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Mars One – Wikipedia

Posted: October 25, 2016 at 7:35 am

This article is about the one-way manned trip to Mars proposed for 2026. For the first Soviet spacecraft for Mars, see Mars 1. For other uses, see Mars 1 (disambiguation).

Mars One is an organization based in the Netherlands that has proposed to land the first humans on Mars and establish a permanent human colony there by 2026.[1] The private spaceflight project is led by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, who announced the Mars One project in May 2012.[2] The project’s schedule, technical and financial feasibility, and ethics, have been criticized by scientists, engineers and those in the aerospace industry.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Mars One’s original concept included launching a robotic lander and orbiter as early as 2016 to be followed by a human crew of four in 2022. Organizers plan for the crew to be selected from applicants who paid an administrative fee, to become the first permanent residents of Mars with no plan of returning to Earth. Partial funding options, which have yet to be realized, include a proposed reality television program documenting the journey. In February 2015, the primary contractors on the initial pre-Phase A contracts had completed all studies paid for by Mars One at that time.[11] The current state of the Mission Plan Deliverables (either in the form of Studies or actual Hardware) will be tracked in Table 2 in the Technology section.

The Mars One organization is the controlling stockholder of the for-profit Interplanetary Media Group.

The concept for Mars One began in 2011 with discussions between the two founders, Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders.[12]

The Mars One project has no connection with Inspiration Mars, a similarly-timed project to send a married couple on a Mars flyby and return them to Earth over a period of 500 days.[13]

Mars One publicly announced the concept in May 2012 for a one-way trip to Mars, with the intention of an initial robotic precursor mission in 2020 and transporting the first human colonists to Mars in 2024.[14] In a 2015 debate, Bas Lansdrop clarified that “were not going to do, I think, the current design of the mission” and “Mars One’s goal is not to send humans to Mars in 2027 with a $6 billion budget and 14 launches. Our goal is to send humans to Mars, period.”[15] According to Mars One’s website, “It is Mars One’s goal to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.”[16]


In December 2013, Mars One announced its concept of a robotic precursor mission in 2018, two years later than had been conceptually planned in the 2012 announcements. The robotic lander would be “built by Lockheed Martin based on the design used for NASA’s Phoenix and InSight missions, as well as a communications orbiter built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.”[26] In February 2015, Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology confirmed that contracts on the initial study phase begun in late 2013 had run out and additional contracts had not been received for further progress on the robotic missions. Plans have been disclosed to raise the US$200 million or more needed to support the initial robotic mission,[11][26] but some critics do not find the economic plans to raise money from private investors and exclusive broadcasting rights to be sufficient to support the initial, or follow-on, mission(s).

Mars One selected a second-round pool of astronaut candidates in 2013 of 1058 people”586 men and 472 women from 107 countries”from a larger number of 202,586 who initially showed interest on the Mars One website, although this number is heavily disputed. Former Mars One candidate Dr. Joseph Roche claims the number of initial applicants was only 2,761,[27] which Mars One later conceded via YouTube video.[28]

Mars One announced a partnership with Uwingu on 3 March 2014, stating that the program would use Uwingu’s map of Mars in all of their planned missions.[29][30]Kristian von Bengtson began work on Simulation Mars Home for crew on 24 March 2014.

The second-round pool was whittled down to 705 candidates (418 men and 287 women) in the beginning of May 2014. 353 were removed due to personal considerations.[31] After the medical physical requirement, which was similar to a normal FAA exam plus EKG, due either to financial, health or access reasons, only 660 candidates remained.[28] Notably, some applicants were notified of life-threatening conditions such as early-stage cancer and were able to immediately begin treatment.[32] These selected persons will then begin the interview process following which several teams of two men and two women will be compiled. The teams will then begin training full-time for a potential future mission to Mars, while individuals and teams may be selected out during training if they are not deemed suitable for the mission.[31]

On June 2, 2014, Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) announced it has gained exclusive access to Mars One.[33]

On June 30, 2014, it was made public that Mars One seeks financial investment through a bidding process to send company experiments to Mars. The experiment slots will go to the highest bidder and will include company-related ads, and the opportunity to have the company name on the robotic lander that is proposed to carry the experiments to Mars in 2018.[34]

Mars One selected a third-round pool of astronaut candidates in 2015 of 100 people “50 men and 50 women who successfully passed the second round. The candidates come from all around the world, namely 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania”.

In a video posted on 19 of March 2015, Lansdorp said that because of delays in the robotic precursor mission, the first crew will not set down on Mars until 2027.[35] In August 2015, Lansdorp reiterated that their 12-year plan for landing humans on Mars by 2027 is subject to constant improvement and updates.[36]

The Space Review reported in October 2016 that while Mars One was “successful in generating a tremendous amount of publicity as well as enormous excitement about Mars, … its proposal lacked substance both in mission architecture and in workable funding mechanisms. As such, it has faded from the public consciousness.”[37]

According to their schedule as of March 2015, the first crew of four astronauts would arrive on Mars in 2027, after a seven-month journey from Earth. Additional teams would join the settlement every two years, with the intention that by 2035 there would be over twenty people living and working on Mars.[18] The astronaut selection process began on 22 April 2013.[38]

As of July 2015[update], the fourth round astronaut selection process, planned for Sept 2016, by which Mars One will choose six teams of four out of the 100 people selected in the third round, was announced.[39]

In December 2013, mission concept studies for an unmanned Mars mission were contracted with Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology for a demonstration mission to be launched in 2017 and land on Mars in 2018. It would be based on the design of the successful 2007 NASA Phoenix lander,[40] and provide proof of concept for a subset of the key technologies for a later permanent human settlement on Mars.[41] Upon submission of Lockheed Martin’s Proposal Information Package,[40] Mars One released a Request for Proposals[42] for the various payloads on the lander. The total payload mass of 44kg is divided among the seven payloads as follows:[42]

