Sunset on Mars

This image was taken by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on May 19, 2005. This spectacular view is of the sun setting on Mars as it sings below thee rim of the Gusev crater. It was taken at around 6.07 in the evening on the 489th day Spirit was on Mars. "Sunset and twilight images are occasionally acquired by the science team to determine how high into the atmosphere the Martian dust extends, and to look for dust or ice clouds. Other images have shown that the twilight glow remains visible, but increasingly fainter, for up to two hours before sunrise or after sunset. The long Martian twilight (compared to Earth's) is caused by sunlight scattered around to the night side of the planet by abundant high altitude dust. Similar long twilights or extra-colorful sunrises and sunsets sometimes occur on Earth when tiny dust grains that are erupted from powerful volcanoes scatter light high in the atmosphere." -NASA, http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_347.html

Perseid Meteor Shower

From this weekends Perseid meteor shower. If you look closely at this image, you can see several meteors. The long straight line down the centre is the International Space Station. Image taken in Canmore, Alberta. Credit to Bow Valley Photography.

This image is a composite, created from 7 hours of photography. It contains 22 meteors and was taken in Wyoming. Image Credit : David Kingham Photography


August 2012 Perseid Meteor Shower

As of early morning on August 11, 2012, the zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) of meteors visible in a dark sky has gone up to 65. That’s the number of meteors you would see under a very dark sky with the radiant of the shower at the sky’s zenith (highest point). The count is according to the International Meteor Organization, and it’s a great number – and it might go higher still on the morning of August 12. It’s time to watch meteors! The peak mornings for the annual Perseid meteor shower are August 11, 12 and 13. August 12 might be the best morning. August 11 might be better than August 13. The moon is waning now. The Delta Aquarid and Perseid meteor showers combine in late July and August to create what most consider the best and most reliable meteor display for Northern Hemisphere observers. As always, after midnight is the best time for meteor-watching. The moon will be there, but getting thinner every morning. On the mornings (not the evenings) of August 11, 12 and 13, the moon will be a waning crescent, and the meteors should be flying at a rate closer to their peak of 50 or 60 meteors per hour. As an added treat – on August 11, 12 and 13 – the moon will be sweeping past the brightest planets Venus and Jupiter in the eastern predawn sky. You can’t ask for more!

Pillars of Creation

"Pillars of Creation" is a photograph taken by the Hubble Telescope of elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, some 7,000 light years from Earth. They are so named because the gas and dust are in the process of forming, or creating, new stars, while also being eroded by the light from nearby stars that have recently formed. Taken April 1, 1995, it was named one of the top ten photographs from the Hubble by Space.com.
Images taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope uncovered a cloud of hot dust in the vicinity of the Pillars of Creation that one group interpreted to be a shock wave produced by a supernova. The appearance of the cloud suggests a supernova that would have been seen on Earth as exploding somewhere between 1000 and 2000 years ago, and will hit and destroy the pillars in another 1000 years. Given the distance of roughly 6000 light years to the Pillars of Creation, this would mean that they have actually already been destroyed, but because of the finite speed of light, this destruction is not yet visible on Earth, but should be visible in the next 1000 years.

Food from space

The first large-scale installations in space may very well be farms. By utilizing the vast emptiness of space, we could construct hundreds or thousands of farming installations and feed potentially billions of more people. The farms could either be automated or worked by astronauts in the ISS. In the latter case, the living quarters would have to be greatly expanded.
Plants don't really give a darn how much radiation shielding they get, so this could be cut to save money spent on installation construction.

The problem about need for many seeds can be eliminated by mass-cloning plant embryos in laboratories, from a single seed. It would then be unneccessary to bring many identical seeds. It would still be good to bring several seeds for genetic diversity, but that would be nowhere near the volumes of seeds needed in normal seeding.

The easiest way to send food to Earth would be to seal large shipments of food it in spherical capsules about the size of attack pods seen on Dragon Ball Z and just drop it onto Earth like a meteorite. Some form of parachutes would be needed to avoid destroying the food however, but that can be easily added to the construction.

Although we make enough food every single year to feed everyone in the world, some people die of starvation while others die from obesity-related diseases. Since such demonstrative property-assertion is a direct consequence of rivalry over scarce resources on overpopulated Earth, the only other way to feed the starving Africans and Indian children is to just make more food and give it to them.

Dropping food capsules into India and Africa every couple of weeks could remedy the starvation situation and relieve efforts to farm the unfarmable land, which will help stop the catastrophic erosion going on in those regions.

If we made farmed in space we also wouldn't have to ship food from Earth to the space station or other space colonies.

One important effect of food from space to poor families would be to eradicate their need to breed many children for agricultural workforce, which would help create zero population growth. Silly space colonization opponents often complain that spacelaunches would be unable to keep up with population increase, but in this way, space colonies would first help stabilize population on Earth, before the final launch-based decompression that eventually ends overpopulation forever. See also grand rescue.

Other help articles can be delivered as well, such as clothes, easily assembled dwellings such as well-insulated tents, warming fuel and medicines. In the case of medicines, the problem with analphabets unable to read instructions can be helped by recorded voices in the local language.

Grand rescue

If only a few hundred Human colonists make it into self-sufficient space colonies before economical collapse cripples Earth-based space activity, the colonists may, after establishing themselves in space, help the Humans who are stuck on Earth, or those of them who want, to leave Earth. See also manipulated spacetimes and the anti-congestion argument.
The grand rescue concept can also economically be considered a variety of better launches. That is, fueled-and-ready spacecraft are mass-produced in space using the abundance of resources out there. Those spacecraft are then sent down to Earth and used for launches from Earth. That would make space travel inexpensive to anyone, enabling large-scale space colonization. Therefore a main aim of the space colonization movement must be to establish a few bases in space from which the abundance of resources can be used for cheaply mass-producing spacecraft.

