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Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2012 – Wikipedia

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:20 pm

AnnouncementsEdit

On May 13, 2011, in Exeter, New Hampshire, Paul announced his decision to seek the Republican nomination in the 2012 election. The announcement was broadcast live nationally on ABC’s Good Morning America.[4]

On May 14, 2012, Paul made a statement on the campaign’s website that he would no longer be actively campaigning in remaining state primaries, but would instead continue his presidential bid by seeking to collect delegates at caucuses and state conventions for the Republican National Convention in August 2012.[23]

He participated in a debate on June 13, 2011 at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire.[24] On June 18, 2011, Paul won the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll with 41%, winning by a large margin on Jon Huntsman, who trailed second with 25% and Michele Bachmann with 13% (Mitt Romney came in fifth with 5%).[25] On June 19 he again won the Clay County Iowa StrawPoll with 25%, while Michele Bachmann trailed second with 12%.

Paul also participated in another debate on August 11, 2011, in Ames, Iowa, and overwhelmingly won the post-debate polls.[26] He then came in second in the Ames Straw Poll with 4,671 votes, narrowly losing to Michele Bachmann by 152 votes or 0.9%, a statistical first-place tie finish according to some in the news media.[27][28][29][30] He received the fourth most votes for a candidate in the history of the Ames Straw Poll.

On August 20, in the New Hampshire Young Republicans Straw Poll Paul came again first, again overwhelmingly, with 45%, Mitt Romney trailing second with 10%.[31] On August 27, in the Georgia State GOP Straw Poll Paul came in a close second place behind Georgia resident Herman Cain, who had 26% of the vote, with Paul receiving 25.7%.[32]

On September 5, Paul attended the Palmetto Freedom Forum in South Carolina along with fellow candidates Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich. The forum was paneled by congressmen Steve King of Iowa, senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Dr. Robert P. George, the founder of the American Principles Project which hosted the event.[33]

On September 12, Paul attended the Tea Party Republican Presidential debate broadcast by CNN. During the event, Paul received both unexpected “cheers” and “boos” for his responses to the questions posed by the debate moderators and fellow debate participants.[34][35] When Rick Santorum questioned Paul about his position regarding the motivation behind the September 11 attacks, some of the audience jeered his response that U.S. foreign occupation was the “real motivation behind the September 11 attacks and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism”.[34]

When one of the moderators posed a hypothetical scenario of a healthy 30-year-old man requiring intensive care but neglected to be insured pressing Paul with “Are you saying that society should just let him die?”, several audience members cheered “yeah!” Paul disagreed with the audience reaction stating that while he practiced as a doctor in a Catholic hospital before the Medicaid era, “We never turned anybody away from the hospital.”[35] Paul elaborated further a few days later that he believed the audience was cheering self-reliance and that “the media took it and twisted it”.[36]

Jack Burkman, a Republican Party (GOP) strategist, was asked of Paul’s performance in the debate. While Burkman stated that his national radio program’s polling suggested Rick Perry won the debate (156 Perry votes to 151 Paul votes), he believed Paul’s support is extremely deep like Democrat support for Bobby Kennedy decades before and predicted “he could come from behind as the horses turn for home and win the nomination.”[37]

On September 18, Paul won the California state GOP straw poll with 44.9% of the vote, held at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles. Out of 833 ballots cast, Paul garnered the greatest number of votes with 374, beating his nearest competitor Texas Gov. Rick Perry by a wide margin.[38]

On September 24, Paul finished fifth in the GOP’s Florida Presidency 5 straw poll with 10.4% of the vote.[39] Paul won with 37% of the vote at the Values Voter Summit on October 8;[40] the highest ever recorded at the event.

On October 22, Paul won the Ohio Republican straw poll with the support of 53% of the participants, more than double the support of the second-place candidate, Herman Cain (26%).[41]

Paul won the National Federation of Republican Assemblies Presidential Straw Poll of Iowa voters on October 29 with 82% of the vote.[42]

On November 19, Paul won the North Carolina Republican Straw Poll with 52% of the vote, finishing well ahead of the second-place candidate, Newt Gingrich, who received 22% of the vote.[43]

In an August Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters across the political spectrum asking if they would vote for Paul or Barack Obama, the response narrowly favored Obama (39%) over Paul (38%), but by a smaller margin than the same question asked a month ago (41% 37%).[44] Paul finished 3rd in a late-August poll of likely Republican primary voters, trailing Rick Perry and Mitt Romney and ahead of Michele Bachmann,[45] climbing from 4th position which, according to another poll, he occupied only a few days earlier.[46]

