Posts Tagged ‘space’

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A Visual History of Satellites: The ‘extended urbanization’ of space.

May 23, 2014

Right now, there about 1,100 satellites whizzing above our heads performing various functions like observation, communication, and spying. There are roughly another 2,600 doing nothing, as they died or were turned off a long time ago.

How did each of these satellites get up there? And what nations are responsible for sending up the bulk of them?

The answers come in the form of this bewitching visualization of satellite launches from 1957 – the year Russia debuted Sputnik 1 – to the present day. (The animation starts at 2:10; be sure to watch in HD.) Launch sites pop up as yellow circles as the years roll by, sending rockets, represented as individual lines, flying into space with one or more satellites aboard.

Read Full article at CityLab

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Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment

May 16, 2014

The relationship between bodily pleasure, space, and architecture—from one of the twentieth century’s most important urban theorists

Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment, the first publication of Henri Lefebvre’s only book devoted to architecture, redefines architecture as a mode of imagination rather than a specialized process or a collection of monuments. Lefebvre calls for an architecture of jouissance—of pleasure or enjoyment—centered on the body and its rhythms and based on the possibilities of the senses.

Lukasz Stanek’s work has already taken scholarship on Henri Lefebvre’s concept of space to an unprecedented level of philosophical sophistication. With the discovery of the new text, Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment, Stanek escorts Lefebvre to the center of architecture theory since 1968. Lefebvre’s conceptual text and Stanek’s exquisite introduction together enable the possibility of thinking not about architecture, but thinking architecturally about how we inhabit our world. Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment takes us toward a concept of the architectural imagination that is a powerful mediator between thought and action.

—K. Michael Hays, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Text and Image via UPRESS

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Is our universe fine-tuned for the existence of life – or does it just look that way from where we’re sitting?

November 15, 2013

It can be unsettling to contemplate the unlikely nature of your own existence, to work backward causally and discover the chain of blind luck that landed you in front of your computer screen, or your mobile, or wherever it is that you are reading these words. For you to exist at all, your parents had to meet, and that alone involved quite a lot of chance and coincidence. If your mother hadn’t decided to take that calculus class, or if her parents had decided to live in another town, then perhaps your parents never would have encountered one another. But that is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg. Even if your parents made a deliberate decision to have a child, the odds of your particular sperm finding your particular egg are one in several billion. The same goes for both your parents, who had to exist in order for you to exist, and so already, after just two generations, we are up to one chance in 1027. Carrying on in this way, your chance of existing, given the general state of the universe even a few centuries ago, was almost infinitesimally small. You and I and every other human being are the products of chance, and came into existence against very long odds.

Excerpt from an article writen by Tim Maudlin at Aeon. Continue THERE

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Copenhagen Suborbitals: DIY Space Exploration

September 16, 2013

Copenhagen Suborbitals is a suborbital space endeavor, based entirely on private donators, sponsors and part time specialists

According to them: “Our mission is to launch human beings into space on privately build rockets and spacecrafts. The project is both open source and non-profit in order to inspire as many people as possible, and to involve relevant partners and their expertise. We aim to show the world that human space flight can be different from the usual expensive and government controlled project. We are working full time to develop a series of suborbital space vehicles – designed to pave the way for manned space flight on a micro size spacecraft. The mission has a 100% peaceful purpose and is not in any way involved in carrying explosive, nuclear, biological and chemical payloads. We intend to share all our technical information as much as possible, within the laws of EU-export control.

They work in a 300 sqm storage building, called Horizontal Assembly Building (HAB), placed on an abandoned but yet historic shipyard in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The areas around HAB provides them with enough space to test their own rocket engines, and being situated close to the harbour of Copenhagen makes it easy for them to go into sea for our sea launch operation.

They have no administration or technical boards to approve our work, so they move very fast from idea to construction. Everything they build is tested until they believe it will do. Then they (attempt to) fly it!

Some of their main design drivers are:

– Keep as much work in-house as possible
– Choose mechanical solutions over electrical
– Use “ordinary” materials for cheaper and faster production
– Cut away (anything), instead of adding

Images and Text via Copenhagen Suborbitals

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Space Ownership and the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 by NASA

September 12, 2013

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967

Treaty on principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies.

Opened for signature at Moscow, London, and Washington on 27 January, 1967

THE STATES PARTIES. TO THIS TREATY,

INSPIRED by the great prospects opening up before mankind as a result of man’s entry into outer space,

RECOGNIZING the common interest of all mankind in the progress of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes,

BELIEVING that the exploration and use of outer space should be carried on for the benefit of all peoples irrespective of the degree of their economic or scientific development,

DESIRING to contribute to broad international co-operation in the scientific as well as the legal aspects of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes,

BELIEVING that such co-operation will contribute to the development of mutual understanding and to the strengthening of friendly relations between States and peoples,

RECALLING resolution 1962 (XVIII), entitled “Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space”, which was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 1963,

RECALLING resolution 1884 (XVIII), calling upon States to refrain from placing in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction or from installing such weapons on celestial bodies, which was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly on 17 October 1963,

TAKING account of United Nations General Assembly resolution 110 (II) of 3 November 1947, which condemned propaganda designed or likely to provoke or encourage any threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, and considering that the aforementioned resolution isapplicable to outer space,

CONVINCED that a Treaty on Principles Governing the Activitiesof States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, will further the Purposes and Principles ofthe Charter of the United Nations,

HAVE AGREED ON THE FOLLOWING:

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Iron in Egyptian relics came from space: Meteorite impacts thousands of years ago may have helped to inspire ancient religion.

May 30, 2013

The 5,000-year-old iron bead might not look like much, but it hides a spectacular past: researchers have found that an ancient Egyptian trinket is made from a meteorite.

The result, published on 20 May in Meteoritics & Planetary Science, explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron millennia before the earliest evidence of iron smelting in the region, solving an enduring mystery. It also hints that they regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion.

“The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians,” says Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author of the paper. “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”

The tube-shaped bead is one of nine found in 1911 in a cemetery at Gerzeh, around 70 kilometres south of Cairo. The cache dates from about 3,300 bc, making the beads the oldest known iron artefacts from Egypt.

Text and Image via Nature. Continue reading HERE

Ancient Egyptians accessorized with meteorites. Via The Open University.

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78,000 apply to leave Earth forever to live on Mars

May 13, 2013

Huge numbers of people on Earth are keen to leave the planet forever and seek a new life homesteading on Mars. About 78,000 people have applied to become Red Planet colonists with the nonprofit organization Mars One since its application process opened on April 22, officials announced Tuesday. Mars One aims to land four people on the Red Planet in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent colony, with more astronauts arriving every two years thereafter.

“With 78,000 applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history,” Mars One Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. “These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants.”

Mars One estimates that landing four settlers on Mars in 2023 will cost about $6 billion. The Netherlands-based organization plans to pay most of the bills by staging a global reality-TV event, with cameras documenting all phases of the mission from astronaut selection to the colonists’ first years on the Red Planet. The application process extends until Aug. 31. Anyone at least 18 years of age can apply by submitting to the Mars One website a 1-minute video explaining his or her motivation to become a Red Planet settler.

Text by Mike Wall. Continue THERE