Will Space Travel Become the Next Big Investment Opportunity?
Space exploration is an industry that draws upon many different technologies including artificial intelligence, robots, quantum computing, 3D printing, sensors, communications, augmented and virtual reality and of course innovations that are directly related to this segment. There’s a huge ecosystem of companies involved in space exploration and providing the raw ingredients (including the type of commodities that we mine here in Australia) that are powering this segment. This sector is full of innovation and opportunities, as well as many mysteries.
If you’ve been following my work, you’ll know that I’m interested in all aspects of space travel and innovations that will allow us to become a multi-planetary civilization.
For instance, a new type of rocket thruster that could take humankind to Mars and beyond has been proposed by a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The device would apply magnetic fields to cause particles of plasma to shoot out the back of a rocket and, because of the conservation of momentum, propel the craft forward.
Most recently, the Pentagon has released its preliminary report on UFOs / UAPs and of 366 newly identified reports 171 remain unidentified. Something is going on in outer space!
“AARO’s initial analysis and characterization of the 366 newly-identified reports, informed by a multi-agency process, judged more than half as exhibiting unremarkable characteristics:
- 26 characterized as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or UAS-like entities;
- 163 characterized as balloon or balloon-like entities; and
- 6 attributed to clutter.
- This initial characterization better enables AARO and ODNI to efficiently and effectively leverage resources against the remaining 171 uncharacterized and unattributed UAP reports. Some of these uncharacterized UAP appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities and require further analysis.”
The majority of new UAP reports originate from military observers – US Navy and Air Force aviators and operators who witnessed UAP during the course of their operational duties and reported the events to the UAPTF or AARO through official channels – although many lack sufficient detail to enable thorough analysis.”
However, given that the reports are from highly trained aerial observers with careers and reputations to protect, one has to give credibility to these reports. Disappointingly, the unclassified version of this report is very short and doesn’t include any details of the 171 mysterious sightings. I can’t help but wonder what’s in the classified version.
SpaceX Launched Another Batch of Starlink Nanosats in Jan 2023
In other space news, SpaceX brought another big batch of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit on 19 Jan 2023 (USA) and landed a fresh first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket as well.
There are now more than 3,300 Starlink comms satellites in orbit already, and SpaceX has approval to launch a total of 12,000 Starlink spacecraft and is applying for permission to add a further 30,000 nanosats.
NASA: Exoplanet Update
Exoplanets are far away, and they are often obscured by the bright light of the stars they orbit. So, taking pictures of them the same way you’d take pictures of, say, Jupiter or Venus, isn’t easy. As of this writing, NASA has confirmed the existence of 5,243 exoplanets and has another 9,185 candidates across 3,917 solar systems – just in our galaxy. And, of the 5,243 exoplanets – 1,595 are Earth-like and 1,626 are considered to be “Super Earths”.
The confirmed existence of exoplanets – combined with confirmation of water on the Moon, Mars and other objects in our solar system, along with the development of re-useable rockets – bodes well for the space exploration industry and the future of humanity as a multi-planetary civilisation.
Have a look at my video on this topic.
Fun Facts About Mars
Did you know that Sunsets on Mars are blue, not red?
On Mars, the atmosphere is mostly CO2 and filled with iron-rich dust, which scatters the red light, turning the sky there…red. Except at sunset, when the longer trip through the Martian atmosphere, which contains a high concentration of fine dust particles, scatters and filters so much red light that blue light passes through—making the sunset blue!
The Martian landscape takes on a reddish hue during the day because the Martian soil contains a lot of iron oxide (rust), which gives the surface its distinctive red colour.
Stranger still is that the sands on Mars may actually be greener than scientists have thought. In August 2022, observations from the Mars Rover Perseverance have found that the “Red Planet” is also home to the same kinds of rocks that turn beaches on Earth a dark shade of green!
Researchers from Purdue University analysed data from the rover that discovered grains of olivine on the Martian surface, resulting in some green areas in the otherwise endless red Martian sand.
Unlike the Earth, Mars doesn’t have tectonic plates – but in 2019, scientists have found an active fault zone on the red planet.
Furthermore, in contrast to Earth, Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field either. Magnetic fields help planets hold onto their oceans. In an article published in Feb 2022, scientists theorised that this may have been at least one of the reasons that Mars lost it’s oceans. And, according to this article, strong magnetic fields may be rare in the Universe.
An Age of Discovery
There’s so much we still have to learn about the nearby planets and moons in our solar system. Just imagine what’s out there in the wider universe!