Construction on Mars Blog


The author of this post, JoshNH4H, granted permission for this post to appear in

Post #75

Hey All,

Much of the articles should be familiar if you follow this thread, but I’m doing a series on my blog about construction architectures on Mars.  So far parts one and two are up:

Construction on Mars, Part One: General Principles and Design Assessment Criteria: In this post I give a broad overview of design constraints and produce the following six criteria for evaluation:

  1. The structure sustains a pressurized atmosphere
  2. The structure provides protection from radiation
  3. The structure is failure resistant
  4. The structure is failure tolerant
  5. The structure can be constructed in an affordable way
  6. The structure is useful as such

Construction on Mars, Part Two: Design, Details, and Evaluation: In this post I go into the details of my design (familiar to you all from this thread) and discuss how it meets the criteria described in Part One. 

The next posts are going to discuss materials and specifications (IE dimensions), Construction technology and methods, setups for different functions, building entire settlements using these structures as units, and more!

Interested in hearing your comments and thoughts.


Today on Mars Sol 255

Today on Mars:

Per [url][/url]

Martian Year: 35 Martian Month in 12 month format: 4
Solar Longitude: 118.3 Sol Number: 255

Previous SL: 117.9 Previous Sol: 254

Note that Solar Longitude measurement varies as a function of location in orbit.

Sol 255 is in Month 10 of a Proposed 24 month calendar. See Post 19 of Holidays topic for a summary.
Month 10 extends from Sol 252 through 279. See post 82 of Holidays topic for current details. <<== There are 28 days in Month 10
Direct path to source: [url][/url]
Sol 255 is Wednesday in the Proposed calendar for Mars.

The Next New Year on Mars will occur when Solar Longitude reaches 360 degrees.
The next Skip Day will occur near December 22nd. At that time the days of the week will be back in alignment.

For current weather on Mars at Insight location, see:


Per SpaceNut: Here is another web page by NASA containing the latest news releases


All forum members are invited to post significant events for this day.
Events of interest will be ON Mars, or relate to Mars. Examples are launches, landings, discoveries

The topic My Hacienda is set up to encourage up to 2750 forum members to build a virtual community.
Each participant “claims” a square kilometer of surface, and shares below surface with the community.
Each Hacienda is a participant in the economy of a thriving interdependent free market.
Each Hacienda provides at least one product or service, and multiple products or services are welcome.

As of this Sol, the number of plots established in Sagan City (2018) is: > 1 (inventory pending) [Thanks to everyone who registered!]

Recruiting Announcement: People are needed to participate in the Sagan City (2018) Virtual Community

The concept is to imagine life on Mars at the level of current 1st Tier civilization on Earth. This community is assumed well past startup phases.

The objective is to gain a clear understanding of the operation of market forces in a community of 2750 plots. Community members have needs.

The market is there to meet those needs. The first step is to identify the needs.

I’d like to thank the members of the Mars Society whose financial support allows the NewMars forum database to flourish.

Month 10 of 24: – Quarter 2 of 4 [Months 7-12] (This month has 28 days)

Appendix 1: (Note to SpaceNut) Thank you for the list of syndication pathways in #413

Note to Luf.Org readers: NewMars Forum is considering syndication of this daily report. The potential audience is unknown, and perhaps unknowable.

I confess to finding some of the names on the list to be intimidating. It is ONE thing to offer a daily post in a “safe” environment such as the NewMars forum, and quite another to make a commitment to production of a daily update for distribution to larger numbers of people.

An issue that should be of concern as well, is how to insure continuity of the updates if a contract ** is ** signed. That’s a hurdle for a future (hypothetical) time, but one that cannot be avoided if the venture is to proceed.


Mars – Will Space Solar Power be the key to its future?

