civilization, it would be vital to know that we could sustain a colony somewhere else.

And the threats are real. The possibility of an asteroid impact, nuclear war, a nanotechnological disaster, or severe environmental degradation make the need for off-planet habitation extremely urgent. And given our ambitious future prospects, including the potential for ongoing population growth, we may very well have no choice but to leave the cradle.

We're obviously not going to get there overnight — but here's how we could do it.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Warp drive looks more promising than ever in recent NASA studies

Warp drive looks more promising than ever in recent NASA studies | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The first steps towards interstellar travel have been taken, but the stars are very far away. Voyager 1 is about 17 light-hours distant from Earth and is traveling with a velocity of 0.006 percent of light speed, meaning it will take about 17,000 years to travel one light-year. Fortunately, the elusive "warp drive" now appears to be evolving past difficulties with new theoretical advances and a NASA test rig under development to measure artificially generated warping of space-time.

NASA has developed a new test rig in the quest for the elusive warp drive.
The warp effect uses gravitational effects to compress the spacetime in front of a spacecraft, then expand the spacetime behind it. The bit of spacetime within the warp bubble is flat, so that the spacecraft would float at zero-g along the wave of compressed and expanded spacetime. The net effect is rather like surfing, where you are nearly stationary with respect to the wave, but are traveling with the speed of the wave. Whereas many of the theoretical studies consider a warp bubble moving at ten times the speed of light, there is no known limit to the potential speed.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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