In 2022, an unmanned rover will be launched to Mars in order to pick a landing site for the 2027 Mars One landing and a site for the Mars One colony. At the same time, a communication satellite will be launched, enabling continuous communication with the Mars One colony.[43]

In 2024, the 6 cargo missions will be launched in close succession, consisting of two living units, two life-support units, and two supply units.[43]

A spacecraft containing four astronauts will be launched from Earth to meet a Transit vehicle bound for Mars.[43]

In 2027, the landing module will land on Mars, containing four astronauts. They will be met by the rover launched in 2020, and taken to the Mars One colony.[43]

The application was available from 22 April 2013 to 31 August 2013.[44][45] This first application consists of applicants general information, a motivational letter, a rsum and a video. More than 200,000 people expressed interest, so Mars One plans to hold several other application periods in the future.

By 9 September 2013, 4,227 applicants[46] had paid their registration fee and submitted public videos in which they made their case for going to Mars in 2023.[47] The application fee varies from US $5 to US $75 (the amount depending on the relative wealth of the applicant’s country).[48]

Distribution of the 1,058 applicants selected for Round 2 according to the academic degree[49]

Other (37%)

The results of applicants selected for round 2 were declared on 30 December 2013. A total of 1,058 applicants from 107 countries were selected.[26] The gender split is 586 male (55.4%) and 472 female (44.6%). Among the people that were selected for round 2, 159 have a master’s degree, 347 have bachelor’s degrees and 29 have Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees. The majority of the applicants are under 36 and well educated.[50][51][52]

Medically cleared candidates were interviewed, and 50 men and 50 women from the total pool of 660 from around the world were selected to move on to the third round of the astronaut selection process:[53][54]

Although initial plans were for the Mars One selection committee to perform regional interviews around the world, applicants were ultimately remotely interviewed and recorded by Mars One over a relatively short Skype/SparkHire call regarding Martian-related orbital, temp/pressure, geological and historical parameters and the specific elements of the Mars One one-way mission.[27][55][56] Dr. Joseph Roche, one of the finalists, has accused the selection process of being based on a point system that is primarily dependent on how much money each individual generated or gave to the Mars One organization, despite many of the round three selectees having not spent any money in the process, apart from the application fee, which varied as a function of each applicant’s country GDP.[27][55][56] Lansdorp acknowledges a “gamification” point system but denies that selection is based on money earned.[56] Roche also stated that if paid for interviews, they are asked to donate 75% of the payment to Mars One.[27][56] This was confirmed by Lansdorp.[27][56]

It was originally planned that the pool of roughly one thousand successful applicants would be narrowed through regional contests. These events did not take place, and the above-mentioned group of 100 candidates were selected through the remote interview process and selected directly to round 3 in February 2015.

In late 2013, details of the 2015 selection phases had not been agreed upon due to ongoing negotiations with media companies for the rights to televise the selection processes.[57][needs update]

It was planned that the regional selection may be broadcast on TV and Internet in countries around the world. In each region, plans included 2040 applicants participating in challenges including rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of the remaining candidates, with the aim of demonstrating their suitability to become the first humans on Mars. The audience was to select one winner per region, and the experts could select additional participants, if needed, to continue to the international level.[58][59][needs update]

Round three takes place in 2016[needs update], over the course of 5 days. At the start of the event, the candidates organize themselves into groups of 105 men and 5 women of diverse nationalities and age groups.

The Mars One selection committee then sets up group dynamic challenges and provide study materials related to each challenge. This allow them to observe how the candidates work in a group setting and choose candidates for elimination.[39][needs update]

At the end of each day all the teams except the winner lose members; then they reorganize themselves for the following day. At the end 40 candidates remain.

The remaining 40 candidates are spending nine days in an isolation unit. The candidates are observed closely to examine how they act in situations of prolonged close contact with one another. This test is implemented because, during the journey to Mars and upon arrival, the candidates will spend 24 hours a day with each other and during this time the simplest things may start to become bothersome. It takes a specific team dynamic to be able to handle this, and the goal of this selection round is to find those that are best suited for this challenge.

After the isolation round, 30 candidates are chosen to partake in a Mars Settler Suitability Interview.[39]

The Mars Settler Suitability Interview measures suitability for long duration Space missions and Mars settlement and will last approximately 4 hours. 24 candidates are selected after the interview and will be offered full-time employment with Mars One.[39]

From the previous selection series, six groups of four are to become full-time employees of the Mars One astronaut corps, after which they are to train for the mission. Whole teams and individuals might be deselected during training if they prove not to be suitable for the mission. Six to ten[citation needed] teams of four people are to be selected for seven years of full-time training.

Mars One funding comes from private investment (undisclosed), intellectual property (IP) rights, the sale of future broadcasting rights, and astronaut application fees.[48]

Mars One’s investment of revenues[60]

Concept design studies (78.3%)

Travel expenses (11.6%)

Legal expenses (3.3%)

Website maintenance (2.4%)

Communications (2.3%)

Office and other (2.1%)

On January 29, 2013, Mars One announced its initial batch of investors[61] from the Netherlands and South Africa. The value of the investment remains undisclosed.

