January 16, 2013
Russia Has New Moon And Rocket Plans – The Daily Orbit
Is Russia rushing to the moon soon?
Where are all the jobs going? Why don’t you ask the robot next door.
Curiosity’s still kicking it on Mars.
And we’ll leave you wanting more on today’s Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Looks like Russia’s in the race to find water on the moon too. Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, has announced plans for a 2015 moon mission and a new space rocket by 2020. The moon mission is part of a $70 million plan to build a new rocket for future manned missions. The Soyuz, the spacecraft that has been the backbone of the Russian Space Agency for more than 50 years, has had a few bad attempts recently. Which is a little scary considering it is the only means of transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Well, Russia the race is on!
And speaking of space exploration, Curiosity is currently making its way toward a flat rock with pale veins named “John Klein”, that could provide more insight into the history of Mars. Once there, the rover will drill it for a sample — it’s most challenging activity since landing on Mars. NASA said that because of an uncontrollable interaction between the drill hardware and Martian material, they won’t “be surprised if some steps in the process don’t go exactly as planned the first time through.” Don’t worry NASA, I have to say the same thing to myself all the time.
And here’s something else NASA had to say recently, but this in regards to our fair HOT planet. NASA reported that 2012 was the 9th warmest year on record since 1880. Besides 1998, the 9 warmest years in the 132-year record have all occurred since 2000, continuing the warming trend. Although the 2012 average was only one degree Fahrenheit warmer than the mid-20th century baseline, it’s a global rise of an average 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. And scientists say with the presence of greenhouse gases the trend will only continue. Maybe each successive year may not be necessarily hotter than the next, but they say each decade will be warmer than the last decade.
I knew this was going to happen! As much as I love technology, I still fear an artificial intelligence take over. According to two MIT professors featured recently featured on 60 Minutes, robot jobs may be outpacing human employment. The professors said currently routine, middle-skilled jobs that involve relatively structured tasks are the ones most experiencing a robotic invasion. They said that automated machines are partly to blame for the current job shortage in America. Robots don’t require healthcare, taxes or social security. One professor said “technology is always creating jobs, it’s always destroying jobs. But right now the pace is accelerating.” They did also add that they don’t believe robots will soon become self-aware and begin rebelling against humans. Um-hmm, I plan to be prepared just in case!
You know how they always say you want what you can’t have? I know you men out there know that especially well. Well, it’s true – but interestingly happiness lies in the wanting, not the having, according to new research. A recent study found that most materialistic consumers appear to get more happiness from wanting the products of their desires than they actually get from owning them. Researchers say that this is because the “wanters” believe that the products they don’t have yet will change their lives for the better. But this happiness is fleeting. The post-purchase euphoria of positive emotions is less intense than before actually making the purchase. Problematically, these short-lived emotional “highs” have an addictive quality, potentially creating shopaholics. Yeah, I know one or two of those…not naming names.
Well that’s all for today’s Daily Orbit!