One Man’s Dream Of A Far-Side Village

Professor Johann-Dietrich Woerner was recently appointed to the position of Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) earlier this week. As the former Chair of the German Space Agency he comes well-equipped to manage the €4.4 billion annual budget of the ESA.

He will be overseeing various projects, such as, satellites used for observation, weather, communication and navigation, as well as the European astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). There are also planned missions to Mars, Mercury and Jupiter.

But, his planned mission to the Moon could be the most ambitious of them all. The Moon? Hasn’t that been done? Well, not the way he envisions it.

When everyone else is talking about Mars, Professor Woerner is talking about the Moon. He has some very good arguments in his favor.

He wants to establish a base on the far side of the moon which would include a telescope that would be able to view further out into space than any other telescope that has been developed to date.

“The far side of the Moon is very interesting because we could have telescopes looking deep into the Universe, we could do lunar science on the Moon and the international aspect is very special,” he explains. “The Americans are looking to go to Mars very soon – and I don’t see how we can do that – before going to Mars we should test what we could do on Mars on the Moon.”

He is proposing, not just a base, but an actual village on the moon. This endeavor will be just as daring and difficult as a base on Mars. But the big advantage to populating the moon with scientists, astronomers, geologists, and such, instead of Mars, is the distance.

If there is an emergency that requires help from Earth, it is only a four day trip to the moon. A trip to Mars is six months.

What we learn on the Moon, about building workable shelters, growing food, dealing with health issues, and facing a plethora of unexpected problems would be applicable to what we would face on Mars.

He says, “A Moon village shouldn’t just mean some houses, a church and a town hall,” says Woerner. “This Moon village should mean partners from all over the world contributing to this community with robotic and astronaut missions and support communication satellites.”

For the moment, the Moon village is only an idea. No one is committing any funds. There are no plans on the drawing board. But there is new interest in the Moon, especially in Europe.
So, Woerner is pushing the idea for serious discussion. If anyone can get that discussion started it will be him. He is one of the world’s most powerful and respected space figures.

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A Former Believer Defects

I was a child of the sixties. This was a time when TV was broadcast in black and white. It was a time when we trusted our government and respected men like Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, and David Brinkley to give us the news each night.

When the president made an important speech, all three TV channels would interrupt regularly scheduled programming and broadcast the speech. The President’s picture would appear above the fold, on page 1 of every newspaper the next morning.

So, in 1961, when President Kennedy said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth,” the nation saw and heard that speech on TV, or read about it the next day in the newspaper.

My Dad has always been a huge fan of the NASA programs, especially the Apollo missions. So it was natural that our entire family was glued to the only TV in the house, when eight years later, regularly scheduled programming was interrupted again for another speech.

But this time it wasn’t a president speaking on the White House lawn. No, this speech was given by an astronaut, standing on the surface of the moon. “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”

America had landed on the moon! It was a bittersweet accomplishment. President Kennedy did not live to see his goal come to fruition, but WE, had won the space race!

Or had we?

For decades I have been annoyed by those who said we didn’t really go to the moon. In my opinion these people were nut jobs and wore tin foil hats. I never took them seriously. However, as the  years ticked by I softened my opinion of them and began to listen to their arguments. This year, I’ve considered getting one of those tinfoil hats.

Why, after so many years, am I beginning to doubt that we ever went to the moon? The debunkers analyze the pictures that the astronauts supposedly took on the moon. They discuss things like shadows pointing in different directions as if there were two light sources instead of one (the sun). They also claim that using certain tools they can prove that the hills in the background were much closer than they should have been and were probably a backdrop.

In response to these photography anomalies, I have always countered with agreement that it is possible that these photos were taken on Earth. They could have been taken during practice drills held in the desert. And of course they would have to practice taking photographs. These practice photographs could have been substituted for the real thing in the likely event that the camera or film itself was damaged during the trip. So, it wasn’t the debunkers that finally won me over. I’m a really hard sell.

I recently watched a NASA produced video, narrated by Kelly Smith, a NASA engineer, discussing a future manned mission to Mars, I tuned in to learn about the challenges this mission faced. The moon was not on my mind at all, but what he said was very pertinent to the Apollo missions. And what he revealed, hit me square between the eyes.

According to Kelly, one of the biggest hurdles for a Mars mission, is not associated with Mars at all, but Earth. It’s an aspect of our own planet that is keeping us from taking that trip to Mars. Kelly didn’t say that it would have also prevented us from going to the Moon, but it surely would have. And that was when I realized the trips to the moon were all faked.

