Over the last few decades, NASA helped develop several revolutionary technologies, which have greatly benefited society as a whole. Said technologies have also revealed the universe to be an exceptionally strange place; From the discovery of giant space blobs, that could encompass our galaxy hundreds of times over – to hidden portals in the Earth’s magnetic field – we are obviously inching our way toward the dominance of space – or at the very least, the dominance of our own backyard. We obviously have quite a long way to go, which requires a bit of thinking-outside-of-the-box. Thankfully, the folks from NASA are working on several far flung conceptions. In fact, they even developed an entire branch, called theInstitute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC), solely to delve into this sort of research. Unfortunately, it was disbanded in 2007. (A similar program was recently reinstated) Still, many of the ground breaking concepts can still be found online, others are still in development – giving us an opportunity to blow your mind.
5. Solar Probe Plus Will Meet the Sun
NASA seems to have some kind of fetish for intentionally destroying sophisticated technology. They’ve bombed the moon several times now (once in 2009 and again in 2012, when “Ebb” and “Flow” finished their primary missions) and they sent the Galileo spacecraft spiraling into the Jovian atmosphere in 2003 (the same fate awaits the beloved Hubble Space Telescope when it ceased to be useful). Most of those missions were not developed for the sole purpose of being disintegrated, but NASA outdid themselves with the Solar Probe Plus.
The spacecraft, which is in development, will make close-up observations of Venus – before face-diving into the sun’s corona. The temperatures in this region can exceed 2,550 degrees Fahrenheit (1,400 degrees Celsius), which is about five times hotter than the temperature in Low-Earth orbit. Needless to say, it’s freaking hot. The searing heat is further compounded by the stark increase in luminosity, as it’s estimated that from the corona, the sun appears more than 500 times brighter than it does on Earth. (We can’t forget about the high energy particles that reside near the sun’s atmosphere) Obviously, this is ambitious for several reasons. Not least of all because the sun’s environment makes Venus look like the Bahamas in comparison.
If this one sounds vaguely familiar, it should. This concept is very similar to the main plot of a film entitled “Sunshine.” In the movie, which is set in the near future, a team of Earth-based scientists are sent on a mission to rejuvenate a dying sun, by bombing it – creating a “star within a star;” with a payload equivalent in mass to the island of Manhattan. Like Icarus 2 – from the movie – the Solar Probe Plus will have a huge sun-shield to temporarily protect it from the elements, until it, quite literally, is incinerated by our local star. (It’s expected to make it about 4 million miles from the sun beforehand)
and to think.. this has absolutely nothing on:
4. A Giant Sun- Shield – to Combat Global Warming
Discussing the merits of global warming has now eclipsed the discussions held about the moon landing conspiracy. (It happened. Get over it) Everyone seems to have an opinion on the subject (and as Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “Science is true. Whether or not you believe in it.”) With that said, regardless of the mechanism driving it – be it man-made, or something less nefarious – the temperatures are rising, which means something must be done to staunch the damage before the United States is relegated to the ocean floor.
In this particular solution (many different concepts have came to light before), a scientist from the University of Arizona proposed that we develop trillions of free flying mirror units. After the individual units are deployed into space (using a large cannon that operates using electromagnetic propulsion, with the barrel alone coming in at about 0.06 miles across), they would collectively act as a lens, forming a huge shade that would extend some 100,000 square miles across. When sun rays come in contact with the units, they would be defected slightly (instead of hitting Earth) – thus lowering the soaring temperatures.
All it would cost is some 200 trillion dollars (or about 100 billion dollars per year) Kickstarter, anyone? (On a more serious note, the units could be manufactured in a way that would be conductive to collecting solar energy. Maybe eventually; the project would pay for itself)
3. Spray-on Space Suits
The number one cause of death in space is space itself.. It’s an extremely hostile environment. Exposure to the vacuum alone can kill you in a hundred different – all equally terrifying – ways. If any of them fail to turn you into a space kabob, the physical side effects ofmicrogravity will eventually. To get around that, space agencies have invested billions of dollars toward developing a functional space suit that can shield cosmonauts from the brunt of the dangers, whilst allowing them to effectively work and preform their necessary experiments. However, most of our modern spacesuits are completely ineffective at accomplishing most of those goals – a problem that will only become worse whenever we venture beyond low-Earth-orbit, into deep space.
