The Chinese invented Gun Power, printing, the umbrella, the wheel barrow and fireworks; the precursor to the rocket. They did all this in the 2nd Century BC. It took millennia for all this to manifest itself as Space Travel.
In the first three days of this year both the Chinese and the USA simultaneously achieved amazing feats in space exploration. China landed a rover on the far side of the Moon – never before visited. Apart from conducting scientific experiments China will probably want to examine what resources may be found and exploited on the Moon. If man is to employ the material fruits that space objects may offer to aid our journey into space, the Moon, our nearest neighbour, is where we should start looking.
Who would think that one of the most abundant substances on Earth – Sand – is running
low? Not just any old sand but the kind needed to feed the insatiable appetite for concrete, glass and electronics grade silica. In the last decade China mixed more concrete (and sand) than the United States did in the whole of the twentieth century.
The news of China’s Lunar Probe became somewhat eclipsed by a most remarkable simultaneous achievement by NASA. The “New Horizon” probe, the fastest travelling object ever sent into space, at the time it was launched in 1966 towards Pluto has just performed a stunning encore. The original mission was to examine this remote outer planet of the solar system after flying past Jupiter and then onto the Keiper belt (a ring of dust and rocks left over from the formation of the Solar System) .
For most of its journey, “Horizon’s” electronics were in “hibernation” – but on nearing Jupiter, it was woken up and a wealth of Jovian data was sent back as the probe flew past. Employing Jupiter’s’ gravity “Horizon” propelled itself onto Pluto, its final target. The electronics then went back to sleep.
As the slumbering probe was speeding through the void, scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope – that incredible sharp eye on the Universe – discovered a remote object orbiting out past Pluto which they named Ultima Thule – meaning “the furthest point along a journey”
This newly discovered space object is little more than 22 miles across, about four thousand times smaller and ten thousand times dimmer than Pluto and is located over a billion miles from Cape Canaveral. Yet NASA re-engineered the next phase of Horizon’s mission of exploring the Kuiper Belt and set a new course to take a close look at this new member of the solar family.
The total running power of the “Horizon” probe is about 180 watts, or 3 domestic lightbulbs. The transmitters that beam data back to Earth are 15watts each, about the same power as your mobile phone. NASA woke up the electronics and flew that machine past the rock at 32,000 mph; cameras and sensors whirring; garnering as much data as possible.
Signals from “Horizon” began streaming in; after a few hours the computers assembled the faint signals into the first image of Ultima Thule – which looked like a deteriorating lonely snowman way out in the darkness.
What is so interesting about this object?
“Thule” is probably an original rock from the gaseous material that coalesced into planets at the birth of the Solar system. It lost out on the cosmic musical chairs and has been orbiting the Sun at this mind-boggling distance ever since, unblemished by the Solar winds and planetary forces, still in its virgin state since before the Earth was born. This cosmic snowman could hold valuable secrets about how the planets were formed.
Recently, a Japanese orbital Moon probe using radar has found tunnel-like caves running for many miles across the lunar surface, in which future maned bases could be established; sheltered from the 3000-degree centigrade contrast between a Lunar day and night, a stable environment could be established greatly aiding a colony on the Moon. The Chinese probe could be the first step to Man setting up a base on the Moon with obvious long-term exploitative & scientific potential.
The “New Horizon” mission scanning the remote and lonely “Ultima Thule” is just pure science; a quest for knowledge; and who knows where that might lead? In 1891 when the electron was discovered it had no foreseeable practical applications, yet today we live in a world completely dominated by electronics.
When in the late 60’s we would bop to the beach with our portable transistor radios playing the sounds, we just took it for granted. These little devices usually had “6 Transistors” emblazoned on the front. A great boast at the time; six little electronic switches made of tiny slivers of germanium crystal and silica – not much bigger than a match head, replaced up to a kilogram of glass valves and copper coils in older radios. Today, in our 15-watt mobile phones there are over a billion of these transistors.
Despite all the technological trappings of our modern age; our prolonged life expectancy, our reaching out into the depths of space in search of new horizons there are people on Earth who will sit up all night at a billion transistor computer and flood the internet with their view that most of the knowledge we take for granted is wrong. That there are huge conspiracies designed to keep us subjugated in a world orchestrated by the Rothchild family (or the Jews in plain language). The moon landings were a hoax, so too 911, the Holocaust and of course – Global Warming. We are being poisoned by those white chemtrails from airliners and fluoride in the water supply. They have cured Cancer, but big pharma is supressing the knowledge inorder to sell us more medicines. The Hallmark of their 21st century is “the video they don’t want you to see”
Once again science and knowledge are, just like with Galileo, under threat.