Mars One initially estimated a one-way trip, excluding the cost of maintaining four astronauts on Mars until they die, at 6 billion USD.[62] Lansdorp has declined questions regarding the cost estimate because he believes “it would be very stupid for us to give the prices that have been quoted per component”.[63] For comparison, an “austere” manned Mars mission (including a temporary stay followed by a return of the astronauts) proposed by NASA in 2009 had a projected cost of $100 billion USD after an 18-year program, including a NASA-required return component.[64]

Mars One, the not-for-profit foundation, is the controlling stockholder of the for-profit Interplanetary Media Group.[65] A proposed global “reality-TV” media event was intended to provide funds to finance the expedition, however, no such reality TV show has emerged and no contracts have been signed. The astronaut selection process (with some public participation) was to be televised and continue on through the first years of living on Mars.[66][67]

Discussions between Endemol, producers of the Big Brother series, and Mars One ended with Endemol subsidiary Darlow Smithson Productions issuing a statement in February 2015 that they “were unable to reach agreement on the details of the contract” and that the company was “no longer involved in the project.”[68] Lansdorp updated plans to no longer include live broadcasts from Mars but instead rely on a documentary-style production, adding “Just like the Olympics, we watch highlights, we don’t watch things that athletes do when they’re not performing their abilities.”[69]

On 31 August 2012, company officials announced that funding from its first sponsors had been received.[62] Corporate sponsorship money will be used mostly to fund the conceptual design studies provided by the aerospace suppliers.[62]

Since the official announcement of their conversion to a Stichting, Mars One has been accepting one-time and regular monthly donations through their website. As of 4 July 2016, Mars One had received $928,888 in donations and merchandise sales.[70] The recent donation update adds the Indiegogo campaign ($313,744) to the private donation and merchandise total.

Over three quarters of the investment is in concept design studies. Mars One states that “income from donations and merchandise have not been used to pay salaries”. To date, no financial records have been released for public viewing.[71]

On 10 December 2013, Mars One set up a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to fund their 2018 demonstration mission. The 2018 mission includes a lander and communications satellite, and aims to prove several mission critical technologies in addition to launch and landing. The campaign goal was to raise $400,000 USD by 25 January 2014. Since the ending date was drawing near, they decided to extend the ending date to 9 February 2014. By the end of the campaign, they had received $313,744 in funds. Indiegogo will receive 9% ($28,237) of the $313,744 for the campaign failing to achieve its goal.[72]

Mars One has identified at least one potential supplier for each component of the mission.[73][74] The major components are planned to be acquired from proven suppliers.[75] As of May 2013[update], Mars One has a contract with only one company, Paragon Space Development Corporation, for a preliminary life support study.[76]

The Falcon Heavy from SpaceX was the notional launcher in the early Mars One conceptual plan,[75] which included the notional use of SpaceX hardware for the lander and crew habitat, but, as of May 2013, SpaceX had not yet been contracted to supply mission hardware, and SpaceX has stated that it did “not currently have a relationship with Mars One.”[76] By March 2014, SpaceX indicated that they had been contacted by Mars One, and were in discussions, but that accommodating Mars One requirements would require some additional work and that such work was not a part of the current focus of SpaceX.[77][24]

A manned interplanetary spacecraft, which would transport the crew to Mars, would be assembled in low Earth orbit and comprise two propellant modules: a Transit Living Module (discarded just before arrival at Mars) and a lander (see “Human Lander” below).[75][78]

A potential supplier for the Transit living module as of November 2012[update] was Thales Alenia Space.[79][non-primary source needed]

Contract has been signed with Lockheed Martin to build the Demo Lander with the same designs as the Phoenix lander that went to Mars.[21]

In December 2013 Mars One awarded a contract to Surrey Satellite Technology for a study of the satellite technology required to provide 24/7 communication between Earth and the Mars base.[80][81] Mars One proposed at least two satellites, one in areostationary orbit above Mars and a second at the Earth Sun L4 or L5 point to relay the signal when Mars blocks the areosynchronous satellite from line of sight to Earth.[81] It is possible that a third satellite will be required to relay the signal on the rare occasions when the Sun blocks the first relay satellite from line of sight with Earth.[81]

An early notional Mars One lander was shown in concept art as a 5 meters (16ft)-diameter variant of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule. SpaceX has not agreed for their technoogy to be used by the Mars One project.[24]

The rover would be unpressurized and support travel distances of 80km (50 miles).[82] A potential supplier for the rover as of November 2012[update] was Astrobotic Technology.[79][non-primary source needed]

The Mars suit would be flexible to allow the settlers to work with both cumbersome construction materials and sophisticated machinery when they are outside the habitat while protecting them from the cold, low pressure and noxious gases of the Martian atmosphere.[83] The likely supplier of the suits is ILC Dover.[84] On 12 March 2013, Paragon Space Development Corporation was contracted to develop concepts for life support and the Mars Surface Exploration Spacesuit System. The Paragon Space Development Corporation study was stated to be finished late summer 2013; Mars One released the results of this (ECLSS portion only) study to the public in June 2015.[85][86] The Mars suit study portion of the original contract has just entered ITAR review, with a publicly accessible copy available once passed through review.

Mars One has received a variety of criticism, mostly relating to medical,[87] technical and financial feasibility. There are also unverified claims that Mars One is a scam designed to take as much money as possible from donors, including reality show contestants.[88][89] Many have criticized the project’s US$6 billion budget as being too low to successfully transport humans to Mars, to the point of being delusional.[10][90] A similar project study by NASA estimated the cost of such a feat at US$100 billion, although that included transporting the astronauts back to Earth. Objections have also been raised regarding the reality TV project associated with the expedition. Given the transient nature of most reality TV ventures, many believe that as viewership declines, funding could significantly decrease, thereby harming the entire expedition. Further, TV reality show contestants have reported that they were ranked based on their donations and funds raised.[88][91]

John Logsdon, a space policy expert at George Washington University, criticized the program, saying it appears to be a scam[90] and not “a credible proposition”.[92]