One of the most interesting concepts that came from NIAC revolved around spray-on polymer fabric spacesuits, which encompass most of the things researchers want to see in a next-generation space suit. The team of researchers discussed the possibility of covering an astronauts body with this organic, biodegradable technology, working similarly to a spray-on tan. Underneath the layer of flexible material, the person would alsobe equipped with temperature-controlled underwear, biosensors, electronic equipment and even artificial muscle fibers, which could improve strength, stamina and mobility (All of which can prevent the effects of muscle degradation in space) Such a technology could have practical applications here on Earth too – particularly for firefighters.
2. Inflatable Space Habitats
Like with our current spacesuits – another problematic aspect of space colonization is developing technologies that can give astronauts the needed space for living quarters, while still having proper room to carry out their experiments. Not to mention, we would also need a rocket that could carry all of this into space.
A rather ingenious solution to both of these problems is developing expandable modules – created using a strong and rigid, but highly effective material – which can be deployed into space using traditional rockets. Once they arrive to their destination, they can be inflated using pressurized air, providing us with a safe, roomy enclosure. (Ironically, the atypical structures are more durable than conventional metal ones. They could even better shield astronauts from micrometeorite impacts and harmful radiation) Incredibly, we may see inflatable structures in space sooner than one might think. Earlier this year, NASA andBigelow Aerospace (a private company that has done a tremendous amount of research on the topic) reached an agreement that would actually put an inflatable module on-board the ISS. Assuming all goes well, the technology could evolve into a functional prototype for a lunar space station.
Perhaps by creating a series of these habitats, scattering them about the solar system, it could even provide a cost effective way to explore our own neighborhood.
1. Laser Propulsion Systems
Modern space-shuttles – like the one used to carry men to the moon – accelerate using three different types of chemical propulsion systems (each of which require specific fuel). Unfortunately, the conventional methods are somewhat dangerous and they don’t offer too many advantages as far as interstellar travel is concerned. Because of this, a lot of exciting work is being done in developing more effective propulsion systems. (My personal favorite is ion thruster propulsion)
Another concept NASA is currently exploring completely throws the need for multiple propulsion systems out, capitalizing instead on photonic laser thrusters! Such a system would operate using a photon beam amplification system and a photonic laser. As trapped photons – which have no mass, mind you; only momentum – bounce between mirrors on a series of spacecrafts, they produce substantial thrust (through photonic energy) that can accelerate a spacecraft to exceptional, energy-efficient, speeds. (Given enough time for acceleration, a vehicle using this type of system could propel to speeds approaching that of the speed of light. Never at – or above – that speed though, as it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object with mass to light-speed)
On a more relatable note – according to Dr. Young Bae (of the Bae Institute) – using photonic laser thrusters, we could make the trip from Earth to Mars in merely one week! (Compared to the typical 6 month journey)
When Edward and Sue Hobart first built their dream home on six beautiful acres of land in Falmouth, a small town on Massachusetts‘ southern coast, they had no idea that one day they would be forced to abandon it due to local “green” energy initiatives. But the constant migraine headaches, ringing in the ears, dizziness and insomnia brought about by the incessant spinning of several local wind turbines proved to be intolerable, producing ghastly symptoms that many others in the area have also since reported.
A recent investigation by ABC News into so-called “wind turbine syndrome,” or the collection of illness symptoms commonly reported by people who live near wind turbines, has uncovered a string of related ailments associated with the use of this technology, especially near residential areas. For the Hobarts and many others, the recent erection of two large wind turbines and one smaller one in their otherwise quiet community has brought about these and other health problems, with no end in sight.
“Sometimes at night, especially in the winter, I wake up with a fluttering in the chest and think, ‘What the hell is that,’ and the only place it happens is at my house,” explained Sue to ABC News, noting that initially she had no idea that her mysterious illness symptoms could be the result of the wind turbines. “That’s how you know. When you go away, it doesn’t happen.”
Wind turbines create low frequencies that can cause health problems, admit experts
Like many others, the Hobarts experience no health problems when they are away from the turbines. But every time they return home, the symptoms come back, the likely result of certain low-frequency rattles and shakes emitted by the turbines, say experts. Dr. Nina Pierpont, for instance, a Johns Hopkins University-trained pediatrician, says wind turbine syndrome is very real, and that it is the green energy industry’s “dirty little secret.”
For years, Dr. Pierpont and her husband have been advocating against the continued use of wind turbines, especially near residential areas, because of continued reports of widespread illness symptoms. Dr. Pierpont even published her own case study back in 2009 entitled “Wind Turbine Syndrome” that documents howpeople living up to 1.25 miles away from wind turbines experience major health problems, which makes it impossible for many of them to live normal and productive lives.