You see, there are these inconvenient barriers known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts. Scientists are trying to figure out how they will safely send astronauts through this layer of electromagnetic radiation that surrounds our planet. The amount of lead shielding needed to protect humans and machines would make the rocket too heavy to leave the launch pad

So, how did we do it in the 1960’s? Is the Van Allen Belt a new phenomena? No, its been there all along as far as we know. It was discovered several years before the first Apollo Mission. It get’s its name from James Van Allen, the American physicist who discovered this radiation barrier in 1958, 11 years before we were convinced that our astronauts first stepped on the moon.

Why is the Van Allen Belt such a problem? As, NASA engineer, Kelly Smith states in the video, The level of radiation in the Van Allen Belts are deadly to humans and will cause havoc with the instrumentation on board any spaceship.

NASA is looking for a solution, and will eventually figure it out, but this admission can only mean that no astronaut has ever traveled through the Van Allen Belts, otherwise they would already have a solution to this problem. Or there be no concern, since we have proof that it was not harmful to humans— most of the Apollo astronauts lived long and productive lives. I’m sorry, but if NASA is concerned about the Van Allen Belts it means no manned spaceship went to the moon. And it may be that even the unmanned trips to the moon and Mars never happened either.

This reality hits me to my core, but I now feel confident in saying that no human has ever walked on the moon. Everything was faked and staged. I’m almost ready to say that the unmanned missions were faked, too. We have been spoon fed Hollywood sound stage productions.  All the astronauts that we are to believe flew to the moon couldn’t get there and back without taking two trips through the deadly Van Allen Belts. And yet most of them lived to a ripe old age. Someone is lying and it’s not  Kelly Smith, the NASA scientist in the video that you can watch for yourself, below

This video is seven minutes long and very informative, but you can skip to the 3:00 minute mark to hear just the part about the Van Allen Belts

We should all be angry about this. NASA spent over 100 Billion dollars of taxpayers’ money to fake the Apollo missions alone. It angers and saddens me to have to say that. But there is no other explanation that I can find.

Sing a Song of Singapore

Singapore is the fourth-largest financial center in the world. It ranks as one of the five busiest ports. Singapore ranks high in standard of living, education, health care, and economic competitiveness. It has one of the highest per capita incomes and one of the longest life expectancies in the world.

A trip to Singapore should be on your itinerary, but before you plan your visit, you would be wise to learn their customs and laws.

A sticky situation
One of the nastiest things to step into is a wad of gum. To avoid this problem, Singapore made gum illegal. The only gum allowed is prescription gum, so if you are chewing nicotine gum, you better be ready to show that prescription. Otherwise you can be fined up to $500.

Up in smoke
If that “gum ban” has you craving a cigarette, forget that. too. Their “smoking in public’ ban is quite strict. But it seems smoking is more tolerable than gum chewing. The fine for lighting up a cigarette is only $200.

You can trash this idea
By now you are probably trying to get rid of the evidence that you are chewing gum or smoking a cigarette. Whatever you do, don’t get caught tossing (or spitting) the evidence on the ground. Littering comes with a fine of $1,000 and possibly some community service emptying garbage cans.

Jiggle the Handle!
Believe it or not, there are people who check public bathrooms for unflushed toilets. If you are caught NOT flushing, you could be slapped with a $150 fine. If you must, jiggle the handle.

Don’t Call A Taxi
This advice assumes you are already out $1,850 in fines due to the indiscretions described above. Taxis are a bit pricey in Singapore, so to hold on to those few dollars you have left,. Instead, buy a Singapore Tourist Pass for the MRT (mass rapid transit) system. You can rest assured that you won’t have to worry about stepping on gum or inhaling anyone’s smoke. You also don’t need to worry about anyone spilling a drink on you. Food and drink are forbidden on the train. Fines can be up to $500.

Here’s Another Tip
Actually its not a tip, or better worded, don’t tip. You are not expected to tip,so why tip?

Thinking of Leaving Your Mark?
If you spray graffiti or carve your name on a park bench you could become the center of attention, in the form of a public caning. That’s right,  an old-fashion spanking. Foreigners are not exempt, in 1994 an American teenager got 4 whacks for defacing a car. In 2010, a man from Switzerland got three whacks and five months in jail for spray-painting a train.

Cover up
About the only time being naked is allowed in Singapore, is while you are showering. Otherwise its considered pornography. Hang the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door, make sure it’s locked, and close the curtains tight before you get undressed for your shower. Offenders pay a $2000 fine or spend up to 3 months in jail.

Highest price to pay
If you plan to tour the world, don’t make Singapore the next spot after Peru. That country has very lax drug laws, and maybe you experimented just a bit. If you arrive in Singapore high as a kite, it could mean serious trouble. A death sentence is not unheard of, even for foreigners.

It seems like Singapore might be a bad place to visit with all these laws. But in reality it is one of the cleanest, safest places in the world. If you can follow the rules, you will love it.