Chris Welch, director of Masters Programs at the International Space University, has said “Even ignoring the potential mismatch between the project income and its costs and questions about its longer-term viability, the Mars One proposal does not demonstrate a sufficiently deep understanding of the problems to give real confidence that the project would be able to meet its very ambitious schedule.”[93]

Gerard ‘t Hooft, theoretical physicist and ambassador[94] to Mars One, has stated that he thought both their proposed schedule and budget were off by a factor of ten.[27][95] He said he still supported the project’s overall goals.[95]

A space logistics analysis conducted by PhD candidates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that the most optimistic of scenarios would require 15 Falcon Heavy launches that would cost approximately $4.5 billion.[96] They concluded that the reliability of Environmental Control and Life Support systems (ECLS), the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), and in situ resource utilization (ISRU) would have to be improved. Additionally, they determined that if the costs of launch were also lowered dramatically, together this would help to reduce the mass and cost of Mars settlement architecture.[96] The environmental system would result in failure to be able to support human life in 68 days if fire safety standards on over-oxygenation were followed, due to excessive use of nitrogen supplies that would not then be able to be used to compensate leakage of air out of the habitat, leading to a resultant loss in pressurization, ending with pressures too low to support human life.[97] Lansdorp replied that although he has not read all the research, supplier Lockheed Martin says that the technologies were viable.[98]

Another serious concern uncovered in the research conducted by MIT is replacement parts. The PhD candidates estimated the need for spare parts in a Mars colony based on the failure rates of parts on the ISS. They determined that a resupply mission every two years would be necessary unless a large space in the initial launch were to be reserved for extra materials. Lansdorp commented on this saying, “They are correct. The major challenge of Mars One is keeping everything up and running. We don’t believe what we have designed is the best solution. It’s a good solution.”[98]

In March 2015, one of the Mars One finalists, Joseph Roche,[99] stated to media outlets that he believes the mission to be a scam. Roche holds doctorate degrees in physics and astrophysics, and shared many of his concerns and criticisms of the mission. These claims include that the organization lied about the number of applicants, stating that 200,000 individuals applied versus Roche’s claim of 2,761, and that many of the applicants had paid to be put on the list. Furthermore, Roche claimed that Mars One is asking finalists for donations from any money earned from guest appearances (which would amount to a minimal portion of the estimated $6 billion required for the mission). Finally, despite being one of 100 finalists, Roche himself has never spoken to any Mars One employee or representative in person, and instead of psychological or psychometric testing as is normal for astronaut candidates (especially for a lengthy, one-way mission), his interview process consisted of a 10-minute Skype conversation.[88][100]

Robert Zubrin, advocate for manned Martian exploration, said “I don’t think the business plan closes it. We’re going to go to Mars, we need a billion dollars, and we’re going to make up the revenue with advertising and media rights and so on. You might be able to make up some of the money that way, but I don’t think that anyone who is interested in making money is going to invest on that basis invest in this really risky proposition, and if you’re lucky you’ll break even? That doesn’t fly.”[101] Despite his criticisms, Zubrin became an adviser to Mars One on 10 October 2013.[102]

Canadian former astronaut Julie Payette said during the opening speech for an International Civil Aviation Organization conference that she does not think Mars One “is sending anybody anywhere”.[56]

In January 2014, German former astronaut Ulrich Walter strongly criticized the project for ethical reasons. Speaking with Tagesspiegel, he estimated the probability of reaching Mars alive at only 30%, and that of surviving there more than three months at less than 20%. He said, “They make their money with that [TV] show. They don’t care what happens to those people in space… If my tax money were used for such a mission, I would organize a protest.”[103]

Space tourist Richard Garriott stated in response to Mars One, “Many have interesting viable starting plans. Few raise the money to be able to pull it off.”[104]

Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin said in an interview that he wants to see humans on Mars by 2035, but he does not think Mars One will be the first to achieve it.[105]

Wired magazine gave it a plausibility score of 2 out of 10 as part of their 2012 Most Audacious Private Space Exploration Plans.[106]

The Daily Mail enumerated reasons why the project will never happen, calling the project “foolish”. The project lacks current funding as well as sources for future funding. The organization has no spacecraft or rocket in development or any contracts in place with companies that could provide a spacecraft or rocket. While plans point to SpaceX for both resources, the company has no contracts with Mars One in an industry that typically plans contracts decades in advance.[24] The organization has not shared any research into the effects of microgravity on crews in flight or reduced gravity on the Mars surface. The organization has yet to provide plans or even study how crews might survive dust storms, supply challenges or the increased radiation on Mars.[107]

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Futurist – Wikipedia

Posted: October 23, 2016 at 4:18 am

Futurists or futurologists are scientists and social scientists whose specialty is futurology or the attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular or of life on Earth in general.

The term “futurist” most commonly refers to people such as authors, consultants, organizational leaders and others who engage in interdisciplinary and systems thinking to advise private and public organizations on such matters as diverse global trends, possible scenarios, emerging market opportunities and risk management. Futurist is not in the sense of the art movement futurism.

The Oxford English Dictionary identifies the earliest use of the term futurism in English as 1842, to refer, in a theological context, to the Christian eschatological tendency of that time. The next recorded use is the label adopted by the Italian and Russian futurists, the artistic, literary and political movements of the 1920s and 1930s which sought to reject the past and fervently embrace speed, technology and, often violent, change..

