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Tuesday, June 13, 2006


"It is important ... to spread out into space" - Hawkings

 Stephen Hawkings
Stephen Hawkings
Credit: Hong Kong Space Museum - AstroNews
As the crowds formed and push against the chain of police officers, Stephen Hawkings, 64, landed in Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok Airport. Greeted by a rock star's welcome, at Hong Kong University he said "It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species. Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of." He said that humans should colonize the Moon within 20 years and Mars within 40. This is the kind of high profile support Mars missions need. A push from Hawkings can only be a good sign.

(More info: Monsters and Critics, My Way)


- posted by Jim @ 21:43 EST

(permanent link)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Efficient Shower

US Patent Application 20,060,064,815 is for a misting shower. It first mists the body with water and shampoo, then with water, then with air to dry. "The new technique should minimize water and space requirements," the patent says. This is important, as on Mars or the ship to, water will be at a premium for the much of the initial stage.

- posted by Jim @ 9:58 EST

(permanent link)

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Site Update

Welcome to the new Red Colony!
I am happy to present to you the new style and features that we have been working on for some time. Besides the new style, you will find:
  • The Plan Wiki - This is a place where the Projects can work, share, and update information. It is open to read by everyone, but only Project members can edit it.
  • Control Panel - On this page you will find the new Article Submitter. It has a WYSIWYG editor and graphical interface. Also, there is a News Submitter. This allows anyone to submit news to us to be used on the front page. Over time, more features will be added to your control panel.
  • Search Engine - There is a new search engine on the site. It searched articles, news, and the forum. It will help you find information on the site.
We hope that the new site will help the site grow in its Mission Statement. We are hoping that with the new features, we can better organize information information to help inform people. We are hoping that the Projects can be more active with the wiki and the forums. We are hoping that more debate can be brought to the forums about topics relating to colonization and terraforming.

We have tried to test the new site thoroughly before releasing, but as with any large software package, there will be bugs. We will work diligently to try and correct any errors reported to us.

We hope that you enjoy the site,
Red Colony Staff


- posted by Jim @ 7:51 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, June 26, 2006


NASA and Commercial Space Growth

NASA is having a $500M competition for private companies to develop a "rent-a-shuttle". "I consider it to be a big gamble," Griffin told a U.S. Senate committee recently. "It is well past time for NASA to do everything it can to stimulate commercial space transportation ... and I'm trying to do that." NASA is hoping to find a possible bridge between the grounding of the shuttle no later than 2010 and the CEV in 2014. It would also give the private sector a chance to launch scientific and commercial payload without relaying on NASA. Of the 24 entries, 6 were chosen as finalists. "Some of the best, most innovative ideas came from the lesser known names in the aerospace industry," said James Bailey, a NASA contracting officer. "This is a program whose time has come," said Kimberly Campbell, a vice president at Spacehab, a Webster, Texas-based aerospace company. "Prices with competition will generally be driven down, but the ease of doing business with the government will get better ... What you'll get is better efficiency." "Traditionally, Uncle Sam has done this many times before," said Bob van der Linden, a curator at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. "Prove it can be done, help business get involved and when business can make money, you step back and everybody benefits." The winner will be announced later this summer.

(More info: Northwest Florida Daily News)


- posted by Jim @ 20:42 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Power from Above

The basic elements of the rectenna are amazingly simple to make. They are just folded metal strips sandwiching an insulator (left) and arranged on a wire mesh reflector (right).
The basic elements of the rectenna are amazingly simple to make. They are just folded metal strips sandwiching an insulator (left) and arranged on a wire mesh reflector (right).
Credit: (NASA/Marshall)
"We should begin marrying the concepts for the exploration of space with the utilization of space," Dr. Peter Curreri, a materials scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, said. "The key is to build. Rather than just going to Mars to say we did it, you want to go there and build an infrastructure so people could stay and live." In a March 3, 1999 NASA news release, Curreri outlined his plan of how Mars could become "energy rich." He proposed a "solar clipper" powered by an ion drive and large solar sails for the voyage to and from Mars. The plan also called for the clipper to be put in mars-sychonous orbit (17 023 km, or for us US folk, 10 577.6 mi) and have it beam down energy in the form of microwaves. Using rectifying antennas (rectennas) made almost entirely from Mars ore and Roman-era methods, a 1.5 km-wide rectenna would provide 150 kilowatts of electricity. This energy could be used to run the base and create more iron and rocket fuel to make more rectennas. The iron would acctualy be a byproduct of the reaction to make the rocket fuel methane(water + carbon dioxide -> methane + carbon monoxide; carbon monoxide + iron oxide -> carbon dioxide + iron). If the array were increased to 20-km, it would output 7-megawatts, more than enough on which to run a base. Expanding the array further would require the shipment of small rectifying circuits from Earth. The array would be easy to care for, as dust would not interfere with its operation and the iron would not oxidize in the Martian atmosphere.

(More info: Bringing Mars into the Iron Age - Space Science News)


- posted by Jim @ 12:34 EST

(permanent link)

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