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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says

60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Imagine a ribbon roughly one hundred million times as long as it is wide. If it were a meter long, it would be 10 nanometers wide, or just a few times thicker than a DNA double helix. Scaled up to the length of a football field, it would still be less than a micrometer across — smaller than a red blood cell. Would you trust your life to that thread? What about a tether 100,000 kilometers long, one stretching from the surface of the Earth to well past geostationary orbit (GEO, 22,236 miles up), but which was still somehow narrower than your own wingspan?

The idea of climbing such a ribbon with just your body weight sounds precarious enough, but the ribbon predicted by a new report from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will be able to carry up to seven 20-ton payloads at once. It will serve as a tether stretching far beyond geostationary (aka geosynchronous) orbit and held taught by an anchor of roughly two million kilograms. Sending payloads up this backbone could fundamentally change the human relationship with space — every climber sent up the tether could match the space shuttle in capacity, allowing up to a “launch” every couple of days.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, March 9, 2014 12:49 AM

Think I will pass on this

Linda Liem's curator insight, March 9, 2014 8:06 AM

Science fiction may be coming true.

Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, March 10, 2014 10:41 PM

Hundreds of challenges remain to be solved but as even NASA struggles to maintain an edge, the pay-off of a Space Elevator has never been clearer. The original idea of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky which Arthur C. Clarke turned into a novel could be the revolution space exploration needs.

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The Winds of Deep Space

The Winds of Deep Space | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

If we can use solar photons to drive a sail, and perhaps use their momentum to stabilize a threatened observatory like Kepler, what about that other great push from the Sun, the solar wind? Unlike the stream of massless photons that exert a minute but cumulative push on a surface like a sail, the solar wind is a stream of charged particles moving at speeds of 500 kilometers per second and more, a flow that has captured the interest of those hoping to create a magnetic sail to ride it. A ‘magsail’ interacts with the solar wind’s plasma. The sailing metaphor remains, but solar sails and magsails get their push from fundamentally different processes.

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Colt Alan Lee Manseth's curator insight, December 15, 2013 10:21 PM

I can't believe that their are winds in space it just amazes me how much stuff I do not know in this world and beyond.

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Networked Cars Are Coming, But Their Hacks Are Already Here

Networked Cars Are Coming, But Their Hacks Are Already Here | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Vehicles on the road today are already joining our larger “Internet of things.” They sync up with our phones through Bluetooth; they register on GPS satellites for navigation; and their mechanical difficulties can be diagnosed at a distance with services like On Star. But future technology that allows cars to talk to each other directly promises to be much more disruptive still. And that technology has gotten a new push in the last week—at the same time that its potential security weaknesses have been highlighted.

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Javier Pagès López's curator insight, August 2, 2013 6:22 AM

Cada nuevo uso de la tecnología lleva aparejado nuevos riesgos, y los sistemas de conducción autmáticos no va a ser menos.

 

Por desgracia ya hay pruebas de las vulnerabilidades de estos sistemas y de potenciales usos de riesgo por parte de atacantes maliciosos.

 

Por suerte ya se está trabajando para reducir desde su origen los riesgos reales que estos sistemas tienen.

 

El mayor temor es que las solucioes vayan muy por detrás de los problemas.

 

Esperemos que en esta nueva área tecnológica se haya aprendido de las experiencias del resto de las tecnologías informáticas o del área de la informática industrial (ej, SCADA), y se implementen protocolos de seguridad desde el diseño de los sistemas.

 

Si no, tendremos un nuevo ejemplo de tecnología insegura que luego habrá que securizar deprisa y corriendo.

 

 

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Automaker Trio Hopes to Bring Hydrogen Back From the Brink

Automaker Trio Hopes to Bring Hydrogen Back From the Brink | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Three titans of the automotive industry have formed a partnership to begin the joint development of hydrogen fuel-cell technology with the hopes to have hydrogen-electric cars in people's driveways in the next five years.

