The topic of today’s Sci-fi Wednesday is all about space travel. How we might get there, what we might do out there, and how we might look doing it.
First up Boeing has recently unveiled its new spacesuits for astronauts using its Starliner capsule to get back and forth between Earth and the I.S.S. And damned if they aint just so retro-futuristic purty.
Next up we have the announcement that five teams have made it past the first obstacle to compete in Google’s Lunar XPrize.
The race to the moon is heating up. Soon the Google Lunar XPrize will hand out $30 million in prizes to privately-funded teams who can send a robot to the moon, move 500 meters across its surface, and send pictures back to Earth.
According the contest rules, contestants had until December 31, 2016 to book a seat on a rocket ride to the moon. Five teams out of the original 34 have made it past this crucial checkpoint. These missions must launch before December 31, 2017 in order to get a shot at the $20 million grand prize and $5 million second place prize (and another $5 million total in smaller prizes).
I still remember vividly when TierOne won the original Xprize back in 2004. I was working in eastern Europe at the time and I couldn’t help but feel it would usher in a new era of private spaceflight. And it has, I wish the best of luck to all the teams competing for the current Lunar XPrize and look forward to seeing the results. In a related story a team of engineering students is desperately hoping that TeamIndus makes it to the moon so they can brew up some Mooooon Beeeeer!
There’s a lot that needs to happen before humankind can become an interplanetary species. We have to figure out how we’ll get to other worlds,what we’ll eat, and what we’ll live in. And then we need to figure out beer, because space is definitely BYOB.
Lucky for us, a team of students from the University of California at San Diego are designing a kit that they hope will be the first to brew a batch of beer on the moon.
“Team Original Gravity” is one of 25 finalists competing for a ride to the lunar surface. TeamIndus—one of five teams remaining in the Google Lunar XPrize competition—will launch a lunar lander and rover from Earth on December 28, 2017, and they’ve set aside a little bit of room to carry one student experiment.
If their proposal gets selected, the UCSD team will test the viability of growing yeast on the moon. But more importantly: moon beer.
Finally, you may have heard about the EM drive, sometimes referred to as the “Impossible Drive” because it may (or may not) violate the laws of physics as we currently understand them. But what is it? How does it work? Does it work? Does it violate the laws of physics or not? Truth be told I don’t know, no one does. But there is something there there. So help you become as confused as I am here’s a bunch of videos on it.
First up we have a through if somewhat skeptical overview of the drive itself as well as recent testing.
Needless to say more testing needs to be done, but we at least have reason to hope.
Well thats it for today, here’s hoping that one day I will be posting to this blog from SPAAAAACE while drinking MOOOOOON BEEEEER!