Investing in space technology is reaching a fever pitch, and SPACs are driving much of this new investment growth.

Image © NASA

With the successes of SpaceX and a myriad of other space technology companies since the start of the 21st century, investors’ eyes (and wallets!) are more focused than ever on startups that have billion-dollar potential in the expanding space economy.

Space technology is relatively new as a business model in the private sector. The greatest invention and innovation has traditionally occurred within the boundaries of public space agencies like NASA. …

Settling Mars could offer humans a second chance.

A view of Mars’ horizon and two satellites in space.
A view of Mars’ horizon and two satellites in space.
Photo: NASA

In a paper published October 10 in Nature, researchers guided by data from NASA’s Curiosity rover confirmed that an ancient saltwater lake existed on the surface of Mars, some 3.5 billion years ago. This roughly overlaps with the time when multicellular life first began to evolve on Earth. Scientists are hopeful that there is evidence to discover on Mars that points to primitive life on the Red Planet.

But whether or not life ever existed on Mars, it may still be a safe harbor for life in the future — a life that comes to it from Earth.

Why Mars?

Mars is…

Actions at the smallest scale accelerate us into a promising future.

Image Credit: NASA Ames / John Hardman

In the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility at the Ames Research Center in Moffet Field located in Silicon Valley, the dilution refrigerator pictured above cools a Vesuvius (TM) processor to just above absolute zero, a temperature over 100x colder than the space between stars.

The Vesuvius (TM) is the 512-cubit quantum processor in the D-Wave Two — the second commercially available quantum computer after the (you guessed it) D-Wave One. This processor was designed to use quantum annealing to solve a specific problem type: quadratic unconstrained binary optimization. These take traditional supercomputers years to solve. …

Humanity’s destiny awaits beyond Earth, and the foundation for the move into space must be built by our generation.

“Three space colony summer studies were conducted at NASA Ames Research Center in the 1970s. A number of artistic renderings of the concepts were made, including this one showing a cutaway view of a fictional Toroidal (donut-shaped) Colony. Artwork: Rick Guidice.” ©NASA

Using the newest data from the European Space Agency’s GAIA spacecraft, the ESA created the above map of our galaxy that pinpoints the brightness and positions of nearly 1.7 billion stars.

Our Milky Way is roughly 100,000 light years across. To cross our galaxy end-to-end would take 100K years moving at light speed. Ridiculous. That’s just to cross it in a straight line. Covering the actual volume of space enclosed by the Milky Way in our fictional “U.S.S. Enterprise” would require hundreds of millions of years.

And yet, despite our galaxy’s immense scale, the future of life on Earth ultimately…

‘Dead’ gadgets can pave the way to a better future

Google Glass

As consumers, we crave the new, the better, the improved.

When it comes to new products, we have a number of ways to let their creators know what we think of them: snail-mailing their company HQ (gone the way of the dodo bird), posting on Twitter or Facebook, emailing customer service, and uploading a scathing or praising YouTube video.

But what companies really care about is how we vote with our dollars. That determines the value of a product to the company that makes it. …

An interview with Elena Milova of the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation

DNA strand ©NASA

Interest in prolonging human life goes back to the very beginnings of history. In legends and folklore, people have projected their curiosity and imagination regarding human lifespans onto a vast array of mythical characters, from figures like Methuselah to gods and their spawn, such as Odin and Thor.

These tales held even greater significance in previous millennia, when human lives normally lasted between 30–50 years at most, with a vast swathe of the population wiped out by disease before reaching adulthood. As advances in sanitation, nutrition and medicine were steadily introduced over the last few centuries, average human lifespans have…

Some unique lifeforms on our planet give us a glimpse into what may be possible on other worlds.

Tardigrade (water bear) © NASA

Octopus genes are more advanced than any other order of animals on Earth. One of the groups of genes that they exhibit codes for the development of their amazing distributed nervous system. On top of this, octopods possess regenerative and camouflage capabilities, and are among the smartest animals on the planet.

There are species of single-celled organisms called Archaea that survive in environments so harsh they would melt the flesh from your bones in seconds. They live in super-alkaline lakes, in the ultra-high pressure of the Mariana trench, alongside nearly deep-fryer temperature hydrothermal vents, and can even survive high doses…

How we respond to meeting life from another planet could determine the fate of humanity

2:27 P.M. — Tomorrow — Here…

You are about to run out on a break to grab an afternoon coffee. Your day has been hectic so far, and you still have a few hours to go. You’re going to need a serious caffeine boost to keep from strangling someone.

Just as you are leaving, your phone vibrates like crazy and you pluck it out of a pocket to take a look. You think it’s going to be an AMBER Alert, which you receive occasionally.

Instead, you see the familiar gray alert box on your phone’s screen, with the exclamation point in a triangle, and the text:

The best way to get into orbit might just be taking its cue from the Jack and the Beanstalk fable.

Space elevator concept ©NASA

Our future in space depends upon many factors: our continued ability to pay for research, development, and missions; discovering new and innovative ways to reach orbit that are more efficient; and ensuring educational opportunities in STEM subjects to foster the upcoming generations of space and rocket scientists to name just a few.

Being able to take mass from the surface of Earth, out of our gravity well and into zero-G orbit has always been one of the most expensive pieces of the puzzle. It takes enormous sums of energy, and therefore fuel and money, to get even a few pounds…

The merging of humanity with the technology we have created has begun…


In a paper published in July 2019, researchers described a way in which neuroprosthetic devices — capable of monitoring and making sense of electrical signals in the human brain — will soon be able to help patients incapable of physical speech to be able to fully take part in interactive verbal exchanges.

We are well on our way as Homo sapiens to becoming a species that fully merges technology with our organic bodies. …

A. S. Deller

Startup product manager. Sci fi, Fantasy and Science writer.

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