Using Energy and Resources from Space to Raise Living Standards of Across Earth
While Expanding Free Independent Human Societies Throughout the Universe

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Space Exploration Prizes and Petition Sponsorships

Home could advocate for the immediate development of Mars gravity simulation centrifuge large enough to house several generations of mice over a multi-month period on the International Space Station. Social media campaigns and direct advocacy through "We the People" White House direct petitions could result in a high-profile Home-sponsored mission to test mammalian gestation aboard ISS.

On the International Space Station several generations of mice should be brought through full gestation in a centrifuge simulating Martian gravity to study an approximation of its effects on small mammal breeding, human settlement, and child-bearing on Mars.

Gravity on Mars is only about 38% as strong as it is on Earth, the long-term effects of such reduced gravity are unknown. Astronauts who are weightless for long periods of time lose significant amounts of bone and muscle mass. It is unclear if the gravity on Mars is strong enough to avoid or minimize these health problems.

This experiment will provide data on how mammalian health is affected by long-term exposure to lower levels of gravity, focusing on bone loss, changes in bone structure, muscle atrophy, affects in the inner ear, and child-bearing off-Earth.

The results from the experiment would be compared against a variety of earth based controls, including vivarium, hindlimb suspension, partial weight suspension, flight habitat effects, and short-radius centrifuge testing. Data will further our understanding of osteoporosis, neurological disorders, fetal development, and more - on Earth and space exploration in general.

NASA is expanding its existing capabilities for doing plant and animal tissue investigations on the International Space Station with the small Gravitational Biology Lab. A centrifuge will allow biological experimentation in artificial gravity -- from zero gravity to twice Earth’s normal gravity -- for prolonged periods of time. The new facility will provide environmental control, lighting, data transfer, commanding, and observation of experiments in Mars and moon gravity conditions, as well as mimicking Earth's gravity. This is useful for biological research, and could lead to advances in medications and vaccines, agricultural controls, and discoveries in genetics -- all beneficial to those of us on Earth.

What they will learn from the research in the new facility can be used to better life on Earth, as well as provide knowledge to help advance future long-duration human spaceflight missions.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mars Home Settlement Theme Park

If home were to be a successful franchise it could generate interest in a realistic near-term settlement theme park. Visitors could view IMAX documentaries about Mars and space exploration in general, while living in hotels identical to settlement facilities. 

Several similar ideas have been tried. Unfortunately these space-themed attractions tend to become dated, misleading, and eventually demolished. A home-inspired theme park with hotel facilities resembling Mars research settlements could be modular, purposively built to facilitate structural updates as technology changes. A permanent realistic Martian surface environment could be constructed around settlement simulation facilities to ensure host theme parks invest in updating their Mars-themed hotels rather than scrapping them altogether.

The following are a few prominent space-themed attractions:

"Mission: SPACE, a motion simulator ride at Epcot theme park, is as close as you can get to blasting off into space without leaving Earth. This attraction for big kids, teens and adults realistically mimics what an astronaut might experience during a space flight to Mars."

"The Journey to Mars: After the mission briefing, make your way inside the space capsule—sitting side by side with the other members of your team. Feel the rush of take-off as you embark on a thrill-packed training adventure through space to Mars.

After the attraction, visit the Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab, an interactive play space for Guests of all ages where you can compete in Mission: SPACE Race, enjoy an arcade-style game where you can explore Mars on foot, or create video postcards that can be sent via e-mail.

"INTERSPACE is a space-themed destination planned for Titusville, FL, by 4Frontiers Corporation's spin-off NewSpace Center, LLC,.

"The company has selected a location for its settlement simulation with all the structures and support systems that will be needed. 4Frontiers, through its research efforts, has begun to generate intellectual property covering material science, architectural, eco-technical, mechanical and related habitat items, methods and processes.

"While the motion picture industry has brought us cinematic versions of Martain drama, 4Frontiers will bring a hands-on Mars settlement to the masses." 

Mars settlement-focused simulation and education will attract young minds and plant the seeds of future interest. This will allow many to become more familiar with our ultimate mission. This approach contrasts with distant simulation habitats in the Arctic and elsewhere, which are too remote for public access in significant numbers. Although primarily a demonstration facility, the center will also showcase the company’s latest innovations and provide a public forum for its Mars experts.  The company's entertainment and education products and activities will expand and further develop as the center grows. 4Frontiers will strive to make this the world's premiere location for education and innovation in Mars settlement activities.

