skywatcher2501 writes "In order to finance their new SAT phone satellite fleet, Iridium offers a 55kg/50W/1mbps payload capacity to third party customers. European aerospace company Thales Alenia Space, which won the bid to build the satellite fleet, chose Orbital Sciences for the integration of the primary and possibly third-party communication payloads. The choice of a US-based company is motivated by the specific support of classified US payloads. SpaceX will take the satellites into Orbit, and Boeing provide operation and maintenance resources." Link to Original Source top
skywatcher2501 writes "The quantity of methane gas on Mars cannot be caused in such quantities by chemical processes of disintegrating meteors entering the atmosphere. So two theories remain: either the gas is a by-product of a lifeform's metabolism, or it is created as a by-product of reactions between volcanic rock and water." Link to Original Source top
skywatcher2501 writes "Crane and Westmoreland from KSU propose a black hole drive for future spacecraft. Initial power would be harnessed by space-based solar power, and then used by a "massive spherical gamma-ray laser" to give birth to an artificial black hole, which would have 0.001% the size of a proton, and a mass of a million metric tons.
To use that black hole (and theoretically taking the spacecraft to near speed of light), "the black hole would be placed at the center of a parabolic electron-gas mirror that would reflect all the energy radiated from the black hole out the back of the ship, propelling the ship forward. Particle beams attached to the ship behind the black hole would be used to simultaneously feed the black hole and propel it along with the ship."" Link to Original Source top
skywatcher2501 writes "Prison officers in Ohio tried for hours to kill a man convicted of rape and murder (original article). However, they gave up since they couldn't find a suitable vein for the lethal injection and announced to try again next week. This raises again the question whether lethal injection is human or not — or for that matter, if the death penalty is human or not. Wouldn't shooting be more honorable and effective in first place?" Link to Original Source top
skywatcher2501 writes "From TFA [forbes.com]:
"There is ample reason to think various parts of the economy over-corrected when the recession hit."
And, "Consumers are saving now, and retailers who sell neat but not necessary gadgets [...] and luxuries [...] are feeling the pressure."
But, "If over-spending isn't a root cause of the consumer crisis, then people will eventually start shopping again."
Because, "The richest fifth of Americans accounts for most of the discretionary spending in the country [...]."" Link to Original Source top
skywatcher2501 writes "The controversy on the latest UK proposal to crack down on illegal file sharing continues (TFA on BBC News). Some call Mandelson's proposal reckless and dangerous, others approve it because peer-to-peer sharing is the greatest threat to our creative industries. Many people say there should be a paradigm shift from content producers to service providers (see for instance the comments in a recent article about TPB). Personally I would be interested how such a paradigm shift in business models would look like. Aren't products like iTunes services?" Link to Original Source top
skywatcher2501 writes "Nevada based company Bigelow proposed to build a lite version of the . This version could also be carried by an Atlas V, and be ready for deployment as soon as 2013. Bigelows proposal would help NASA to reduce the ISS accessibility gap due to the demise of the Space Shuttle program, and give private companies spaceflight capabilities." Link to Original Source top
skywatcher2501 writes "The United Nations Development Programme released the "Arab Human Development Report 2009." It talks about how different enabling factors of welfare and safety need to be addressed to improve life for citizens, suggesting a reform agenda balanced between the needs of the states and the demands of the people.
Apparently the need for reforms is evident among Arabian people as well. In some Arabian countries, only as few as 10% of the people accept the status quo of government and government policies." Link to Original Source