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Faster Than Light Travel May be Possible September 23, 2016

Posted by Al Philipson in Uncategorized.
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Click on pic for YouTube presentation

A Nasa scientist in Houston worked with an artist to create the “warp drive” concept The interstellar spacecraft builds on previous designs that theoretically allow distant travel by bending space-time.

It doesn’t violate Einstein’s “rules”. It works by bending space in front of it and behind. The main problem is that when it descellerates at the end of the trip, it would destroy whatever was at the destination as the “warps” (energy) catch up all at once.

It works off of a recently discovered oddity in the “em Drive” which I featured in a previous post.

Wormholes could be the key to beating the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle May 15, 2016

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Wormholes“Time travel seems much more common in science fiction than it is in reality. We’ve never met anyone from the future, after all. But all of the physics we know indicates that wormholes – another science fiction favourite – could really be used to travel backwards in time.

“Wormholes are like portals between two places in the Universe. If you fell in one side, you’d pop out the other immediately, regardless of how far apart the two sides were. But wormholes are also like portals between two times in the Universe. As Carl Sagan liked to say, you wouldn’t just emerge somewhere else in space, but also somewhen else in time.”

Read the complete article here.

SpaceX says it will fly a spacecraft to Mars as soon as 2018 April 27, 2016

Posted by Al Philipson in Uncategorized.
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on Mars as soon as 2018 with the help of NASA, an extra

ordinary collaboration between the public and private sectors in an effort to eventually get humans to the Red Planet.

SpaceX made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday, laying out an ambitious timeline for an incredibly difficult mission that only governments have dared try. Landing a spacecraft or a robot that can then operate successfully on the Martian surface is so difficult that the U.S. is the only country to have done it, and many attempts over the years have failed.

The partnership between SpaceX and NASA, which has the goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s, is yet another example of the significant shift in the role NASA is playing in space exploration. While it continues to pursue its own deep space missions, the agency has also spent years, and billions of dollars, helping to support a robust commercial space industry, which it is increasingly partnering with to develop the technologies to explore the cosmos.

See the entire Washington Post article here.

Last chance to see Comet Catalina in your lifetime December 28, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Meanderings.
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comet catalina image courtesy of Science AlertOver the next few weeks, one of the most beautiful comets we’ve ever discovered, Comet Catalina, will pass by Earth in what’s expected to be its first and only visit to the inner Solar System.

Its closest flyby for those in the Northern Hemisphere will be on January 17, 2016, but it should be visible with telescope or binoculars on New Year’s Day if your sky cooperates.

For the complete story: http://www.sciencealert.com/new-year-s-eve-is-the-only-chance-to-see-comet-catalina-in-your-lifetime

Possible Habitable Planet Discovered July 23, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Science and Science Fiction news, Uncategorized.
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The artist’s concept depicts Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone—a range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the planet’s surface. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that Earth-size planets exist in the habitable zones of other stars and signals a significant step closer to finding a world similar to Earth.

The size of Kepler-186f is known to be less than ten percent larger than Earth, but its mass, composition and density are not known. Previous research suggests that a planet the size of Kepler-186f is likely to be rocky.

Kepler-186f orbits its star once every 130 days and receives one-third the energy that Earth does from the sun, placing it near the outer edge of the habitable zone. If you could stand on the surface of Kepler-186f, the brightness of its star at high noon would appear as bright as our sun is about an hour before sunset on Earth.

Image credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

Full story on Kepler-186F

New Planet beyond Pluto July 23, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Science and Science Fiction news.
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NewPlanetTransPlutoNew Planet Discovered Beyond Pluto

This artist’s concept shows the planet cataloged as 2003UB313 at the lonely outer fringes of our solar system. Our Sun can be seen in the distance. The new planet, which is yet to be formally named, is at least as big as Pluto and about three times farther away from the Sun than Pluto.

Courtesy of NASA. Full story.

Last Train from Earth is Finished! July 10, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Last Train from Earth.
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Cover SuperThumbI thought I’d never get this finished. But, with the help of some friends, I finally got the plot moving the way I wanted and most of the bugs out. Thank you for being so patient (in most cases). It’s available now on Amazon. Check out the sidebar for a description of the story.

“This is a nail-biter from page one … and I was captivated right down to the last paragraph.” “I read [the book] in two days, and I don’t read anything that quickly unless it’s damn good.” -John Bowers, author of the popular Fighter Queen, Starport, and Nick Walker series.

“Very well written and insightful. Not your run of the mill science fiction novel. Surprise ending.”  -Levi

New eBook of 4 Short Stories February 19, 2015

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Cover SmashwordsSciFi Four Pack

FTL suggested I publish a book of shorts, so I gathered 4 of my short stories together. The collection is due out March 4th, but you can pre-order the Amazon version now for only 99 cents.

[If you bought The Complete Alpha Dreamer in the past, you’ve read the first 3. The 4th, God’s Agent, inspired my upcoming book, God’s Assassin.]

Four short science fiction stories from Al Philipson:

Heat: All Johnnie had to do was find some old bat named Constance Pickering and punch her ticket. But on Hermes hot, barren surface, not all plans work out the way you intend. Action/adventure on a planet similar to Mercury.

Time Twist: Charlie had a score to settle, but when you travel to the past, you have to be very careful how and when you even the books. A time travel adventure.

My Plan Perfect: Two enterprising aliens kidnap a pair of pacifist humans and get more than they bargained for. Alien contact with a twist.

God’s Agent: Undercover agent, Charlotte, went to Merlin to steal some enemy military plans. It could be her last assignment. A military spy story.

13,000 words
Rated “G”

NASA Designing New Space Telescope November 20, 2014

Posted by Al Philipson in Science and Science Fiction news.
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JamesWebbSpaceTelescopeThe new telescope will be 100 times more powerful than the Hubble. It will orbit the sun at the same angular velocity as Earth, but about a million miles beyond Earth’s orbit.

By comparison, Hubble orbits the Earth which means it has some problems with emanations from our planet. However, Hubble can be serviced via space shuttle. The Webb will be on its own.

Designers hope to be able to see “to the edge of the universe” and thus see the energy from the original Big Bang. It should also be able to better see and evaluate planets around other stars (suns).

“Webb will have a 6.5 meter diameter primary mirror, which would give it a significant larger collecting area than the mirrors available on the current generation of space telescopes. Hubble’s mirror is a much smaller 2.4 meters in diameter and its corresponding collecting area is 4.5 m2, giving Webb around 7 times more collecting area! Webb will have significantly larger field of view than the NICMOS camera on Hubble (covering more than ~15 times the area) and significantly better spatial resolution than is available with the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope.”

The complete story.

NASA investigates hibernation for deep space missions October 29, 2014

Posted by Al Philipson in Science and Science Fiction news.
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NASA investigates hibernation for deep space missions

Science fiction is again becoming science fact.In preparation for a possible manned mission to Mars, NASA is researching ways to utilize human hibernation to circumvent problems associated with prolonged deep space exploration. Working in tandem with Atlanta based aerospace company, SpaceWorks, NASA’s preliminary plan was revealed at the 2014 International Astronomical Congress in Toronto. “Sending astronauts that far into space would be too challenging, costly and grueling without it,” said SpaceWorks engineer John Bradford.

The technology isn’t ready for use yet. No long-term experiments have been conducted. Since 2003, the base technology has been used in hospitals when needed.The full article is here.