The Developed Martian Colony

Mars is a very hostile place with a thin atmosphere and less solar energy than on Earth. It’s very far away from Earth – anywhere between 55 and 401 million kilometres. (34 million miles and 249 million miles). There’s no life on it as far as we currently know. Its atmosphere is so thin that it is an excellent insulator. However, it might also be so hot in the sun that living things will have problems without considerable energy use to keep cool. Artificially Intelligent (AI) robots will be critical to any development of a martian colony. Also, if we decide to nuke it before we turn up (as Elon Musk suggests) we can thicken up the atmosphere and hopefully create, albeit low gravity, conditions for growing food. To make it worthwhile, we’ll have let the robots build mars before humans arrive.

All of this will require considerable amounts of energy. We can get that from nuclear power we launch from Earth at great expense and danger or we can utilise solar power on Mars, despite there being a lot less of it. We’ll take a look at two types of solar power: terrestrial (based on the Martian surface) and Space based solar power (placed in orbit, beaming energy back to Rectenna – receivers – on the surface, 3 to 10 km in diameter).

Let’s assume that Mars’ first base eventually requires 10000 kilowatts of power. We know that Mars receives on average 590 Watts per square metre from the Sun above the atmosphere. That’s much lower than outside the Earth (at over 1373 Watts per square metre) or on the Earth’s surface (1000 Watts per square metre). Being a very thin atmosphere it doesn’t lose very much, so that just above 500 Watts is possible on the surface from both beam and diffuse radiation. (Beam means direct, diffuse means scattered by the atmosphere.)

A Martian day (sol) is about 24 hours and 37 minutes. Most of this solar energy is useful for about 4 hours – the Martian solar window – around midday. We can see this in the diagram above of the Viking Lander VL1. By contrast SBSP orbitting above would provide the entire martian day. Night time supplies would be very useful to a colony that needs to charge robots and vehicles, and operate around the clock.

Mars, Courtesy of NASA images (c) Copyright NASA

The Early Martian Colony

Above we looked at a well-developed martian colony. However, how we get to that matters. What about the beginning phase, when energy demand is a lot less? At first it will be small scale, not 10000 Kilowatts of power but more like 1000 or 200o Watts. Then we’re talking a fraction of a football field. A couple of 1000 Watts (i.e. 2000 W) only needs just over half an American football field. That’s is doable using surface based solar PV.

There’s always been a huge debate about which to use on Mars: nuclear power or solar power? Nuclear power is thus often been the preferred method once we require more energy. However, MIT assessed 13 different energy generation systems, comparing solar and nuclear. The found in favour of solar power! These were terrain based solar, placed between 0 and 40 degrees north of the Martian equator. The Southern areas are best avoided having a lot less energy.

The type of solar would be thin-film rolled about by a robot over the period of 1 martian day. Such a system could be as large as a 100 square metres and supply 100 kilowatts. Dust storms can be avoided by not putting it in the southern hemisphere. Even then dust storms only make up about 10% of the total martian year of 687 days. We can just discount them as having any major impact if we also take battery storage with us and other sources of energy.

This 100 kilowatts would be enough for a small astronaut colony or a number of robots. My guess is that astronauts would not be a good idea since they require farms to be created. It would be best to initially occupy Mars using AI robots. This colony could then slowly expand perhaps eventually putting mirrors into orbit to generate more energy, day and night if need be. Incrementally these very light weight reflector systems would be the first step towards SBSP orbitting Mars to take advantage of the higher levels of energy available.

Why develop Martian SBSP?

As the colony grows the space required for terrestrial solar PV would become too large. As noted 10000 kilowatts requires 60 American football fields. To solve this, we could use SBSP. We will probably make Martian bound SBSP on the Earth’s Moon! It will be a slow process, but our Moon is a better bet for manufacturing. Alternatively, we could even disemble Mercury to do it, like some of the famous cosmologists suggested for other reasons! Asteroids are another possibility. However if nuclear power is used on Mars then the manufacturing and launches into orbit could be carried out there. At some point though, the use of nuclear power would be unnecessary once the SBSP is in orbit.

