Science Fiction – Key Pax Mon, 10 May 2021 08:33:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Science Fiction – Key Pax 32 32 Want to become a space tourist? You can finally – if you have $ 250,000 and a willingness to give up your life Mon, 10 May 2021 06:34:18 +0000

Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space launch company Blue Origin has announced that it will sell its first microgravity flights to the highest bidder.

Blue Origin and its two biggest competitors in the field of “space tourism”, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, claim to advance humanity through the “democratization” of space. But these rides do not open access to the space for everyone.

A changing landscape

At first glance, the prospect of a space tourism industry is exciting.

It promises an easier path to space than that followed by astronauts, who must go through higher education, intensive training and extremely competitive selection processes. Astronauts must also have the correct nationality, as few countries have access to manned space flight programs.

In theory, opening up a commercial space flight industry should make space more accessible and democratic. But this is only partially the case; what was once the domain of only the richest countries is today an industry run mainly by commercial entities.

Moreover, these companies are willing to take more risks than government programs because they do not have to justify their expenses – or their failures – to the public. Blue Origin and SpaceX have seen plenty of explosions in previous tests, but fans are watching with excitement rather than dismay.

This has promoted the rapid development of space technologies. Reusable rockets – especially SpaceX’s Falcon 9, which just made its tenth successful launch – reduced the cost of launch by ten.

In addition to reducing costs, reusable technology also strives to solve the problem of sustainability.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink communications satellites took off on May 9, 2021.
AP / Craig Bailey

Consider sustainability

There have been thousands of launches since 1957, when the first man-made object (Sputnik I) was launched by the Soviets. Outside of the Falcon 9, however, every launcher was used once and scrapped immediately – much like throwing an airplane after a flight.

The number of launches increases each year, with 114 carried out in 2020 alone. Over the weekend, the uncontrolled re-entry of debris from the Chinese rocket Long March 5B made global headlines due to its size and risk. damage. This is just one example of the problems of space debris and traffic management.

Safety is a key issue for human spaceflight. Currently, there are approximately 3,400 operational satellites in orbit and approximately 128 million pieces of debris. There are hundreds of collision risks every day, avoided by expensive and difficult maneuvers, or, if the risk is low enough, operators wait and hope for the best.

If we add more manned spaceflight to this traffic, countries will have to adopt more stringent requirements to de-orbit satellites at the end of their life, so that they burn out by re-entry. Currently, it is acceptable to desorbit after 25 years or place a satellite in an unused orbit. But that only delays the problem for the future.

Nations will also need to implement the 2019 United Nations guidelines on the long-term sustainability of activities in outer space.

Read more: Space can solve our looming resource crisis – but the space industry itself must be sustainable

Another important factor is the environmental impact of launches. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 uses as much fuel as an average car would over 200 years, from a single launch.

On the ground, there are land and waterway impacts, which we need to keep in mind when building future launch sites in Australia. Launch permits currently require environmental impact statements, but these should also include long-term effects and carbon footprint.

Keep billionaires in check

In the years to come, it will be crucial that independent spaceflight companies are tightly regulated.

Virgin Galactic has long advocated a “shirt sleeve” environment in which customers can experience the luxury of space flight without being embarrassed by awkward space suits. But the death of one of its test pilots in 2014 is proof that spaceflight remains dangerous. High altitudes and pressures require more care and less concern for comfort.

Although regulators such as the United States Federal Aviation Administration have strict safety requirements for space tourism, pressurized space suits are not one of them – but they should be. In addition, space tourism operators can require passengers to sign statutory liability waivers in the event of an accident.

And while it’s laudable that SpaceX and Blue Origin are making technological leaps, there is little in their business plans that speak of diversity, inclusiveness, and global accessibility. The first space tourists were all wealthy entrepreneurs.

In 2001, Dennis Tito traveled to a seat on a Russian Soyuz rocket to visit the International Space Station (ISS). Since then, there have been eight other space tourists, each paying between US $ 20 million and US $ 30 million to fly through the Russian program.

