“Georgians were the first winemakers on Earth and now we hope to pioneer viticulture on the planet next door.”
It’s often said that real progress in a new technology isn’t made until someone starts using it for sex or getting high. That seems to be the case in the quest to be ready to grow plants on Mars as soon as humans first step onto the red soil. Yes, I know, some of you believe humans are already there – but do they have booze? A group of researchers in the country of Georgia, which prides itself on being the birthplace of wine-making, is planting the seeds to become the first to grow grapes and make wine on another planet. And yes, they’re planning for more than just reds.
“In the distant future, Martian colonists will be able to grow plants directly in Martian soil.”
The IX Millennium project (named for the 8,000 years Georgia has been making wine) was founded in January 2019 by Nikoloz Doborjginidze to lead the way to wine on Mars. The Independent reports this week that in just three short months, astrobiologist Marika Tarasashvili, has developed a composting bacteria that will turn Martian dirt into fertile Earth-like soil. Working in a lab in Tbilisi, she’s using bacteria collected from “extreme ecosystems” (no, not gas station restrooms, but that’s a good backup plan) like hot sulphurous springs and breeding it to ingest Mars and excrete earth.
“But first we need to create a model of completely controlled sustainable Martian greenhouses.”
Tusia Garibashvili is the founder of Space Farms company, which is now building a vertical farming laboratory with tightly controlled temperature, atmosphere and radiation conditions that will simulate the Martian environment … on the inside. On the outside will be a luxury hotel in Tbilisi that will house the laboratory — who says scientists have to live like lab rats?
Meanwhile, a second part of IX Millennium is working at the Business and Technology University testing various Georgian grape varieties in a simulated Martian environment. So far they’ve determined that pale-skinned Rkatsiteli grapes — an ancient and versatile white wine variety that dates back to 3000 BCE – grows best under harsh Mars-like ultra-violet rays.
Is the faux Rkatsiteli wine any good? The researchers at IX Millennium aren’t ready to answer that and are planning to test many more barrels of Martian whites and reds until the first Mars mission is ready … so they have plenty of time. Of course, they also have a noble cause to use as a front for all of that wine-tasting, according to Business and Technology University Dean Nino Enukidze.
“Martian dreams aside, our experiments are providing information that is vital as humanity confronts a multitude of environmental challenges. We will be able to identify and breed food crops resistant to the problems caused by global climate change.”
That’s right … the solution to climate change could come from drinking Martian wine made from Georgian grapes.
As Matt Damon might say, it beats growing potatoes
Source: Mysterious Universe
Von Braun Station: the first space hotel would be ready by 2025
Inspired by the concepts of a Nazi rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, this station-hotel Von Braun Station will have its own gravity, kitchen, bars and interiors made with natural materials, and will be able to accommodate up to 400 people.
“The station could receive the first tourists in a few years,” said Tim Alatorre, senior architect of the Gateway Foundation , the company responsible for the station’s design.
“The goal of the Gateway Foundation is that in 2025 Von Braun already works and 100 tourists visit it per week,” he said.
According to the designer, the station, which will have the shape of a huge 190-meter diameter wheel, will turn constantly, creating an artificial gravitation comparable to that of the Moon and making the stay in it much more comfortable than in the ISS, where it is not possible to have a sense of direction.
The concept was taken from nothing less than Wernher von Braun, hence its name. This was a leading Nazi scientist who developed the V2 rocket. After World War II, NASA welcomed him to design, among other things, the Saturn V rocket that would take the human being to the Moon.
How will it be built?
The hotel station will be built by using automated systems, such as drones and robots, while in orbit. It will also use GSAL, special space construction machinery developed by Orbital Construction.
Once completed, some modules will be rented as individual residences, while others will be offered to different governments for scientific purposes. In total, the Gateway Foundation expects the population of the Von Braun wheel to be about 400 people.
In space … at home
Apart from rooms, the hotel part of the wheel will feature many of the things that are seen on cruises, such as restaurants, bars, music concerts, film screenings and educational seminars. Also, the interiors will have nothing to do with the sterility of the space stations of science fiction films.
«As humans, we are innately connected with natural materials and colors. […] The use of fabrics, lighting and warm-colored paints and textured materials help us connect and feel at home, ”said Alatorre, although he admitted that heavy materials, such as wood and stone, will be replaced by“ substitutes for light and easy to clean natural materials ».