Whatever we decide to do, and how we do it, once Mars has SBSP in orbit, beaming back energy day and night, we have a going concern. However, I would argue, we don’t need nuclear power, thus avoiding the danger of accidents during launches on Earth, to accomplish this, but my guess is it will be used. If it is used, we might not decide to develop SBSP for supplying the Martian colony. If we decide it’s just too risky to send nuclear reactors into space on rockets, then the Moon base solar manufacturing method will probably be the one adopted.

The Martian Sunset, courtesy of NASA, (c) Copyright NASA

Are there other reasons for placing Solar Panels in Orbit around Mars?

Orbitting Solar power might also be put there to help other projects, such as powering solar sails for craft we send across the solar system. That will be the next blog, and it should be interesting.


In conclusion, SBSP could be one method we could use on Mars. It will come down to a matter of commercial demand or by then perhaps just plain old curiousity. That’s if we can solve our own energy crisis on Earth!

We know that SBSP can operate for a Sol and that alone makes it a viable idea, even if we had to manufacture it on the Moon and ship it to Martian orbit. Since we could develop the moon as a test for Mars, we ought to go to the moon first and set up camp there. Then we can do whatever we require.

We need if possible to avoid using nuclear power on Mars. However, my prediction would be we probably will do that. That may stifle SBSP development on Mars. However, if I am hopefully wrong, then a whole new age of solar power will dawn.

The future of planet Earth may actually rest now on what we do or do not do on Mars. Going to mars will liberate mankind from the Earth. If we manage to work out how to get there without any brain damage, and survive their without getting cancers or brain damage, then we might one day actually evolve a race of martians. Unfortunately due to Martian gravity they will probably never be allowed to return to Earth, unless of course we work out how to maintain Earth like gravity on Mars, which would be technically extremely difficult! Whatever the case, SBSP might be part of an energy mix used to power a developed, middle stage martian colony.

Changing the Political Agenda

Right now the agenda being set by politicians is one of a very narrow kind. It focuses on solving Climate Change/Crisis by using renewable energy based on Earth, when every decent expert will tell you that is virtually impossible. It’s impossible for reasons such as energy density, Energy Return on Investment of Energy, Net Energy, how much land a particular energy resource takes up, and a growing population, which is going to demand more and more, or they will just illegal migrate to where the energy resources and comforts of a better life are perceived to be or are! That is Europe and North America.

Instead they need to be looking towards Space as a means to solve the energy crisis. They need to know that fusion is a pipe dream, far too expensive to always be 15 years away. The best fusion reactor is the star at the centre of the solar system. We might as well learn to tap into it in a place where we can gather as much of it as possible. That is in orbit around our Earth, or on the Moon, or around other planets, like Mercury or Mars.

The more we learn about our world the more we know that we cannot stay here forever. We need to be a two planet species as Professor Stephen Hawking suggested. That won’t be accomplished by political parties lagging behind in knowledge about Space Solar Power. The Chinese are planning to build a 1 GW SSP in the next few decadeds. Caltech has some amazing new designs. The Japanese are working on a wireless power civilisation, with SSP being its crowning glory. That’s why I’m making a documentary hosted and presented by the amazingly talented Valery Danko, a journalist from Ukraine, who operates a business (Pigeon Tours Ltd) in London.

Valery Danko Discovers Energy from Space – our documentary film in the making

If you want to find out more about Space Based Solar Power, then visit or go to our Facebook group page:

We’ve recently got back from filming background context work on Easter Island. Here’s a photo of Valery Danko with James Grant-Peterkin, the history expert on the island.

The Future of Energy College

This is a my teaching website. It offers you courses on Futurism to do with energy. Here you can learn how to be energy self-sufficient to large extent, by doing our micro-renewable energy course and our finance course. The latter teaches you how to assess the validity of any sales pitch by an installer of micro-renewable energy e.g. Solar PV. The techniques are borrowed from the investment and stock markets, so are proven and objective methods. There’s also a course on the Future of Energy, which looks at various kinds of alternative energy economies to analyse which works best. The idea here is to stimulate you to think about the larger scale future of your children and grandchildren. What kind of world will they inhabit? Will it have energy abundance or energy poverty? Will where your descendant live matter? How will remote island be powered without cheap access to diesel oil?