60-year-old American multimillionaire Dennis Tito became the first paid space tourist in 2001.
Photo AP / Mikhial Metzel

In 2022, the Axiom crew is expected to perform a SpaceX Dragon flight to the ISS. Each of the three wealthy white male passengers will have paid US $ 55 million for this privilege. Meanwhile, Blue Origin’s next auction will run for five weeks, with the highest bidder winning a seat for a few minutes of microgravity.

Virgin Galactic’s 90-minute rides, which are also slated to fly as early as 2022, have already sold for US $ 250,000. Future tickets should cost more.

A matter of time?

Of course, conventional recreational air travel was also originally reserved for the wealthy. The first intercontinental flights to the United States were about half the price of a new car. But technological advancements and business competition meant that in 2019 (pre-COVID), nearly five million people were stealing daily.

It may only be a matter of time before space tourism becomes accessible as well. Ideally, that would mean being able to fly from Sydney to London in a matter of hours.

Again, spaceflight carries much greater risks and much higher costs than airflight, even with reusable rockets. It will take a long time before these costs are sufficiently reduced to allow the “democratization” of space.

It’s a compelling story that commercial spaceflight companies are eager to embrace. But there will always be a part of society that will not have access to this future. Indeed, as many sci-fi tales predict, human spaceflight or habitation in space may never be accessible to anyone but the very wealthy.

We know that space technologies have benefits – from tracking climate change, to building global health services and communications, to learning about science experiments on the ISS. But when it comes to space tourism, the return on investment for the average person is less clear.

Read more: Yuri Gagarin’s Boomerang: The Story of the First Person to Return from Space and His Brief Encounter with Australian Culture

Source link

]]> 0
Tving offers another VOD output option for South Korean films Mon, 10 May 2021 02:55:32 +0000

SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) – Tving, an online video streaming platform run by South Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM, has become a new option for South Korean films looking for on-demand releases after a slow theatrical airing amid the year-long pandemic.

Over the past year, the Korean film industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, has had to adapt its traditional theatrical release strategies to either direct video-on-demand (VOD) or hybrid versions. cinema and digital.

Many big-name blockbusters have chosen the first title in collaboration with the American streaming giant Netflix, which has seen a sharp increase in the number of subscribers in the country in recent years.

“Time to Hunt,” an action thriller movie directed by Yoon Sung-hyun, was the first Korean film to air direct on Netflix last year.

Since then, several other Korean films, including the sci-fi blockbuster “Space Sweepers” and the action thriller “Night in Paradise,” have made it straight to Netflix without a theatrical release.

In 2021, Tving opened up another way for Korean film studios and distributors to release their films in theaters and digital streaming at the same time.

The sci-fi action blockbuster “Seobok”, produced and distributed by CJ ENM, was released simultaneously in theaters and via Tving in April.

It was one of the most anticipated blockbusters in South Korea since last year due to its subject matter of the first human clone and its starring of two Korean favorites, Gong Yoo and Park Bo-gum.

After months of delays due to the lengthy COVID-19 pandemic, the expensive title with a budget of 16 billion won (US $ 14.2 million) became the first Korean film released by a major film company in take the two-track approach.

The number of people who saw “Seobok” in theaters reached 385,000 during its 18 days of theatrical release from April 15 to May 2. It became the second most viewed local film in 2021, following the action comedy “Mission: Possible”. which was seen by 444,000 spectators.

On Tving, the film was at the top of the popular movie charts for its first two weeks, according to CJ ENM.

The upcoming drama film “Happy New Year”, starring Han Ji-min and Lee Dong-wook, will also follow in the footsteps of “Seobok”.

In addition, the historical drama “The Book of Fish” will be released exclusively on Tving on May 20, three weeks after it made paid VOD services available on the Internet and Internet Protocol TVs on April 28.