Visionary writers such as Jules Verne, Edward Bellamy, and H.G.Wells were not in their day characterized as futurists. The term futurology in its contemporary sense was first coined in the mid1940s by the German Professor Ossip K. Flechtheim, who proposed a new science of probability. Flechtheim argued that even if systematic forecasting did no more than unveil the subset of statistically highly probable processes of change and charted their advance, it would still be of crucial social value.[1]

In the mid1940s the first professional “futurist” consulting institutions like RAND and SRI began to engage in long-range planning, systematic trend watching, scenario development, and visioning, at first under World WarII military and government contract and, beginning in the 1950s, for private institutions and corporations. The period from the late 1940s to the mid1960s laid the conceptual and methodological foundations of the modern futures studies field. Bertrand de Jouvenel’s The Art of Conjecture in 1963 and Dennis Gabor’s Inventing the Future in 1964 are considered key early works, and the first U.S.university course devoted entirely to the future was taught by the late Alvin Toffler at the The New School in 1966.[2]

More generally, the label includes such disparate lay, professional, and academic groups as visionaries, foresight consultants, corporate strategists, policy analysts, cultural critics, planners, marketers, forecasters, prediction market developers, roadmappers, operations researchers, investment managers, actuaries, and other risk analyzers, and future-oriented individuals educated in every academic discipline, including anthropology, complexity studies, computer science, economics, engineering, Urban design, evolutionary biology, history, management, mathematics, philosophy, physical sciences, political science, psychology, sociology, systems theory, technology studies, and other disciplines.

“Futures studies”sometimes referred to as futurology, futures research, and foresightcan be summarized as being concerned with “three P’s and a W”, i.e. “possible, probable, and preferable” futures, plus “wildcards”, which are low-probability, high-impact events, should they occur. Even with high-profile, probable events, such as the fall of telecommunications costs, the growth of the internet, or the aging demographics of particular countries, there is often significant uncertainty in the rate or continuation of a trend. Thus a key part of futures analysis is the managing of uncertainty and risk.[3]

Not all futurists engage in the practice of futurology as generally defined. Pre-conventional futurists (see below) would generally not. And while religious futurists, astrologers, occultists, New Age divinists, etc. use methodologies that include study, none of their personal revelation or belief-based work would fall within a consensus definition of futurology as used in academics or by futures studies professionals.

Several authors have become recognized as futurists. They research trends, particularly in technology, and write their observations, conclusions, and predictions. In earlier eras, many futurists were at academic institutions. John McHale, author of The Future of the Future, published a ‘Futures Directory’, and directed a think tank called The Centre For Integrative Studies at a university. Futurists have started consulting groups or earn money as speakers, with examples including Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt and Patrick Dixon. Frank Feather is a business speaker that presents himself as a pragmatic futurist. Some futurists have commonalities with science fiction, and some science-fiction writers, such as Arthur C. Clarke, are known as futurists.[citation needed] In the introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin distinguished futurists from novelists, writing of the study as the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurists. In her words, “a novelist’s business is lying”.

A survey of 108 futurists[4] found the following shared assumptions:

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Casino Gambling Web | Best Online Gambling News and Casinos …

Posted: October 13, 2016 at 5:36 am

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It is our pleasure and proud duty to serve as a reliable source of gambling news and quality online casino reviews for all of the international gaming community. Please take a few moments to look around our site and discover why we, and most other insiders of the industry, have considered CGW the #1 Top Casino Gambling News eporting Organization since 2002.

The United States changed internet gambling when they passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), so now when searching for top online casinos you must focus your energies on finding post-UIGEA information as opposed to pre-UIGEA information. Before the law passed you could find reliable info on most gambling portals across the internet. Most of those portals simply advertised casinos and gambling sites that were tested and approved by eCogra, and in general you would be hard pressed to find an online casino that had a bad reputation. However, now that these gambling sites were forced out of the US they may be changing how they run their business. That is why it important to get your information from reliable sources who have been following the industry and keeping up with which companies have remained honorable. So good luck and happy hunting!

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), in short, states that anything that may be illegal on a state level is now also illegal on a federal level. However, the day after Christmas in 2011, President Barrack Obama’s administration delivered what the online gaming industry will view forever as a great big beautifully wrapped present. The government released a statement declaring that the 1961 Federal Wire Act only covers sports betting. What this means for the industry on an international level is still unknown, but what it means in the USA is that states can begin running online poker sites and selling lottery tickets to its citizens within its borders. The EU and WTO will surely have some analysis and we will keep you updated as this situation unfolds. Be sure to check with state laws before you start to gamble online.

The UK was the first high-power territory to legalize and regulate gambling online with a law passed in 2007. They allow all forms of betting but have strict requirements on advertisers. They first attracted offshore companies to come on land, which gave the gambling companies who complied the appearance of legitamacy. However, high taxes forced many who originally came to land, back out to sea and the battle forever rages on, but on a whole, the industry regulations have proven greatly successful and have since served as a model for other gaming enlightened countries around the world.

Since then, many European countries have regulated the industry, breaking up long term monopolies, sometimes even breaking up government backed empires, finally allowing competition – and the industry across the globe (outside of the USA) is thriving with rave reviews, even from those who are most interested in protecting the innocent and vulnerable members of society.

We strive to provide our visitors with the most valuable information about problem gambling and addiction in society. We have an entire section of our site dedicated to news about the subject. When a state or territory implements new technology to safeguard itself from allowing problem gamblers to proliferate, we will report it to you. If there is a new story that reveals some positive or negative information about gambling as it is related to addiction, we will report it to you. And if you think you have a problem with gambling right now, please visit Gamblers Anonymous if you feel you have a gambling problem.

In order to get all the information you need about this industry it is important to visit Wiki’s Online Gambling page. It provides an unbiased view of the current state of the Internet gambling industry. If you are interested in learning about other issues you may also enjoy visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling, a righteous company whose sole purpose is to help protect and support problem gamblers. They have a lot of great resources for anyone interested in learning more.

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Space Tourism – National Space Society

Posted: October 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm

NSS deeply regrets the tragic loss of SpaceShipTwo on October 31 and extends it’s heartfelt sympathy to the families involved and to everyone who worked in this program.