Appelbaum & Flood (1989) Solar Radiation on Mars, NASA, Lewis Research Center,

The New Scientist –

Profit from the decline of Big Coal

Every two weeks I contribute something at the intersection of Economics, Finance, and Space or Environmentalism. This is often takes the form of exploring an investment opportunity. This week, I’m taking a slightly different approach and showing how savvy investors can profit from the decline in stock price of a beleaguered coal miner faced with shrinking demand for its product.

Continue reading “Profit from the decline of Big Coal”

The Moon Based Solar Power

The Shimizu Plan

by John Clarkson BA(Hons) Msc, Executive Producer of

In 2019, Valery Danko, presenter of Valery Danko Discovers Energy from Space, visited Japan. She went there to interview Professor Naoki Shinohara. They mainly discussed Earth orbit Space based Solar Power (SBSP or SSP). Yet there is another idea being worked on by the Shimizu Corporation also in Japan. This is Moon based Solar Power. It is essentially the same technology, so we will continue to call is SBSP or SSP.

(c) Copyright (2019) Perimetrfilms – Valery Danko meets Professor Naoki Shinohara, University of Kyoto for her interview for Valery Danko Discovers Energy from Space documentary film – see for more information.

Shimizu prides itself on being a large scale solution company. They specialise in architecture and engineering. Tetsiji Yoshida, head of Space Development is behind the plan.

By 2030 the humans will 17 Gigatons of oil. That is a massive amount of energy. This is about 13 Terawatts of energy. The USA in 2011 for example utilised 3.3 Terawatts of energy in total.

Shimizu Company image

It is also known that energy demand, thus consumption, tends to double every decade approximately. For example, since 1950 the demand for oil has risen at a rate of 7% per annum on average. That is a huge amount, because it is exponential growth. Two becomes 4, 4 become 8, 8 becomes 16 and so on. This is what has driven the oil industry to re-visit old sites, by using fracking techniques. This is why many oil companies have exploited dangerous regions like the Gulf of Mexico. They are also now eyeing the Pole and Antarctic to meet the demand for oil.

We need a better solution than fossil fuels, not just because Climate Change, but also to reduce air and water pollution. Shimizu’s plan is to build a Solar panel Lunar Ring 6800 miles long, 12 miles wide on the moon’s surface. This would be like covering half of the USA with solar panels. This would provide 13 Terawatts to the earth. In other words it covers the need for oil based fuels. All we have to do is to utilise it.

Such a project would use far more resources than available on Earth. Instead they would mine the moon’s resources. They might also mine asteroids. There would be also some materials from the Earth. New exciting technologies would need to be developed, including AI robots, factories, transport, manufacture, digging, siting and wiring.

To ensure continuous generation the array would be in a belt, across the 11,000 km lunar equator. It would grow to a width of about 400 km. Electric cables would transfer power to transmission facilities. If using microwave transmission, a 20 km antenna will transmit the power to Earth. Earth will require very large rectifying antenna (receivers) usually in the ocean. If using laser a guidance beacon brought from the Earth would be used to ensure accurate transmission. Materials for construction can be transported along the lunar equator. Production plants won’t be static. They will move and install the new solar PV as they are produced.

The critical elements to this will be the AI robotics, the control systems, repair robots and similar things. Many of these might be developed from existing technology already being used on oil rigs for example.

The lunar ring can only beam energy back to Earth from the nearside of the Moon. Transmitters here would be both laser and microwave. This would mean wires to carry the energy obtained from the farside of the moon to the transmitters.

Waiting in the oceans of the Earth would be huge rectifying antennas many miles in diameter. The would convert the microwaves into DC current, and via transformers in AC. The AC would be transmitted to each country on Earth via undersea cables. Laser receivers would do the same. These receivers would be placed around the equator to avoid cloud cover. Any ocean based receivers would have to withstand the might of ocean hurricans, typhoons and storms.

