The world’s first space hotel could launch by 2022

April 6, 2018 by  
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We’ve all heard of the companies promising to launch humans on trips to space , but have you thought about where you will stay once you get there? Startup Orion Span thinks they have the answer – and they’re planning to launch a luxury space hotel into orbit in the next few years. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, start saving your pennies – a 12-night stay will set you back a mere $9.5 million PER PERSON. But don’t worry, the price includes transportation, food and drinks, and a three-month training course. The Aurora Station hotel will be able to accommodate four guests at a time, plus two crew members. The station will float above the Earth in low orbit (about 200 miles above the planet – 50 miles below the ISS) and the company claims it will be ready to start hosting guests by 2022. That’s extremely soon – keep in mind that other companies have set lofty goals for space hotels that didn’t quite get realized . The company plans to start with one station and expand as demand grows. If you want to book your stay right away, 80k will hold you a spot until the hotel is built and launched. Related: Elon Musk says trips to Mars coming as soon as next year Speaking of, Orion Span hasn’t provided much in the way of details for its space hotel. For instance, the company says it plans to manufacture the station at a Houston facility that hasn’t been built yet. Nor has it disclosed how it plans to transport people to the station – it seems likely that it will team up with one of the companies who is developing private space travel. Even still, it’s a pretty exciting idea, and not a bad price considering that it costs $81 million for an astronaut to hitch a ride to the ISS on a Russian rocket. Via Engadget Images via Orion Span

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The world’s first space hotel could launch by 2022

MIT’s mind-reading AlterEgo headset can hear what you’re thinking

April 6, 2018 by  
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Have you ever wished you could simply think a command and your computer would respond? That’s the future envisioned by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers who created AlterEgo, a wearable system that allows you to converse with a computer without using your voice or movement. According to a video on the project from MIT Media Lab, the ultimate goal of AlterEgo is “to combine humans and computers.” A computing system and wearable device comprise AlterEgo, a futuristic project led by graduate student Arnav Kapur of the Fluid Interfaces group at MIT . Electrodes, a machine learning system, and bone-conduction headphones help get the job done: the electrodes “pick up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalizations — saying words ‘in your head’ — but are undetectable to the human eye,” according to a MIT News statement. A machine learning system, trained to correspond certain signals with words, receives the signals. The bone-conduction headphones “transmit vibrations through the bones of the face to the inner ear.” Related: Elon Musk’s latest company aims to make us cyborgs within the next four years The video on AlterEgo shows Kapur experimenting with the device, asking for the time or adding up prices in a grocery store without ever saying a word out loud. While the commands he gives are simple, typically involving a single word or number, the video feels like a scene right out of science fiction. MIT professor Pattie Maes, who is Kapur’s thesis advisor, said in MIT’s statement, “We basically can’t live without our cell phones , our digital devices. But at the moment, the use of those devices is very disruptive. If I want to look something up that’s relevant to a conversation I’m having, I have to find my phone and type in the passcode and open an app and type in some search keyword, and the whole thing requires that I completely shift attention from my environment and the people that I’m with to the phone itself.” Part of the goal for a project like AlterEgo is to allow users to stay in the moment. In a usability study with the prototype wearable interface, the system’s average transcription accuracy was around 92 percent, according to MIT News. Kapur, along with Maes and undergraduate student Shreyas Kapur, wrote a paper on AlterEgo and presented it at the Association for Computing Machinery ‘s ACM Intelligent User Interface conference , which took place last month in Tokyo, Japan. + MIT News Image via Lorrie Lejeune/MIT

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MIT’s mind-reading AlterEgo headset can hear what you’re thinking

Blue Origin unveils interior images of capsule to transport tourists to outer space

March 30, 2017 by  
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The day when tourists venture to space could arrive sooner than we think. Blue Origin – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ‘ spaceflight company – just unveiled images of the interior of their New Shepard capsule that could transport travelers to outer space as soon as 2018. Blue Origin’s emphasis on tourism means the capsule is filled with large windows to allow stunning views of Earth. New Shepard could transport the first space tourists to just above the Kármán line, commonly considered the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space. There they’ll float around weightless for a few minutes. Naturally windows are an all-important component of space tourism, and Blue Origin says on their website their capsule will have the biggest windows in the history of spaceflight . In an email, Bezos said, “Every seat’s a window seat, the largest windows ever in space.” Related: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is the first to land a rocket intact upon return from space Inside reclining black seats featuring the Blue Origin feather logo hint at luxury aboard the New Shepard, which can seat six. The company draws on the romanticism surrounding astronauts as they describe the experience on their website, from communicating with Mission Control to earning astronaut wings. The reusable New Shepard rocket has successfully launched and landed five times to this point, but a person has not yet traveled in the capsule. The interior is quite a departure from SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule interior – which has smaller windows – but The Verge pointed out while SpaceX’s primary target is transporting astronauts to the International Space Station , Blue Origin focuses on tourism. But Elon Musk did say recently two private citizens could travel around the moon in a Crew Dragon – also in 2018 – so it appears a new space race is on. After New Shepard’s booster and capsule separate, the capsule free falls for a few minutes before landing with the help of parachutes. The booster also returns to Earth courtesy of an autonomously controlled rocket-powered landing so both can be reused. A New Shepard capsule mockup will be on display at the 33rd Space Symposium from April 3 to 6 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. + Blue Origin Via The Verge Images via Blue Origin

