Space is in the news once again, and may thanks to the many people for sending me these and other articles... While I do not intend much detailed commentary here(you'll have to wait for Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations for that), I suspect that readers here will connect the dots for themselves. First, there is this backhanded admission concerning the former atmosphere of Mars:
I hope you caught the pertinent paragraph:
"The isotope data are unambiguous and robust, having been independently confirmed by the quadrupole mass spectrometer and the tunable laser spectrometer, two of the SAM suite instruments," Atreya said. "These data are clear evidence of a substantially more massive atmosphere, hence a warmer, wetter Mars in the past than the cold, arid planet we find today."
In other words, there is now even more confirmation to the growing body of evidence that Mars may have once been hospitable to life, and, as our recent blogs have suggested, to intelligent life. Now, last week I suggested in my News and Views from the Nefarium, and it will be a thesis explored in more detail in Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations, that the recent rapid introduction and (more importantly) the "media talking-up" of 3-D printing has a profound connection to space and space exploration. With that in mind, there is now this interesting bit of news:
Now I do not for a moment assume that 3-d printing would be used merely to produce rocket engines or parts thereof. In fact, I rather suspect that this is the usual "theater for show and tell," and that the real story is that 3-d printing may be used ultimately to produce parts to very different parts of space propulsion technologies, technologies that are themselves very different from mere rockets. The important point here, given the high octane speculation on space matters that I have been indulging in lately, is that it is at least being openly admitted that 3-d's implications for space are rather dramatic. Imagine being able to produce parts here, and assemble them up there, even if they are only rockets. It would have been a dramatic step forward if, say, one could have assembled the Saturn V in space and launched it from there, rather than from the ground. In other words, even as a technology applied only to rockets, 3-d printing is a potential "force multiplier" of with enormous potentialities.
But I rather suspect that that the recent NASA admissions that they are actually doing proof of concept experiments for warp drive - yes you read that correctly - are the real story:
That, and of course, the "new spirit of cooperation" between NASA and the Japanese Space Agency (and let's remember, folks, if you're still talking about rockets, the Japanese have some big ones):
The point of interest in this last article is the reference to "our asteroid initiative," i.e., NASA's publicly stated desire to lasso an asteroid, haul it into near Moon orbit, and mine it. Why would NASA be discussing this with Japan? Well, without reviewing the argument that I make in the forthcoming Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations, space, it would appear, is being (or actually, has been) collateralized, and since Japan holds so much US debt, this is, so to speak, the pay off. Of course, the sum total of all these articles taken together, and especially the last two, is that "someone" may be out there and may not particularly like us mining their asteroids. And with all those tricks of light and shadow on Mars, well, you never know... There is, after all, that nasty jurisdictional problem of prior claim. But, for that, you'll have to wait for the book.
See you on the flip side.