There is of course many challenges to this plan. The first is the cost. Would the amount of energy gained in terms of payback time and profits be worthwhile?

The biggest flaw of any plan can be measured by something known as Energy Return on Investment or Net Energy. This is where we compare the cost of the energy received by the cost of the energy used to generate it. For example, oil in 1900 used 1 barrel to extract 100 barrels. Now it is closer to 7. In other words the ratio has gone from 100:1 down to 7:1.

We can apply these to a generalised picture. An economy based on fission reactors, has a Net Energy of about 12:1, barely able to keep civilization sustainable. Land based wind and solar are even worse. They are called the Electric Renewable Energy Economy and they exclude Space Solar Power on this diagram. The Hydrogen Economy is so poor as to be not worthwhile. This is because hydrogen isn’t an easy gas to use. It has to be compressed to store it safely. It can corrode tanks, and leaks easily into the atmosphere. However it might be viable if it had a renewable energy method that could generate enough of it to make it sustainable and affordable. The worse case scenario would be to make a Synthetic Fuel Economy. This is where coal and gas are turned into liquid fuels. The can be then used like diesel oil to power vehicles. However, this is extremely polluting, especially converting coal which also adds CO2 to the atmosphere. Also it is energy intensive, requiring another form of economy e.g. the Plutonium Economy.

Anything on the chart below 10:1 is generally going to cause civilisation to collapse. SBSP on its own could get to 4:1, but when linked to more efficient use of energy, and better management of resources, this might not matter. Why? Because unlike other resources it is 24 hour supply unending. This means an unlimited energy economy. That is why Shimizu are interested in building SBSP using the moon.

(c) Copyright (2018) Future of Energy College

However, we’ve not really got the entire picture here. We need to look at added benefits. By 2035 the cost of air pollution in London (due to ill-health) has been estimated at £5.3 billion. If every vehicle was electric, this cost would be virtually eliminated. Thus we cannot always simply use cost to understand the benefits of SBSP. London has relatively little pollution compared with other cities. New York, Yokohama, Beijing, Shanghai, New Dehli and Sao Paulo all have huge levels of pollution.

Another advantage of moon based SBSP is the tricky part of placing solar PV and mirrors in space is eliminated. The moon is our natural satellite and a solid surface, albeit very sharp nasty regolith (dust, soil and rock). The only issue here is to make them strong enough to take the impact of micro-meteorites.

It is very difficult to estimate the costs of such a plan. Inflation in the future makes such calculation at best guesswork at worst finger in the sky. We would also not need to invest in fusion, faster breeder fission or coal power stations. Whatever the cost, it would be well worthwhile because once in place it could be relatively easy to maintain.

Lessons from Easter Island

As I write, Valery Danko, my presenter is filming in Easter Island. Here they use mostly diesel oil generators. There are no street lamps. Energy poverty is an issue. Easter Island like many remote places are ideal candidates for any form of SBSP. It is these communities that would benefit as massively as major cities around the world from SBSP.

(c) Copyright (2019) Perimetrfilms – Valery Danko Discovers series – see our trailer Valery Danko Discovers Energy from Space –

Is this likely to ever happen? The answer is it all depends on when mankind decides to choose this as a method of energy supply? Too late after the loss of oil and gas, and we are almost bound to return to the Stone Age rather than developing a space faring civilization. This is because energy is trigger to war, and we have many nuclear weapons now. India and Pakistan are literally minutes away from nuclear war at any time. Russia is building hypersonic missiles, and now short to medium nuclear missiles. This demonstrates that political leaders are largely mentally unstable, and untrustworthy to run the world, even when democracy is involved! Too early and we risk upsetting he economic balances of the present, again pushing the world into other forms of chaos and disruption. The timing is the key to success. What major driver might help this timing to be just right?

