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Archive for the ‘environmental’ category

Oct 23, 2018

Fishing and emergency kit apps developed by Filipino innovators during the NASA Space Apps Challenge in the Philippines

Posted by in categories: astronomy, computing, cosmology, environmental

MANILA, Philippines — A mobile and SMS application developed by IT professionals Revbrain G. Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda to help fishermen receive real-time weather, sunrise and sunset, wind speed, and cloud coverage to plan their fishing activity, and an emergency checklist kit app was developed by students Jeorge Loui P. Delfin, Bluen Ginez, Samuel Jose, Rainier Garcia Narboneta, and Eugenio Emmanuel A. Araullo for disaster preparedness won the NASA Space Apps Challenge on October 19–21 at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines, in partnership with the Embassy of the United States of America and PLDT.

Other projects and solutions developed are games using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, augmented reality mobile app to tell a story of the changes in the Arctic and Antarctic ice, artificial intelligence app helping scientists confirm the habitability of exoplanets, and story-based game using NASA Earth imagery.

They joined together with teams of coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, thinkers, designers, entrepreneurs, and everyone around the globe working together in a 48-hour sprint to develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges on Earth and in space, using NASA resources and data.

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Sep 18, 2018

Japan eager to be on board vertical-takeoff ‘flying cars’

Posted by in categories: drones, environmental, government, mobile phones

Electric drones booked through smartphones pick people up from office rooftops, shortening travel time by hours, reducing the need for parking and clearing smog from the air.

This vision of the future is driving the Japanese government’s “flying car” project. Major carrier All Nippon Airways, electronics company NEC Corp. and more than a dozen other companies and academic experts hope to have a road map for the plan ready by the year’s end.

“This is such a totally new sector Japan has a good chance for not falling behind,” said Fumiaki Ebihara, the government official in charge of the project.

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Sep 16, 2018

Scientists Say We Can’t Terraform Mars. Elon Musk Says We Can

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, engineering, environmental, space

SpaceX’s CEO shrugs off 20 years of NASA research.


SORRY, ELON. To be ready for human occupants, Elon Musk has long called Mars a “fixer-upper of a planet.” But according to a new NASA-sponsored study, a better description might be a “tear-down.” The scientists behind that project say it’s simply not possible to terraform Mars — that is, change its environment so that humans can live there without life support systems — using today’s technology.

BUILDING AN ATMOSPHERE. Mars has a super thin atmosphere; a human unprotected on the surface of Mars would quickly die, mostly because there’s not enough atmospheric pressure to prevent all your organs from rupturing out of your body (if you survived a little longer, you could also suffocate from lack of oxygen, freeze from low temperatures, or get fried from too much ultraviolet radiation).

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Aug 21, 2018

Rethinking the Mars terraforming debate

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, space

In late July, Bruce Jakosky and Christopher Edwards published a paper titled “Inventory of CO2 available for terraforming Mars,” which was sponsored by NASA. The paper analyzed the amount of volatiles, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), on or in Mars currently, and concluded reasonably that there are not enough volatiles available on Mars to terraform it sufficiently for a person to not need a pressure suit. Jakosky is the principal investigator for MAVEN, the NASA Mars orbiter studying the planet’s atmosphere. He and his co-author wrote what is technically an accurate paper, in spite of what was an existing mild controversy over the amount of some volatiles in the soil and regolith of Mars.

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Aug 20, 2018

Beijing Enjoys the Bluest Skies in a Decade

Posted by in category: environmental

Beijing residents have been breathing some of the cleanest air in a decade as they begin to reap the benefits of China’s anti-smog push.

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Aug 5, 2018

Sorry Elon Musk, But It’s Now Clear That Colonizing Mars Is Unlikely — And A Bad Idea

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, engineering, environmental, government, space travel, sustainability

This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Space X and Tesla founder Elon Musk has a vision for colonising Mars, based on a big rocket, nuclear explosions and an infrastructure to transport millions of people there. This was seen as highly ambitious but technically challenging in several ways. Planetary protection rules and the difficulties of terraforming (making the planet hospitable by, for example, warming it up) and dealing with the harsh radiation were quoted as severe obstacles.

Undeterred, Musk took a first step towards his aim in February this year with the launch of a Tesla roadster car into an orbit travelling beyond Mars on the first Falcon Heavy rocket. This dramatically illustrated the increasing launch capability for future missions made available by partnerships between commercial and government agencies.

Continue reading “Sorry Elon Musk, But It’s Now Clear That Colonizing Mars Is Unlikely — And A Bad Idea” »

Jul 14, 2018

NASA director reverses on climate change, after 1 month

Posted by in categories: astronomy, climatology, education, environmental, ethics, existential risks, governance, government, lifeboat, science, space, sustainability

For millennia, our planet has sustained a robust ecosystem; healing each deforestation, algae bloom, pollution or imbalance caused by natural events. Before the arrival of an industrialized, destructive and dominant global species, it could pretty much deal with anything short of a major meteor impact. In the big picture, even these cataclysmic events haven’t destroyed the environment—they just changed the course of evolution and rearranged the alpha animal.

But with industrialization, the race for personal wealth, nations fighting nations, and modern comforts, we have recognized that our planet is not invincible. This is why Lifeboat Foundation exists. We are all about recognizing the limits to growth and protecting our fragile environment.

Check out this April news article on the US president’s forthcoming appointment of Jim Bridenstine, a vocal climate denier, as head of NASA. NASA is one of the biggest agencies on earth. Despite a lack of training or experience—without literacy in science, technology or astrophysics—he was handed an enormous responsibility, a staff of 17,000 and a budget of $19 billion.

In 2013, Bridenstine criticized former president Obama for wasting taxpayer money on climate research, and claimed that global temperatures stopped rising 15 years ago.

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Jul 12, 2018

Transmetropolitan: Relevant or Rose-Colored Glasses?

Posted by in categories: environmental, futurism

It’s a fantastic comic that holds up well as a story for a number of reasons. It’s cyberpunk without the genre’s trademark dinge: Robertson, Ramos, and colorist Nathan Eyring deserve a lot of credit for making a future packed with information overload, but not obscured by smog or gloom or perpetual rain. It’s also genuinely funny. Angry Warren Ellis is gifted at turning the combination of rage, foul language, and body parts into something beautiful. It’s also appropriately cynical, and I think this is where a lot of the comparisons to the present day come from.


Holy mother of God, Transmet is over 20 years old. But is it still sharp commentary, or a relic of its time?

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Apr 18, 2018

China fights big smog with big air purifier

Posted by in categories: environmental, sustainability

China has a found a novel way to tackle its massive air pollution problem: Putting up a giant air purifier the size of an industrial smokestack in the middle of a smog-plagued city.

Instead of pumping out billows of black smoke like the chimneys rising from factories in the northern province of Shaanxi, the 60-meter (197-foot) tall structure on the outskirts of the regional capital Xian blasts .

Standing between high-rises, the device is capable of cleaning between five million and 18 million cubic meters of air each day, depending on the weather, season, and level of pollution, according to a report by the Chinese website Thecover.cn.

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Feb 4, 2018

European Utility Giant Says ‘No’ To Crypto Mining, Even With ‘Clean Energy’ — By Molly Jane Zuckerman | Cointelegraph

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, energy, environmental

“In a brief statement to Reuters, the Italy-based company said that they had “no interest whatsoever in selling power”to a mining company”

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