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.

20140105-114648.jpgImage credit: ESO / T. Preibisch, via http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1208a/

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

Spiders in Space! SpiderFab, a fabulous NASA initiative

3ders.org a great 3 D printing site has this up…..TUI, a space technology development company based in Bothell, WA is currently developing “SpiderFab” to provide order-of-magnitude packing- and mass- efficiency improvements over current deployable structures and enables construction of kilometer-scale apertures within current launch vehicle capabilities.
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Trusselator
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SpiderFab project (credit: Tethers.com)

Go NASA!

Here is the TUI SpiderFab site

And remember this, Lego for the MIT set20130830-102928.jpg20130830-102946.jpg

3D printed parts resurrect Saturn V’s ferocious F1 first stage engines

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The prototype components were constructed not with welding and casting, but rather with selective laser melting—a 3D printing technique that uses hot lasers to fuse metal powder into complex shapes. Dynetics and Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne hope to lean heavily on advanced manufacturing techniques like this in order to massively reduce the part count—and hence cost—of the F-1B engine compared to its F-1 predecessor. Current estimates call for a reduction in the combustion chamber from more than 5,000 parts in the F-1 to fewer than 100 parts in the F-1B.

OK I loathe the senate taxripoff system (STS), otherwise known as the space transportation system, but this is absolutely cool. I have to say NASA engineers and scientists have done a lot of really great and innovative stuff, even in these tough times, but as an exploratory risk taking organization…..well they’re a bunch of engineers and scientists lead by bureaucrats and directed by politicians . . . what more is there to say?