There is a plan to establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2023 … yes that soon.

Some folks claim they have a plan to establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2023. Apparently the idea is that they will build things first so that a habitable settlement will be waiting for the settlers when they land, and that the settlement will support them while they live and work on Mars … Read more

The space shuttle programme has been a multi-billion-dollar failure – Lawrence M. Krauss

The famous theoretical physicist, Lawrence Krauss, writes in the UK Guardian today that space shuttles have been a colossal waste of American resources, time and creative energy. When I  listened to him debate last week at TAM with Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson, he took the same line … and you know what … I tend to agree with him, I believe he is right.

Now please do not misunderstand me here, this stance does not in any way short change the courage and drive displayed by those brave individuals who have climbed on board and gone up. In fact when you consider the fact that these complex machines are constructed by assembling 2.5 million parts, each of which has been outsourced to the cheapest government contractor, then you would be utterly insane not to be highly nervous, and so yes, I applaud their courage.

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The origin of Life

Whenever engaged in a debate with believers a common question that often arises is, “How do you explain life, what started it all?”

OK then, lets step back see where we are today. To start off, here is an interesting article on the origin of life on The Daily Galaxy here …

It’s paradoxical that as our leading microbiologists look to create the building blocks of life in Earth-bound labs, our Universe is alive with the building blocks for DNA and RNA. The giant gas nebula in outer space are rife with sugars that form ribose –the backbone of RNA. There’s no rational reason why the system of DNA and RNA that shaped life on Earth should be limited to our remote biosphere.

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Yuri Gagarin

The Google logo declares that today is the day.  Exactly 50 years ago on 12th April 1961 he became the first human to journey into outer space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth.

To help with a bit of an insight, his elder daughter Elena gave her first ever interview about her father to Andrea Rose of the British Council. This is the complete transcript. Here are a couple of surprising details …

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Excellent Perseid Meteor Shower Expected – Aug 11-13

Every August, just when many people go vacationing in the country where skies are dark, the best-known meteor shower — the Perseid meteor shower — makes its appearance. The “shooting stars” promise to deliver an excellent show this year to anyone with clear and dark skies away from urban and suburban lights. The best time … Read more