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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Here's Elon Musk's plan to create a 'self-sustaining' city on Mars 06-15

He says, his only motivation for accumulating personal wealth is to make human inhabitation interplanetary.

Humanity will go extinct unless it reaches for the stars and colonizes a new planet.

That's what Elon Musk says, at least. The tech billionaire wrote a new paper detailing his vision for a "self-sustaining city" on Mars that was published in the scientific journal New Space earlier this month and posted online Wednesday. 

The 16-page commentary details ideas the SpaceX CEO has been mulling over for years and most recently presented at the International Aeronautical Congress in Mexico last September. But his outline for the journey is now available in print, complete with accompanying charts and illustrations. Now, the scientific community will be able to scrutinize the proposal at its convenience.

Musk writes the paper in such a candid manner that he almost makes the roughly 140 million mile trip seem easy. " There really is a way that anyone could go if they wanted to," he says. The main obstacle, Musk argues, is the high cost of transporting people to the red planet. Using traditional methods like the approach that was used to send men to the moon in 1969, he estimates that it would cost about $10 billion per ticket. Musk has a much more feasible target in mind.

"If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to be roughly equivalent to a median house price in the United States, which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high," Musk writes. "I think it would almost certainly occur."

In order to achieve that price point, Musk outlines several steps to improve the cost of Mars travel by "five million percent": Spaceships must be fully reusable, they should be able to refuel in orbit, and then once again on Mars with fuel that is yielded from production plants built on the planet. Musk states that methane is the ideal propellant because the technical challenges to harvest it on Mars are significantly easier than substances like hydrogen, which he says is too expensive.

Once the engineering demands are met, it would be time to take off — which Musk is hopeful could begin as soon as 2023, according to an illustration in the paper. At least one million people would be needed to establish a self-sustaining city, he writes, estimating that spacecraft would be able to accommodate 100 people every two years. At that rate, he says it'll take "40-100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilization on Mars."

A table in Musk's paper shows estimates that ships departing from Earth will take an average of 115 days to get to Mars once initial test flights begin in 2020. And the trip will be highly entertaining, according to the business mogul.

"... It has got to be really fun and exciting — it cannot feel cramped or boring," Musk writes. "Therefore, the crew compartment or the occupant compartment is set up so that you can do zero-gravity games — you can float around. There will be movies, lecture halls, cabins, and a restaurant. It will be really fun to go. You are going to have a great time!" 

Musk says that ultimately the undertaking will be an enormous public private partnership funded between SpaceX, the private sector and the government.

"NASA applauds all those who want to take the next giant leap – and advance human exploration in deep space. We are very pleased that the global community is working to meet the challenges of a sustainable human presence on Mars," the space agency said in a statement to Fortune. "This journey will require the best and the brightest minds from government and industry, and the fact that Mars is a major topic of discussion is very encouraging."

And why should mankind look towards Mars instead of, say, the Moon, according to Musk?

"I think it is challenging to become multi-planetary on the moon because it is much smaller than a planet," he writes. "It does not have any atmosphere. It is not as resource-rich as Mars. It has got a 28-day day, whereas the Mars day is 24.5 hours.

"In general, Mars is far better-suited ultimately to scale up to be a self-sustaining civilization," Musk says.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tesla's solar power Roof tiles.

Tile warranty Infinity, or the lifetime of your house, whichever comes first

  • Power warranty30 years
  • Weatherization warranty30 years
  • Roof Pitch 3:12 to vertical
    • Hail rating Class 4 FM 4473 (best hail rating)
    • Wind rating Class F ASTM D3161 (best wind rating)
    • Fire rating Class A UL 790 (best fire rating)
    • Glass Coating Standards ASTM C1376 EN 1096 (best in class reliability

  • Value of energy
    The value of energy your Solar Roof is expected to produce over 30 years is based on the average price of electricity in your area, adjusted for inflation by 2% annually. Your ability to realize the full value depends on your home’s electricity usage, amount of energy storage available, and utility regulations on solar in your area. Electricity price estimates are sourced from the Energy Information Administration and solar production estimates are based on irradiance data from NASA.
    Cost of roof
    The estimated cost of your Solar Roof includes materials, installation, and the removal of your old roof. Taxes, permit fees and additional construction costs such as significant structural upgrades, gutter replacement, or skylight replacements are not included. The Solar Roof cost is based on estimated roof square footage for your home, provided by Google Project Sunroof where available, and the portion of your roof covered with solar tiles.
    Cost of Powerwall battery
    The estimated cost of your Powerwall includes the battery, supporting hardware and installation cost. We recommend that every Solar Roof be installed with a Powerwall battery to enable you to use more of the solar power your roof produces and keep your home running during a grid outage. In states that do not have Net Energy Metering policies, we estimate and recommend a number of Powerwalls that will enable you to realize the full benefit of the energy your Solar Roof produces.

