Odyssey Archive

  • The way we see the world is strongly conditioned by how we expect it to be – or, at least, that’s the argument in some quarters.  Which calls into question how the average person would react if their world turned out to be something quite different to what it had seemed previously.

    It’s A Funny Old World

    The way we see the world is strongly conditioned by how we expect it to be – or, at least, that’s the argument in some quarters. Which calls into question how the average person would react if their world turned out to be something quite different to what it had seemed previously.

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  • Our civilization needs a lot of power to survive. And if our descendants eventually spread throughout the Galaxy, their energy requirements will dwarf anything we need today. Every possible source will need to be considered, and they will almost certainly turn their attention to those concentrations of matter and energy where the gravitational field is so strong that spacetime is completely curved back on itself and nothing, not even light, can escape – black holes.

    Mining the Depths

    Our civilization needs a lot of power to survive. And if our descendants eventually spread throughout the Galaxy, their energy requirements will dwarf anything we need today. Every possible source will need to be considered, and they will almost certainly turn their attention to those concentrations of matter and energy where the gravitational field is so strong that spacetime is completely curved back on itself and nothing, not even light, can escape – black holes.

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  • The future of humanity in space is inevitably linked with the colonization of other planets, in our Solar System or beyond. Unless our descendants are to live permanently in spacecraft, of whatever dimensions may be feasible with their advanced technology, surfaces of other worlds are our only likely homes in the centuries to come. Which raises questions as to what those surfaces may be like.

    Near Horizons

    The future of humanity in space is inevitably linked with the colonization of other planets, in our Solar System or beyond. Unless our descendants are to live permanently in spacecraft, of whatever dimensions may be feasible with their advanced technology, surfaces of other worlds are our only likely homes in the centuries to come. Which raises questions as to what those surfaces may be like.

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  • The centenary of Sir Arthur C Clarke’s birth is an appropriate time to reflect on the enormous impact which his work has had not only on the world of science fiction, but also on the wider scope of space exploration. We devote the latest issue of Odyssey, which has just been issued, to this subject.

    I’m Sorry, Dave. I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That

    The centenary of Sir Arthur C Clarke’s birth is an appropriate time to reflect on the enormous impact which his work has had not only on the world of science fiction, but also on the wider scope of space exploration. We devote the latest issue of Odyssey, which has just been issued, to this subject.

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  • We see the universe from a human point of view. We could hardly be expected to do otherwise. But that doesn’t help if we’re trying to assess the prospects for life, even intelligent life, to have developed on other worlds. It could be that life elsewhere is not even remotely as we know it, and our human way of looking at the cosmos is a serious obstacle to knowing that it’s there.

    An Alien Earth

    We see the universe from a human point of view. We could hardly be expected to do otherwise. But that doesn’t help if we’re trying to assess the prospects for life, even intelligent life, to have developed on other worlds. It could be that life elsewhere is not even remotely as we know it, and our human way of looking at the cosmos is a serious obstacle to knowing that it’s there.

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  • Destroying the Cassini spacecraft by plunging it into the cloud-covered surface of Saturn in September seemed a rather dramatic way of ending such a productive mission – perhaps a little like the ending of a grand Wagnerian opera – but it made good sense. The risk of a dead or dying probe careering around the Saturnian system and possibly crashing into one of the moons, and maybe contaminating a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life such as Enceladus or Titan, was too high.

    Contaminate! Contaminate!

    Destroying the Cassini spacecraft by plunging it into the cloud-covered surface of Saturn in September seemed a rather dramatic way of ending such a productive mission – perhaps a little like the ending of a grand Wagnerian opera – but it made good sense. The risk of a dead or dying probe careering around the Saturnian system and possibly crashing into one of the moons, and maybe contaminating a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life such as Enceladus or Titan, was too high.

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  • It’s going to be tough out there in space.  In the 2009 film that relaunched the Star Trek franchise, showing how the original crew began their adventures...

    The Essence of the Human Spirit

    It’s going to be tough out there in space. In the 2009 film that relaunched the Star Trek franchise, showing how the original crew began their adventures...

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  • Linking the human brain directly to the Internet is bound to happen sooner or later.  Whether out of necessity...

    Brain Drain

    Linking the human brain directly to the Internet is bound to happen sooner or later. Whether out of necessity...

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  • Boyajian’s Star continues to be something of a mystery.  The fluctuations of light coming from that...

    Questions in the Void

    Boyajian’s Star continues to be something of a mystery. The fluctuations of light coming from that...

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  • Space travel will involve careful planning of all the necessities for a safe and successful journey...

    Survival of the Ruthless

    Space travel will involve careful planning of all the necessities for a safe and successful journey...

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