What We Need to Settle in Outer Space
The Space Studies Institute has drawn up a working list of the obstacles we must overcome if we are ever to live permanently in space. The effects of partial gravity are high on the list.
What's the Latest Development?
A working list of conditions that must be met before humans can begin settling in space has been drawn up by the Space Studies Institute, a non-profit that advocates opening up the resources in space for human benefit. The institute's new president, Gary Hudson, has unveiled The Great Enterprise Initiative which is "designed to outline the technologies and other capabilities needed to enable the long-term goal of space settlement, and to host multiple projects in relevant areas." The institute's former president was Freeman Dyson.
What's the Big Idea?
The key areas of interest to the initiative, and therefore to settling in space, are transportation, resources, environment, society and economy. One area of immediate attention is gravity: "We cannot answer the question of whether, in a permanent off-planet settlement, can a human female give birth to a child, can that child grow up, can it return to Earth, can it have children of its own," Hudson said. "We simply have no idea. If we cannot do that, we cannot settle space." The institute is set to begin researching the effects of partial gravity on humans, such as we would experience on Mars.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
You can say 'no' to things, and you should. Do it like this.
- Give yourself permission to say "no" to things. Saying yes to everything is a fast way to burn out.
- Learn to say no in a way that keeps the door of opportunity open: No should never be a one-word answer. Say "No, but I could do this instead," or, "No, but let me connect you to someone who can help."
- If you really want to say yes but can't manage another commitment, try qualifiers like "yes, if," or "yes, after."
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.