    Tax credit
    The 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit applies to the cost of the solar tiles and associated solar energy equipment as well as the cost of the Powerwall batteries. To receive the full tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability that’s at least equal to the value of the tax credit. This credit may be carried over to future tax years. Additional state, local or utility solar incentives may apply but are not included in this calculation.
    Net earned over 30 years
    The value of energy your Solar Roof produces may exceed the cost of the roof, earning you value over time.
    Recommended solar tile coverage for your home
    We recommend the portion of solar tiles for your roof that we estimate will produce enough electricity to cover your home energy usage. To customize your usage, enter your average monthly electric bill. If you choose to increase the portion of your roof covered with solar tiles, your home may generate more electricity than it needs. In this case, you may not realize the full value of energy your Solar Roof produces. Your entire roof is not eligible to be covered with solar tiles due to building regulations and obstructions. Recommended solar tile coverage is based on estimated eligible roof area for solar.
    Warranty and specs
    All warranties and ratings apply to the United States only. Similar warranties and ratings will be developed for other markets. Our tile warranty covers the glass in the tiles. The power warranty covers the output capability of the solar tiles. Weatherization means that there will be no water leaks or other weather intrusions during the warranty period that result from our installation.

    Installation timing
    Installations will start in June, beginning with California and rolling out to additional markets over time. When Solar Roof is rolled out in a particular market, Solar Roof customers will be installed based on when their order was placed. Installations performed by Tesla, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary. 

    Thursday, January 5, 2017

    Kartik Gada: "The ATOM: The New Economics of Technological Disruption" | Talks at Google 01-06

    Published on Dec 21, 2016
    Kartik Gada joined us to talk about his e-book the ATOM ( The book examines the new economics of technological disruption, and its impact on governments, businesses, and society. The Atom is a 14-chapter e-book that contains novel concepts, research, and policy prescriptions about the various effects of technological progress on the economy and society.

    Kartik is the primary blogger at The Futurist, which has received 2M visits to date and has had many successful predictions over the last 10 years.

    Gada has had a career at the intersection of technology and finance,
    working at Intel in their long-term vision group, as an early employee at Netgear eventually managing their entire consumer product line, and as the founder of a hedge fund that returned 70%/year from 2009-13. He also created The Uplift Prize, an innovation prize in 3D Printing for emerging markets.

    Moderated by Jordan Thibodeau.

    Sundar Pichai the Google CEO at IIT Kharagpur. He graduated from here in 1993.

    Monday, December 5, 2016

    View of the earth in HD from International Space Station NASA 12-06

    High Definition Earth-Viewing System (HDEV)

    The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment aboard the ISS was activated April 30, 2014. It is mounted on the External Payload Facility of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the Earth which are enclosed in a pressurized and temperature controlled housing. While the experiment is operational, views will typically sequence through the different cameras. Between camera switches, a gray and then black color slate will briefly appear.


    Black Image = ISS is on the night side of the Earth.

    Image of sunset with words displayed = Switching between cameras, or communications with the ISS is not available.

    Please note: The HDEV cycling of the cameras will sometimes be halted, causing the video to only show select camera feeds. This is handled by the HDEV team, and is only scheduled on a temporary basis. Nominal video will resume once the team has finished their scheduled event.

    HDEV Facts:

    • While the HDEV collects beautiful images of the Earth from the ISS, the primary purpose of the experiment is an engineering one: monitoring the rate at which HD video camera image quality degrades when exposed to the space environment (mainly from cosmic ray damage) and verify the effectiveness of the design of the HDEV housing for thermal control.

    • The four cameras of the HDEV experiment are oriented in different directions and with different views relative to the ISS travel direction. They are in positioned, 1 looking forward, 1 looking nearly straight down, and 2 looking back. This provides several different viewing angles to the viewer.

    • The cameras are programmed to cycle from one camera to the next, and only one camera can work at a time. As they cycle, each camera must turn off and the next camera turn on before the HD video starts, taking about 8 to 10 seconds to change. Through this cycling, comparable data can be collected on each camera; while also providing, as a bonus, different Earth viewing perspectives.

    • The University of Bonn in partnership with the German Space Agency (DLR) is implementing the "Columbus Eye" program based on the HDEV streaming video.  that incorporates the HDEV UStream video and describes the Columbus Eye project, which will leverage ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst educational activities in space.