Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.

We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

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Posts tagged "space travel"

The various physiological effects of space travel.

Space travel - not such an easy journey
Living and working in zero gravity affects all parts of your body, including muscular, skeletal and vestibular systems.

A stomach-churning experience
One of the most common effects of microgravity is space motion sickness, caused when the brain and inner ear receive mixed signals. Between 40 to 50% of astronauts experience this.

On Earth, we can tell which way is up and which way is down because gravity tells us so. Sensors in the inner ear feel this gravitational pull and send information to the brain about our body’s orientation.

In space there is no gravitational force telling the inner ear which way is ‘up’ and ‘down’. So while our eyes can certainly see a ceiling and floor in the spacecraft, our brains cannot register this. This causes nausea and dizziness. Fortunately, symptoms subside within the first few days of travel and common motion sickness medicine is just as effective in space.

Exercise, exercise, exercise
In zero gravity, muscles do not have to do as much to move around. If astronauts don’t work hard to counter this, they will face severe muscle loss. It’s exactly the same as lying in bed for months on end - if you tried to get up and move around afterwards, you’d find that your legs were very weak. The same applies to bones. Bones demineralise, losing calcium and strength in space. In effect, osteoporosis sets in.

To reduce muscle and bone loss, astronauts have to exercise for two or more hours every day. Odd looking contraptions have been designed to make exercising in zero gravity effective.

Under the ray gun
The Earth’s magnetic field protects us from harmful radiation. We are still exposed to small amounts, for example when we go for medical x-rays. However, astronauts are exposed to 10 times as much radiation - and that’s just in low Earth orbit.

In deep space, astronauts can be exposed to even higher doses. During solar storms, a single dose of radiation could be equivalent to several hundred chest x-rays. Therefore it’s essential that all spacecrafts have designated storm shelters because large amounts of radiation can cause severe damage by altering DNA in the genes.

Read more.

Image: Aki Hoshide on a spacewalk. NASA.

(via niceskynewworld)

How long do you think it will be before space tourism becomes as affordable for vacationing as air travel?


Space Travel Posters by Steve Thomas

(via fuckyeahspaceship)

Astronaut: How soon before we have more second generation astronauts?


In the fall of 2008, history was made as Richard Garriott became the first second generation astronaut.

His trip to the International Space Station was the latest milestone in an amazing career: pioneering game developer, explorer, adventurer, award-winning entrepreneur, and global ambassador for space travel privatization.

Today, Richard is speaking to others about his experiences in space and the obstacles he overcame to achieve his goals. Richard’s story is one of adventure, risk, and reward—and it’s a message of optimism for anyone who aspires to travel to the final frontier.

About the film:
Firmly ensconced in the geeky pantheon of computer legends since high school, Richard Garriott can afford to pursue his dreams - even the wildly improbable ones. For instance, following in his astronaut father’s footsteps. NASA won’t take you because of bad eyes? No problem! Pioneer your own private space industry and buy a $30 million seat on a Russian Soyuz. Richly funny and invigorating, Man on a Mission tags along with Richard on his years-long quest to be the second Garriott into space. And maybe come back.

A great Russian pioneer.



I see the horizon. A light blue, a beautiful band. This is the Earth. How beautiful it is! All goes well,”

- Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space

Would you not just love her as a mother?

(via asonlynasacan)


Human vs. Robotic Space Exploration - Yesterday I spent all day in SpaceX’ Mission Control room participating in ground communication checkouts for the upcoming flight of Dragon to the International Space Station. While we were working, we had a live video feed from the ISS on the wall showing Robonaut floating around the station. This got me thinking - will the future of space exploration be dominated by tele-presence robotics rather than flesh and bone astronauts?

The long lag-time for radio communications across the solar system puts a limit on the ability to control robots from Earth in real time; however, parking those fragile humans in orbit and letting them control more expendable robots on the surface of a new planet is seen by many as the safer-better-way of space exploration. Wired magazine has a good article summarizing both sides of the debate:

Teleoperation has been considered in the past for space exploration. During the Apollo era, the technology was not well developed but in the last decade, it has taken off. On Earth, surgeons in Baltimore now perform operations in Indonesia while officers in Nevada covertly spy on nuclear sites in Iran.

Lester envisions a future where astronauts camp out on Mars’ moons Phobos and Deimos and order remote-controlled robots to drive long distances over the planet’s surface, set up geologic instruments, and collect samples for analysis.

This fascinating clip by Christopher Barnatt (a futurist, author, videographer, and Associate Professor of Computing and Future Studies in Nottingham University Business School) gives a fascinating array of technologies and challenges to watch in the future:

The list is as such:

  • Artificial Intelligence,
  • Biocomputers,
  • Climate change,
  • Dematerialisation,
  • Eugenics (Just listen to his explanation first),
  • Flu pandemic,
  • Genetic engineering,
  • Helium 3,
  • Internet developments,
  • Joint ventures,
  • Knowledge economy,
  • Life extension,
  • Mashups,
  • Nanotechnology,
  • Oil shortage,
  • Population aging,
  • Quantum computing,
  • Resource depletion,
  • Space travel,
  • Teleworking,
  • Ubiquitous computing,
  • Virtual Reality,
  • War on Terror,
  • Xenotransplantation,
  • Youth culture,
  • Zaibatsus.