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SABRE engine passes milestone tests

SABRE engine passes milestone tests | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
The team from UK firm Reaction Engines announced this morning that the SABRE engine technology, which could power a reusable spaceplane known as Skylon capable of entering orbit without additional rockets, had been proven in tests evaluated by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Reaction Engines has been testing the SABRE heat exchanger and anti-frost system using a standard jet turbine engine
The company called the technology, which could also lead to supersonic flights from Europe to Australia in four hours, ‘the biggest breakthrough in aerospace propulsion since the invention of the jet engine’.
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Future mobility with brains

Predicting the future is hard. But when we are on the road, there are cars ahead of us that can see what we will see a few minutes or a few hours into our future. Carlo van de Weijer explains how by linking our increasingly smart cars together we will soon be able to plan when we will be in a traffic jam.

TEDxBrainport 2012 - Making the Future
Carlo van de Weijer

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Amory Lovins: A 50-year plan for energy

In this intimate talk filmed at TED's offices, energy theorist Amory Lovins lays out the steps we must take to end the world's dependence on oil (before we run out). Some changes are already happening -- like lighter-weight cars and smarter trucks -- but some require a bigger vision.

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World building 301: some projections

What is the world going to look like in 2032? And in 2092?

- by Charles Stross

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Kugelblitz! Powering a Starship With a Black Hole

Kugelblitz! Powering a Starship With a Black Hole | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

An interstellar spacecraft could conceivably be powered by the radiation emitted by a tiny, manmade black hole. Here's a look at what it would take to turn this ambitious idea into reality.

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Elon Musk: Tesla Motors CEO, Stanford GSB 2013 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year

At the 36th annual ENCORE Award event on October 2, 2013, Stanford Graduate School of Business honored Tesla Motor CEO and Product Architect, Elon Musk.

 

 


Via Stratocumulus
Szabolcs Kósa's insight:

great interview

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Nick Roberts's curator insight, October 17, 2013 11:48 PM

Stanford GSB has awarded the Tesla Motor CEO with Entrepreneurial Company of the Year. Elon Musk is a man of many achievements, he founded PayPal, he is the inspiration for Tony Stark and started zip 2.  Most likely his greaest achievemet should be Tesla Motor. His ultimate goal was to drasically effect the future of humanity, "...like creating a new nervous system." What he is referring to is the internet. He beleives that computers are a world wide nervous system communicating different thoughts throughout it. He looks at a computer in terms of a person. It has a brain, a memory, a body and a nervous system. He even briefely talks about genetic engineering. 

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The Moment of Truth for Cars That Talk to Each Other

The Moment of Truth for Cars That Talk to Each Other | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The phrase “vehicle-to-vehicle communications” might currently mean little more than a few choice words hurled through an open car window. In a few years, however, it could be synonymous with technology that makes driving safer, less polluting, and certainly less antagonistic.

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Urban Gondolas: The Future Of Public Transport?

Urban Gondolas: The Future Of Public Transport? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
Bus, train, metro, cable car? Michael McDaniel, designer at innovation firm Frog Design, has launched a radical plan for a new form of public transportation in big cities — a system of gondolas.
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How NASA might build its very first warp drive

How NASA might build its very first warp drive | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
A few months ago, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive.

Via Guillaume Decugis
Szabolcs Kósa's insight:

A still more glorious dawn awaits. Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise. A morning filled with 400 billion suns. The rising of the milky way..." - Carl Sagan

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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, November 27, 2012 12:01 AM

Follow up on that fascinating story. Too good to be true?

Guillaume Decugis's comment, November 28, 2012 5:30 PM
Nice Carl Sagan quote!
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Robots will soon deliver pizza

Robots will soon deliver pizza | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Futurists and science fiction writers have predicted for decades that one day smart robots would roll around town doing errands for us.

Today, that future seems still far off. But it's just around the corner. It's all thanks to Google, as well as car companies and universities that are making incredible advances in the technology for self-driving cars.

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Driverless Cars: A Driving Force Coming to a Future Near You

Driverless Cars: A Driving Force Coming to a Future Near You | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Keep in mind that the first wave of driverless vehicles will be luxury vehicles that allow you to kick back, listen to music, have a cup of coffee, stop wherever you need to along the way, stay productive with connections to the Internet, make phone calls, and even watch a movie or two, for roughly the same price.
If you think this vision is far off, think again. Over the next 10 years we will see the first wave of autonomous vehicles hit the roads, with some of the first inroads made with vehicles that deliver packages, groceries, and fast-mail envelopes.
Here are a few thoughts on how this industry will develop.

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