Tourists could choose to buy one day "explorer" passes for $100 or so that would get them a "trip" to Mars and a peek at the surface environment from an indoor building. Those willing to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,500 could stay for a few days as "settlers" playing roles on Mars such as miner, greenhouse gardener or artist. Settlers would wear simulated space suits while on outside the settlement structures. After registration, guests would be taken to a training center to prepare for a simulated space flight. The number of guests would be limited, like at Orlando's Discovery Cove. Founders use the words "high fidelity" a lot when describing the attraction. "This is not going to be about moving more bodies through turnstiles. It's much more immersive and interactive."

"Mission to Mars was an attraction located in Tomorrowland at Disneyland and at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The show was designed in cooperation with NASA and was basically a revised and updated version of the previous attraction Flight to the Moon. Guests would be launched on a spacecraft into space and then approach the surface of the red planet Mars.

Visitors would first enter a viewing area known as Mission Control, which was modeled after a typical mission control center with chairs and control panels for about ten seated Audio-Animatronic "technicians" whose backs were to the audience as they moved their heads and arms. Facing the audience was the Audio-Animatronic flight director Mr. Johnson. He would then talk and show film clips to explain how humans had made numerous advances in space travel and manufacturing in microgravity, and also learned how to deal with the effects of space.
The seats in the attraction would simulate the vibrations and G-forces from take-offs and landings by filling up with compressed air. Finally, the spacecraft landed safely back on Earth and Officer Collins would then urge guests to return and visit again. As he explained, "there's a lot more to see on Mars".

"SPACE CAMP was founded in 1982 as the U.S. Space & Rocket Center museum’s education program to promote the study of math, science, and technology. This educational program couples classroom instruction with hands-on activities and teaches teamwork, decision-making, and leadership.

Camps are available for fourth grade through high school-age students. Additional programs are available for trainees who are blind or visually impaired, and for the deaf or hard of hearing. "Space Is Special" is a program for special education students. SPACE CAMP programs are also available for adults, and special camps have been designed for educators and for corporate groups.

93% of the alumni said they took more science courses, particularly physics and chemistry, in the years following camp; 91% reported taking more math; and 74% said they learned about careers.

Assessments reveal that students showed a 21% gain in knowledge and understanding of the scientific process and a 47% gain in the knowledge and understanding of the importance and significance of past, present, and future space exploration.

"Trainees will prepare to become the new generation of explorers, with hands-on activities that place them in the role of spacecraft designers and astronauts. Trainees experience walking on Mars in a 1/3  Gravity Chair and feel what it’s like to work in a Martian environment in our Manned Maneuvering Unit. 

"Advanced Space Academy trainees are immersed in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while focusing on college and career preparation. Extended-duration missions give trainees more teamwork experience to prepare them for real world leadership and teamwork. During this weeklong program, trainees get hands-on training, as well as learn about the mental, emotional and physical demands astronauts, engineers and technologists must face. Trainees experience microgravity in our Underwater Astronaut Trainer* and a tumble in our Multi-Axis Trainer. The Advanced Space Academy program is a college-accredited program through the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAHuntsville). Students earn one hour of freshman-level general science credit.

"Family Camp is an exciting life experience for you and your child or children. Together you’ll take control of a space mission or fly a fighter-pilot endeavor. Bring one of more family or friends. Together,
you will fly missions, explore the past, present and future of space flight. Get ready for a weekend of non-stop activities that involve space flight history along with realistic, simulated space missions.

"Family Space Camp encompasses mission training and operations, rocket construction and space history in one of the world's largest space history museums. The program is designed to give families an overview of space exploration, while experiencing very real simulations. Trainees will experience the excitement of an IMAX or a 3-D Movie. They will also build and launch (weather-permitting) model rockets and train like astronauts on simulators developed by NASA, including the Multi-Axis Trainer and the Manned Maneuvering Unit. All of our Family Camps include on-site meals and lodging. Parents and children are housed together.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Citizen Science @ Home

"Humans are born with the curiosity of scientists but switch to investment banking."

"That savage beauty, of experiencing the universe in the wild for yourself unmediated by a screen. That raw experience of looking up and knowing that the sky we're looking at surrounds every known thing in the universe. A night sky is a natural resource. It is a park we can visit anytime we look up. If we don't protect it, and treasure it, it will slip away and be gone. And so if you're interested in this I encourage you to visit in particular, and to learn more about the choices you can make to save our dark sky, because it belongs to everyone, the stars are yours, they are ours to experience or choose to lose."
Lucianne Walkowicz
The Zooniverse is home to the internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. Our current projects are here but plenty more are on the way. If you're new to the Zooniverse, we suggest picking a project and diving in - the same account will get you into all of our projects, and you can keep track of what you've contributed by watching 'My Zooniverse'.

"scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, 
by amateur or nonprofessional scientists"

Planet Hunters "With your help, we are looking for planets around other stars"
Zooniverse "Real Science Online"
American Association of Variable Star Observers
GLOBE at Night
Lowell Amateur Research Initiative (LARI)

“So I’d like to just say that what the world needs now is a sense of being able to look at ourselves in this much larger condition now and a much larger sense of what Home is. Because our home is the universe, and we are the universe, essentially. We carry that in us. And to be able to see our context in this larger sense at all scaleshelps us all, I think, in understanding where we are and who we are in the universe.”
Carter Emmart

Saturday, June 23, 2012

CG Society Mars 'home' Challenge

CG Challenges are the largest online art contests of their kind, with huge amounts of sponsorship and publicity for each challenge. Working within guidelines and limitations, artists are challenged to create outstanding artworks based upon set themes.

Sponsorship of a home CG Challenge will create professional 3D models for animations, 2D stills for pans and background mattes, unique Mars-centric art in general by professionals and students worldwide. Think of funding the prize pool of a CG Challenge as leveraging a few thousand dollars into the employment of a staggering number of the world best, most inspirational, space obsessed digital artists. Hundreds of space literate artists will spend tens of thousands of hours working for home's virtual art department.

A CG Society Challenge such as this will elicit visions of future Mars settlements from creative people in countries as varied as El Salvador and Iran. Awe-inspiring artists' concepts are guaranteed. This would be a high-profile, news generating project. Artists' work could be republished in Popular Science, Wired, Air and Space magazine, mainstream newspapers, and for years to come permeate the internet with first-class Mars-centric concepts displaying the logo of Home, Blue Origin, and show sponsors.

Artists could be enticed to donate their finished, textured, professional quality 3D models to an open source free archive used to promote future Mars-centric art. Such a Challenge would educate generations of digital artists about Mars, publicize the importance of near-term research settlements, and establish a massive unprecedented collection of scientifically literate concept art.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Massively Open Online Course Integration

“Ships and sails proper for the heavenly air should be fashioned. 
Then there will also be people, who do not shrink from the vastness of space.”
Johannes Kepler to Galileo Galilei, 1609
"The truth is online learning is very new. We're still figuring all of this out."
Sebastian Thrun

Online educators are invited to write quick, short scenes for home demonstrating course lessons in real-world applications on a Martian research settlement or tele-robotic asteroid mining operation. Think of this as product placement for new ideas. To advertise a course or highlight an important lesson, educators are encouraged to submit dialogue-based scenes relevant to actual science and engineering challenges applicable to home. Submissions do not need more than a few sentences of dialogue, but should be more than mere scene descriptions. Course integration would take place through the narrative of home via dialogue. (For example, write one or more characters on Mars or Earth actually speaking...rather than "tell us what happens" it happening, accompanied by actual dialogue...hopefully humorous, not self-depricatory, upbeat.)

“I normally teach 400 students,” Ng explained, but last semester he taught 100,000 in an online course on machine learning. “To reach that many students before,” he said, “I would have had to teach my normal Stanford class for 250 years.”

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the launch of edX, a transformational partnership in online distance learning. Through edX@Home, the two institutions will collaborate with home to enhance campus-based teaching through course material written into episodes  (even showing an inter-planetary community of online learners).

MIT and Harvard expect that over time other universities and entertainment entities will join them in offering courses on the edX platform. Collaborative courses involve video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories, and student paced learning. Real-world applications are shown in each episode in Home to accompany online coursework.

“EdX represents a unique opportunity to improve education on our own campuses through online learning, while simultaneously creating a bold new educational path for millions of learners universe-wide,” MIT President Susan Hockfield said.

A person can no longer obtain a degree at 20 or 25 and then expect to be educated for the rest of their career. "It is important to understand education is a lifelong undertaking, not a one time thing."

"Udacity is a totally new kind of learning experience. You learn by solving challenging problems and pursuing udacious projects with world-renowned university instructors (not by watching long, boring lectures). At Udacity, we put you, the student at the center of the universe. And if you are udacious enough, imagine yourself a research scientist at home."

“One Iranian student e-mailed to say he found a way to download the class videos and was burning them onto CDs and circulating them,” Ng said last Thursday. “We just broke a million enrollments.”

