Stephen Hawking called for a massive investment in establishing colonies on the Moon and Mars in a lecture in honour of NASA’s 50th anniversary. He argued that the world should devote about 10 times as much as NASA’s current budget – or 0.25% of the world’s financial resources – to space…
The Moon is a good place to start because it is “close by and relatively easy to reach”, Hawking said. “The Moon could be a base for travel to the rest of the solar system,” he added. Mars would be “the obvious next target”, with its abundant supplies of frozen water, and the tantalising possibility that life may have been present there in the past.
Some space experts have recently called for NASA to send astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid instead of the Moon as a next step.
I like the asteroid mission proposal because of the greater chance of finding volatiles like water, hydrogen and methane. Some scientists speculate that certain space rocks have valuable metals like gold, silver and platinum, an entrenpeneur’s wetdream! But the gravity thing is a show-stopper, human bones deteriorate in zero gravity environments, whereas the Moon has enough gravity for people to work around in.
Virgin Galactic boss Sir Richard Branson is planning to set yet another record – by becoming the first man to marry a couple in space.
The 58-year-old billionaire intends to conduct a ceremony 70 miles above the Earth on the first Galactic sub-orbital flight next year.
He has already officiated at one wedding in mid-air. Last year he was ordained for the day in an online church to marry Virgin America marketing director Dimitrios Papadognonas and Coco Jones on a Virgin flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas…
He also helped officiate at the wedding of Google co-founder Larry Page on his private island, Necker, in the Caribbean.
A spokesman for Virgin Galactic told The Mail on Sunday: “We have had two bookings involving marriage, one to get married in space and the other for the couple to have their honeymoon in space.
“It is possible that Richard could obtain a licence to conduct the marriage.”
I have to hand it to Branson, his mind is always on the prize!
The next big thing; Judge Judy’s Small Claims Space Court!
The announcement was made at NASA’s Future Forum at the University of Miami Bank United Center on April 18, 2008, marking the establishment of a new “Space Age” industry to produce valuable products in space that show great promise to save and enhance lives on Earth.
“Florida is committed to fostering a thriving aerospace industry and is quickly becoming known as one of the nation’s top biotech centers,” said Governor Crist. “The partnership reinforces our dedication to the biotech industry. This is an exciting opportunity to stimulate progress in this new market and in Florida’s economy.”
“SPACEHAB has been working closely with Space Florida to build a strong public private partnership for the development of biotech products in space,” said Thomas B. Pickens III, SPACEHAB Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As evidence of the State’s commitment to promote this new industry, Space Florida has provided SPACEHAB with both financial backing and valuable research facilities, including the state-owned Space Life Sciences Laboratory.
“SPACEHAB and the State of Florida are very excited about our partnership and we look forward to continuing this vital work that shows strong evidence towards quickly becoming a significant industry in space.”
Pretty admirable goals, creating biomedicines to save lives and an economic corridor in Florida using biotechnology as its industrial base.
By my old cynicism rears its ugly head and proclaims, “Beware the military-industrial-bioweapon complex”.