The European Space Agency this week is expected to begin formal and final preparations to launch the Solar Orbiter space probe, which will be launched toward the sun in about five years, orbiting within the orbit of Mercury. It’ll be the closest trip to the sun by any Earth-launched space probe and is expected to provide vast amounts of new data.
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Hopefully, though, in the next five years, we’ll know a lot more. That’s when the Solar Orbiter is set to launch. A project of the European Space Agency, the Solar Orbiter will get closer to the sun than any satellite to date. The journey to the sun will take years, even once the probe is built and launched.
“There are so many gaps in our knowledge of the sun. We’ve mapped practically every square mile of the planet Mars, we know more about Mars than the surface of the Earth in fact. But the sun constantly changes. It’s not made out of a solid surface at all. It’s made out of plasma, roughly 75 percent hydrogen and 25 percent helium. That’s why this probe is so important — because it will travel inside the orbit of Mercury, where no other space probe has gone before.”
— Michio Kaku
(ABC News: Good Morning America) James Cameron, Google Executives, Billionaires to Mine for Asteroids?
ABCNews.com: Film director James Cameron, Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and billionaire Ross Perot Jr. along with a number of other incredible minds plan to take on outer space. Just what they’re up to is still a mystery but they’ve announced that they’re forming a new “space exploration company to expand earth’s resource base,” that will create “a new industry and a new definition of natural resources.”
“If you put two Google billionaires with Microsoft billionaires with some astronauts together, you can’t go wrong. I think private enterprise will boldly go where governments fear to tread. And I think the space program has been in purgatory in the last few years. NASA is an agency to nowhere. So, we need private enterprise, especially people with deep pockets to help jump start the program and maybe mining the heavens is just the ticket.” – Michio Kaku
After some 80 years of empty promises, faulty predictions, countless science fiction films and comic books, and a rather famous animated TV series from the 1960s, Terrafugia may be the first company to develop and produce an actual flying car. Never mind that it costs $279,000 for now—the point is that it exists, and that so far, it seems to actually work.
To get some expert opinion and much-needed perspective here at PCMag, we asked Dr. Michio Kaku, esteemed theoretical physicist and best-selling author of Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, for his take on Terrafugia and flying cars in general.
Captain Michio and the World of Tomorrow: Humans are born with the curiosity of scientists but switch to investment banking by Brian Bolduc (former Robert L. Bartley fellow at the Journal, is an editorial associate for National Review)
By 2020, the word “computer” will have vanished from the English language, physicist Michio Kaku predicts. Every 18 months, computer power doubles, he notes, so in eight years, a microchip will cost only a penny. Instead of one chip inside a desktop, we’ll have millions of chips in all our possessions: furniture, cars, appliances, clothes. Chips will become so ubiquitous that “we won’t say the word ‘computer,'” prophesies Mr. Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York. “We’ll simply turn things on.”
Mr. Kaku, who is 65, enjoys making predictions. In his latest book, “Physics of the Future,” which Anchor released in paperback in February, he predicts driverless cars by 2020 and synthetic organs by 2030. If his forecasts sound strange, Mr. Kaku understands the skepticism. “If you could meet your grandkids as elderly citizens in the year 2100,” he offers, “you would view them as being, basically, Greek gods.” Nonetheless, he says, “that’s where we’re headed,” —and he worries that the U.S. will fall behind in this technological onrush.
To comprehend the world we’re entering, consider another word that will disappear soon: “tumor.” “We will have DNA chips inside our toilet, which will sample some of our blood and urine and tell us if we have cancer maybe 10 years before a tumor forms,” Mr. Kaku says. When you need to see a doctor, you’ll talk to a wall in your home, and “an animated, artificially intelligent doctor will appear.” You’ll scan your body with a hand-held MRI machine, the “Robodoc” will analyze the results, and you’ll receive “a diagnosis that is 99 percent accurate.”
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Original Article (WSJ: The Weekend Interview) by Brian Bolduc, a former Robert L. Bartley fellow at the Journal, is an editorial associate for National Review — Original Imagery by Ken Fallin