In a September Harris Poll, respondents chose Paul (51%) over Obama (49%).[47]

In the Illinois Republican Straw Poll held in the beginning of November, Paul took 52% of the votes of those polled with Herman Cain coming in second with 18%.[48]

In a November 1012 Bloomberg News poll of Iowans likely to participate in the January 3, 2012 Republican caucuses, Paul was in a four-way tie at 19 percent with Cain, Romney and Gingrich at 20, 18 and 17 percent respectively.[49]

A Bloomberg News poll released on November 16, 2011 showed Paul at 17% in New Hampshire, in second place to Romney’s 40%.[50]

A Public Policy Polling poll released on December 13, 2011 put Paul in a statistical tie for first in Iowa with Newt Gingrich, polling 21% and 22%, respectively.[51] The RealClearPolitics.com average shows Paul in second place in New Hampshire at 18.3% on December 28, 2011.[52] Public Policy Polling results from December 18 show that Paul is now leading in Iowa with 23%, followed by Romney at 20% and Gingrich at 14%.[53]

A January 2012 Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters across the political spectrum found that in a hypothetical two-candidate race between Paul and Barack Obama, respondents preferred Obama (43%) over Paul (37%).[54] The RealClearPolitics.com average of polls also found Obama (47%) favored over Paul (42%), in a two-candidate race.[55]

A January Pew Research Center poll of registered voters across the political spectrum on the eve of the South Carolina primary found that in a hypothetical three-way race between Obama, Romney, and Paul, with Paul running as a third-party candidate, respondents would choose Obama (44%) over Romney (32%) and Paul (18%). (Paul had repeatedly stated he had no plans for a third-party run.)[56][57]

In polls of likely Republican primary voters on the eve of the South Carolina Republican primary, Paul placed third both in South Carolina (15%)[58] and nationally (14%),[59] trailing Romney and Gingrich.

A Rasmussen poll in April 2012 showed Paul as the only Republican candidate able to defeat Obama in a head-to-head match-up. Paul beat Obama by one point in the poll with 44% of the vote.[60]

Paul’s second moneybomb (the first being before his official announcement) was scheduled for June 5, 2011, the anniversary of the 1933 joint resolution which abolished the gold standard. The June 5 moneybomb, which was themed as “The Revolution vs. RomneyCare: Round One”, raised approximately $1.1 million.[61] A third moneybomb themed “Ready, Ames, Fire!” was executed on July 19, 2011 to provide support leading up to the Ames Straw Poll on August 13, 2011, raising over $550,000.[62]

In the second quarter of 2011, Paul’s campaign ranked second, behind Mitt Romney, in total dollars raised with $4.5 million.[63] This was $1.5 million more than his original goal of $3 million.[64] During that quarter, the Paul campaign had raised more money from military personnel than all other GOP candidates combined, and even more money than Barack Obama, a trend that has continued from Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign.[65]

A fourth moneybomb took place on Paul’s 76th birthday on August 20, 2011. It raised more than $1.8 million despite a cyber-attack against the site that took it down for several hours, after which the donation drive was extended for another twelve hours.[66]

A fifth moneybomb began on September 17, the date of the 224th anniversary of the creation of the United States Constitution. Continuing throughout the following day, it raised more than $1 million.[67] Shortly after the Constitution Day moneybomb, a sixth moneybomb, entitled “End of Quarter Push”, began on September 22 in an attempt to generate $1.5 million before the 3rd Quarter fundraising deadline.[68]

In the third quarter of 2011, Paul raised over $8 million.[8] A three-day moneybomb entitled “Black This Out” brought in more than $2.75 million in mid-October.[69][70]

On December 16, a moneybomb titled the “Tea Party MoneyBomb” took place and raised upwards of $4 million over a period of two days.[71]

Paul was also supported by a Super PAC, Endorse Liberty. By January 16, 2012, the PAC had spent $2.83 million promoting Paul’s campaign.[72]

In June 2011, online publisher Robin Koerner coined the term “Blue Republican” to refer to U.S. voters who consider themselves to be liberal or progressiveor who generally vote Democraticbut plan to register as Republicans and vote in the U.S. 2012 Republican presidential primaries for Paul. The phrase “Blue Republican” quickly spread after Koerner’s article “If You Love Peace, Become a ‘Blue Republican’ (Just for a Year)” was published in The Huffington Post on June 7. Social media entrepreneur Israel Anderson then promoted the term on Facebook, later teaming with Koerner to expand the movement.[73]

Five days after his original article coining the term, Koerner published a follow-up article on the term’s popularity: “‘Blue Republicans’: an Idea Whose Time Has Come.”[74] The article was shared on the social networking site Facebook more than 11,000 times by the time the second article was published.[75]