Pretty in Pink — Hillier Lake, Australia

You are probably thinking that this little lake was the unfortunate target of some prankster or maybe it was a crazy publicity stunt for Breast Cancer Awareness. But you would be wrong to think that.

This is Hillier Lake, a small (1/3 mile long) salt lake located on Middle Island, one of the larger islands in the Recherche Archipelago, off the coast of Western Australia, just south of Cape Arid National Park.

Hillier Lake was first discovered in 1802 by navigator and map maker Matthew Flinders who took samples from the lake and wrote about it in his journal.

The water in this lake is actually captured ocean water. For eons the process of water evaporation and regular refilling of ocean water has caused the salt content to become extremely high, evident by the thick rim of salt on its shoreline. Not surprisingly, salt was extracted for human consumption in the early 20th century. But that practice ended after six years.

Hillier Lake’s only real claim to fame is the other-worldly color of its water. Depending on the time of year, and the angle at which you view it, the water may appear as though someone just stirred a little Koolaid into the water, or that someone replaced all the water with Pepto-Bismol.

The reason that this little lake sports such a unique color is still in debate, but most scientists studying this lake, suspect a micro-algae known by its scientific name, Dunaliella Salina. Its probably a good guess, because this lake is filled with it. Dunaliella produces carotenoids, a pigment which is responsible for making carrots orange.

The north side of Middle Island is lined with eucalyptus and paperback trees. A narrow strip of land, about 150 feet wide, separate the lake from the Pacific Ocean. The water is safe for swimming, but you won’t have the pleasure of doing so. It is not possible for tourists to visit the island.

You may, however, consider booking a charter plane and flying over Middle Island to capture this blushing beauty in pictures. In fact, the best way to view the little lake is by air. The colors are more intense when viewed from above. As unique as Hillier Lake is, it is not the only naturally pink lake in the world.

Here are a few others:

32. salt fisherman to work. Ten A twelve hours per day Oumar is extracting the salt of the pink lake. its only protection vis-a-vis with salt: the oil of shea tree of which it coats its body. It scrapes the bottom of the lake to extract the white gold. the lake is not very deep one at two meter at the major places.- Retba lake.

 Retba lake in Senega

Hutt_Lagoon

Hutt Lagoon in mid-western Australia

lake-warden-the-pink

Warden Lake near Esperance, Western Australia

You May Never Look At Chocolate The Same Way Again

Abdul, a young Syrian man (not his real name) was trying, once more, to escape the Syrian civil war. He had made seventeen previous attempts to sneak into the U.K. and failed seventeen times. He learned from his mistakes every time he failed, but no two attempts were identical. There was always something unexpected that foiled his plans. He figured by now he had experienced it all. The eighteenth attempt would surely be a success.

Abdul, six other men, and an experienced smuggler all gathered at a truck stop outside of the small village of Coquelles, France. Earlier this evening truck drivers had pulled in, parked their loaded rigs, and settled down for the night, sleeping in their cabs. In the morning, some of these drivers would be delivering their trailers to the train station loading dock where they would be loaded onto flat cars. The freight train would then transport the trailers the rest of the way to England by way of the Channel Tunnel. This routine never changed and that made the smuggler’s job easy.

The smuggler, a Kurdish man, originally from Iraq, had been organizing these refugee operations for years and knew that tanker trucks were never x-rayed for stowaways. So he checked the tanker trucks for their destination stickers and identified a tanker that was destined for the U.K. The smuggler, Abdul, and the six other men quietly approached the tanker so as not wake the driver.

First, the smuggler climbed the ladder to the top of the tank and used a bolt cutter to remove the padlock on the hatch. Then he signaled for the refugees to climb to the top of the tank. The contents of the tanker were not identified. If it turned out to be something dangerous or toxic, they hoped it would be obvious before they ventured inside.

The moment the hatch was opened a familiar aroma permeated the cold night air. Chocolate! Seven men were going to sneak into the UK in a tank of liquid chocolate. It was near freezing that night, so as they climbed down into the warm chocolate it felt great, like a chocolate hot tub. The smuggler then closed the hatch, leaving a little gap so they could breathe and eventually escape.

Abdul stands 6 feet tall, but he still couldn’t touch the bottom of the tank with his feet. They were all holding on to the rim of the hatch with one hand. If anyone had lost their grip and gone under, the others would not have been able to rescue the fallen man.

It didn’t take long for the men to realize the chocolate was becoming uncomfortably hot. The heat was actuallly becoming unbearable. The seven men could do nothing else but cling to the hatch rim in a tight circle, submerged in chocolate up to their necks. They had to keep moving their legs to keep from getting totally trapped in the heavy chocolate.