“The process of creating a successful off-world tourism industry will be the key economic and technological driver enabling the human species to evolve into a real Solar System Species.” John Spencer, author of Space Tourism and President and founder of the Space Tourism Society.

“SpaceShipOne [showed that] space travel was no longer just the domain of prohibitively expensive government programs subject to political whim. Now it was just like any other business that could be developed into a thriving industry.” From Rocketeers.

2008: Tourists in Space: A Practical Guide, By Erik Seedhouse. Springer-Praxis. 314 pages. [Review]. [Amazon link]. The bulk of this book goes into considerable detail about what sort of training prospective spaceflight participants should undergo.

2007: Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers, and Pilots Is Boldly Privatizing Space, by Michael Belfiore. Smithsonian Books. 304 pages. [Review]. [Amazon link]. An excellent and exciting read that allows you to meet the major players in the development of privatized space flight.

2007: Destination Space: How Space Tourism Is Making Science Fiction a Reality, by Kenny Kemp. Virgin Books. 262 pages. [Amazon link]. A more accurate title would be The Virgin Galactic Story because that is essentially all that is covered (note that the publisher is Virgin Books).

2005: The Space Tourist’s Handbook, by Eric Anderson and Joshua Piven. Quirk Books. 192 pages. [Review]. [Amazon link]. A more accurate title would be The Space Adventures Story because author Eric Anderson is president of that company the first company to actually fly space tourists.

2004: Space Tourism: Do You Want to Go? by John Spencer. Apogee Books. 224 pages. [Amazon link]. A broad overview of the entire topic of space tourism, written by the founder and president of the Space Tourism Society. Offers unique perspectives not found elsewhere, such as parallels with the yachting and cruise industries. A significant contribution to the literature.

2002: Making Space Happen: Private Space Ventures and the Visionaries Behind Them, by Paula Berinstein. Plexus Publishing. 490 pages. [Amazon link]. A broad overview of space privatization featuring extensive interviews with the movers and shakers that are making it happen.

1998: General Public Space Travel and Tourism: Volume 1, Executive Summary. Joint NASA study concludes that serious national attention should be given to enabling the creation of in-space travel and tourism businesses, and that, in time, this should become a very important part of our country’s overall commercial and civil space business-program structure. 40 pages. [PDF 100K]

1996: Halfway to Anywhere: Achieving America’s Destiny in Space, by G. Harry Stine. M. Evans and Company. 306 pages. [Review]. [Amazon link]. Discusses what is involved in airline-like operations for spacecraft, and provides a history of the first re-usable rocket, the Delta Clipper.

“The sheer beauty of it just brought tears to my eyes. If people can see Earth from up here, see it without those borders, see it without any differences in race or religion, they would have a completely different perspective. Because when you see it from that angle, you cannot think of your home or your country. All you can see is one Earth….”

Anousheh Ansari, Iranian-American space tourist who flew to the International Space Station in September 2006.

“It was amazing. The zero-g part was wonderful. I could have gone on and on space here I come.”

Stephen Hawking, renowned British astrophysicist who was able to leave his wheel chair and experience zero-gravity aboard a parabolic airplane flight on April 26, 2007. Hawking plans to fly on SpaceShipTwo.

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Space Tourism – National Space Society

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Ron Paul says he is disappointed in Gary Johnson, suggests …

Posted: October 4, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Onetime Republican presidential candidate and noted libertarian movement leader Ron Paul said during an interview Monday on Fox Business Network that he is disappointed in Libertarian presidential nominee Gov. Gary Johnson (N.M.) and suggested he might consider voting for Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein.

Former Texas Rep. and onetime Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (Image source: Fox Business Network)

The former Texas congressman said that he is telling his past supporters to vote for whomever they want in November and that it probably wont matter much

Paul told the hosts that he is disappointed with the performance of the Libertarian leaders and later floated Stein as an alternative because, if you have a sincere progressive and I know them, Ive worked with them they say, Well, one of the most important issues for me is civil liberties and a change in our foreign policy.

Paul also said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton could run as a Republican since these parties dont mean a whole heck of a lot.

He later told MSNBC that his remarks shouldnt be construed as an endorsement of Stein because he hasnt endorsed anybody.

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Softbank Robotics | Humanoid robotics & programmable robots

Posted: September 29, 2016 at 11:48 am

Who is Pepper? Who_is_pepper_962x314_EN

Pepper is a human-shaped robot. He is kindly, endearing and surprising.We have designed Pepper to be a genuine day-to-day companion, whose number one quality is his ability to perceive emotions.

58 cm in height, NAO is our first humanoid robot. He has continually been evolving since the beginning of his adventure in 2006.

Take the challenge of innovation in your business by implementing humanoid robots to enrich customer experience and transform the interace you use to interact with them.

Humanoid robots such as Pepper and NAO, are, today, bringing in brick & mortar stores the power of e-commerce sites.

Right from the beginning, NAO has won the hearts of classes and teachers from infant schools through to universities.

Humanoid robotics plays a key role in digital transformation for all customer facing industries. Pepper offers significant business opportunities today to companies with development skills, technology integration capabilities and specific vertical expertize.

Romeo is a 140 cm tall humanoid robot, designed to explore and further research into assisting elderly people and those who are losing their autonomy.

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Getting started – Bitcoin

Posted: August 30, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Using Bitcoin to pay and get paid is easy and accessible to everyone.

How to use Bitcoin

Bitcoin is different than what you know and use every day. Before you start using Bitcoin, there are a few things that you need to know in order to use it securely and avoid common pitfalls.

