My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Alternative Energy and Daedelus - Avatar and Planet Gliese 581g Next Door

Monday, October 25, 2010

Alternative Energy and Daedelus - Avatar and Planet Gliese 581g Next Door

Space, the Final Frontier;
These are the voyages of the Star Trek Enterprise,
Its continuing mission to explore strange New Worlds;
To seek out New Life and New Civilizations,
To boldly go where no Man has gone before.

Excerpt from the opening of Star Trek: The Next Generation

For the record, I do not watch Television, as there is no Cable TV in Milk River, Clarendon and Milk River folk are not crazy about TV like our “city slicker cousins” in May Pen or Kingston, Jamaica capital; it’s mainly Radio and the occasional The Jamaica Gleaner mini tabloid, The Star.

TV, both foreign and local, is uninspiring (boring is now cliché).

This is so, even among the Generation Y, with FaceBook occupying our time and Fridays at the D’Hive and the bartender nymph named Tash, at the back of Bargain Village, tricked out with music, karaoke, video games and the Internet being the current Generation Y’s equivalent of our Game Shop for Video Games and Guinep Tree for the Internet back when I and my fellow Generation X’s were at Glenmuir High in the 1990’s.

I usually go on a Fridays to grab my content to watch from YouTube and CNET for the long weekend and answer email from my growing legion of email fans and followers of my blog who are the main reasons why I have not stopped pestering y’all, reading and writing to Americans of foreign trends and how they eventually surface here in Jamaica usually two (2) years later. RSS feeds back home in Milk River, Clarendon provide news without newspapers, so well read am I.

Geek that I am, I do have fans, sort of like a Physics rock star I am afraid, publicity be damned. Folks, my emails and my blog BOTH confirm that their is indeed Intelligent Life in Milk River, Clarendon, if not on Planet Earth, compared to the news videos I oft peruse on YouTube, FaceBook and the various International News Organizations, their websites now prancing with video content, as if words did not suffice.

At home, most of my “TV watching” is on my computer, mainly involving making the trek to Bargain Village in May Pen, Clarendon and either buying illegal DVD’s at the front of Bargain Village or downloading Legal content from the Internet i.e. Youtube, CNET, etc. for viewing at home at a later time from the Amazing PC Internet Café as Digicel 4G Broadband is yet to reach us, albeit CLARO 3G is in the area. Local TV gets the same treatment, as my DVR software on my PC records and I watch later, episodes of my favourite programs backed up for future viewing.

Thus it is the rains always spoiling the soup, as the Amazing PC and the Barber Shop are my home away from home, and the pretty, wild, long haired Young and the Restless things strut about, their heavenly nubile visage a fanciful delight to the ocular appendages, accessible but only that I were employed, a current status that may soon take a turn for the better. More on this Bargain Village Employment Saga later…….

At this point, you must know I am a rather huge fan of Star Trek – as if you could not tell from my FaceBook Profile, which I visit so oft while updating my blog!

So, I shall spare you the historical connection between Arthur C. Clarke epic five (5) hour rant about an AI (Artificial Intelligence) gone berserk in the movie HAL 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek or even his other little known epic, Andromeda, both featuring AI controlled ships.

Thus, must John Public conclude that Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, may very well be a fan of Science Fiction movies, or “Sci-Fi”, as the Americans traditionally refer to the space opera content so glamorized on the Silver Screen?

Possible, what with the recent coincidental discovery of a Earth-like habitable planet called Gliese 581g orbiting a star, also unromantically named Gliese 581 in the constellation of Libra by astronomers Steve Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz and co-discoverer Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington as stated in the article “Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life?”, published Thursday September 30 2010, 1:17 pm ET By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer, Yahoo News.

It is also confirmed in a later article “Found: New Planet Gliese 581g is habitable like Earth”, published Saturday October 2 2010, 12:00 pm ET By MICHAEL D. LEMONICK, Yahoo News, mere months before.

