Largest-Ever Simulation of the Universe Revealed Back in 1970, Jim Peebles at Princeton University carried out a ground-breaking experiment. He used the new-fangled technology of computing to simulate the behaviour of a cluster of galaxies under the force of gravity. This simulation was tiny by modern standards: it involved just 300 ‘particles’. Today, Juhan Kim at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study in Seoul, and a few pals, show just how far this technique has come. This took some 20 days of computing time on the Tachyonii supercomputer in Korea, the 26th fastest in the world in the last set of rankings. By contrast, the 2005 Millennium simulation, which was the biggest cosmological simulation of its time, consisted of 10 billion particles in a 500 megaparsec box. The purpose of the simulation is to reproduce the entire evolution of a universe made largely of cold dark matter to see whether it produces same structures that we see in ours–from the galactic structures to galactic clusters, galactic superclusters and beyond.
Embryo space colonization Embryo space colonization is a theoretical interstellar space colonization concept that involves sending a robotic mission to a habitable terrestrial planet transporting frozen early-stage human embryos or the technological or biological means to create human embryos. The proposal circumvents the most severe technological problems of other mainstream interstellar colonization concepts. In contrast to the sleeper ship proposal, it does not require the more technically challenging 'freezing' of fully developed humans (see cryonics). Various concepts Embryo space colonization concepts involve various concepts of delivering the embryos from Earth to an extrasolar planet around another star system. The most straightforward concept is to make use of cryogenically preserved embryos. Mission at target planet Comparison to other interstellar colonization concepts Difficulties in implementing the concept Artist's impression from 2005 of the planet HD 69830 d. Notes
Self-replicating spacecraft The idea of self-replicating spacecraft has been applied — in theory — to several distinct "tasks". The particular variant of this idea applied to the idea of space exploration is known as a von Neumann probe. Other variants include the Berserker and an automated terraforming seeder ship. Theory In theory, a self-replicating spacecraft could be sent to a neighbouring star-system, where it would seek out raw materials (extracted from asteroids, moons, gas giants, etc.) to create replicas of itself. Given this pattern, and its similarity to the reproduction patterns of bacteria, it has been pointed out that von Neumann machines might be considered a form of life. The first quantitative engineering analysis of such a spacecraft was published in 1980 by Robert Freitas, in which the non-replicating Project Daedalus design was modified to include all subsystems necessary for self-replication. Implications for Fermi's paradox A response came from Carl Sagan and William Newman.
Living Universe Foundation The Mars Homestead Project - Arrive, Survive, & Thrive!™ Noogenesis Noogenesis (Ancient Greek: νοῦς=mind + γένεσις=becoming) is the emergence of intelligent forms of life. The term was first used by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in regard to the evolution of humans. It also used in astrobiology in regard to the emergence of forms of life capable of technology and so interstellar communication and travel. Teilhard Noogenesis began with reflective thought; or with the first human beings. Teilhard imagines that noogenesis will eventually reach a critical point of consciousness, brought about by a maximum tension of human socialization. Astrobiology In astrobiology noogenesis concerns the origin of intelligent life and more specifically technological civilizations capable of communicating with humans and or traveling to Earth. The lack of evidence for the existence of such extraterrestrial life creates the Fermi paradox. References
Stanford torus Exterior view of a Stanford torus. Bottom center is the non-rotating primary solar mirror, which reflects sunlight onto the angled ring of secondary mirrors around the hub. Painting by Donald E. Davis Interior of a Stanford torus, painted by Donald E. The Stanford torus is a proposed design for a space habitat capable of housing 10,000 to 140,000 permanent residents. The Stanford torus was proposed during the 1975 NASA Summer Study, conducted at Stanford University, with the purpose of speculating on designs for future space colonies (Gerard O'Neill later proposed his Island One or Bernal sphere as an alternative to the torus). It consists of a torus, or doughnut-shaped ring, that is 1.8 km in diameter (for the proposed 10,000 person habitat described in the 1975 Summer Study) and rotates once per minute to provide between 0.9g and 1.0g of artificial gravity on the inside of the outer ring via centrifugal force. Construction General characteristics Gallery
Terraforming of Mars Artist's conception of the process of terraforming Mars. The terraforming of Mars is the hypothetical process by which Martian climate, surface, and known properties would be deliberately changed with the goal of making large areas of the environment more hospitable to human habitation, thus making human colonization much safer and more sustainable. The concept relies on the assumption that the environment of a planet can be altered through artificial means. In addition, the feasibility of creating a planetary biosphere on Mars is undetermined. There are several proposed methods, some of which present prohibitive economic and natural resource costs, and others that may be currently technologically achievable. Motivation and ethics Future population growth and demand for resources may necessitate human colonization of objects other than Earth, such as Mars, the Moon, and nearby planets. In many respects, Mars is the most Earth-like of all the other planets in the Solar System.
Terraforming An artist's conception shows a terraformed Mars in four stages of development. Terraforming (literally, "Earth-shaping") of a planet, moon, or other body is the theoretical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to the biosphere of Earth to make it habitable by Earth-like life. The term "terraforming" is sometimes used more generally as a synonym for planetary engineering, although some consider this more general usage an error. The concept of terraforming developed from both science fiction and actual science. The term was coined by Jack Williamson in a science-fiction story (Collision Orbit) published during 1942 in Astounding Science Fiction, but the concept may pre-date this work. History of scholarly study In March 1979, NASA engineer and author James Oberg organized the First Terraforming Colloquium, a special session at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston. Mars