from the world's big
NASA reveals the latest winning ideas for buildings on Mars
NASA announced the five winners of the latest phase of its 3D-Printing Habitat Competition for designing the structures to be used by humans on Mars.
Living on Mars is a dream long-held by science fiction writers and many would-be space explorers. Of course, we have to get there first. NASA’s plans remain robotic for now, with new rovers (and a Mars Helicopter) starting in 2020. The White House has asked NASA to return to the moon in order to, among other things, develop a launch facility for a human Mars mission. NASA’s own suspicion is that we’ll eventually travel to Mars aboard their Space Launch System rocket platform. Yet, assuming we do someday send people to populate the red planet, what kind of Mars-friendly structures will they need?
NASA has been looking for an answer to this question and has been running, along with Bradley University and other partners, a three-stage, multimillion-dollar 3D-Printed Habitat Competition to find it. The space agency has just announced five winning teams for the third stage’s first construction level in which they designed innovative Mars habitats and created virtual models of the structures.
The winners will share the level’s $100,000 prize:
- Team Zopherus of Rogers, Arkansas — $20,957.95
- AI. SpaceFactory of New York — $20,957.24
- Kahn-Yates of Jackson, Mississippi — $20,622.74
- SEArch+/Apis Cor of New York — $19,580.97
- Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois — $17,881.10
Creativity, architectural know-how, and a grasp of the Martian environment are required to meet a Mars mission’s unique challenges. For one thing, the planet is inhospitable — extremely hot and cold, for example — and completely lacks any supporting infrastructure for the buildings, so they need to be hardy and self-sufficient. In addition, getting traditional building materials all the way to Mars is impractical at best and maybe impossible — this is why NASA is betting on 3D-printing as the most practical means of fabricating Martian structures.
First Place: Team Zopherus
2nd Place: AI. SpaceFactory
3rd Place: Kahn-Yates
4th Place: SEArch+/Apis Cor
5th Place: Northwestern University
Who knows when humans will actually get to Mars. Maybe by then, we’ll simply be able to replicate our structures a la Star Trek. Still, it’s not unlikely that all this advance planning and thinking will ultimately illuminate the underlying architectural solutions that will be required for life on the red planet. Meanwhile, we can use our imaginations to picture what living in each of these dazzling structure might be like after a hard day in the searing Martian sun, or during a bone-chilling red-planet night.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
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Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.