Archive for the ‘L is for Lift’ Category
If you could, would you fly? The third industrial revolution is on its way and it will happen in space. It will be comparable to the automobile industry, the electronic industry, and the computer industry all in one. According to Robert Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace, there will be no comparison between terrestrial bound technologies and those developed in microgravity because these businesses will not only have the periodical table of 118 elements, but 50 percent more. “Those who have large, robust facilities in microgravity,” says Bigelow, will have built and discovered possibilities that will blow your socks off.” For instance, glass can have a 2 million PSI making it stronger than anything on Earth, and fiber optic materials, such as ZBlan, patented by Boeing and other aerospace companies, will be able to transfer 100 times more information. Considering that the privatization of space offers commercial opportunities, pharmaceutical companies are invested, and according to NASA biologist Thomas Goodwin, infectivity studies are currently underway as 3D tissue models are being developed in vitro enabling researchers to decouple cellular physiological responses for the purpose of genetics and vaccines. Then there’s Google, who has built a headquarters at NASA and whose founder, Sergey Brin, has not only bought his ticket to ride aboard Russia’s Soyuz, but has spearheaded the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize modeled after Peter Diamandis’ successful venture that led Burt Rutan to the edges of the atmosphere in SpaceShipOne. With a board that ranges from Dean Kamen to Dr. Rich Sugden to Arianna Huffington, the organization, funded by BT Global Services, is now creating prizes in fields such as genomics, automotive, education, medicine, energy and social living. Meanwhile, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic aims to be the world’s first affordable “spaceline” for citizen astronauts, hoping to build a U.S. commercial headquarters, “Spaceport America,” that offer flights through Aurora Borealis. Although the anticipation of gliding inside a glass spaceship into the sky is unbearable, knowing that you too could experience an epiphany like astronaut Edgar Mitchell did which led him to open The Institute of Noetic Sciences for the study of consciousness, let’s all try to remember that Earth already floats in space and we are all astronauts.