“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”— Carl Sagan
In Fall 2013, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane will team up with Neil deGrasse Tyson in a bid to bring back COSMOS, the iconic television series written by Carl Sagan, his wife Ann Druyan, and astrophysicist Steven Soter. Druyan and Soter will co-produce with MacFarlane, and Tyson will be filling the shoes of Sagan as host of the series, which is scheduled to air on Fox.
“She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”—Carl Sagan, Contact (via the-star-stuff)
The mission, which could take place within the next decade, would take humans farther from Earth than ever before — up to 3 million miles away. Mission objectives include collecting mineral samples and — no joke — determining how to destroy an asteroid in the unlikely event that it becomes a threat to the Earth.
“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”— Neil deGrasse Tyson
“After the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it’s burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being — and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.”—Carl Sagan
There’s more information about Planetary Resources’ space venture and how much it could potentially be worth.
The $8 trillion figure is an estimate based on observations by John S. Lewis, professor of planetary science, author of Mining the Sky: Untold Riches from the Asteroids, Comets, and Planets, and now a consultant to Planetary Resources. He also found 3554 Amun to contain another $8 trillion in iron and nickel, and a mere $6 trillion worth of cobalt.
So, the total payout from one unassuming asteroid? $20,000,000,000,000.
A newly unveiled company with some high-profile backers — including filmmaker James Cameron and Google co-founder Larry Page — has announced plans to mine near-Earth asteroids for resources such as precious metals and water.