Friday, September 20, 2013

One for all ...

Looking for a courier service I found myself scratching my head going through the "About Us" page on the web-site. The line seemed so familiar - it invoked a sense of deja-vu.

A quick google search for the line
" would like to associate ourselves as providing services in all areas related to logistics." 
brought several pages of results. One such page of matching results is embedded here as an image.

I'm no statistician -
What are the odds of so many different companies constructing a page with so many sentences verbatim?

Friday, September 06, 2013

Is Terraformation a pipe-dream?

With all the hullaballoo going in with the Space Program lately, the subject of terraformation in the context of Mars could not fail to crop up. There is a general misconception about the term itself - Terraforming is not about making the target body identical to Earth. 'Terraforming' refers to the sustainable transformation of a place into one suitable for habitation by Earthlings.

Typically mentioned candidates are Mars, Venus, and Europa. Albeit perhaps some asteroids may be legitimate candidates too.

Earth's ecosystem is fragile.

Organic & inorganic participants - flora, fauna, physics, chemistry, biology, time; All contribute.

It is difficult to imagine an isolated part, or parts - bacteria/animals/plants/chemicals maintaining a balance without being complemented by the rest of that environment. If complemented adequately (we may be talking biochemistry here) the systems may conceivably take off on unexpected scale in an unexpected direction. Perhaps one way to control terraformation from going badly wrong is to keep the program uniform, and in strict check.

Should terra-formation be common to all targets?

Is it possible to define something like a process/framework like -
1. Determine composition of atmosphere, and soil (leave in-depth exploration the colonials)
2. Thoroughly map the surface contours
3. Determine the critical path for terra-formation E.g.
    - Change atmospheric pressure (increase/decrease surface temperatures) if required
    - Determine the existence of indigenous macro organisms, and value thereof
    - Introduce/Induce the water cycle
    - Transplant workers (robots, bacteria, viruses) to get to work at the microscopic level

Every planet, to our present knowledge, is unique. Given that so simple a macro as the water-cycle is barely in control here on terra-firma; Is terra-formation, at our present levels of technology a pipe-dream?
If not, what would make a suitable test-bed for theory before attempting to put it to practice millions of miles away?