The Future is Looking Good – The Conversation

Posted by julian | Augmentation,Cosmology,Enhancement,Futurology,Technology | Monday 24 May 2010 12.34 am
Conway Mothobi

Following on from Conway Mothobi’s provocation found here. We publish the transcript of Conway’s provocation looking at the future of space travel.


Ok folks, can you all hear me?

When I was told about this I thought ‘How fantastic, this talk is about human advancement and enrichment, and that picture there is of the space shuttle launch yesterday of Atlantis.

Within in the area of space sciences etc, we know that the President Obama is cut all funding to the moon.

Does anybody know who Mike Collins is…? Just three, ok…He went to the moon – this is the guy who was sitting in the command module, just making sure everything goes ok.

Now that costs a lot of money. When two spaceships were lost, that was a lot of money lost and a lot of lives lost. Each launch we are talking about a billion dollars. So how do we move forward? The way to move forward is now to look at the existing research and say ‘Hey, how can we actually begin to enhance and enrich the human being and making sure that we can continue with space exploration – and go beyond the moon!’

We do that by saying we are going to move into stem cell research; look at what is actually happening within the nanotechnologies etc and produced astronauts who are about one inch tall (25mm), weighing about four grams each – found that each astronaut is the size of a simple land mouse.
But what kind of people are we talking about? We are talking of things happening, this happening within thirty years, where by you know dry ice, that gives you all the smoke out, that’s minus 78 degrees centigrade, i.e. Celsius and with that we can actually help these people in holding because we can actually go low temperatures.

How much heat can they handle? Boiling oil at about 300 degrees Celsius
They can handle very low pressures. That’s how to explore space exploration.
Now people might say, ‘oh well, that’s just out there thinking’, but fifty years, this week, the laser was invented. Technology can move forward.

Fifty-two years ago a fine physicist gave a lecture in Brazil and held up a pin and said the tip of this pin was what we will one day have the library of Congress contained in. And everyone laughed at him, thinking he was a madman. And nowadays people are walking around with things like iphones etc, but it is not as fanciful; the reason why we are going to have to have people that size behind those kinds of exploration is that it is cheaper because it means that we can have space craft with a size the size of a drinks can; easier to launch – it means that we can launch a dozen missions at once. The people who would lose – they’re not easy to lose – because if there is a burnout, they can handle it.

As a simple experiment, I’ll ask you a very simple question. People keep on saying, ‘Oh, people like these are an enhancement, and I say yes! People will prefer enhancement, because this is beyond Jordan, but we are talking about the enhancement of the capabilities of human beings engaged in endeavour, which can add to add to beyond where we are now. So, with these little people whom we have we are going to have a situation where by; what with space exploration what we are trying to do is understand our universe. But the Earth is one part of that thing, the whole planet and as Neil Armstrong once said as they were going round the moon – you’ve all seen the pictures picture of the blue planet – and he said, ‘ You can’t come out into space in order to discover air.’ Right now we’ve got all the various satellites etc, which are looking at the air – that’s where we are getting the data.

So my provocation to you is that yes, we need to invest in such situations; such situations are possible. A few years back, I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the Rosetta, not the stone, but the spacecraft. The Rosetta is a mission, which is actually chasing a comet. This was launch about six years ago and is going to hook up with the comet in 2014, but the interesting thing about Rosetta chasing a comet around the sun is that we have got it as a robotic mission, but you have to have a test. You can’t have a mission round the sun and go how are we built that raft. That is why we need the little people to actually land out there. The current technology that we have is the mission to find out…there will be a landing craft that will shoot out of the main spacecraft and land into the ice of the comet. Then you actually can test all that data.

I’m bringing you to the whole point of miniaturization; why it is important and how we ourselves can do it. Of course what they did for this particular thing is that they went down to the chemistry lab and said we need this test this to land on a far off comet – this is the lab, this is what we want to test. And at the moment – that little lander that is going to land – anyone here a size 6 shoe, think of the shoe for that and what it is that those engineers constructed a laboratory which is the size of a kid’s shoe box. And that is what they are going to be using in 2014 to make all the tests.

So, we’ve got that technology, we are not sure that it is going to work. But, the important thing about humans is there are particular areas in which we can’t go to, where it is it is too dangerous to work, but we need other people to go out there, it is dangerous because of pressure, temperature etc. But we now have the technology to actually make and construct something like that can do that.

And to finish off – I am very confident that this is going to happen – there is a paper that came out this week. This week at the California Institute of Technology a DNA rockets – you can actually tell a robot that is so tiny and specifically what to do. This is one area of miniaturization, there are areas in medical miniaturization and – people might’ve seen small solders – they look like a plague of ants. That is it – we will get people who are one inch tall and we will get that in the next 30 years.

Thank you.

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