On June 21, 2011, Paul was the first 2012 Republican presidential candidate to sign the Cut, Cap, and Balance Pledge.[76] This pledge seeks commitments from politicians for changes of the debt limit, spending decreases, and taxation. The pledge also implores signers to endorse passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

During his previous presidential campaign, it was alleged by many supporters that there was a media blackout and suppression of coverage of Paul.[77] Similar allegations have arisen in the 2012 campaign and received some media coverage.[78]Politico columnist Roger Simon noted on CNN’s Reliable Sources that Paul has received considerably less coverage than Michele Bachmann, despite earning a close second to her at the Ames Straw Poll.[79] Simon later opined in Politico that the media was treating Paul unfairly.[80]

Comedian Jon Stewart similarly complained about the lack of coverage, despite Paul polling much better than candidates who received coverage. Stewart presented a montage of mainstream media clips that showed commentators ignoring, and two CNN correspondents admitting to suppressing, coverage of Paul.[81]Will Wilkinson opined in The Economist that “Ron Paul remains as willfully overlooked as an American war crime”, arguing that if Paul had won the Ames straw poll, it would have been written off as irrelevant, but since Bachmann had won, it was claimed to boost her campaign.[82] Other commentators noted that Paul has had success at past straw polls but has not turned that into broader success as a reason for the relative lack of media attention.[83]

Paul was asked in a Fox News interview “What are they [the media] afraid of?”[84] He answered “They don’t want to discuss my views, because I think they’re frightened by me challenging the status quo and the establishment.” Later, he continued on Piers Morgan Tonight: “They don’t want my views out therethey’re too dangerous … We want freedom, and we’re challenging the status quo. We want to end the war, we want a gold standard, and their view is that people just can’t handle all this freedom.”[85]

During the November 12 CBS/National Journal Debate, Paul was allocated 90 seconds speaking time. Paul’s campaign responded, saying, “Congressman Paul was only allocated 90 seconds of speaking in one televised hour. If we are to have an authentic national conversation on issues such as security and defense, we can and must do better to ensure that all voices are heard. CBS News, in their arrogance, may think they can choose the next president. Fortunately, the people of Iowa, New Hampshire, and across America get to vote and not the media elites.”[86]

Paul Mulshine a columnist with The Star-Ledger noted that the New York Times admitted to suppressing coverage of Paul. He quoted a column by Times editor Arthur Brisbane that said: “Early in the campaign, The Times decided to remain low key in its coverage of Ron Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman.”[87][88]

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found in August 2011 that Paul received substantially less coverage than other candidates in the 2012 race.[89][90][91][92] Pew released another study in October 2011 confirming that Paul has been receiving disproportionately low coverage in the media. Paul polled 6.09.8% during the study period, but only received 2% of media coverage, the lowest of all candidates. It also noted that Paul’s coverage among blogs was the most favorable of all candidates.[93] In January 2012, The Atlantic cited the weekly Pew study. They noted that despite steadily rising in the polls, Paul has been losing his share of press coverage, going from 34% in late-December 2011 to about 3% in mid-January 2012. They also noted a sharp drop in positive coverage and a small rise in negative.[94]

In June, a group of lawyers and legal experts filed a lawsuit[95][96] in the US District Court against the Republican National Committee and 55 state and territorial Republican party organizations for depriving Paul delegates of voice in the nominating process as required by law, and illegally coercing them to choose Mitt Romney as the party’s presidential nominee.[97] Supporters of the effort say there is “evidence that the voting rights of Ron Paul Republican delegates and voters have been violated by nearly every state GOP party and the RNC during the 2012 primary election phase.”

The plaintiffs claim that the party violated federal law by forcing delegates to sign loyalty affidavits, under threat of perjury, to vote for Mitt Romney, before an official nominee is selected. The suit alleged that there had been “a systematic campaign of election fraud at state conventions,” employing rigging of voting machines, ballot stuffing, and falsification of ballot totals. The suit further pointed to incidents at state conventions, including acts of violence and changes in procedural rules, allegedly intended to deny participation of Paul supporters in the party decision-making and to prevent votes from being cast for Paul. An attorney representing the complainants said that Paul campaign advisor Doug Wead had voiced support for the legal action.[97] Paul himself told CNN that although the lawsuit was not a part of his campaign’s strategy and that he had not been advising his supporters to sue, he was not going to tell his supporters not to sue, if they had a legitimate argument. “If they’re not following the rules, you have a right to stand up for the rules. I think for the most part these winning caucuses that we’ve been involved in we have followed the rules. And the other side has at times not followed the rules.”[98]

