Taking advantage of zero gravity, a robust capability to build in space will be our real launchpad beyond low Earth orbit.

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3D-printed Mars habitat “Marsha” © NASA

For the past half-century, we have been transporting objects into space piece-by-piece and assembling them to construct space stations. But assembly is far from the real “holy grail” of putting things together in space. Actual manufacturing — creating essential components using raw materials — is how space travel’s economic advantages will be realized.

NASA’s program to address this need is called simply ISM, for In-Space Manufacturing, and comes with an official logo: “Make it, Don’t take it.”

The cost of taking a kilogram of payload mass into orbit has seen an enormous reduction in the past few decades. In the…


The possibilities are tantalizing when we consider the power of evolution.

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Photo by Carlos Cram on Unsplash

Dragons are the single most ubiquitous and recognizable mythological creature ever dreamed up by the human consciousness. They crop up in hundreds of cultures around the world, from China and Hawaii to New Zealand and Iceland.

These mighty, fantastical beasts hold a special place in our tales, from Smaug to Toothless, King Ghidorah to Mushu, Falkor to Fafnir, dragons entrance us with their power, graceful shapes and movement, and sometimes even wisdom.

David E. Jones, an anthropologist, believes he has come up with an explanation for this in his book An Instinct for Dragons. Jones studied vervet monkey troops of…


How some life on Earth achieves near-immortality, and how we might someday in the future

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Photo by AZGAN MjESHTRI on Unsplash

The year is 2573:

Lilara’s laughter fades into awed silence as the autocab drifts to a stop. It was a long ride from the Johannesburg spaceport, but finally, the family had arrived at their destination: Lilara’s mother’s old family estate. Her mom met her father there when he was just a 24-year-old graduate student performing ecological research on the 50,000-acre preserve. That was in 2088 when the desert was threatening to overtake everything completely.

Eventually, Lilara’s parents moved together to Mars City Two, also known as Olympia, where they became leaders in the terraforming initiatives. Over the next few centuries, Mom and Dad would…


How AI and machine learning helps prevent terror attacks now and in the future

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https://pixabay.com/users/Ronile-126846/

Most people over the age of 25 in the United States today remember with vivid detail where they were and what they were doing on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

I was in the waiting room of our pediatrician’s office with my wife and 7-month old daughter as the “Breaking News” banner appeared on the TV and the nightmare unfolded.

2,977 innocent people were killed due to the actions of 19 Muslim extremist hijackers: 2,606 in and around the World Trade Center in New York City, including over 414 first responders; 246 on the four planes; and 125…


The opportunities to create revenue in space are growing day by day, and we need to act on them now.

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Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Since the “space race” began in earnest over six decades ago, our quest to conquer the cold vacuum which starts roughly 62 miles above us has bestowed upon us vast amounts of inspiration, driven rapid growth in STEM careers, providing new technologies, and advanced our understanding of the universe in ways not even some science fiction authors might have guessed.

The idea that “good things come to those who wait” is no better represented by any business opportunities than those found in the space sector.

One of the first ways to generate revenue in space that comes to mind is…


Proxima Centauri b is the nearest exoplanet to us outside the Solar System, and it may be more habitable than previously thought.

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Artist’s conception of Proxima Centauri b surface, NASA Image Gallery

4.244 light years away, the triple star system known as Alpha Centauri — our nearest stellar neighbor — a small exoplanet orbits the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. This is Proxima Centauri b, and it may be the most habitable exoplanet we have evidence of.

At nearly 25 trillion miles distant, Proxima Centauri b is unfathomably far away from us at our current ability to travel in space. …


What happens when your job is to slow the Grim Reaper’s inevitable march?

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www.pexels.com

As the Covid-19 pandemic crisis wears on, first responders and other front-line personnel, particularly in the medical field, continue to be infected at a greater rate than most of the population. In turn, they get sick, and die, and all because of their dedication to saving lives.

I worked with doctors for five years, not in a clinical setting but in medical and pharmaceutical research. …


Why we need to leave Earth while making sure we don’t leave Earth behind.

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Earth at night ©Modis / NASA

Currently home to 7.7 billion human beings…

A world which has seen 108 billion humans exist since the beginning of our species…

Earth has been our home for several hundred thousand years, and home to millions upon millions of species, and trillions of organisms, for over 3 billion years.

By 2050, United Nations population researchers project that there may be 9.7 billion people alive at once.

The earliest human ancestors appeared in Africa between 5 and 7 million years ago, with the first of them spreading outward into Europe and Asia beginning roughly 2 million years ago. Our most modern…


And What Aging Means in the 21st Century

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“Then-Senator Glenn joined the STS-95 Discovery crew in 1998, becoming the oldest person to fly in space at 77.” — ©NASA

My great-grandmother Beulah passed away in 1981. She was 91.

Her daughter died in 1987 at the age of 74.

My great-grandfather Arthur passed away in 1985. He was 96.

His son died in 1996 at the age of 79.

My great-grandparents lived longer, healthier lives, it seems, than their children, contrary to what I was hearing about on the news or reading about in books.

And that is on my mother’s side…

My father’s parents were even less fortunate, passing away at the ages of 64 and 62.

My great-grandparents died of what could simply be called “old age”…


Will our interstellar cousins want to eat us?

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https://pixabay.com/users/Comfreak-51581/

The idea that the alien life forms we may someday make contact with will want little more than simply to rip us limb from limb and devour our flesh to satiate their interstellar appetites isn’t new. It’s definitely been one of the most basic notions about extraterrestrial life since the early 20th century and Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast.

However, aliens weren’t always the “bad guys”. In the earliest days of thought regarding potential alien life, after the Copernican Revolution began and the invention of the telescope and proof that there were many other celestial bodies, the…

A. S. Deller

Startup product manager. Sci fi, Fantasy and Science writer. https://t.co/6Eny0CBdBD https://channillo.com/user/29057 https://twitter.com/deller_a

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