An Incremental Moon Base Approach

If we established a base on the moon then SBSP could be developed to supply it with energy at first. By choosing an incremental plan that operates in baby steps, we can iron out the problems more efficiently.
By choosing our initial goals more carefully we might be able to achieve the Shimizu Plan by baby steps. Getting to the moon is still a precarious business even for robots. Space is an extremely hostile environment to both man and machine. Recently an Indian project failed to land on the Moon. Such accidents would no doubt occur, and we’re just going to have to accept that human technology is never perfect. These losses as long as they are minimised would be acceptable.

This is why choosing to build SBSP that only supplied the Moon base initially might be a better idea. We need to consider history. Let’s for example look at the colonisation by Europeans of America. Did they just go their as a huge invading force of millions of people, or was it done by small incremental steps. The answer is the latter. A good example of development incrementally is from history. Consider how America was established with its 13 colonies of Great Britain. In 1620 a ship called the Mayflower transported the first English colonists from Plymouth to the New World. There were about 135 people on board. By 1750 the population of all New England colonies had risen to 300,000.

An incremental approach as part of a moon base is thus a solution that could satisfy both the accountants and those seeking to solve climate change, air pollution and help with Climate Change. However, the finances to do this would require UN intervention. Many people find the United Nations a threat – they fear a world government – unelected. Similar sentiments exist in places like Great Britain, with 51% of people perhaps viewing the EU in a similar regard.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of that, we are all here living on planet Earth. It is, as Carl Sagan, said, our only home, for now. It’s not going to last forever. We have the power to kill ourselves and all life on Earth. We can do it quickly, using nuclear weapons, or we can do it slowly by damaging our life support system. It is our choice.

(c) Copyright (2019) Valery in Easter Island, November 26, 2019. From Valery Danko Discovers Energy from Space documentary film, All Rights Reserved In Production. See our trailer at link above.

The Earth is a spaceship or island. We should look towards the history of Easter Island to know what happens when a island is cut off from all other resources. When that happens and populations are at first successful, there comes a crisis point. This crisis takes time. It is essentially an overshoot of resources needed to sustain that civilisation that are available. It is also the number of people being involved in gathering energy compared with those doing other tasks. (That is what Net Energy tells us.)

The only reason why Easter Island is manageable now is because it has access to imported oil. The Earth won’t get such help from outside. Once the fossil fuels are gone, they are gone forever. There is no way back. No amount of technology can get around the Energy Return on Investment of Energy. No one will invest more energy than the amount being extracted. It is simply unworkable. That is why we need to make a choice. That choice must be to develop a space based civilisation, and create energy from our sun in a way that doesn’t use up land which will one day be required for food. We need to think with ‘eternal’ minds, not short-term greedy minds, that focus on power, politics and national status.


Jones & Baghchehsara (2013) Electric Space, Space based Solar Power Technologies and Applications, Create Space Independent Publishing Platform

Lunar Solar video –

Shimizu Corporation:

John Clarkson (2019) Valery Danko Discovers Energy from Space, a documentary – Film in production Nov 2019 – Research papers 12 not published.

Tetsuji Yoshida et all (2009) D1 Lunar Solar Power Generation Initiative “The LUNA RING”, 10.1299/jsmesec.2009.18.67, The Proceedings of the Space Engineering Conference

Space Fund – Tokenizing Space Investing

The votes are in an this update of Space and Ecology themed Economics and Finance topics by Lizard King is a discussion of the Space Fund. Space Fund is a venture capital firm investing in space and related industries. I’m going to discuss the venture capital process, how space ventures are poorly suited to the VC process, and the imaginative solution Space Fund has to resolving the dilemma.

Continue reading “Space Fund – Tokenizing Space Investing”

Intro to Open Science and Open Data

How did open science, citizen science, and open data get started? Where are they? Why we need it.

At the foundation of open knowledge is open science. Open science has a companion, who should always be a full partner, called open data. We need to have the tools to explore the universe, communicate what we’ve discovered, and build upon that discovery. Unfortunately, this basic ability has been co-opted by organizations that aim to be gatekeepers to knowledge. Organizations like Elsevier, Springer , and Hindawi are operating as these gatekeepers and their reach keeps expanding as they devour smaller publishers and journals.