The black-and-white film about an elite bureaucrat and scholar named Yak-jeon and his young friend Chang-dae has drawn 336,000 viewers since its theatrical release on March 31.

Source link

]]> 0
Zelda and other games that deserve movies after Mario Sat, 08 May 2021 10:37:25 +0000

Nintendo seems more willing to take risks with animation projects, so here are a few franchises that are ripe for movie or TV adaptations.

Nintendo is currently in partnership with Illumination Entertainment (de Despicable Me fame) to develop an animated film based on their most famous property: Super Mario Bros. This will be the first time the Mario Bros. have appeared in theaters since the disastrous 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie. Nintendo became obsessively protective of their intellectual properties after this event, but the success of films such as Sonic the hedgehog may have convinced them to soften their position.

With that in mind, Nintendo has plenty of exclusive franchises that are arguably even more appropriate for a movie adaptation than something as simple as Super Mario Bros. Of THE Legend of Zelda at Metroid, here are the five Nintendo franchises that could shine on the big screen.

Keep scrolling to keep reading
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

RELATED: Should We Miss The Mario Sports Games?

Kid Icarus

Kid Icarus Uprising, Pit

Kid Icarus is one of Nintendo’s oldest action series and was dormant for decades. However, the inclusion of the series’ protagonist, Pit, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl led to the long-awaited renaissance of the franchise on the Nintendo 3DS, Kid Icarus: Uprising.

While its frenetic pace and challenging fights were both praised, the game was best known for its extremely witty dialogue and fun cast of characters who bicker and bounce back with amazing chemistry and hilarity. Nintendo Video animated shorts and the animated part of Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe trailer shows that a Kid Icarus film would easily combine jaw-dropping action with its trademark comedy.


Metroid is the darkest and most intense Nintendo franchise and the opposite of its sister franchise, Kid Icarus. Metroid is already a massive tribute to Extraterrestrial, one of the most beloved series in science fiction. With a thick atmosphere, big bad guys and one of the most badass heroines in video games, Metroid would make an excellent sci-fi horror-action movie akin to Aliens.

RELATED: The Epic Games vs Apple Hearing Just Leaked … METROID News?

The main obstacle would be to market a more adult Nintendo movie and to choose a good actress to play Samus Aran, largely silent and introspective. But, drawing inspiration from the isolation of films like Gravity and Castaway can lead to a very unique sci-fi action experience.

Star Fox

The crew of Star Fox, Fox, Slippy, Peppy and Falco

Star Fox Already has the fun Disney premise of anthropomorphic cartoon animals fighting the forces Star wars– style space battles. In addition, the Arwings are among the most iconic spaceships in video games. The colorful characters all have their own charismatic stories and personalities, and their jokes during chaotic fights are full of memorable quotes. Star Fox has already proven himself capable of carrying his own anime series with the Star Fox Zero animated short films. A full animated film starring the characters fighting the forces of Andross would only benefit the series after several attempts to revive its glory days on Nintendo 64.

Fire emblem

Fire Emblem Path of Radiance Cover

the Fire emblem the series was not popular with western audiences until the inclusion of Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. melee led the series to be shown worldwide. Since then, it has experienced a rebirth following the release of Fire emblem: awakening in 2012, and reached new heights with 2019 Three houses.

RELATED: Rhea Is Fire Emblem’s Most Misunderstood Character

This anime-inspired strategy-RPG series already focuses on massive character castings and epic war stories that often lead to tragedy. A series that tailors a particular game or follows an original narrative using the core elements of the franchise could be akin to an anime. Game of thrones due to the number of fantastic medieval battles and high stakes dramas present in each Fire emblem Thu.

THE Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on GamcCube

THE Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most popular and influential series. It has a beautiful and expansive world begging to be adapted to the big screen, as well as extensive knowledge and a wide variety of characters. Additionally, the land of Hyrule is diverse and versatile enough that several types of fantastic stories can be told at the same time. An animated Zelda the film would probably be the riskiest endeavor, but also one of the most rewarding.