In August 2012, the lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge David Carter, who described most of the plaintiffs’ claims as vague and largely unintelligible. The judge said that the one intelligible claim they had lodgedthat the Massachusetts Republican Party had illegally excluded 17 elected state delegates from participating in the national convention because they had refused to commit to a particular nomineefailed because political parties have a right to exclude people from membership and leadership roles. The judge left the plaintiffs “a third and final opportunity” to amend their complaint.[99] The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint just days before the scheduled start of the convention.[100]

Despite ceasing most campaign activities, the Paul campaign did some fundraising in July 2012, in an attempt to fund the transportation expenses of Paul delegates traveling to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.[101] Paul said one of his goals at the convention was to “plant our flag and show that our Liberty movement is the future of the GOP”.[101] He also said he was expecting a conflict over “credentials” and the party’s platform.[101] As of late August, Paul’s pet issue of auditing the Federal Reserve is on the draft version of the Republican Party’s national platform.[102] Presumptive candidate Romney is calling for the plank’s final inclusion.[103]

Paul finished third in the Iowa Republican caucuses, held on January 3, 2012. While all of the votes have not yet been counted, he is behind leader Rick Santorum (24.56%, 29,839 votes), and second-place Mitt Romney (24.54%, 29,805 votes), with 21.43% of the vote (26,036 votes).[104][105] Paul has been projected to receive 7 delegates out of 28, as many as Mitt Romney and one less than Rick Santorum, making him tied for second place in the delegate count at the time.[106][107]

Paul placed second in the New Hampshire Republican primary, held on January 10, with 22.9% of the vote, behind Mitt Romney with 39.4%. He gained 3 delegates from this contest. In the South Carolina Republican primary on January 21, Paul placed fourth and gained no delegates. Paul also gained no delegates in the Florida Republican primary on January 31, after he did little campaigning in the state because of its “winner-take-all” delegate apportionment.

The Nevada Republican caucuses were held on February 4. Paul finished third behind Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney with 18.73% of the votes and 5 of the delegates, behind the winner Romney’s 50.02% and Gingrich’s 21.10%.[108] The Colorado and Minnesota Republican caucuses were held on February 7. In Colorado, Paul finished fourth with 11.77% behind Santorum (winner with 40.24%), Romney, and Gingrich. In Minnesota, Paul finished 2nd (27.1%) behind winner Rick Santorum (44.9%), with Romney (16.9%) and Gingrich (10.8%) placing 3rd and 4th.[109] A non-binding vote in the Missouri Republican primary was held on February 7 as well, and Paul got 12.2% of the vote. The primary did not apportion any delegates; that will be done at the Missouri caucuses, scheduled to begin on March 17.[citation needed]

On February 17, with 95% of precincts in the Maine Republican caucuses reporting, Paul was running second to Mitt Romney with 34.9% of the vote to Romney’s 39%.[110] Neither of the frontrunners have pressed for a recount, and the Maine Republican Party’s chairman has stated that recounts are impossible due to the votes being physically thrown away.[111]

The Michigan and Arizona Republican primaries were held on February 28. Paul came in third place in Michigan, with 11.9%; and fourth in Arizona, with 8.45%.

A large portion of the delegates for the Republican National Convention were awarded in March, which includes the Washington Republican caucuses on March 3, Super Tuesday on March 6, and several other states later in the month. Paul came in second in the Washington caucuses, with 24.81%. On March 10, he picked up one delegate in the U.S Virgin Islands Caucuses while Romney added four delegates to the three super-delegates previously known to support him.[112]

Paul received 1.23% of the vote in the Puerto Rico primary, coming in sixth, his lowest polling of any territory during the campaign.[113][114][115]

On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Paul said he forewent Secret Service protection because he considered it “a form of welfare” and that he believed he should pay for his own protection.[116]

The Paul campaign pursued a strategy of gathering support from state delegates as opposed to outright winning states.[117] For example, Paul had a strong showing in Romney’s home state, Massachusetts, with supporters getting the majority of delegates there (though they are compelled to vote for Romney in the first round), causing a battle between the Paul delegates, the Massachusetts Republican Party, and the Republican National Convention Committee.[118] A similar situation played out in Louisiana, with the Paul campaign initially winning 17 of 30 available delegates before procedural and legal challenges changed the allocation.[119] Paul also managed a delegate win in Nevada, with 88% of delegates supporting him.[120] Paul won 21 of 25 delegates in Iowa.[121]