Passing a Udacity class is as demanding as passing a university-level class but students have a lot of fun along the way. Top-quality learning platforms could enable budget-strained community colleges in America to “flip” their classrooms. That is, download the world’s best lecturers on any subject and let their own professors concentrate on working face-to-face with students.

"I believe we can get an entire computer science education completely online and free and I think this is the first time this has happened in the history of humanity."

At Coursera we envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students. Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

“It will allow people who lack access to world-class learning — because of financial, geographic or time constraints — to have an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families.”

Integration with home will reinforce courses through interactive exercises and real-world applications to the exploration, asteroid development, and the settlement of Mars. 

Are you ready for the challenge? Ready to work on Mars?

“We are already moving forward quickly,” said Agarwal. “There’s a lot of 
energy in the air, and the teams at Harvard and MIT can’t wait to collaborate.”

Advertising Funded Space Exploration

"Our most important piece of intellectual property is our brand name. Brands for companies are like reputations for people. And reputations are hard-earned and easily lost. So the most important intellectual property that a company can have - for us, it's Amazon - its that "name" but, what it stands for…we've worked to earn trust. You can't ask for trust, you just have to do it the hard way, one step at a time. You make a promise then fulfill the promise. You say, "We'll deliver this tomorrow - then we'll actually deliver it tomorrow." And if you do that over and over again, then you can instill your company's name, with a reputation. Sometimes people talk about brands in this very amorphous way, but, for me, I like to think of it as a person, and what kind of reputation that person has, and what have they done to earn that reputation." Jeff Bezos

All home sponsors have one thing in common: we believe it is time for a fun, exciting, positive adventure series that will inspire genuine science and cultural progress. 

home is pleased to announce corporate sponsorship opportunities in formats as varied as product placement, dialogue sketches, and surface advertising. Sponsors will play a significant role inspiring the exploration and settlement of Mars. 

Any company can register, we have sponsorship opportunities for small entities through to multinationals. If you would like to join us in making home a reality, please contact Amazon Studios.

Advertising will fund high-profile space exploration. Sterile white spacesuits worn by government employees will be relegated to air and space museums; dark foreboding suits on cheesy characters in fear-mongering films will date a shameful era of scientifically illiterate science-fiction. 

home will lead voters to expect commercial advertising partnerships in real-world government-subsidized space programs.  Sponsors of the show itself will develop their own space-themed television commercials, tied to home but airing throughout the day, independent of specific broadcasts. A broad front of space-themed commercials will be created by film-makers with their own unique visions, encouraging students, engineers, and scientific curiosity in unforeseen ways.

Product placement in home itself will be pervasive: suits, rovers, habs, clothing - even work and living quarters are sponsored. Characters will read in an Ikea library, work in a Popular Science lab, eat at a Subway cafeteria, and meet for breakfast in Dunkin' Donuts. When they step off their Harley Davidson KTM Adventures, their boots will imprint Nike logos on the surface of Mars.

While advertising will not fund all space exploration, it will be a significant source of revenue. Advertising firms will have portfolios associated exclusively with space exploration. It is our hope that by placing ads in home itself, within the context of exploration and settlement, advertisers and marketing departments will begin thinking of high-profile space missions - in the real world, now - as an opportunity to advertise products contributing to meaningful scientific endeavors.

In 2000 the founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, created Blue Origin,  a privately funded aerospace company striving "to lower the cost of spaceflight so that many people can afford to go and so that we humans can better continue exploring the solar system".  home depicts the success of such endeavors in near-Earth space and on Mars in the late 2020s. Mission support informally exists worldwide, via the internet, wherever specialists are, but core facilities operate from Amazon's headquarters in downtown Seattle. Launches to Mars take place every two years from Blue Origin's West Texas facilities; telerobotic NEA mining operations are conducted from Blue Origin's suburban headquarters in Kent, Washington.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wired Science: "Why the Scientist Stereotype Is Bad for Everyone"

"Science is the Engine of Prosperity — the first sign of decline 
of a society is a lack of interest in science."
Michio Kaku

From Wired, "Science Stereotypes": 

"To many – too many – science is something like North Korea. Not only is it impossible to read or understand anything that comes out of that place, there are so many cultural differences that it’s barely worth trying. It’s easier just to let them get on with their lives while you get on with yours; as long as they don’t take our jobs or attack our way of life, we’ll leave them in peace.

That’s very frustrating to scientists, who often bemoan the lack of public interest in what science has to say. They’re right to be frustrated: all our futures are dependent on proper engagement with science. So, how to solve this problem?