KEEP READING: Dungeons & Dragons: How To Play As Link

Bandai Namco launches Scarlet Nexus opening animation

About the Author

Source link

]]> 0
Thermal clips vs self-cooling weapons, explained Sat, 08 May 2021 06:15:00 +0000

Believe it or not, the switch from superheated weapons to a traditional ammo system between Mass Effect 1 and 2 actually has an explanation in the universe.

The next version of Mass Effectof Legendary edition will allow a new generation of gamers to experience not only one of the best role-playing games in video games, but also one of the best sci-fi epics ever made. The most commercialized aspect of the Trilogy Remaster is a complete improvement on the first game, which features various graphics and gameplay enhancements for modern audiences. But a notable aspect of the Mass effect 1The shooter has remained intact: unlimited ammo for all weapons, instead of using an overheating system varying from weapon to weapon.

Whenever Shepard draws his gun, regardless of type, the guns of Mass effect 1 will heat up as the number of shots is taken; Once a weapon overheats, players must allow the weapon to cool briefly before firing again. Sequels began to adopt more modern third-person shooter conventions with traditional ammo systems, leading to faster shooter play and ease of use for new players. Players in Mass effect 2 and 3 will eventually be unable to fire his weapon after a certain number of shots. Shepard is then forced to retrieve thermal clips from defeated enemies or on the map.

Keep scrolling to keep reading
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

RELATED: Mass Effect: What Salarians Should Have Done During Grim Reaper Invasion

While this is a change much appreciated by most fans of the series, the series also has an in-universe explanation of almost all of the major gameplay features of all three games. Implementing a traditional ammunition system would naturally contradict the first game’s explanation that all standard firearms use mass fields of effect to launch thousands of shaved metal cartridges from the weapon’s magazine. . Not to mention the daunting task of explaining how armed forces across the galaxy received a whole new standard of ammunition in a very short period of time.

Fortunately, Bioware thought about implementing knowledge about the in-game ammo system and therefore came up with the concept of “thermal clips”. Technically speaking, all firearms still retain their metal rod ammo, where the pistol’s internal mechanics shave tiny projectiles at the cost of overheating when firing too many shots too quickly. After the geth invasion of the Citadel, the galactic military everywhere realized the tactical advantage of firing more bullets downstream than the enemy.

With this new combat wisdom, galactic societies everywhere, from Citadel space to unexplored Terminus Systems, have adopted thermal clips as their primary method of ammunition in order to better combat geth, whose own weapons fired very, very quickly. The thermal clip system allows a typical mass effect firearm to fire many more bullets in a much shorter period of time at the cost of reaching the weapon’s maximum thermal tolerance much faster and being unable to shoot.

RELATED: Mass Effect: Four Things We Want From The Sequel

The massive change in the use of thermal clips must have occurred very soon after the events of Mass effect 1, not even a year after the geth invasion and Sovereign’s defeat. The start of Mass effect 2 Shepard had nearly perished during the Collectors’ destruction of the first Normandy, Shepard waking up in a Cerberus base after a two-year resuscitation period. When the base is under siege and Miranda Lawson points Shepard at a weapon, the commander notices that there is no thermal clip in the gun, indicating that he knows what thermal clips are and how they work though. ‘they are out of the loop for a whole two years.

This may seem like a major drawback that negates all the point of having mass fields of effect for almost unlimited ammo. However, the standardization of thermal clips means that ammo can be found virtually anywhere in civilization, with the player very rarely finding themselves completely starved of ammo. There is also the added benefit of all guns (without heavy guns) having universal ammo types – picking up a heat clip will “reload” a pistol or shotgun without a problem.

Ultimately, while many fans prefer the overheat system, the thermal clips also lead to a much more careful play loop in Mass Effectsuites. Without the ability to fire an almost endless array of balls, players had to plan and think their way through encounters. Adding a narrative explanation makes this another way Mass Effect built his amazing world for gamers.

