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Jul 21, 2018

Who owns the moon? A space lawyer answers

Posted by in categories: education, law, space

Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a national flag in another part of the world still amounted to claiming that territory for the fatherland. Did the Stars and Stripes on the moon signify the establishment of an American colony?

When people hear for the first time that I am a lawyer practicing and teaching something called “,” the question they ask most frequently, often with a big smile or a twinkle in the eye, is: “So tell me, who owns the moon?”

Of course, claiming new national territories had been very much a European habit, applied to non-European parts of the world. In particular the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the French and the English created huge colonial empires. But while their attitude was very Europe-centric, the legal notion that planting a flag was an act of establishing sovereignty quickly stuck and became accepted worldwide as part and parcel of the law of nations.

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Jul 21, 2018

This wearable lets you control computers with your mind

Posted by in categories: computing, wearables

This wristband lets you control machines with your mind.

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Jul 21, 2018

Starting this weekend, SpaceX is about to land a whole lot more rockets

Posted by in categories: drones, Elon Musk, robotics/AI, space travel

The Block 5 is the only Falcon 9 the company will fly from now on.

Early Sunday morning, SpaceX is slated to launch its second Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket — the final and most powerful version of the vehicle the company plans to make. After launch, SpaceX will attempt to land the vehicle on one of its autonomous drone ships in the Atlantic. And landings should become fairly routine now, as all of SpaceX’s missions will utilize the Block 5 from now on.

Continue reading “Starting this weekend, SpaceX is about to land a whole lot more rockets” »

Jul 21, 2018

Astronomers have found a new crop of moons around Jupiter, and one of them is a weirdo

Posted by in category: space

Up to 79 moons now.

Ten more moons have been confirmed to orbit around Jupiter, bringing the planet’s total known satellite count to 79. That’s the highest number of moons of any planet in the Solar System. And these newly discovered space rocks are giving astronomers insight as to why the Jupiter system looks like it does today.

Astronomers at Carnegie Institution for Science first found these moons in March 2017, along with two others that were already confirmed in June of last year. The team initially found all 12 moons using the Blanco 4-meter telescope in Chile, though finding these objects wasn’t their main goal. Instead, they were searching for incredibly distant small objects — or even planets — that might be lurking in our Solar System beyond Pluto. But as they searched for these fringe space rocks, they decided to take a peek at what might be lurking around Jupiter at the same time. Now, the moons they found have been observed multiple times, and their exact orbits have been submitted for approval from the International Astronomical Union, which officially recognizes celestial bodies.

Continue reading “Astronomers have found a new crop of moons around Jupiter, and one of them is a weirdo” »

Jul 21, 2018

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Is Almost Out Of Fuel

Posted by in category: space travel

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will soon end its 11-year mission.

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Jul 21, 2018

How cryptography enables online shopping, cloud tech, and the blockchain

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, encryption

What do the Gallic Wars and online shopping have in common? The answer, believe it or not, is cryptography. Cryptography is the cement of the digital world, but it also has a long history that predates the digital era.

Most people do not realize that cryptography is a foundational element to our modern society. At it’s heart cryptography is about access to data, and controlling who can see and use it.

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Jul 21, 2018

Black holes, quasars & supernova: The most astounding phenomenon in outer space

Posted by in category: cosmology

Everything you wanted to know about black holes, supernova, and quasars but were afraid to ask.

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Jul 21, 2018

Problems that can be Solved with AI

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Serious problems and issues that can be solved using AI — artificial intelligence. AI is something that can help all of us, if we use it correctly.

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Jul 21, 2018

SpaceX Is About to Tackle One of Its Biggest Recovery Challenges Yet

Posted by in categories: drones, Elon Musk, robotics/AI, space travel

Starting July 22, SpaceX will have the chance to further cement itself as the best wide receiver in the aerospace game. Elon Musk’s rocket company is scheduled to make a total of five recoveries in less than two weeks, including three Falcon 9 autonomous spaceport done ships recoveries, a rocket fairing recovery, and a Dragon capsule retrieval.

This will require SpaceX’s fleet of recovery vessels to kick into overdrive. Both of its drone ships — Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean and Just Read The Instructions in the Pacific — will be serving as a landing platform for two separate Falcon 9 rockets. While two boats, including the newly upgraded Mr. Steven and NRC Quest will be tasked with bringing back a Falcon 9 fairing and the Dragon Capsule, respectively.

SpaceX prides itself on pioneering the use of reusable rocket parts and space vessels to make space travel more affordable than it has ever been. These five recoveries will put the company’s most iconic retrieval systems to the test.

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Jul 21, 2018


Posted by in category: futurism

Along with Aubrey de Grey, Stephen L. Sorgner, Rob van Genderen, Paul Nemitz of the European Commission, William Echikson of Center for European Studies, Professor Emeritus Chapel Hill U. Woodrow Barfield, and Anne Zeiter of Ebay, I’ve joined the Editorial board of a new interdisciplinary technology journal called Delphi, published by Lexxion Publisher. They’re looking for papers and abstracts. Give it a read and submit if you like. Here’s the link:

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