Tag Archives: Space

If the Universe Expands

One day I will meet myself, and it will be Epic!

Whether the Universe is infinite or infinite is something we won’t be figuring out for a while. We do know that the Universe is massive, and is expanding at an exponential speed. We’ve only been able to see up to the particle horizon which is the most distant observable part of the Universe but there is so much more to be unveiled. There are over a 100 hundred billion galaxies which contain hundreds of billions of stars and to be honest, these numbers start to melt my brain a little bit. Since the earth has only been in existence for 4/5 billion years, and the first homo sapien skeletons were found in Africa  200,000 years ago its still early days for us to be discovering the surroundings of our cosmos. It’s only in the past 50 years that we’ve seen inventions like the Hubble space telescope and computing technology  which have given us the ability to observe further into the depths of the unknown.

It seems like its only a matter of time until we make those outrageous discoveries which will re-shape society as we know it.

Is there life on other planets?

Is there already extra-terrestrial life on this planet?

Could there be parallel universes?

Was Mars attacks actually based on a true story?

By us trying to find out the size of the Universe and sending probes and satellites out we are inching our way towards answers. We have figured out that after 13.8 billion light years in all directions the Universe doesn’t repeat itself , and based on this some super smart scientists have figured out that the Universe is currently around 93 light years across. This is how far we’ve got with the technology and brain power we have so far. However, assuming the Universe is infinite causes a different set of dilemmas.

Consider this, in a cubic meter of space there’s a finite number of particles that can possibly exist within that region. Those particles have a finite number of configurations considering their charge, spin, velocity etc. It is estimated that this number of particles is 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 70. This is a number so vast, you can’t write it out with all the pencils in the Universe. There are only 10 to the power of 80 particles in the observable Universe, so that’s much less than the possible configurations of matter in a cubic meter. If the Universe is infinite, eventually you will reach a place where there’s a duplicate cubic metre of space. The further you go the more duplicates you find.

As time goes on, you will discover more and more identical regions of space and eventually you will meet another you. And then you’ll stop, because at that point you’ll think you’ve gone crazy, but once you have a conversation with yourself you will realise that your both on the same path finding the same types of cubic metres of matter. As you continue you search you will find hundreds, then thousands then millions and billions of you. The number of you’s is infinite, and they will all be collecting other you’s. Some will be vastly different from you, some will be extremely similar. Have you ever looked in a mirror opposite another mirror and seen multiples of yourself? This is kind of like that but on a whole other level.

Determining whether the Universe in finite or infinite will have huge implications. Either way, whoever’s on that journey is going to have a real fun time.

 

The Black Buzz Light Year

Robert L Curbeam

Most kids either want to be a doctor, cowboy or an astronaut. The problem is, as you grow up you realise that cowboys were mostly drunken homicidal woman beaters and becoming a doctor is a hell of a lot of responsibility. That leaves becoming an astronaut as the only reasonable dream occupation for a child. Children have a wondrous  fascination with the cosmos and due to the shear vastness of the universe that childlike curiosity continues with us until we are adults.

The word astronaut comes from the Greek word space sailor and to become an astronaut you have to have a high level of fitness, acute technological and scientific skills. It’s a risky job which takes copious amounts of courage. I don’t believe any amount of rigorous testing can prepare you for a space expedition, and only a handful of people through out history will ever get this opportunity. Robert L.Curbeam was a NASA astronaut who embodied all of these skills and currently holds the record for the most spacewalks during a single spaceflight, the STS-116.

Robert spent hours as a child designing aeroplanes and rockets but never dreamed he would ever be on the inside of one on the way to space. He graduated from Wood-lawn High School in 1980, earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Masters in Astronautical  Engineering. He’s flown F-14s in the Navy and participated in three space shuttle missions as a NASA astronaut. He’s walked in space a whopping seven times, logged over nine hundred hours up there including forty five hours of space walks.

As of 2016 only six countries have full launch capabilities. Only three countries are capable of human space flight, they are; USA, Russia and China. That number will inevitably grow as the temptation of space travel unravels. As well as bragging rights, the technology that comes along with it is life changing. Memory foam mattresses, Velcro,  and smoke detectors are just some of the technologies born from space technology.

What do you need to do to become an astronaut..?

– Bachelors degree in engineering, maths, biology, computer or chemical science. Three years job experience would be useful also.

– A second language always looks good for potential astronauts. Russian is top of the list for ESA.

– At least 1000 hours pilot in command time in jet aircraft.

– No age restrictions as ESA has considered candidates from 26-46, but you have to be in good shape.

– Nasa candidates have to pass the military’s water survival course and show they can cope with high and low pressure environments. Their vision must be 20/20 and have a blood pressure which is a maximum of 140/90.

We need to re-identify who we consider to be heroes. Rappers are not heroes, sports stars shouldn’t be idolised and we shouldn’t accept that our children aspire to be actors. The scientists, engineers and programmers who have shaped the world we live in today are what we should aspire to be. It takes a high degree of intelligence, drive and  courage to become an astronaut. These are the attributes our future generations to take forward and develop. This is how future generational problems are solved. Especially considering we only have one Earth.

If you don’t leave this earth a conservationist, you will come back as one.’ – Robert L Curbeam

The earth is that beautiful. The nostalgia will catch you off guard and leave you breathless for a few minutes as you soak in the profound perspective that is our earth. The home we are destroying is seemingly still stunning in its decay. Losing eight percent bone density and being lonely for a while seems worth it when the images your eyes take in are burned in your brain forever. Space travel will humble you beyond your core and deep into your soul. Salute to Robert L Curbeam, a true hero.

Robert L Curbeam