ROBOTICS and SPACE EXPLORATION
HELLO - Hi everyone and welcome to my website. No, that's not me hovering above the planet, but I wish that it had been. Though it is very cold and lonely in space, unless you have a mission to carry out. It is amazing that man has walked on the Moon.
Will planet earth still be here when I'm older? Doubtful at the present rate of excesses.
Because I think grown ups are ruining our planet, I am very interested in space travel and robots. I'm also learning code. I have my own Raspberry Pi, which I'm looking forward to using with the monitor I got for my 12th birthday. At 13, I've progressed to wiring up the big brother of my MiniMax, the Amphimax. This means figuring a few things out I'd not thought about when starting to make my smaller boat launcher.
ABOUT ME - I live near Eastbourne in Sussex, which is on the South Coast of England. I am worried about climate change and protecting the species on planet earth. That is why I think we may need another planet, if we keep on warming where we live at the present rate. We need more solar and wind turbine farms to create green electricity and hydrogen to stave off possible extinction. I'm very lucky to have my own workshop, my own power (hand) tools and an uncle who knows how to weld, because I'm a bit young for that. Welding is scary! This year I'm helping my Granddad to make a new steel frame for his old trailer. So, I'll be learning about MIG welding, and chopping steel into accurate lengths for jigging (lining up square), this summer holiday 2021.
At 13, I'm not sure what I want to do for a living when I'm grown up. One thing is for sure, all the things I've learned along the way will give me a better grasp of what is and is not possible - and what is enjoyable, and what is not. But more importantly, if ever I'm stranded on a desert island like Robinson Crusoe (by Daniel Dafoe), I will be better equipped to survive, if climate change destroys civilization, or if world leaders do something even more silly, like attempt a nuclear First Strike, as part of the run up to World War Three. This year, the United Nations banned any increase in nuclear weapons. I doubt any of the G7 will abide by this ruling. Russia and the USA have over 12,000 nuclear missiles between them. Can you imagine Hiroshima and Nagasaki 6 times over. We'd have no planet left to fight over! We have a nuke proof bunker adjacent to our workshops, useless after a nuclear winter, with no sunshine.
Space exploration depends on robots and automation. This is because man does not (yet) live long enough to travel the vast distances involved to be able to explore planets for himself as a visitor, and cryogenics is not advanced enough to freeze and thaw humans at the end of a long journey - though this is technology that may one day yield results.
Even travel at the speed of light would not overcome the ability of man to visit planets that are hundreds of light years away. Space ships may eventually visit such locations, but the time it would take to transmit useful information back to earth, seriously limits what may be achieved by follow on generations, who might forget about earlier missions - or cease to exist.
SPACE RACE - It's more of a crawl now, but when Russia put their Sputnik in orbit, the USA went into overdrive, trying to beat that achievement. That led to Man walking on the Moon, and the Space Shuttle. The new target is Mars. The Space Shuttle is launched into space with liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LOX) rocket motors. NASA developed the cryogenic tanks that may one day allow us to trade and transport LH2, the same way we trade and transport oil in tankers. Thank you NASA : )
WARS - I am worried about China shooting at
their redundant satellites with lasers, causing debris that is potentially
dangerous to stations. Weapons in space. and weapons aimed at space. should be banned.
Air Chief Marshal, Sir Mike Wigston is quoted as saying that Russia has deployed satellites that "we would describe as having the characteristic of a weapon and they
practiced a maneuver, that we would say, could only have been done to deliberately destroy another satellite".
Alternative ways of visiting other worlds in person, might be cloning humans from frozen eggs, conditioning their brains and uploading memories, to recreate the scientists of today, again, for tomorrow. We will discuss this in more detail later in the development of this website - and perhaps when I'm a bit older. I need time to think about this.
The way we are treating planet earth, we could need a B planet sooner than space researchers think, to keep humans and other species on earth alive, as Planet A first dries up then floods. I wonder if they (World Bank, IMF, etc) should hit the reset button on printed money and stop the financial clock. That would reverse climate change via economic cooling. I wonder if printed money should once again be index linked to the real world. Today, this might be in relation to what planet earth can comfortably sustain. Unfortunately, not the perpetual growth most politicians thrive on.
Right here and now, we might explore moons and planets that are relatively close, using satellites with sensitive sensor arrays, telescopes and cameras - and fabulous surface vehicles like the Lunar and Mars Rovers.
Inevitably, these surface rovers have wheels or tracks that have limited ability to overcome rough terrain. Rovers on Mars or the Moon, designed for planetary exploration, are of increasing importance to spaceflight nations, but wheels will obviously skid and slip on loose soil and rocks.
Man is bipedal, also having hands and arms and the ability to grasp objects with his hands, such as to climb vertical obstacles and swing in trees. Insects and arachnids are even more adept at scaling uneven surfaces. They can walk upside down on some surfaces.
The effective exploration of planets, will need rovers with climbing ability to near equal that of at least a man. This is one of the goals of this website and the projects featured, to include encouraging others to think about how this may be achieved.
However it is that we continue with our explorations, autonomy is vitally important. As I write, we have not navigated our oceans autonomously. For that reason I am extremely interested in the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project: MAS400. They are trying to make it across the Atlantic Ocean in 2021. See the media coverage on that project using the link.
Apart from mechanical design and engineering, the computers onboard an exploration rover, and the programming that operates them, is arguably the most important feature. Coding is now part of most school curriculums.
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