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Inspirations: Riding the bomb to Saturn

The nuclear pulse drive would power a spacecraft with a series of nuclear explosions. Project Orion, led by Freeman Dyson, planned a four-year round trip to the moons of Saturn. After Orion was abandoned, pulse drive has led to several

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification

Inspirations: To sail upon a star

Project Breakthrough Starshot plans to send probes to Proxima Centauri powered by lightsails. The lightsail was conceived decades ago, but the IKAROS probe is the only spacecraft to use it. IKAROS is powered by the sun, but Breakthrough Starshot will

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification

Inspirations: Are We Facing the Great Filter?

The Fermi Paradox asks why we appear to be the only technological species in a galaxy of hundreds of billions of stars. Robin Hanson proposed a ‘great filter’ that prevents life from developing further than we have. If it involves

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification

Tools for SF Worldbuilding – a 3D simulation of the Solar System’s neighbourhood

Everybody who has dealt with worldbuilding in SF that involves star systems beyond ours knows what I’m talking about – a lot of resources out there only work with a 2D representation of the cosmos, not a 3D, creating a…Read

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Posted in Reblog

Tea with Europa

Through the corner of her eye, Janniece saw Ian put the cup of tea in front of Piers. Her attention was fixed on her screen. Ian sat beside her, at his own screen, and put a cup in front of

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Greater Minds: Arthur C Clarke looks back

Arthur C Clarke wrote his Space Odyssey series between 1948 and 1997. Each sequel updated speculations on exobiology. HAL 9000 is a memorable character and a paradigm for contemporary discussions of artificial intelligence. We have not explored the solar system

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Greater Minds: Freeman Dyson says let’s look for life in the outer solar system

NASA’s New Horizons probe is approaching the Kuiper Belt. Freeman Dyson suggested Europa and the Kuiper Belt as habitats for life in the solar system. Europa’s ocean is under an ice pack, so life would be undetectable. If there is

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification
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