KEEP READING: Mass Effect: What You Need To Know About The Elite Salarian STG


Resident Evil Village launches spooky launch trailer

About the Author

Source link

]]> 0
Latest search for extraterrestrial civilizations looked at 60 million stars, finds no signal Wed, 05 May 2021 11:32:00 +0000

Are there aliens there? Based on statistics alone, the answer should be a definite yes. The Milky Way has at least 100 billion stars and the vast majority of them have planets orbiting them. But while the numbers are on our side, the evidence remains insufficient.

The Breakthrough Listen project delivered the first results of its massive new SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) investigation in search of extraterrestrial civilizations. And when we say massive, we mean massive. The observations focused on 60 million stars in the direction of the galactic center, a region where the stars are closer. By looking at a fairly small but busy part of the sky, astronomers can study many worlds.

The team collected 600 hours of data using the Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia and CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope in Australia, detailing the observations in an article accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

The team couldn’t find any signals, but it’s important to note that they were looking for purposely emitted signals, called technosignatures – optical or microwave signals, laser emissions, or even “megastructures” – in their research; some kind of alien beacon that says “Hey, here we are!” or given the distances involved, “Hey, we were here thousands of years ago!”

Finding a radio show that was not sent on purpose takes a lot more work. The team uses the phrase “eavesdropping on leakage radiation”. While science fiction often focuses on the potential of television transmissions as the primary signal, Earth’s biggest leak actually comes from airport radar. So maybe future research will spot these types of signals rather than a transmission of Real Housewives from Zeta Reticuli Prime.

While the investigation did not find any aliens, it is pushing the boundaries of what it can be accomplished when it comes to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. “We have compared the sensitivity of our survey to some of the major SETI surveys and demonstrate that our survey has remarkable sensitivity with a frequency range never before explored for SETI,” the authors conclude in their article.

There is no one way to search for extraterrestrial life, but the search for technosignatures is one in which humanity has placed a great deal of hope of discovery, as these signals might be easier to spot than to discover. particular molecules in the atmosphere of distant planets, known as biosignatures.

Alien life can even be found in simple structures closer to home; in the deep oceans of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, or maybe even on Mars.


Get our greatest science stories delivered to your inbox every week!

Source link

]]> 0
Know the story behind every name Elon Musk coined Wed, 05 May 2021 06:59:00 +0000

SpaceX has earned immense respect over the years for paving the way for reusable rocket boosters. After all, who would want to invest in a vehicle that can only be used once? SpaceX founder Elon Musk took the initiative to name each of the famous SpaceX drones that carry rocket boosters. Avid followers of Elon Musk’s Twitter handle will be aware of the billionaire’s quirky side with his frequent references to sci-fi memes. This time, the founder takes it a step further by bringing his love for sci-fi novels to SpaceX drones.

Names of SpaceX drone ships

The trend started six years ago when Musk announced via Twitter that he had named the company’s first space drone “Just Read the Instructions.” Soon he clarified the meaning of the name, revealing that he had done it in honor of Iain M Banks. For those who are not familiar, Iain M Banks is a famous science fiction author who was the man behind the Culture series. The baptism ceremony did not end there as the founder named the second autonomous boat “Of course I still love you”.

In addition, the CEO of SpaceX also paid homage to the cult classic Star Wars franchise by naming the Falcon rockets after the Millennium Falcon. Musk has also referenced classic poems and songs through his engineering work. Some examples of SpaceX drone ship names are the Dragon capsule which takes after “Puff the Magic Dragon,” a popular song by the 1960s music group Peter, Paul and Mary. According to Tesmanian, the pun is in the details as the capsule is destined to land in the ocean after a complete flight mission success, which is synonymous with the lyrics to the song “Puff the Magic Dragon Lived By the Sea. “.

Then, Mars designed Superheavy Starship was named “Heart of Gold”, which is inspired by Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Over the years, netizens have taken in the context and have started to look forward to offbeat iconic references as SpaceX continues to soar higher in the stars.