Bother dash, muses John Public as he stokes his Chocolate Pipe to get the stuff going. Possibly I am seeing things as the passing of the NASA Authorization Act (2010) enacted in a Senate Committee Hearing in the week of Tuesday March 2nd 2010 AD, before the House Science and Technology Committee and the prior discovery of habitable Gliese 581g may just be really good coincidence.

Indeed, that may well be the case, as the Obama Administration HAS signed into law the now infamous NASA Authorization Act (2010), which ratifies spending to the tune of US$19 billion budget for NASA (National Aeronautical Space Administration) for the Fiscal Year 2011 AD with details of this “high carb, low fat” Fiscal Diet for NASA.

This as stated in the article “President Obama signs new vision for U.S. Space Exploration into Law”, published Monday October 11, 6:15 pm ET by Tariq Malik Managing Editor, Yahoo News and confirmed in the article “Obama signs NASA up to a new future”, published 11 October 2010 Last updated at 17:39 GMT by Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent, BBC News.

Guess it does help your cause somewhat to appear on Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, as I always wanted that VERY same mystery to be solved with regards to Archimedes setting the Roman Galleons on fire with mirrors and reflected sunlight as per the article “No myth: Obama appearing on 'Mythbusters'”, published October 18, 2010 10:28 AM PDT by Daniel Terdiman, CNET News - Geek Gestalt,.

Hmm.  Still, to intone the words of former president John F. Kennedy, “the Eyes of Man look towards Space”.

We are on the cusp, ladies and gentlemen, but Humans on the Planet Earth, of a great adventure, as not only will Space Travel be privatized, with Military Contractors being given a chance to put their Research and Development expertise into developing low cost solutions to ferry astronauts to the ISS (International Space Station) and the Hubble Telescope, but with more robotic missions lined up and the Moon and Mars targeted for human visits by 2025 AD, the United States of America has also set a daunting task which is the focus of this article: Deep Space Travel.

Deep Space, or Extra-Solar System Travel, you say. At this point, many find this laughable, as it makes no sense. Perhaps, some say, it is a political ploy by the Obama Administration to get the Tech Industry to back their renewed bid for a second term in the White House

A rather far fetched idea, as technology types rarely have strong political affiliations to begin with. Thus one is left only with thinking that this is the focus of the American Government until another Republican led Administration comes along and overturns what has been achieved thus far.

Still, albeit rather naïve of me I’m afraid, it is hoped that successive Administration will have the foresight to embrace the decisions of the Obama Administration and vow to continue on and built upon the NASA Authorization Act (2010) and not seek to overturn its clearly stated objectives and intended aims of space exploration on a budget. Thus with the politics aside, the science is now the concern.

Aside from the propulsion systems for Deep Space Travel having to be a complete departure from traditional chemical propellant based rocket technology (100% efficient Photon Rockets using an Anti-Matter Converter, with onboard Nuclear Reactors for powering support Ion Drive Engines, and Solar Sails when near to stars is best!!), issues such as how the ship will be built (preferably in Space Dock, parked just outside of Earth Orbit) and who are chosen for Deep Space journeys (humans or AI? Why not both??).

But the obvious philosophical question is bound to pop up in the typical Jamaican’s mind: What is out in Deep Space that should even concern anyone to wish to visit, much less sit down and consider planning and designing ships to visit?

Where does the rest of the Developing World fit into all of this? And more on the pragmatic side, Jamaica ask, how do we make money from all this voyaging to the stars?

Telecommunications Services?

Inter-Planetary Trade?

The connection will amaze you, as usual, as like Columbus’ so-called “discovery” of the Caribbean; it may be about precious metals in the end, Avatar (2009) Style.

