Planetary Defense, Future Of Space Travel Could Hinge On Kickstarter

Planetary
Sweetie187/Flickr

Planetary Resources, the group of world leaders charged with building the ground floor opportunities for a space travel industry, needs our help. One of those opportunities involves mining asteroids, believed to hold riches beyond belief. Developing technology that will enable travel to those pots of gold is already a daunting task, but the real concern is finding those asteroids in the first place. Luckily, Planetary Resources has a plan.

This week, Planetary Resources announced plans to empower citizen scientists to aid in the search for potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) and support planetary defense. Funded by the ARKYD Kickstarter (if it reaches $1.7 million by Sunday, and you can help make that happen), Planetary Resources will partner with Zooniverse to create Asteroid Zoo, a program to find potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) at home.Asteroid Zoo will allow students, citizen scientists and space enthusiasts to search through terabytes of data collected by Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) for undiscovered asteroids in a fun, game-like process from their personal computers, and help train computers to better find them in the future.

Sound interesting? Want to have a hand in forging the future of space travel for all? Check out this video from Planetary Resources with Chief Asteroid Miner Chris Lewicki:

Celebrate World Oceans Day With A Live Tour Of The Great Barrier Reef

Celebrate World Oceans Day with Live Reef
Kraig Becker

This coming Saturday, June 8, is World Oceans Day, a global event designed to celebrate the important role that the oceans play in keeping our planet a vibrant place for us to live. Throughout the day there will be hundreds of events taking place across the globe that will help educate us on the importance of keeping our oceans healthy, while raising awareness of the challenges they face in the 21st century. One such event is an ambitious 12-hour live tour of the Great Barrier Reef that will give us a very personal look at one of the most important and beautiful marine ecosystems on Earth.

Stretching for more than 1600 miles along the coast of Queensland, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is home to a dizzying array of species including sea turtles, dolphins, whales and countless smaller fish. Massive in size, the reef covers more than 133,000 square miles and is large enough to be visible from space. It also attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors on an annual basis, many who come to snorkel or dive the GBR’s breathtakingly clear waters.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday, June 7, a team of marine biologists will launch a live event that will stream to the Internet via Google Hangouts. They’re calling this event “Reef Live” and throughout the 12 hours that follow, they’ll be broadcasting from their floating “Sea Studio.” While the event is ongoing, divers will share live images from the reef, while taking us on a guided tour of this very special place both above and below the ocean’s surface.
The event won’t be just about streaming pretty pictures from the waters off the Australian coast, however. Anyone who attends the Google Hangout will be able to ask the team questions about what they are seeing on their screens at any given time, while also interacting with a group of expert panelists who will be in attendance as well. This will give us unprecedented access to marine biologists and reef experts who will be able to provide the insight and knowledge that will make this event a unique and special one.

Reef Live is melding technology, the Internet and social media in new ways to deliver a live event that just wouldn’t have been possible a few short years ago. Streaming real-time video across the Internet while millions look on and have the opportunity to directly participate is a fantastic idea. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in a few days time. If you want watch the live broadcast and participate in the event, there is a handy countdown clock available on the Reef Live site that will help you determine when the project has officially started. Find it by clicking here.