Source link

]]> 0
Billions of cicadas about to emerge Wed, 05 May 2021 05:19:24 +0000

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) – Sifting through a dirt-laden shovel in a suburban backyard, Michael Raupp and Paula Shrewsbury find their career: a cicada nymph.

And then another. And another. And four more.

In perhaps a third of a square foot of land, entomologists at the University of Maryland find at least seven cicadas – a rate of just under a million per acre. A neighboring court gave a rate closer to 1.5 million.

And there is much more to do. Billions of black bugs with red eyes are coming, scientists say.

In a few days, a few weeks at most, the cicadas of Brood X (the X is the Roman numeral for 10) will emerge after 17 years underground. There are many broods of periodic cicadas that appear on rigid schedules depending on the year, but this is one of the largest and most noticeable. They will be in 15 states from Indiana to Georgia to New York; they are now coming out en masse in Tennessee and North Carolina.

When the whole brood emerges, the backyards can look like rippling waves and the chorus of insects is loud from the lawn mower.

Cicadas will come out most of the time at dusk to try to avoid anything that wants to eat them, squirming through holes in the ground. They will try to climb trees or anything vertical including Raupp and Shrewsbury. Once lifted off the ground, they shed their skin and attempt to survive this vulnerable stage before becoming the dinner party for a host of creatures, including ants, birds, dogs, cats, and Raupps.

It’s one of nature’s strangest events, featuring sex, a race against death, evolution, and what can sound like a bad sci-fi movie soundtrack.

Some people can be pushed back. Psychiatrists are calling entomologists worried about their patients, Shrewsbury said. But scientists say Brood X’s arrival is a sign that despite pollution, climate change and the dramatic loss of biodiversity, something is wrong with nature. And that’s quite a spectacle.

Raupp presents the story of the life of the cicada with all the verve of a Hollywood blockbuster:

“You have a creature that spends 17 years in a COVID-like existence, isolated underground sucking sap from plants, right? In the 17th year, these teens will come out of the earth by billions, if not billions. They’re going to try to do better than anything on the planet that wants to eat them during this critical time of the night when they’re just trying to grow up, they’re just trying to be adults, get rid of that skin, get their wings. , climb into the treetops, escape their predators, ”he says.

“Once you’re in the treetops, hey, it’s all about romance.” It is only the males who sing. It’s gonna be a big boy band up there as the men try to woo these women, try to convince that special someone that she should be the mother of his nymphs. He will play, sing songs. If she likes it, she’ll snap her wings. They’re going to have wild sex in the treetops.

“Then she will move to the small branches, lay their eggs. Then it will all be over in a few weeks. They will collapse. They will essentially fertilize the very plants from which they were spawned. Six weeks later, the tiny nymphs will fall 80 feet from the treetops, bounce twice, burrow into the ground, return underground for another 17 years.

“This,” says Raupp, “is one of the craziest life cycles of any creature on the planet.”

America is the only place in the world that has periodic cicadas that stay underground for 13 or 17 years, says entomologist John Cooley of the University of Connecticut.

Insects appear in large numbers only when the soil temperature reaches 64 degrees. This is happening earlier in the calendar in recent years because of climate change, says entomologist Gene Kritsky. Before 1950, they appeared at the end of May; now they are coming out weeks earlier.

Although there were a few early insects in Maryland and Ohio, soil temperatures were in the low 60s. So Raupp and other scientists believe the big emergence is in days – a week. or two, max.

Cicadas that come out early do not survive. They are quickly eaten by predators. Cicadas have developed a key survival technique: overwhelming numbers. There are too many of them for all to eat when they all emerge at once, so some will survive and reproduce, Raupp says.

It is not an invasion. The cicadas are there all the time, quietly feeding on tree roots underground, not asleep, slowly moving around waiting for their body clocks to tell them it’s time to come out and breed. They have been in America for millions of years, much longer than people.