The Millennium Bug was a great example. When computer experts suggested there could be a problem at midnight of the millennium they were ridiculed, usually by people who had no computer training at all. But they knew better. It’s all a hoax! was the cry.
Back in the day, when some talented geeks got together and designed the first personal computers, they made a simple mistake. To save on disk space they denoted the year in the clock with 2 digits instead of 4. All computer activities are governed by an onboard clock which all must agree to synchronise their workings. So, forty odd years later when 1999 came around the clocks in the machines would eventually flip over from 99 to 00 possibly crashing the system. No one really knew.
A huge amount of money and man hours were invested in fixing the problem – which they did. But there are many who remain unconvinced. “see!…I told you…nothing happened. It was hoax!” This example is now used to stifle any warnings of dangers ahead.
In Italy, land of Galileo Galilei, Michael Angelo and Leonardo Da Vinci there is a populist right-wing government who have declared that Italian children no longer need to be vaccinated against those age-old childhood diseases that have been almost eradicated in modern times. These vaccines are fake and offer no protection – is the narrative. Cases of measles in Italy have grown dramatically across the country, rising in 2 years from 850 cases a year to over 5000; with some children dying. Whooping cough and Polio may not be far behind.
Despite the author of the MMR vaccine scare being completely ostracised by the scientific and medical community people are still repeating the myth that it causes Autism in our children. Consequently, Measles and Rubella are on the rise again.
An end of year opinion poll in the US has suggested that 40 per cent of Americans are convinced that the world is going to end in their lifetime. These same people – who are largely President Trump’s core base – see global warming as a left-wing hoax. This notion is energised by less scrupulous business interests whose activities are under threat. Besides, what profit is there in protecting the environment because the Rapture is coming, and God will cleanse and destroy the planet. In so doing he will lift these keyboard evangelists up into paradise whilst the rest of us writhe in molten Silica as we sink into hell.
“Ah! but that’s America for you” might be the reaction, but the anti-science & anti-knowledge brigade are afoot in the land once again. A British government minister – Michael Gove – declared during the Brexit campaign that “we have no need of experts, they are usually wrong” Despite economists, industrialists, NGAs and business leaders warning the country about the folly of the Brexit Dream, Leave Europe campaigners branded all informed criticism as “Project Fear” shutting down any meaningful debate on the matter. Fake News.
Originating in America and now spreading across the Western world, Darwin’s theories of evolution are being shunned in favour of Intelligent Design based on a notion the world is only 4000 years old; placing the dinosaurs on the earth just as the Chinese were developing their early writing on pieces of bone. In the UK now there those who are demanding that Intelligent Design be taught as part of the science curriculum along side Darwin’s theories. Abstinence should replace sex education leaving the young open to crippling STIs. The pseudo-science battle of Eugenics has long since been won – it ended with the Nazis.
In almost one lifetime we have travelled from the Wright Brothers to Standing on the moon. We have split the Atom and spliced the gene. We have eradicated fatal diseases giving mankind a longer lease of life. But for some, living on their 4000-year-old flat earth, this is all deniable.
As New Horizon was nearing its final destination a billion miles from home, a 27-year-old American Christian Missionary John Allen Chau died under a hail of poison arrows that rained down on him as he waded ashore on the island of North Sentinel in the Anderman atoll 700 miles from the Indian coast.
This rather unfriendly welcome volley was unleashed by one of the only tribes left on Earth still living a hunter gatherer existence, devoid of contact with the rest of us. Other tribes living on neighbouring Islands were all but wiped out by contact with our civilisations. They had no defence against our simple ailments which we have long since conquered.
There may only be 100 or more Sentinels living on that North Island; and so, India and the UN declared it illegal (and immoral) to go near these people. Mr Chau knew this, because he went to great lengths to circumvent the rules; hiring local fishermen to drop him on the shore. He paid with his life
The isolated Sentinels; a living, breathing, loving, hunting and fighting example of the origins of humans, link our lives to the dawn of our species much like Ultima Thule reaches back across the millennia to the birth of our solar system.
Evangelist, John Allen Chau wanted to bring these people the word of God – even if it killed them. I’m pretty sure that having lived their present existence since long before the Chinese invented fireworks, they will have heard it by now.