NASA Offers Prize Money for Winning 3D-Printed Habitat Ideas

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is offering $1.1 million in prize money in Phase 2 of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge for new ways to build houses where future space explorers can live and work. The three-part competition asks citizen inventors to use readily available and recyclable materials for the raw material to print habitats.

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The High Cost of Lunar Living

Credit: Buddy Loans
Credit: Buddy Loans

LONDON, July 3, 2014 (Buddy Loans PR) — Buddy Loans, a professional guarantor loan company based in the UK, has just released an interesting and educational infographic that shows the cost of living on the moon for one year. The fascinating infographic was created in honor of the 45th anniversary of the moon landing.

As a company spokesperson explained, some people believe that the next “giant leap for mankind” will involve the colonization of our closest celestial neighbor. For those who are thinking about one day trading in their vehicle for a spaceship to the moon, the new infographic provides some important information about how costly such a venture would be.

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The Limited Appeal of Backing Up Humanity Among the Stars

Cylon resurrection is not nearly as much fun as it appears. And sadly, humanity is still quite far away from being to back up itself.
Cylon resurrection is not nearly as much fun as it sounds. And, in any event, humanity is still quite far away from being able to back up itself.

Lately, there’s been a meme going around about the need to backup humanity by establishing new colonies in space and on other worlds. Although this has a lot of appeal in light of the recent meteor explosion over Russia, the nuclear saber rattling by North Korea, and the myriad of other ways we could destroy ourselves, the concept is deeply flawed. One problem is technical, the others political.

Humanity is not a hard drive. In computing, you can make exact copies of whatever data are on you computer and put them elsewhere in case the hard drive fails. Humans don’t work that way. Until we can develop a Cylon-like ability to download our consciousnesses into identical bodies, backing up the human race won’t work very well. Or, at the very least, it will have limited utility.

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Homesteading on the Moon May Not Be Possible

Earth Rise

Over at the Commercial Space Gateway, Richard Mains recounts an unusual presentation during last month’s NewSpace 2009 Conference that threw a bit of ice water on the idea of homesteading the moon:

The clearer view was represented by James S. Logan, MD, currently an Aerospace & Occupational Medical Officer, at NASA JSC. Reality emerged with his frank assessment of the accumulated biomedical evidence associated with the health risks of long-duration human exposure to spaceflight the space environment on other planets, but his focus was the Moon.

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Commentary: Key to Lunar Settlement is Profitability

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Return to the Moon: Unless it’s profitable, it won’t be permanent
Ronald Bailey
Reason Magazine

The Apollo moon landings have often been compared to the explorations of Christopher Columbus and the Lewis and Clark expedition to Oregon. For example, on the 20th anniversary of the first moon landing, President George H.W. Bush declared, “From the voyages of Columbus to the Oregon Trail to the journey to the Moon itself: history proves that we have never lost by pressing the limits of our frontiers.”

But what boosters of the moon expeditions overlook is that the motive for pressing the limits of our frontiers in those cases was chiefly profit….

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