The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is part of the Artemis program to return to the moon and stay. It will serve as a waypoint between Earth and the moon and a gateway to deep space and Mars missions.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has been the biggest storm in the solar system for centuries. But lately, it seems to be shrinking… and nobody’s sure why.
So this video was supposed to just be about the Great Red Spot but honestly the more I looked into Jupiter, the more I was struck by how insane the planet is. So it kinda became about that.
Solar power is on the rise, and that’s a good thing. But solar power has one major drawback – it can’t make energy at night, which is literally half the time.
But there is a place where you have constant sun, 24 hours a day, with no cloud cover, and get twice as much energy – outer space.
Could giant solar panels in space be the key to unlimited energy?
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Experiments like the double slit experiment have spawned multiple interpretations of quantum physics, including the Copenhagen interpretation and Pilot Wave Theory. But the Many Worlds Hypothesis might be the most mind-blowing of all.
The most popular interpretation of quantum mechanics over the past hundred years was developed by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen, around 1925. This was fittingly named the Copenhagen Interpretation.
Louis de Broglie [de Broy] came up with the Pilot Wave Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics at about the same time, which I’ve also covered.
Both of these interpretations share the belief that the measured path of a particle is the only real path. The other paths are mere possibilities.
About 30 years later, a slightly drunk Princeton student disagreed. While sipping sherry, or so the story goes, Hugh Everett III started asking, what if all the paths do exist, but are just taken in different realities?
Everett’s ideas were… not well received to say the least. At the time, Niels Bohr was then alive and active in scientific circles. He had a reputation for shutting down any physicist who dared challenge the Copenhagen Interpretation.
And that was where the idea stayed, relegated to the dustbin of history, for the next 2 decades, before it got rediscovered by Bryce DeWitt.
He was the acting editor at Reviews of Modern Physics in 1973 when he ran across the paper and was stunned that nothing ever came of this idea.
Since the 1970s, the Many Worlds Interpretation has gone from being fringe science to an idea mainstream physicists can get behind.
Stephen Hawking was a fan, as was Richard Feynman…though to hear physicists tell it, Feynman was a fan of literally EVERYTHING.
One prominent proponent of Many Worlds working today is David Deutsch, who is a quantum computer pioneer whose cool factor went through the roof when he was mentioned in Avengers: Endgame.
Last week, the Event Horizon Telescope released their first images ever taken of a black hole, specifically the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy M87. I thought this would be a good time to look back at how we’ve visualized Black Holes over the years and what we can learn from them.
If we’re going to become a space-faring civilization and travel to Mars and beyond, we need to know how to live and work in space. So while space stations aren’t the most headline-grabbing aspect of the space race, they are vitally important.
In 1957, the United States began testing nuclear weapons underground in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada as part of Operation Plumbbob. One underground test, Pascal B, may have put the first manmade object into space.
Robert R. Brownlee engineered the Pascal A underground test to measure the amount of fallout that would occur from underground nuclear explosions. It involved digging a 485 foot shaft into the ground and capping it with a heavy steel plate.
The explosion blew the steel plate off the ground and caused Brownlee to wonder how fast it propelled the object, so he set up a second nuclear test, Pascal B, to measure the speed of the steel cap.
The high-speed camera only recorded the plate in one frame, which led Brownlee to conclude that it must have been traveling at more than 125,000 miles per hour, or 5 times the escape velocity of Earth. The plate was never found, and this has led many to believe it was jettisoned out into space.
If this is true, the steel plate from Pascal B beat Sputnik to space by 2 months and would be the fastest human-made object of all time.
There are many who believe this couldn’t possibly be true though because at that speed the plate would have vaporized in the atmosphere just like a meteor or satellite re-entering the atmosphere at orbital velocity. So the mystery of Pascal B carries on.
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Robert Bigelow became a billionaire as the owner of Budget Suites of America hotels. But now he wants to build hotels in space. And his company Bigelow Aerospace is getting closer with their inflatable habitats.
Robert Bigelow grew up in Las Vegas in the 1950s, and saw the nuclear testing that took place nearby. This spurred a love of science that he carries with him to this day.
He vowed to one day spend $500 million to create the first commercial space station, and established Bigelow Aerospace in 2000.
Their focus would be on inflatable habitats, a technology that NASA developed while working on the Transhab module for the International Space Station that was eventually cancelled. Bigelow Aerospace bought NASA’s patents and began working on their own versions.
The first program, GenesisI1 and Genesis II, were unmanned inflatable habitats that tested the technology. The habitats were functional for 2 and a half years and performed well enough that NASA contacted Bigelow to test an inflatable module on the ISS.
Bigelow created BEAM – the Bigelow Experimental Activity Module, which was installed on the ISS in 2016. It has performed perfectly, getting its original 2-year mission expanded beyond 2020, and has shown to stand up to micrometeorite impacts and radiation as well as the rest of the ISS.
Bigelow’s next step is to launch the B330, a 300 cubic meter inflatable habitat that is the centerpiece of their plans. Bigelow wants to use multiple B330s to create commercial space stations in orbit. B330s may even be used as habitats on the moon.
Beyond that, Bigelow plans to build the B2100, a massive habitat with 2 and a half times more volume than the ISS. These would be the first space hotels.
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