Advertising
Advertising

Scientists Tell Us Space Travel Is Really Possible

Scientists Tell Us Space Travel Is Really Possible

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been enamored by space travel. I think I read everything I could about the Apollo missions. Unfortunately, since the 1960s, we’ve really scaled back on our space programs due to the cost.

While the space shuttle era was fun, it really brought nothing to the table for those of us interested in real space exploration, the kind not seen since the skyscraper sized Saturn V rocket’s last missions to the moon.

Thankfully, this might be changing soon. Scientists both in China and the United States have recently been doing research on a type of propulsion system that essentially breaks Newtonian laws of physics.

Advertising

How does the engine work? I don’t want to get in-depth as I am not a rocket scientist myself, but essentially, what this engine does is use microwaves to create thrust without the need for fuel.

This engine is known as the “EmDrive,” and though it has been tested both in America and China, many scientists dispute its efficacy due to the aforementioned fact that it breaks Newtonian physics.

There’s no timetable as to when or even if this technology will be applied to spacecrafts, though it is encouraging that NASA recently released a statement acknowledging that the EmDrive works, though they didn’t do much in the way of explaining the physics of it.

Advertising

Since this technology is still in the testing phases, and hasn’t even been accepted by an a large number of skeptical scientists, I doubt we’ll see its use in the mainstream for at least another decade or so.

Still, if this technology continues to be developed, we have a lot to look forward to in regard to space travel and exploration. Indeed, one of the biggest problems for space travel currently is the cost of fuel, as it’s one of the major inhibiting factors preventing NASA and other space agencies from launching more missions.

Once you’re in space, there’s no gravity, and thus you only need to expend fuel in certain specific circumstances, like when changing direction. Those huge fuel tanks you saw on the space shuttles are mainly there to get the vehicle into space.

Advertising

Now, imagine if we could get satellites and other vessels out of our atmosphere without the need for fuel? That alone makes space exploration infinitely more feasible, as not only will agencies like NASA be able to send more things into space, they’ll be able to do so on a far lower budget.

If we ever develop something like the EmDrive, getting into space and maneuvering about will no longer be an issue. What’s the next thing to worry about then? Oxygen.

As you know, there’s no oxygen in the vacuum of space, and besides fuel, one of the current limiting factors of space travel is that you can only go as far as your oxygen tanks will take you.

Advertising

What’s the solution? According to scientist Julian Melchiorri, it’s artificial leaves. Or, more specifically, man-made leaves that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen without all of the soil, sun, water, and gravity that plants usually rely on.

These leaves could theoretically be used as building materials for certain things, like walls on the interior of a spacecraft, for instance. Instead of limited oxygen tanks filtering in an ever-decreasing amount of air, the very walls around you would be constantly recycling the carbon dioxide you’re exhaling, turning it into fresh oxygen for you to breath.

Pretty neat stuff if you ask me.

Though NASA and other space agencies have hit a bit of a rut recently, new technologies like the EmDrive and the artificial leaf might just be the breakthroughs we need to get things rolling again.

Featured photo credit: Space Shuttle/ Official U.S. Navy Page via flickr.com

More by this author

5 Life Lessons I Learned From Dean Winchester 10 Best Online Shopping Sites I Wish I Knew Earlier 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend 30 Incredible Things Your iPhone Can Do 10 Things Only Detail-Oriented People Do

Trending in Technology

1 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 4 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity 5 Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

Advertising

     

    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

      Advertising

      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

        Advertising

          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

            Advertising

            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

            Read Next