Why We Should Try To Contact Aliens – My Interview With Doug Vakoch

In today’s podcast, I sit down with Doug Vakoch, the founder of METI, or Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. We talk about why METI was founded, what their goals are, why we should try to contact aliens, and respond to some of the criticisms of the organization.

If you’re interested in learning more about what they do or want to get involved, you can check them out at www.meti.org.

Are Quantum Computers On The Verge Of A Breakthrough?

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For years now, quantum computers have been just out of reach, but some exciting new developments over the last year indicate that the age of quantum computing is a lot closer than we think.


Check out Jason’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS-u…


D-Wave video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvfkX…

Quantum Annealing Explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV_Rl…

Supercooled qubits: https://newatlas.com/stable-supercool…

IBM’s new Neuromorphic chip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE819…

Google Bristlecone: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/g…

Silicon based quantum chip: https://gizmodo.com/new-silicon-chip-…

The Evolution of the SpaceX Falcon 9

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SpaceX is on a roll lately with the launch of their Falcon Heavy rocket, but the real workhorse of the SpaceX lineup is the Falcon 9. So let’s look at the development of the Falcon 9 and how it got this way.

SpaceX is the most successful private rocket launch company in the world, and it’s due in large part to the Falcon 9 rocket.

And the journey to the Falcon 9 began with the Falcon 1 in 2006. The first three launches of the Falcon 1 failed, and with only one more shot before the company went bankrupt, they finally got into orbit on the 4th launch.

Plans for a larger Falcon 1e were scrapped, as well as a Falcon 5, so that they could move forward with the Falcon 9 v1.0.

With this first version of the Falcon 9, SpaceX was able to win a contract to service the ISS through NASA’s COTS program by proving that the Dragon capsule was capable of carrying out resupply missions.

SpaceX then focused on reusability and developed the Falcon 9 v1.1, which they used to test landings over open water, at the same time testing vertical take off and landing with their grasshopper vehicle.

But it was the next version, the Falcon 9 Full Thrust, that was the first to land, first on a landing pad at Cape Canaveral, and then on a drone ship.

Incremental improvements lead to the Falcon 9 Block 4 and Block 5 that will launch for the first time this April.

Earlier this year, SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy, which is 90% reusable, making spaceflight even more sustainable, but the ultimate reusable rocket is the upcoming BFR, which is completely reusable.

This is the ultimate implementation of the SpaceX vision.

5 Smaller Science YouTubers Worth Following

For this Random Thursday video, I thought I’d share with you some great science YouTube channels that deserve some attention.

Check these guys out!

Curious Elephant – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZUl…

Neoscribe – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvPB…

Undefined Behavior https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ4o…

John Michael Godier https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEsz…

Up and Atom https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSIv…

Shoutout to JTheory https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS-u…


Support me on Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/answerswithjoe

The Mars 2020 Rover (collab with Fraser Cain)

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The Mars Curiosity Rover is one of the most successful planetary missions of all time. Here’s how NASA plans to follow that up – the Mars 2020 Rover


Science Objective A: Explore once potentially-habitable areas

Science Objective B: Seek bio signatures

Science Objective C: Sample Caching

Science Objective D: Demonstrate in-situ resource utilization.

And here are the instruments that will make that possible. It contains 2 cameras on the probe’s mast, one called Mastcam-Z, which is the main “eye” for the rover.

It can take 360 degree panoramic 3D views with an advanced zoom that can see something the size of a housefly from the distance of a soccer field. And the second camera is called SuperCam.

This can actually do a spectrographic analysis of a rock’s chemical makeup from over 20 feet away by burning a hole in the rock as small as the point of a pencil.

This was developed in conjunction with a team from France. PIXL, or Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry will examine rock and soil samples for signs of ancient microbial life and can take extremely close up images of soil samples down to the size of a grain of salt. MEDA, the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer is a contribution from a team in Spain, it’s a tiny weather lab that measures wind speed, temperature and humidity and also gathers data about dust particles in the Martian atmosphere.

RIMFAX, the Radar Imager for Mars Subsurface Experiment from Norway is basically like a sonogram that see tens of meters below the ground and detect elements down to the centimeter. This will help find underground water and ice on Mars. The aptly named SHERLOC, or Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals is a big sciency way of saying it looks for signs of ancient life with UV light, much like forensic investigators at crime scenes.

Hence, Sherlock. But SHERLOC will carry a couple of interesting things with it, one is a Mars meteorite for calibration purposes.

There’s a handful of meteorites found here on Earth that we know were once a part of Mars that were blasted away in an asteroid impact, then travelled through the solar system and eventually landed on Earth.

SHERLOC is going to carry a piece of one of those meteorites to use to calibrate its laser on the Martian surface, which means this will be the first time a piece of martian rock will be returned to Mars. The other thing is it will be carrying samples of materials that may be used to make Martian spacesuits, to see how well they fare in the Martian environment. And last but definitely not least is MOXIE, the Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment.

This is the module that will be testing in situ resource utilization techniques in the hopes of turning the CO2 in the martian atmosphere into oxygen, just like a tree. The rover will also contain a special microphone, giving us the first sound recordings from the surface of Mars.

What’s The Deal With Bitcoin? (Featuring Cooper Carr of the Cine Pile Podcast)

I covered Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology in previous videos, and one of the people who helped me research those videos was my good friend Cooper Carr.

Cooper runs his own podcast called the Cine Pile Podcast, where he and a couple of friends have “down to Earth discussions about films that matter”. I actually appeared on their podcast a while back, so you know it’s gotta be good.

But Cooper has been all about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for years now, so when I was researching for my video, he was one of the first people I talked to.

In this podcast, Cooper joins me to talk in depth about how he got into Bitcoin and crypto, what’s changed over the last few years and how this new paradigm is going to change in the future. It’s a fun conversation that touches on all kinds of tangents, so I hope you enjoy it.