DailyDirt: Moonshot 2.0
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
It’s been a while since anyone has proposed and executed a plan as ‘out there’ as going to the moon in less than a decade. Sure, we have computers that can beat humans at Go, and we’re on the cusp of using CRISPR for some amazing genetic modifications. However, we haven’t really been serious about getting people off the planet — and onto another planet — for quite some time. Here are just a few moonshot-like projects for getting stuff into space, and perhaps making baby steps toward becoming a Type II civilization.
- A California startup, Moon Express, is almost ready to get approval for landing a 20-pound spacecraft on the moon in 2017. This company is navigating both the rocket
scienceengineering challenge AND the daunting regulatory approval process at the same time, and it’s also competing in Google’s Lunar X Prize contest for $20 million. [url]
- A space elevator made from carbon nanotubes (CNTs) might not be practical because CNTs aren’t as strong as previously thought. A single flaw in the structure of CNTs can reduce the material’s maximum strength, rendering a CNT tether far from ideal for a space elevator. [url]
- If everything goes according to plan, Elon Musk’s SpaceX will land human beings on Mars in less than a decade. That’s an extremely bold goal that goes well beyond JFK’s moonshot in the 1960s — and regular cargo trips to Mars could happen every couple years or so to prepare for this venture. [url]
After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.