The spacecraft could be in the form of space planes that uses the atmosphere as a help in the beginning and also use atmospheric oxygen early in the launch, so the oxygen tank can be made smaller (which saves fuel as well due to reduced weight). The fuel, hydrogen, can be taken from gas giants, most practically Saturn due to lowest gravity of all gas giants, less radiation than Jupiter and less other elements (and closer proximity) than Uranus and Neptune. The oxygen can be taken from farms in space, and the spacecraft can also be delivered in the same way as food from space.

We're running out of fossil fuels!

Some say that Peak oil is already here, others say that it will be some considerable time before we hit peak oil. What you believe is up to you, but when you read the following statement in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, one of the most reputable sources of information on the planet, you do step back and think that things may never be the same again on our little planet:
"On a time scale within the span of prospective human history, the utilization of oil as a major source of energy will be a transitory affair of about 100 years. Nonetheless, it will have been an affair of profound importance to world industrialization." [1].

100 years? That essentially means that the recent surge in oil prices could well be, as around half of the commentaries in the media have observed, due to dwindling supplies and increasing demand for oil. If this is the case, and bear in mind that a great many of our essential products are made from oil, then we have got a serious problem in that we need the black stuff to make many of the products that are also essential for space colonization. Even if peak oil is not here just yet, it is obvious that it will arrive some time relatively soon, which means that if we are going to get the human race established in space, we have to do it now, before the oil becomes too scarce.

Of course, the other half of the commentaries in the media state that we may (with increasing technological capability) have enough oil to last a little longer than 100 years, but what then? Put simply, at some point during this generation or the next, relatively cheap oil will have been replaced with completely unaffordable oil, and we will have lost our best chance to use that energy resource for resource exploitation and human evolution in space. We cannot allow that to happen. We must engage as many people as possible in the space colonization project, the reasons for which are obvious: the wealth of natural resources just in our solar system would mean almost limitless energy for the human race for a length of time that could be measured in millions of years; and the likelihood of the human race being wiped out by natural or man-made disasters would be dramatically reduced because we would no longer have all our eggs in one basket.

Bookmark this website and come back regularly to get the latest on how we, and you, can help the human race to colonize space before we run out of cheap energy. Don't forget, if you have something to contribute to the issue of space colonization then you can share it with everyone by writing your own articles on this website.

 Petroleum. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 1, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD

Space colonization

Space colonization (also called space settlement, space humanization, space habitation, etc.) is the concept of autonomous (self-sufficient) human habitation of locations outside Earth. It is a major theme in science fiction, as well as a long-term goal of various national space programs.
While many people think of space colonies on the Moon or Mars, others argue that the first colonies will be in orbit. They have determined that there are ample quantities of all the necessary materials on the Moon and Near Earth Asteroids, that solar energy is readily available in very large quantities.

In 2005 NASA Administrator Michael Griffin identified space colonization as the ultimate goal of current spaceflight programs, saying:

… the goal isn't just scientific exploration … it's also about extending the range of human habitat out from Earth into the solar system as we go forward in time … In the long run a single-planet species will not survive … If we humans want to survive for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, we must ultimately populate other planets. Now, today the technology is such that this is barely conceivable. We're in the infancy of it. … I'm talking about that one day, I don't know when that day is, but there will be more human beings who live off the Earth than on it. We may well have people living on the moon. We may have people living on the moons of Jupiter and other planets. We may have people making habitats on asteroids … I know that humans will colonize the solar system and one day go beyond. – Michael D. Griffin

As of 2008, the international space station provides a permanent, yet still non-autonomous, human presence in space. The NASA Lunar outpost, providing a permanent human presence on the moon, is at the planning stage. There is an ongoing development of technologies that may be used in future space colonization projects.


Future human evolution

We have all our eggs in this one basket called planet Earth that could easily suffer a global disaster, perhaps destroying the human race, but at the least setting us back centuries or longer. Also, sometime within this generation or the next, we will run out of oil, and sometime after that, we will run out of coal and gas. And, as argued in the anti-congestion argument, global overpopulation may cause humanity to devolve. 

We will even run out of nuclear fuel. But that's in the future, and the space agencies of the world are going to be exploiting the resources from space by then anyway, right?

 They don't have the time or resources to explore at even one tenth of the speed that is required if we are to start making use of the resources in space before something bad happens to the human race. What is needed is a directed movement from a large portion of our population to help the space agencies with more money and people to do the work required. Quite literally a planetary effort. Bearing that in mind, it must be said that this is an achievable goal, especially with a tool like the Space Colonization Wiki that allows us to have a truly global communication system that everybody can operate. So please, join in and help direct the next stage of human evolution.

Reasons to colonize space

Colonizing space is really important. If it weren't for colonizing space, the human race would not survive. Numerous challenges will be faced. Humans will face overpopulation in the not too distant future which would cause lack of resources, starvation, poverty, and thirst. 

Diseases will go havoc, pollution will destroy the environment, and world war 3 can become a nuclear war and numerous people will have health issues. Another reason is if an asteroid hits the Earth, the human civilization will collapse entirely. If we become a multi planet species, then none of this will happen. Although, some say that we shouldn't colonize space. 

Other worlds may have native alien life forms and us humans colonizing worlds we are not native to is too repetitive. We have colonized all of the continents on Earth except Antarctica. We are not native to the Americas, Europa, Australia, nor Asia. We are native to Africa. Africa is the birthplace of the human race. In the near future, humans will have focas beyond the Earth.