November 28, 2012

Would You Move To Mars – The Daily Orbit

Moving to Mars? A Martian colony could be in the future!

Did the US plan to blow up the moon?

And now Siri is in your car too? You can’t get away from her!

All that and more coming up on the Daily Orbit!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit…I’m Emerald Robinson.

Looks like our little Martian Man could be getting some company within the next 20 years. SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, has announced his plans to colonize Mars with 80,000 people within the next 20 years. As the pilgrims forged to the new world in the Mayflower, Musk’s initial group of 10 pioneers will be transported to the Red Planet through a reusable rocket powered by liquid oxygen and methane.  The rocket will also carry equipment to build a sustainable colony for future generations. The company is working on a prototype shuttle called Grasshopper which is already in the testing phase. How much would a ticket to Mars set you back? 500,000 g’s! Honestly not too much considering you’re moving to Mars. Musk said the tickets need to be affordable enough that people in advanced countries could put together enough money to make the trip. I’m packing my bags and moving west…far far west…to Mars!

And in more bizarre space news, two large news outlets are reporting that the U.S. had planned a mission to blow up the moon in the 1950s to scare the Soviets into believing we could do much worse to them. Talk about a dramatic effect! The Soviet Union had just launched their first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. According to reports, the plan was to send an atomic bomb on the 238,000 mile trek to the moon. The plan was scrapped as calculations determined it was way too dangerous to lob a nuclear weapon into the sky. Go figure. Besides, one scientist determined it would take upwards of 600 billion King bombs to destroy the moon.

And what’s your greatest personal impact on the planet? It’s not driving your car around town believe it or not. New research says eating causes the biggest footprint. Half the planet is already degraded, and we are losing 75 to 100 billion tons of topsoil a year.  And since it take thousands of years to re-form, let’s just say it’s not going to be replaced anytime soon. Some scientists say that we could run short of good farming soils within 50-70 years. And the same goes for water. Places like China, the Indo-Gangetic region, the Middle-East, and the USA’s Midwest are looking at significant water scarcity by 2030. Scientists say that the “scarcities of water, land, oil, nutrients, technology, fish and finance are now acting in synergy” causing the food shortage to likely happen more quickly and unpredictably than most people realize.

And if you feel like Apple is taking over the world, well, here’s more fuel for that thought. General Motors announced that they will be bringing Apple’s ‘Siri’ to two of their automobiles next year—it’s 84 horsepower urban commuter the Spark and the Chevy Sonic. The Eyes-free technology will allow drivers to keep their “eyes on the road” by pairing their iPhone 4S and iPhone 5’s via Bluetooth with the Chevy MyLink infotainment center. Drivers can then call up Siri by pressing and holding a button on the steering wheel. So it’s a road trip with Siri! But has anyone else noticed that Siri sounds eerily similar to the computer in Eagle Eye?

And today’s forecast looks like the mid-west can expect 80% chance of the flu so you might want to have you antibacterial gel on hand. Researchers have revealed a new computer model that is able to predict high points during influenza outbreaks, adapting methods seen in weather forecasting to provide real-time, web-based predictions on infections of influenza. They say that like preparing for the chance of rain by carrying our umbrellas, we will develop a similar comfort level with flu forecast and prepare to protect ourselves in response. The researchers discovered that their method can help them predict a flu outbreak as early as seven weeks in advance.

That’s for your Daily Orbit today. You can’t be too careful!

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