When they emerge, it gets loud – 105 loud decibels, like “a singles bar has gone horribly wrong,” Cooley says. There are three distinct species of cicadas and each has its own mating song.

They are not locusts and the only plants they damage are young trees, which can be harvested. The year after a big batch of cicadas, trees fare better because dead bugs are used as fertilizer, Kritsky says.

People tend to be afraid of bad bugs, says University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum. The mosquito kills more people than any other animal because of malaria and other diseases. Still, some people really dread the emergence of the cicada, she said.

“I think it’s the fact that they’re a downside. Plus, when they die en masse, they smell bad, ”says Berenbaum. “They really disrupt our sense of order.”

But others love cicadas – and even munch on them, using recipes like those in a University of Maryland cookbook.. And for scientists like Cooley, there is real beauty in their life cycle.

“It’s a story of well-being, my friends. It really is and we need more of it in a year, ”he says. “When they come out, it’s a good sign that the forests are in good condition. Everything is as it is supposed to be.


Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter: @borenbears


The Associated Press’s Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source link

]]> 0
Andy Weir’s new space odyssey, “ Project Hail Mary ” Wed, 05 May 2021 04:45:06 +0000

A self-described “longtime space nerd”, Weir grew up in the Bay Area, where his father worked as a particle physicist. After his parents divorced at the age of 8, Weir and his mother, who worked as an electrical engineer, moved frequently and he entertained himself with computers. He studied computer science at the University of California, San Diego, but ran out of tuition before graduating. In search of a steady income, he got into programming and worked for video game company Blizzard Entertainment and at AOL.

When he came up with the idea for “The Martian” in 2009, Weir was living alone in Boston, working for a mobile game company. He began to think about what it would take for a person to survive, completely alone, on a hostile planet. (It involved a lot of biochemistry, duct tape, swearing, and farming with human waste.)

“One of the main reasons isolation is such a recurring theme in my books is that I have spent a lot of my life alone and didn’t want to be,” he said. . “I was alone and that ends up being a factor in my stories.”

Weir has started posting free chapters of “The Martian” on his website. At the request of readers, he uploaded the full text to Amazon, charging 99 cents. In a few months, it had sold 35,000 copies.

When a literary agent offered to help him get a book deal, Weir was skeptical, but agreed to send the manuscript to a publisher at Crown. Soon after, he sold the book and the rights to the film within a week.

After its release in 2014, “The Martian” sold some five million copies in North America. The film adaptation, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, has grossed over $ 630 million worldwide and received seven Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

Weir, who is afraid of flying, battled his phobia to attend the film’s Toronto premiere, a star-studded event that drew Hollywood celebrities as well as astronaut Chris Hadfield and NASA chief scientist Jim Green.

Source link

]]> 0
Wine that has spent over a year in a space for sale with a price of $ 1 million Wed, 05 May 2021 02:37:38 +0000

Wine is out of this world. The price is suitably stratospheric.

Christie’s said on Tuesday it was selling a bottle of French wine that has spent more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station. The auction house believes a wine connoisseur could pay up to $ 1 million to own it.

The Pétrus 2000 is one of 12 bottles sent into space in November 2019 by researchers exploring the potential of alien agriculture. It came back 14 months later, subtly altered, according to oenologists who tasted it during a tasting in France.

Tim Tiptree, international director of Christie’s Wines and Spirits Department, said the space-aged wine had been “matured in a unique environment” of near-zero gravity aboard the space station.

RELATED: Google Earth’s New ‘Timelapse’ Feature Shows 4 Decades of Climate Change

The trip turned a $ 10,000-a-bottle wine known for its complexity, silky, ripe tannins, and dark cherry, cigar box and leather flavors into a scientific novelty – and still a great bottle of wine, said Tiptree.

“It’s just a very harmonious wine that has the ability to age superbly, which is why it was chosen for this experience,” he said. “It’s very encouraging that it’s delicious on the way back to Earth.”