They naturally began to consider their dilemma. The trip to the train should take no more than 30 minutes. Once they had passed the checkpoints they would be able to escape their chocolate prison. Unfortunately, the truck wasn’t moving. They had now been in chocolate limbo for more than two hours. The men were careful to remain quiet, but under their breaths they cursed the smuggler for putting them in this, now precarious, situation.

Some of the men wanted to give up and escape the chocolate. But Abdul wanted to stay with the original plan. Seventeen attempts under his belt—would he never complete his personal pilgrimage? He felt so close to freedom that he could taste it (and it tasted like chocolate). If just one of them left, all of them would have to leave. Whoever left would leave a trail of chocolate all down the side of the tanker. Anyone staying behind would be discovered, for sure.

The situation was not getting any better. In fact it was becoming serious and two of the men started to cry. In the end it was unanimous. It was time to leave while they still had the cover of dark. The chocolate was heavy and slippery. It was almost like a game of tug-o-war. It took the entire group to help push or pull each man, one at a time through the hatch. The last guy struggled the most. It was difficult to extract against the pull of the chocolate. He finally had to kick off his shoes and allow them to drop to the bottom of the tank.

All seven men, exhausted, but safely extracted from that unforgiving chocolate, began the long, cold, hike to their tent hidden deep in the nearby woods. They were covered head to toe in chocolate and as they walked, they left seven sets of chocolate foot prints, one of them shoeless. In the frigid night air the gooey chocolate hardened and cracked on their clothes and skin. They chipped off pieces and ate the chocolate. They all agreed, it was very good chocolate.

Abdul did eventually make his way to the U.K. He avoided tankers and instead stowed away on a trailer loaded with new truck cabs. He found one that was unlocked and hid inside. He was granted asylum in the U.K. and found a job at an Arabic restaurant in Sheffield.

To this very day, whenever Abdul gets a whiff of chocolate, it reminds him of that cold winter night when he and six other grown men nearly experienced Death By Chocolate!

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory May Have Just Stumbled Upon Warp Drive

Mr. Sulu, take her to warp two. — Captain Kirk

Those of us who grew up watching Star Trek dreamed of a future when humans would explore strange new worlds; seek out new life and new civilizations; and boldly go where no man has gone before.

But, until very recently, that future seemed out of reach, or at least, not in our lifetimes. According to the Star Trek back-story the Warp drive would be invented by Zephram Cochrane in the year 2063. Good try, Star Trek writers, but you might be off the mark by almost 50 years. Because NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory may have just taken the first important step toward the development of the warp drive.

NASA scientists have been working on a project called EmDrive. During a recent test they shot laser beams through the EmDrive’s resonance chamber and took measurements. The readings from that test caught the scientists by complete surprise. The indication is that the EmDrive’s resonance chamber sent these laser beams faster than light speed. This, my friend, is the essence of warp speed.

The word spread fast around NASA. Scientists are buzzing about the discovery on a NASA discussion board where they discuss current projects. Therefore, the announcement that laser beams may have breached the speed of light traveled almost that fast to the engineering community.

True to the nature of engineers and scientists, they admit more study is needed. They want to perform the same test in a vacuum to rule out the possible false reading due to atmospheric heating. But they are still scratching their heads and wearing silly grins on their faces.

One commentor in the forum wrote, “This signature on the EmDrive looks just like what a warp bubble looks like. And the math behind the warp bubble apparently matches the interference pattern found in the EmDrive. Seems to have been an accidental connection. They were wondering where this ‘thrust’ might be coming from. One scientist proposed that maybe it’s a warp of the spacetime foam, which is causing the thrust.”

In a 1994 paper, Physicist Miguel Alcubierre, A Mexican Theoretical Physicist, proposed the concept of a warp bubble that would warp spacetime around an object. A space ship would be situated stationary inside the bubble. The bubble would squeeze spacetime in front of the ship, while expanding from behind. Since the ship is stationary within the bubble, space travelers would not feel any movement. The theory was never proven feasible until this recent EmDrive finding.

If the warp speed is achieved in the vacuum test, some on the NASA Spaceflight forums are even imaging the possibility of time travel. You could conceivably, take a trip to Alpha Centauri in 2 days, look out the back window and observe Earth as it was four years ago. Try to wrap your brain around that.

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In the TV production, “How William Shatner Changed the World”  Miguel Alcubierre made a special appearance where his warp bubble theory was discussed. If interested, you can hear this theory at timestamp 1:07:00 in the video below.

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The link below takes you to the NASA discussion board where the conversation gets interesting on April, 20, but as of May 21 there are now 203 pages devoted to this topic alone. This time it really is rocket science and its happening in our lifetime

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36313.1860