You can bring a Bitcoin wallet in your everyday life with your mobile or you can have a wallet only for online payments on your computer. In any case, choosing your wallet can be done in a minute.

You can get bitcoins by accepting them as a payment for goods and services or by buying them from a friend or someone near you. You can also buy them directly from an exchange with your bank account.

There is a growing number of services and merchants accepting Bitcoin all over the world. You can use Bitcoin to pay them and rate your experience to help honest businesses to gain more visibility.

How to accept Bitcoin

Bitcoin does not require merchants to change their habits. However, Bitcoin is different than what you know and use every day. Before you start using Bitcoin, there are a few things that you need to know in order to use it securely and avoid common pitfalls.

You can process payments and invoices by yourself or you can use merchant services and deposit money in your local currency or bitcoins. Most point of sales businesses use a tablet or a mobile phone to let customers pay with their mobile phones.

Merchants often deposit and display prices in their local currency. In other cases, Bitcoin works similarly to a foreign currency. To get appropriate guidance regarding tax compliance for your own jurisdiction, you should contact a qualified accountant.

There is a growing number of users searching for ways to spend their bitcoins. You can submit your business in online directories to help them easily find you. You can also display the Bitcoin logo on your website or your brick and mortar business.

Getting started – Bitcoin

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Offshore Company Formation, Incorporation & Bank Accounts

Posted: August 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

We are Offshore Company Formation experts specialized in Offshore Company Formation & Incorporation. Providing the most reliable Overseas Business Services in forward thinking, cutting edge jurisdictions. We offer complete solutions including offshore incorporation, opening offshore bank accounts, payment processing, virtual office services and much more.

Originally established in 1998 as Offshore Secrets Network, we work and partner with financial professionals in over 14 overseas territories and financial centers.

Our managing directors established connections of almost 18 years make it possible for us to offer clients the best products and services available in the best offshore locations around the world. Because we have so many options at our disposal, we can recommend the best jurisdictions and institutions to suit our clients needs. This is a brief list of some of the services and countries that we work in to establish offshore structures for our clients.

Today there are a multitude of offshore jurisdictions touting themselves as the best tax haven to domicile a corporation in. What one needs to look for when selecting an offshore jurisdiction is the following: There should be no taxation on offshore-derived income. The jurisdiction must be stable and secure. A lot of jurisdictions that were once good have in recent years gone bad Click here to read more about offshore corporations

There is no better time to take advantage of Banking Offshore, Offshore Incorporation & Offshore Company Formation as the world becomes a Global Village.

Contact Us to become a client and Go OffshoreToday!

Take advantage of our almost 18 years of experience and let us help you every step of the way.

Your business is important to us and we guarantee professional service.

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CryoCare Foundation – Cryonics Services

Posted: August 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

CryoCare Foundation was established in 1993 to provide state-of-the-art human cryopreservation with assistance from two separate, independent businesses: BioPreservation, which provided our remote standby, transport, perfusion, and cooldown capability, and CryoSpan, which managed the long- term maintenance of patients at liquid-nitrogen temperature.

Ultimately we hoped that growth in cryonics would encourage the formation of additional service providers. We envisaged a future in which our members would benefit as BioPreservation and CryoSpan found themselves in a free market, bidding against competitors.

Unfortunately, we overestimated the potential growth and profitability of cryonics. Also we underestimated the tendency of volunteers and enthusiasts to burn out, especially in a high-stress occupation such as remote standby work. BioPreservation opted not to renew its contract with us in 1999, and no longer provides any cryonics services. CryoSpan still exists, but its majority shareholder wants to wind down the company and transfer the patients elsewhere.

Consequently, CryoCare now finds itself without any service providers.

We received ample advance warning of this situation, and attempted to find other ways to maintain service. These attempts were unsuccessful. Consequently, in 1999 we notified our members that we could not continue to provide cryonics coverage.

While our original plans were overoptimistic, we still believe our business model is the best one for long-term stability, if cryonics ever reaches a point where it is large enough to sustain multiple competing service providers. At that time, our organizational structure and bylaws may be of some value. Until then, we encourage you to learn as much as possible about the history, theory, and practice of cryonics, and visit the web sites of other organizations that are still accepting new members at this time:

The directors and officers of CryoCare wish to express their deep appreciation to everyone who placed their trust in us, and assisted us, during the past seven years. At no time did any of our members suffer a health emergency in which we failed to respond; and our two human patients are still being cared for, with their maintenance costs fully covered for the indefinite future.

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Acorn Community

Posted: August 19, 2016 at 4:16 am

A few weeks ago, we decided to have a Thursday meeting on the subject of labor. To get it started, I rolled a piece of paper across the entire living room and invited people to write down what kinds of labor we do at Acorn, with a couple categories I put in, and left a note encouraging others to write MORE BOXES, MORE WORDS.

I left the poster out for several days for people to add to it, and at the end, although it was useful to us in other ways, I thought it might be useful to new people to get an idea of the kinds of things that we do at Acorn.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is our biggest labor area. From growing seeds to winnowing, germination testing, receiving orders, tracking inventory, printing seed packets, packing seeds, picking orders, shipping orders, customer service, troubleshooting and more.

Domestic work is mostly work that people outside of community dont count as work. At Acorn, an hour of domestic work is just the same as any other hour of work, and includes cooking, food processing, laundry, childcare, taking out the trash, keeping the woodstoves running, baking bread and most importantly, cleaning special areas, which is anywhere special enough that you decide to clean it. Almost everyone does domestic work of some kind, and some people specialize in it to some degree.

Landscaping and Perennials includes a large portion of mowing grass, but also includes our trees and bushes, which we plant, water when theyre new, mulch, and prune. Our shiitake mushroom logs also go under this. Killing poison ivy is an important component of this category. Every garden-oriented person looked at this chart and said that they would like to do more of these things until Acorn was a beautiful permaculture landscape, but that the garden takes up too much of their time.