Well, the discovery of a so-called “Goldilocks” planet called Gliese 581g, orbiting the star named Gliese 581 in the constellation of Libra, which according to its discoverers, Steve Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz and co-discoverer Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, is at the right distance from its orbiting star to support life as we know it, not too hot, yet not on the frigid side

Orbiting in the so-called “habitable zone” distance from its solar companion either as stated in the article “Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life?”, published Thursday September 30 2010, 1:17 pm ET By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer, Yahoo News and confirmed in a later article “Found: New Planet Gliese 581g is habitable like Earth”, published Saturday October 2 2010, 12:00 pm ET By MICHAEL D. LEMONICK, Yahoo News

Some pictures of the planet, using the brand new Kepler Space Telescope, capable of spotting planets nearly one thousand (1,000) light Years away, would be nice though, as confirmation of all this hype, a conclusion John Public draws from the article “'Stunning' images of distant planet sent by Kepler Scope”, published Thursday August 6 2010, 5:19 pm ET, by AFP from Washington, Yahoo News.

Next off the bat, 2012 End of the World conspiratorial thinking seems to be running the gamut of the many comments on this scientific discovery, mainly because of the recent shake-up at NASA and the coincidence as it relates to the Obama Administration ambitions of Deep Space Travel. That aside, then consider that if the planet is inhabited, they may have long ago spotted us, as we have spotted them.

To twist the  conspiratorial knife deeper, the Americans may have known of this planet’s existence a long time ago, one can also muse, providing perfect cover to have a NASA Authorization Act (2010) enacted in a Senate Committee Hearing in the week of Tuesday March 2nd 2010 AD, before the House Science and Technology Committee.

Their distance from us, roughly one hundred and twenty trillion (120,000,000,000,000) miles or 20.4 Light Years away, assuming the speed of light to be three hundred thousand (300,000 km/s) per second.

Not bad, as Barnard’s Star, the previously closest star to our planet is about six (6) Light Years away, reachable via the Daedelus ship in fifty (50) traveling at one hundred and thirty million (130,000,000 km/h) kilometers per hour, roughly 12% of the speed of light using a Deuterium or Helium-3 Fusion Drive Engine.

Extra-Terrestrials may have long ago visited us and, like me, considered out Television boring and this decided to leave us be. So ET is next door. Cool, says I, John Public, the Generation X’er who dreams of travel to the stars.

As for the Jamaican connection, outside of NASA owned Cape Canaveral, the fact that Jamaica is an island provides the perfect place to host a Space Port, much like New Mexico Space Port, home to Virgin Intergalactic, a venture by Sir Richard Branson involving flights into space at US$150,000 per wealthy tourist.

Sounds far fetched?

 It is not, believe me.

Vernam Field Aerodrome (it is on Google Earth and Jamaica’s Real Estate spotter, iMap!), a previously America adventure back during WWII, can serve as a base for Commercial Inter-Planetary Space Tourism, once Military Contractor Boeing get their plans for the same off the ground as stated in the article “Boeing plans to start Space tourism flights by 2015”, published  September 15, 2010 9:10 AM PDT by Tim Hornyak, CNET News – Crave.

Everything from short hop Tourist Flights to Mining Expeditions to the Oort Cloud are achievable from the Vernam Field Aerodrome, as the People’s Republic of China and their plan to use the Aerodrome as a trans-shipment point for Chinese made goods into America as stated in the article “CHINESE WANT KINGSTON WHARVES” published Monday, March 08, 2010 by Paul Henry Observer staff reporter Paul Henry, Observer Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Observer

Albeit financial gain in the short term, may not be what Jamaica desires in our long term relationship with our historically closest neighbour.

This is especially as the People’s Republic of China desires so much control of Jamaica, based on the deadlock in negotiations for our assets to begin with as stated in the article “The Chinese want more- Far East investors eye port as sweetener to develop Caymanas”, published Sunday August 1 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner

Thus making Senator Karl Samuda, Minister of Commerce wisely consider additional American and European Bidders for these assets as stated in the article “Samuda looking to US, Europe for port, Caymanas investment”, published Sunday October 12 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

This being much to delight of political insiders and the average Jamaica who may not have like what was going on, wary of the People’s Republic of China long term Trade ambitions and of Jamaica becoming a pawn in a Pig War between the Americans and the Chinese.

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