‘Green’ energy industry falsely accuses wind turbine sufferers of imagining their conditions
Wind energy advocates have repeatedly denied such claims, even going so far as to accuse wind turbine syndrome sufferers of fabricating or imagining their symptoms. But this has not stopped the Hobarts and others from fighting to have these metal monstrosities removed. According to ABC News, the Hobarts filed a nuisance claim this past February against Notus Clean Energy, owner of the smaller turbine. And several other local residents have also filed lawsuits against the town, which owns the two larger turbines.
“The heart of the issue is that they have been pushed off their land,” stated Representative Brian Mannal, who is also the Hobarts’ lawyer, to the media. “They have erected these enormous, industrial-scale turbines — larger than a 747 — in close proximity to residences. [The Hobarts] have had to leave their house because they couldn’t live there anymore.”
While the Hobarts’ lawsuit is still pending, their town continues to be bombarded with additional lawsuits seeking remedy with regards to the turbines. At one point, the town’s selectmen voted unanimously to take the wind turbines down, but an official measure put before the town several months later was voted down.
In our modern world, adrenal fatigue is extremely common and estimated by some experts to affect approximately 80 percent of the population to some degree. Adrenal fatigue is caused by all types of stress – physical and emotional – and if left unchecked, it can lead to other illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease and heart attack.
The symptoms caused by adrenal fatigue are numerous and varied. The following are some of the more common ones:
- Panic attacks
- Frequent urination
- Thyroid issues
- Salt cravings
- Sugar cravings
- Waking tired
- Needing caffeine to ‘get going’ in the morning
- Feeling stressed
- Inability to handle stress
- Overthinking (having a brain that won’t turn off)
- Dizziness when rising from seated or lying position
- Fluid retention in feet and ankles
- Low blood pressure
As you can see, adrenal fatigue can cause many symptoms and eventually lead to many health challenges. However, the good news is that there are plenty of things we can do to support our adrenal glands to help return them to a healthy state.
Reduce or eliminate stimulants
Stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and drugs cause a stress response in the body and, if used chronically, will wear out the adrenal glands. Those who feel that they need their morning coffee should understand that, although it might feel as though caffeine is helping, it is actually stealing their health by exacerbating their adrenal fatigue.
Meditating daily can help reduce stress levels. Finding even 10 or 15 minutes a day to quiet the mind by meditation has been proven to be of benefit for reducing stress.
Clean up your diet
Eating a highly processed diet creates stress in the body. Many people don’t consider the stress caused to the body by eating processed foods. Processed foods contain chemicals that have no place in the body, such as preservatives, colors, stabilizers and more. These chemicals can have negative effects on the various systems of the body and add additional waste products that need to either be eliminated or stored.
Make good use of adaptogenic herbs
There are a number of adaptogens that are useful for the adrenal glands. These herbs can be taken in the form of teas, tinctures, powders or capsules and include:
- Tulsi, or Holy basil
- Korean Ginseng
- He Shou Wu
- Licorice (Note: Licorice can raise blood pressure)
Make time to relax
Take time to chill out and make the time to do the things that you love doing and make you happy.
Eat more salt
Adrenal glands love salt. Buy a good quality, unprocessed salt, such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt, and use it liberally.
Try this adrenal cocktail
Try taking this adrenal cocktail either before bed if you suffer from insomnia or upon rising if you have trouble getting going in the morning. It really works!
1/2 cup orange juice (or another form of vitamin C)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Mix and drink.
Finally, don’t watch horror movies and don’t do things that get your adrenaline pumping. They will simply cause more stress for your already overworked adrenal glands, leaving you feeling tired and wired.
Professor Brandon Wainwright said these genes provided potential targets for treatment.
“Brain tumours are the most common cause of cancer death in children,” Professor Wainwright said.
“Those who do survive often experience significant neurological, intellectual and physical disabilities as a result of their treatment, which involves surgical removal of the tumour followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
“We clearly need more effective and less invasive options to treat medulloblastoma and improve outcomes for both children and adults with this devastating disease.”
There are four different sub-types of medulloblastoma, each with their own molecular signature.
The researchers identified underlying genetic regulatory networks that were present in all of the sub-types, a discovery that Professor Wainwright said was important in advancing treatments.
“We are now searching for existing drugs that may block these gene networks and act as viable treatment alternatives for medulloblastoma.”
The results were published in the highly prestigious scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.