In recent years, like fervent evangelicals, scientists have begun to instigate outreach programs. If people could only hear about how exciting science is, the thinking goes, they’ll be converted. Then we’ll finally be able to get on with tackling climate change, creationism in the classroom, stem cell research and so on.

The trouble is, those who are already fans of science lap it up while everyone else shrugs – and nothing has really changed. That’s because the problem doesn’t lie with the science. It lies with the scientists. Or rather the myth the scientists have created around themselves.

Just over a decade ago, a cadre of researchers carried out an interesting experiment at an elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina. They showed the students a gallery of 10 portraits and asked them to identify which ones were scientists. The portraits were all scientists, in fact. However, the children “showed a decided:

 tendency to identify smiling pictures as not being scientists

Then there’s the ongoing and ever-entertaining “Draw A Scientist” experiment. It’s been done in various ways since 1957, and the result has always been pretty much the same. Ask children in second grade and upwards to draw a scientist, and you are presented with a white male wearing a white lab coat, glasses and an excess of facial hair.

But this comical spectacle takes a more sinister turn when you ask children to draw a second scientist. In one fourth grade class set this task, almost half the children drew images containing danger and threat: Frankensteins, bombs, poisons and even one scientist holding a test tube high over his head while shouting, “With this I destroy the world”.

We are not consciously aware of it, but we have a deeply-rooted suspicion of scientists. They are not like us. They are not fun, they are not well turned-out human beings, and if pushed, we will admit we think they are dangerous.

In a piece written for the January 1956 edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists the geneticist Jacob Bronowski makes a rather shocking claim:

“People hate scientists.” 

This attitude arose, Bronowski said, as people learned about some of the recent achievements of science: atomic bombs, rocket-powered missiles, nerve gas tests carried out on unwitting soldiers and civilians and gruesome experiments on prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates.

Institutions such as the National Academy of Sciences in the US and the Royal Society in the UK had begun working on their image as soon as the war was over. The major strategy was to convince governments and the public that science had at its disposal a safe, efficient, controllable method that, given enough resources, would create a better world. It worked: by 1957, 96 per cent of Americans said they agreed with the statement that ‘science and technology are making our lives healthier, easier and more comfortable’. Across the Atlantic, the Royal Society implemented a program of controlling scientists’ image on broadcast media, offering the BBC only the safest of its scientists to collaborate with program makers. Memos from the Society to the broadcaster reveal earnest efforts to get the “perils and dilemmas angle” of science dropped in favor of programs that celebrate “the great solution wrought by the introduction of the experimental method.”

Some efforts to retain science’s humanity were made: “human agents are responsible for designing experiments, and they are present in the laboratory; writing awkward phrases to avoid admitting their responsibility and their presence is an odd way of being objective.” But scientists, we now unwittingly assume, are safe, dull, slightly inhuman and, it seems, unsmiling. That’s why, at the dinner party, everyone wants to sit next to the artist, not the scientist.

The sad thing is, they’re missing a treat. The pursuit of discovery provokes passionate, anarchic behavior from people desperate to be first to a breakthrough, and makes science more rock ‘n’ roll than the Rolling Stones. Scientists get into fights with colleagues (step forward Nobel laureate Werner Forssmann), take drugs to “open their minds” (Carl Sagan, Kary Mullis), follow through on ideas received in dreams or visions (August Kekule; Nikolai Tesla), fudge data and proofs to suit their argument (Einstein; Newton; Galileo), disregard their own personal safety and the strictures of ethics committees (Barry Marshall; Forssmann again).

What child would aspire to possessing a white coat, a glum demeanor, glasses and too much facial hair when there are pop singers, sports stars and artists to emulate?

Go into a school and ask “is science fun?” Some children will give you an outright no. Let them interact with a real working scientist, and their perception changes. Look at the “before” and “after” pictures, and the comments from seventh-graders who spent time with physicists from the Fermilab accelerator facility. They quickly realized that a white coat, facial hair, glasses and a penis isn’t standard issue – and neither are the scientists mad, bad and dangerous to know. It might not seem like much, but it might just be enough to safeguard all our futures.

Friday, June 15, 2012

'Home' Would Make an Upbeat Theme Song

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Interstitial, Background, and Bumper Video Inspiration

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
Christopher Abbas Cassini Mission
NASA | SDO's Ultra-high Definition View of 2012 Venus Transit
The Future Is Ours
Meditations on the Martian Surface
Blue Sun Composite
The Most Astounding Fact
The Definitive Guide to the Milky Way
The Detailed Universe
Atlas of the Universe
A New Perspective
Yosemite Range of Light
The Future Is Ours
Audacity to Dream