The architect said that the project, which presupposes the creation of even larger space hotels, tries to put an end to the current high prices of orbital tourism, making it accessible to broad social sectors and facilitating extraterrestrial exploration.
” Gateway Foundation aims to make space travel open to everyone and this and the company’s next project will be true cities in space that will be ports of call for those who come and go from the Moon and Mars,” he concluded. .
Ariana Grande Responds to NASA Interns Remixing Her Song
It’s no secret that Ariana Grande is a fan of space and, by extension, the folks over at NASA. And it turns out that the love is reciprocal, seeing as how a group of interns at NASA’s Johnson Space Center have just given her song “NASA” the remix treatment.
An “educational parody” of Grande’s track, the interns created an accompanying video “in order to inform the public about the amazing work going on at NASA and thee Johnson Space Center,” per its description.
Even cooler? The specific project the interns that inspired the interns is NASA’s forthcoming Artemis missions, which aims to send the first woman to the moon by 2024.
Hey @ArianaGrande, we saw ‘NASA’ trending this morning and thought it was about one of our new discoveries. But we realized that you might need some space.
🎶 It’s like you’re the universe and we’re N-A-S-A 🎶
— NASA (@NASA) February 8, 2019
Given all of this, Grande was obviously over-the-moon about the parody. No pun intended.
“Oh my. this is so pure and special and insane,” she tweeted in response. “hi everyone over there that is doing such incredible work ! thank u for taking the time to make this ! my heart is ….. bursting.”
Watch the entire remix video for yourself, below.
Another Interstellar Comet Has Arrived
“Based on the available observations, the orbit solution for this object has converged to the hyperbolic elements shown below, which would indicate an interstellar origin. A number of other orbit computers have reached similar conclusions, initially D. Farnocchia (JPL), W. Gray, and D. Tholen (UoH).”
Remember ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever discovered in our solar system? You won’t for long as another one was picked up by multiple observers and reported this week by The Minor Planet Center (MPC) at Harvard University. Unlike ‘Oumuamua, this one is definitely a comet and has been identified earlier enough in its trip through the solar system to be analyzed intensely – possibly revealing where it came from and how astronomers can locate more of them.
“The comet’s current velocity is high, about 93,000 mph [150,000 kph], which is well above the typical velocities of objects orbiting the sun at that distance. The high velocity indicates not only that the object likely originated from outside our solar system, but also that it will leave and head back to interstellar space.”
The BBC reports that object gb00234, now known as Comet C/2019 Q4, was discovered by amateur (but experienced) astronomer Gennady Borisov on August 30th, 2019, at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Bakhchysarai. When he noticed it, C/2019 Q4 was three astronomical units (450 million km) from the Sun. Since then, other astronomers have seen its tail – confirming C/2019 Q4 is a comet – and measured its eccentricity at 3.2, based on current observations. A perfect circle has an eccentricity of 0, while a closed elliptical orbit ranges from 0 to 1. Anything greater than one indicates an arc-shaped trajectory and is likely an interstellar comet or object making a one-time visit. While not confirmed yet, together these make Comet C/2019 Q4 the first ‘true’ comet to visit use from outside our solar system.
Unless it’s a spaceship.
Good point. Anyone?
Unlike ‘Oumuamua, whose asteroid-or-comet nature still gets debated, this one is definitely a comet. If it is unequivocally interstellar, it’ll be fascinating to see how its composition (spectral properties) compare to the variety we see in comets from our own solar system.
Astrophysicist Karl Battams, from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, tweeted an end to that comet-asteroid-spaceship-or-what debate which has trailed ‘Oumuamua like a tail (if it had one) since it was discovered hightailing out of here. Comet C/2019 Q4 will have plenty of eyes on it as it will be visible to even low-powered professional telescopes for at least a year, including when it makes its turn around the sun (perihelion) around December 10. However, the MPC leaves an opening for the unusual:
“Absent an unexpected fading or disintegration, [C/2019 Q4] should be observable for at least a year.”
In lieu of seeing windows with aliens waving out of them, an “unexpected disintegration” would be the next coolest thing.
Source: Mysterious Universe
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