Garden work is for vegetables and herbs for kitchen use, as well as seed crops and trials for the business, and includes the normal direct sowing, transplanting, weeding, mulching, harvesting, seed processing, and pest control that you would expect, as well as greenhouse work, irrigation, keeping our tools organized and in good repair, soil testing and amending the soil, and prioritizing work and throwing work parties so people know what to do.

Auto is mainly routine maintenance, keeping paperwork up to date, troubleshooting car and tractor problems, and driving cars to the shop when theyre out of our league to fix. Currently, we dont have the skills or tools to effectively fix complex car problems, although our neighbor John comes over to fix our tractors. This labor area also includes biking to displace car usage.

Accounting includes a lot of bookkeeping, such as entering the numbers from trip, checkbooks, credit cards, bank deposits, and business. Auditing and making sure things are credited to the correct accounts, and also nagging people is an important component of this (turn in your trip accounting! who made this credit card charge?!) Annual taxes is also in here, which includes sales tax for the business as well as personal 1099 tax forms and state taxes for each of the communards. Annual financial reports are made so that we can make our budget are made once the fiscal years bookkeeping is complete.

Visitor category includes answering e-mails at info@acorncommunity.org, talking to potential visitors on the phone, and scheduling, which is done by mostly the same three people. Giving tours and orientations is done by lots of people, and having a visitor buddy and checking in with them is also considered labor-creditable work.

Forestry is a neglected area, which is partially because all of our accessible forest land has been sustainably harvested about as much as its capable of sustaining. We either move into cutting down trees in the swamp, or buying firewood

Livestock includes our chickens, pigs, and goats. The broad categories are daily feeding and watering, fencing and housing concerns, taking care of babies, slaughtering and meat processing, and some specific bits were added: trimming chickens wings and goats hooves, and milking our dairy goats.

Acquisitions is typified by the town trip, where a single person goes into town and buys everything people asked for on a sheet of paper (or two or three). It also includes city trips to get special things, going dumpster-diving or searching thrift stores for things we need while youre out, and picking up large loads in the cargo van such as our favorite free food connections or livestock feed. I also included trash disposal here, although it doesnt exactly fit, but someone does need to drive our entire trash trailer to the landfill sometimes.

Recreation is, in fact, a labor and budget area that is collectively important to us. This includes party planning and music preparation, set-up and clean-up. Theres also the organization of craft supplies and hosting recreative activities (like group read-alouds or yoga or jiu jitsu classes), and the very important job of lighting the fire under the hot tub when it seems like a good hot tub day.

Personal Responsibility is important. Not all personal responsibilities are considered labor-creditable, but everyone agrees that going to the doctor and dentist is important and you get labor hours for it. People can claim two hours of personal exercise a week as labor-creditable. Two important entries on the chart are putting shit away and cancellation of personal entropy through cleaning, which are highly valued traits in communards.

Finding Shit is its own category. Everyone spends lots of time doing it.

Computers/IT is largely handled by the same two people. They build computers, install new programs, monitor the server, make server upgrades, and manage our disk space and backups. They keep our business database software and metrics running despite their constant desire to die, update the databases, write new queries and modify old ones. They shop for new computer parts and research new technologies, and try to expand, improve, and fix services they have like our new accounting software, the internal Acorn Wiki, the project manager and test manager. And, of course, they vacuum dust out of our hardware and fix things as needed.

Maintenance involves noticing missing or broken shit and taking steps to repair or replace it. Big areas people mentioned include building maintenance, cleaning gutters, chimneys, and furnaces, and maintaining our bike fleet, but of course there are many things on the farm to be maintained.

Electrical requires us to pick up and entertain Milo. Occasionally people have learned electrical things from him, but our roving electrician solves most of our problems.

Plumbing was summed up by digging and working in a muddy hole, which is some of it, but it also includes unclogging drains, installing new plumbing or fixtures, and keeping water coolers full for buildings that dont have drinking water.

Interpersonal Process includes scheduled things like attending (or facilitating) weekly meetings, and doing your required clearnesses. It also includes mediating between two people, or being an advocate for someone in an official capacity, or serving on a care team for someone who needs extra help.

The Federation of Egalitarian Communities is exactly whats in the name, a collection of other egalitarian, income-sharing communities. We have an annual assembly and monthly conference calls for our two FEC delegates. One of our delegates writes the Dirt & Dreams internal newsletter, and another of our members has been re-creating the FEC website. FEC work also includes LEX (Labor EXchange), the most exciting part of being in the FEC, where you get to travel to other communities without having to take your vacation time because youre working for them while youre there. Lots of people LEX at local communities including Twin Oaks, Sapling, and Living Energy Farm, and one or two times a year we go on long-distance LEX trips, like going to Missouri to help Sandhill with their fall sorghum harvest.

Activism and Movement Support includes our relationship with the local community and activities to support sustainable agriculture, intentional community, and egalitarian values. Major projects here include Plant-A-Row for the Hungry, a project we sponsor at the local food pantry along with the Louisa County Master Gardeners. Some of us have served on boards of organizations like the Virginia Association of Biological Farming and the Organic Seed Alliance. One of our members is developing websites for the FEC and FIC (Fellowship of Intentional Community). We have labor exchange agreements outside of the FEC with like-minded co-ops such as the Baltimore Free Farm and the Wingnut of Richmond. We have regular tours from CRAFT (Chesapeake Regional Alliance of Farmer Training) and have organized young farmer events. Point A is a big project that some of our members and others are working to promote urban income-sharing communities.

Research has one bulletpoint: [See all other headings]

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Acorn Community

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