Private space startup Space Cargo Unlimited put wine into orbit in November 2019 as part of an effort to make plants on Earth more resilient to climate change and disease by exposing them to new stresses. Researchers also want to better understand the aging process, fermentation and bubbles in wine.

In a tasting test in March at the Wine and Vine Research Institute in Bordeaux, France, a dozen wine connoisseurs compared one of the space-traveled wines to a bottle of the same. vintage that had stayed in a cellar.

They noticed a difference that is difficult to describe. Jane Anson, writer at the Decanter Wine publication, said the wine that was left on Earth tasted a bit younger, the space version slightly smoother and more aromatic.

RELATED: NASA Finds Direct Evidence Humans Are Driving Climate Change

The wine, offered by Christie’s for private sale, is accompanied by a bottle of Terrestrial Pétrus from the same vintage, a decanter, glasses and a corkscrew made from a meteorite. All in a handcrafted wooden trunk with decoration inspired by science fiction pioneer Jules Verne and the “Star Trek” universe.

The proceeds from the sale will fund future research by Space Cargo Unlimited. Several other bottles from the dozen that went into space are still unopened, but Christie’s says there are no plans to sell any of them.

Tiptree says the price estimate, “in the region of $ 1 million,” reflects the sale’s likely appeal to a mix of wine connoisseurs, space enthusiasts and the sort of wealthy people who raise money. “ultimate experiences”.

The bundle includes the 2000 Pétrus bottle that remained on Earth so that the buyer can compare the two – if he decides to open the one that has entered orbit.

“I hope they decide to drink it, but maybe not immediately,” Tiptree said. “It’s in its prime, but this wine will probably last at least another two or three decades.”

Source link

]]> 0
NASA’s Hubble Joins Star Wars Fans in Celebration, Shares Photo of Heavenly ‘Lightsaber’ Wed, 05 May 2021 01:09:00 +0000

On May 4, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shared a photograph of a celestial “double-edged lightsaber” named H24, joining hundreds of thousands of people celebrating Star Wars Day. As # MayThe4thBeWithYou started following trends on Twitter, the official Hubble page shared a stunning image of two flames emerging from the newborn star. “In the center of the image, partially obscured by a dark cloak of Jedi-like dust, a newborn star launches twin jets into space as a sort of birth announcement to the universe,” said he wrote, describing the photograph. The US Space Agency further said the image was clicked just 1,350 light-years away.

‘Science fiction was an inspiration’

“Science fiction has been an inspiration to generations of scientists and engineers, and the Star Wars film series is no exception,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of the mission leadership NASA scientist. “There is no stronger justification for the motivational power of real science than the discoveries that come from the Hubble Space Telescope as it unveils the mysteries of the universe,” he added.

Since being shared, the photo has racked up over four thousand views and over two thousand likes. “Star Wars is a system space movie, they couldn’t survive the more physical era of the Star Trek movie,” one user wrote. “That’s great! Looks like a neutron star too with those plasma lines! Great photo!” added another. “It’s a huge lightsaber. Must conquer their world. On second thought, let’s look at it and hide under our desks,” added a third Twitter user.

Last week, Hubble captured a rare, breathtaking glimpse of a still-forming Jupiter-sized planet engulfing material surrounding a young star. The exoplanet dubbed PDS 70b is located 370 light years from Earth in the constellation Centauri and revolves around the orange dwarf star PDS 70. According to the NASA statement, the tiny exoplanet has two planets in active formation at inside a huge disk of dust and gas circling the star.

Scientists have observed that magnetic field lines extend from the planet’s circumplanetary disk to the exoplanet’s atmosphere and carry material to the planet’s surface. The PDS 70b sucks material from the young star and builds mass over millions of years. Using Hubble’s unique ultraviolet sensitivities, researchers were able to measure for the first time the rate of mass growth of PDS 70b that began to form about 5 million years ago.

Image credits: NASA

Source link

]]> 0