You know this is what I always imagined a new space drive would look like in its infancy

At Boingboing a fascinating article about a man and his dogged development of something that might change the world.

Strange thrust: the unproven science that could propel our children into space  By: Charles Platt

 

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Anthropic principle and our finely-tuned Universe

Anthropic principle and our finely-tuned Universe Ethan Siegel at Starts With A Bang!

How the mis-application of the Anthropic Principle has led factions of scientists away from the search for a natural, physical explanation of our Universe, and why that’s bad for everyone.

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One of the first things you notice — and it’s self-evident if you think about it — is that the Universe is full of stuff. This in itself is a wondrous thing, because it didn’t need to be that way.

Cygnus docking signals another major eSpace success on the same day!

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An Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo ship reached the International Space Station early Sunday and was captured by the lab’s robot arm. The successful rendezvous marked a major milestone for NASA and a program to fund development of commercial cargo carries to replace capacity lost with the space shuttle’s retirement. (Credit: NASA TV)

Micro Thrust

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L. Brad King’s prototype of a ferrofluid ion thruster. When subjected to magnetic field, the points of the crown arise from a ring-shaped trench circling a one-inch block of aluminum. (Credit: Sarah Bird)

then an electric field is applied which makes the ‘points’ extend to nano scale and then emit ionic molecules at high velocity. Very neat, self forming, self healing, some scaling details to work out but this looks very promising. Another tech breakthrough from Air Force R&D.

Antimatter in space flight relevant quantities in 5 years!? Hot stuff!

AUGUST 30, 2013 Care of: Carnival of Space #317Billionaire Peter Thiel funds Positron Dynamics who are developing a 10 microgram per week antimatter factory

For planetary, early interstellar precursor and simple omniplanetary applications, ACMF (antimatter catalyzed fusion) exhibits the best performance. The reference case of a 1-year human round-trip mission to Jupiter with a 10 to 100 metric ton (mT) payload requires an antimatter quantity of 1 to 10 micrograms (μg). It appears as though this requirement could drop into the 1 to 10 ng range for payloads consistent with unmanned, planetary missions.

So fuel for a trip to Jupiter (in one year!) every week.

I always figured You were a Martian!

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“The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock,” says Professor Benner. “It’s lucky that we ended up here nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining life. If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell.”

Read more at: phys.org