The cost of this gatekeeping is immense. For one thing, the exorbitant access fees cost universities, other schools, and individuals billions of dollars in fees that could be used for other purposes. There’s also a cost in time and innovation. Why? This happens because these organizations don’t make their decisions to publish based on science but on the possible impact the publication of the article might raise. This leads the organizations to turn down reconfirmations of other studies or marginal increases in the information. This means that, most often, that researchers must resubmit and resubmit before it gets accepted. The cost of time lost is immense. According to Kamila Markram,

“Of the 2 million science articles that are published every year, at least 1 million valid research articles are first rejected and bounced. Just one bounce delays the publication by at least six months. And that means the total delay introduced to publish valid research is at least 500,000 years.”

Continue reading “Intro to Open Science and Open Data”

Slow Glass Concept for Mars Habitats

The NewMars forum runs a number of parallel discussions. Some are fairly serious discussion of rocket engineering, mission planning or similar interests of contributors.

Among the topics which show up from time to time are considerations of how life can be made interesting and rewarding for workers on Mars, far from home on Earth and constantly threatened by countless natural forces trying to kill them.

One of these topics is “Slow Glass”. The concept itself can be traced (for just one of many possible origins) to Science Fiction, where the concept has been employed as the theme of stories in Analog Science Fact and Fiction, and quite likely elsewhere.

Here is a recent post from the NewMars forum on the subject:

Amidst the serious discussion underway in other topics, about numbers of starships needed for Mars settlement, and propulsion chemistry, I’d like to invite anyone interested to take a look out my “Slow Glass” “window” in my hab in Sagan City (2018).

To my amazement, a Blue Jay showed up in the view.  It may be on it’s way South, but it may have stopped in because it saw squirrels munching on peanuts.  It took a break at the water bowl (heated now that freezing weather has arrived).

There are still some leaves on the trees, but they are definitely looking raggedy.

A relative and I’ve been discussing wildlife in our respective locations.

He reported having to trap a raccoon which had (cleverly in my opinion) climbed up the stone chimney and crept under the roof overhang to spend the night.

I had reported missing the ants, which are a feature of life in the 90+ year old house where I live.  Each little worker is (to my way of thinking) a marvel of nanotechnology on full display.  During the warmer seasons, when pulses of workers find their way into crevasses that (obviously) exist, some make there way (unwisely) into view of my ant capture equipment. 

Wisdom may not be the appropriate property to assign to an ant, but a collective of ants often shows remarkable “intelligence” in the art of survival.

Ants are unlikely to be present on Mars during early years, but there may be a way in which they and other insects turn out to be important for a healthy biological infrastructure.

In any case, there are no ants visible in my “Slow Glass” display at this time of the Earth year.


Will Climate Change alter your retirement?

Scientists around the world are largely agreed that the climate is changing and will continue to change. A few holdouts are still squabbling about what is causing that change but the actual data is hard to ignore. I’d like to discuss today as the Living Universe Foundation Economics and Finance Correspondent how economic disruption related to climate change might effect conventional and early retirements.

Continue reading “Will Climate Change alter your retirement?”

Space based Solar Power

Space Based Solar Power may one day solve Climate Change, end air pollution and replace the loss of fossil fuels to the global economy.

by John Clarkson BA(Hons) MSc
Executive Producer, Perimetrfilms

The Bridge towards a New Space Age?

To make the space industry viable its technology has to be economic. It has to be cost effective, that is, comparable with current technologies. Finally, it has to be a worthwhile contributor to all humans. It must be scalable, ad infinitum. It must be sustainable, over a long-period of time.

Till now, satellite communications have met most of these criteria. Everyone who can afford a smart phone can now buy and sell their commodities. The same cannot is not true for the Moon Landings for example. It was an inspirational event, but unsustainable and before its time.

Continue reading “Space based Solar Power”