More good stuff on the open frontiers – 5/29

A few articles on the astoundingly open frontiers of technology and private space exploration.


5/21 – Popular Mechanics – Brain Implant Lets Teraplegic Man drink Beer with a Robot Arm – Although this is a little bity step, consider what a huge leap it is from what could be done before.

Sensors attached to a man’s head pick up electronic signals corresponding to him wanting to move his arm. Those signals control a robotic arm to move a cup of water up and toward him so that he can take a sip.

Extremely cool. Like I said, by itself that is trivial and astoundingly uneconomical. But consider what could be done later now that the technology exists to just take a sip of water.

As Glenn Reynolds says, faster please.

5/22 – Bill Gertz at Free Beacon – Chinese Military Using Jamming Against U.S. Drones  – Someone leaked just a tidbit about efforts by the Chinese military to jam EQ-4 Global Hawk drones flying over disputed islands in the South Pacific. Those drones can fly at 60,000 feet and have 8,700 mile range with 28 hours endurance. No details in whether the effort was successful.

Hmm. Jamming drones. Actually a logical next step.


5/22 – Washington Post – The House just passed a bill about space mining. The future is here. – Now headed to the Senate is a bill that would give ownership to the minerals mined on an asteroid to the company that did the mining. A good first step to get laws in place to clarify property rights.

5/22 – – Tiny ‘Cubesats’ Gaining Bigger Role in Space – if you can squeeze your space experiment or satellite project inside a cube 10 cm on a side, you can get your cubesat into space. Article says there is a growing volume of projects going up in that size. You can do a lot with 1,000 cm³.  That’s called a “1U” size. There are efforts to develop larger projects, perhaps 6U, 12U or even 24 U.

5/26 – Reuters – U.S. Air Force certifies SpaceX for national security launches – SpaceX can now bid for launching military and spy satellites. This puts huge pressure on United Launch Alliance (ULA) to get their costs down.

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