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NASA’s amazing travel posters will get you pumped for space exploration

February 12, 2016 by  
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Kia unveils one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers you can buy

February 12, 2016 by  
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Kia is proving that it is possible to create a fuel efficient SUV with the debut of their 2017 Kia Niro hybrid. The Niro hybrid is the automaker’s first dedicated hybrid , and with a combined rating of 50 mpg, they demonstrate it is possible to combine the SUV design that buyers love without sacrificing fuel efficiency. Read the rest of Kia unveils one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers you can buy

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Kia unveils one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers you can buy

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is the first to land a rocket intact upon return from space

November 25, 2015 by  
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Amazon ‘s Jeff Bezos has achieved a world first this week — sending a rocket 62 miles (100 km) into space and landing it safely on the ground, upright, fully intact, and ready to be re-used. In the past, rockets have been treated as disposable, simply collected and thrown away after launching a spacecraft. Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin , hopes to significantly lower the cost of space travel and eventually take tourists into orbit. Read the rest of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is the first to land a rocket intact upon return from space

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Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum May be the First Couple to Travel to Mars

July 11, 2014 by  
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Long road trips can quickly turn into a nightmare for many couples, but what happens when partners are stuck with each other in a confined environment for six to eight months? That’s what  Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum face as they hope to be the first couple from Earth to travel to Mars. Read the rest of Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum May be the First Couple to Travel to Mars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Inspiration mars , Jane Poynter , mars , mars mission , nasa , orion spacecraft , paragon , space tourism , Taber MacCallum

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Spaceport Sweden Annouce Plans to Provide Commercial Space Flights Within the Decade

December 18, 2012 by  
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Spaceport Sweden has announced plans to offer commercial space flights within the decade. Located in the small Arctic town of Kiruna, Spaceport Sweden aims to provide tourists with two-hour trips aboard a craft that will carry one-to-six passengers, a venture which the company hopes could establish Kiruna as the European port for commercial spaceflights. Read the rest of Spaceport Sweden Annouce Plans to Provide Commercial Space Flights Within the Decade Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: commercial space flights , Esrange Space Center , Kiruna Spaceport , Rexus 11 rocket , space tourism , Spaceport Sweden , Swedish Space Corporation SSC

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The Startram Maglev Train Could Make Space Travel Cheaper & More Efficient

March 13, 2012 by  
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Space travel is a costly and inefficient process. Not only does it take a large amount of fuel to send the lightest payload into orbit (the Space Shuttle used over one million pounds of solid propellant to power its rocket boosters), but it is expensive and damaging to the environment (the last 28 years of shuttle service have seen over 42,000 tons of pollutants released into the atmosphere). However, two researchers believe that have found an alternative – maglev technology . Using an electromagnetic catapult launch system called Startram , they propose a process that would see cargo, astronauts and space tourists accelerated into low Earth orbit (LEO) via a magnetized train. Read the rest of The Startram Maglev Train Could Make Space Travel Cheaper & More Efficient Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: mag-lev technology , maglev space train , maglev spacetrain , magnetic acceleration space train , space elevator , space tourism , space train , space travel , startram , startram low earth orbit , startram mag lev , startram maglev project , startram project

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South Korean Scientists Announce Plan To Clone a Woolly Mammoth

March 13, 2012 by  
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It has been 10,000 years since woolly mammoths last roamed the earth, but if scientists in South Korea have their way the giant creatures could come back to life. Russian academics have signed a deal with Hwang Woo-Suk from South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation to attempt to clone an extinct mammoth . For the cloning, the Korean scientists will utilize bone marrow in well-preserved mammoth bones that were discovered last summer in the thawed permafrost of Siberia. Read the rest of South Korean Scientists Announce Plan To Clone a Woolly Mammoth Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cloning , DNA , global warming , Hwang In-Sung , Hwang Woo-Suk , permafrost , russia , science , scientists , siberia , south korea , stem cells , Woolly Mammoth

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