Hey everyone, just a quick post for today to summarise some stuff I’ve read that I thought was pretty cool.
Apparently the cost of travelling to the Moon can be reduced by a factor of around 10; down to $10 billion US from $100 billion US. Utilising water and hydrogen on the lunar surface as fuel, this can also significantly reduce the cost of travelling elsewhere in the Solar System. This of course flies in the face of Dr. Robert Zubrin’s claim that we don’t need to go back to the Moon to get to Mars. The study says that in 10 to 12 years, a four-person industrial base on the Moon could be built at a cost of $40 billion US. Of course, as the study admits, the fuel resources are not guaranteed, and some kind of exploration would have to be undertaken to prove their existence in quantities large enough to be worth extracting. Check out the summary article here or the report here. The report is a long read and I’m still working my way through it; I’ll put up my own summary when I’ve finished.
This article by Tanya Harrison explains how some of the cool surface features at Mars’ south pole formed, and tell you how YOU can help map Mars! Click here to check out the Zooniverse project that puts you in the scientists’ chair to pick surface features on imagery taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
So it turns out Pluto is red, and the reason is ‘tholins’. What are tholins? They’re basically complex organic molecules. Find out more about these and the implications here.
Finally, the B612 Foundation is worth looking into if you haven’t already heard of it. Simply put, they aim to enhance our capability to protect Earth from future asteroid impacts which can be potentially catastrophic for our civilisation through science, technology, advocacy and education.
Until next time.