On May 14, 2012, Paul announced that he would no longer actively campaign in states that have not held primaries, but rather focus on a strategy to secure delegates before the convention.[122] Paul remained active in the race through the 2012 Republican National Convention.[123] Leading up to the convention, he won bound-pluralities of the official delegations from the states of Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, and Oregon (but not the Virgin Islandsdespite winning the popular vote there). During the credentials committee meetings the week prior to the official opening of the convention, the Paul members of the delegations from Louisiana, Maine, and Oregon were disputed (as well as the Paul delegates from Massachusetts), and many of his delegates from those states were unseated. At the same time, Paul delegates from Oklahoma disputed the credentials of the official Oklahoma delegation, but they did not succeed. In the end, he had bound-pluralities from Iowa, Minnesota, and Nevada; however, he additionally had nomination-from-the-floor-pluralities in the states of Oregon and Alaska, plus the territory of the Virgin Islands. Under the 2012 rules, this total of 6 from-the-floor pluralities was sufficient to earn a fifteen-minute speech on national television; the rules were changed at the last minute to require 8 from-the-floor pluralities, and thus he did not speak at the convention.[124] Although he wasn’t named the 2012 Republican nominee, he did not officially end his campaign or endorse nominee Mitt Romney for president.[125][126] At the convention, he received second place with 8% of the delegates; Gingrich and Santorum had released their bound delegates to Romney the week before the official opening of the convention. Paul’s state-by-state delegates tallies were not verbally acknowledged by the RNC.

Paul would end the campaign with 118 delegates, coming in fourth behind Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney.”2012 Republican Delegates”.

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Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2012 – Wikipedia

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Space colonization – Wikipedia

Posted: November 14, 2016 at 11:33 am

Space colonization (also called space settlement, or extraterrestrial colonization) is permanent human habitation off the planet Earth.

Many arguments have been made for and against space colonization.[1] The two most common in favor of colonization are survival of human civilization and the biosphere in case of a planetary-scale disaster (natural or man-made), and the vast resources in space for expansion of human society. The most common objections to colonization include concerns that the commodification of the cosmos may be likely to enhance the interests of the already powerful, including major economic and military institutions, and to exacerbate pre-existing detrimental processes such as wars, economic inequality, and environmental degradation.[2][3]

No space colonies have been built so far. Currently, the building of a space colony would present a set of huge technological and economic challenges. Space settlements would have to provide for nearly all (or all) the material needs of hundreds or thousands of humans, in an environment out in space that is very hostile to human life. They would involve technologies, such as controlled ecological life support systems, that have yet to be developed in any meaningful way. They would also have to deal with the as yet unknown issue of how humans would behave and thrive in such places long-term. Because of the present cost of sending anything from the surface of the Earth into orbit (around $2,500 per-pound to orbit, expected to further decrease)[4] a space colony would currently be a massively expensive project.

There are yet no plans for building space colonies by any large-scale organization, either government or private. However, many proposals, speculations, and designs for space settlements have been made through the years, and a considerable number of space colonization advocates and groups are active. Several famous scientists, such as Freeman Dyson, have come out in favor of space settlement.[5]

On the technological front, there is ongoing progress in making access to space cheaper (reusable launch systems could reach $10 per-pound to orbit)[6] and in creating automated manufacturing and construction techniques.[7]

The primary argument calling for space colonization is the long-term survival of human civilization. By developing alternative locations off Earth, the planet’s species, including humans, could live on in the event of natural or man-made disasters on our own planet.

On two occasions, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has argued for space colonization as a means of saving humanity. In 2001, Hawking predicted that the human race would become extinct within the next thousand years, unless colonies could be established in space.[8] In 2006, he stated that humanity faces two options: either we colonize space within the next two hundred years and build residential units on other planets, or we will face the prospect of long-term extinction.[9]

In 2005, then NASA Administrator Michael Griffin identified space colonization as the ultimate goal of current spaceflight programs, saying:

…the goal isn’t just scientific exploration… it’s also about extending the range of human habitat out from Earth into the solar system as we go forward in time… In the long run a single-planet species will not survive… If we humans want to survive for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, we must ultimately populate other planets. Now, today the technology is such that this is barely conceivable. We’re in the infancy of it…. I’m talking about that one day, I don’t know when that day is, but there will be more human beings who live off the Earth than on it. We may well have people living on the Moon. We may have people living on the moons of Jupiter and other planets. We may have people making habitats on asteroids… I know that humans will colonize the solar system and one day go beyond.[10]

Louis J. Halle, formerly of the United States Department of State, wrote in Foreign Affairs (Summer 1980) that the colonization of space will protect humanity in the event of global nuclear warfare.[11] The physicist Paul Davies also supports the view that if a planetary catastrophe threatens the survival of the human species on Earth, a self-sufficient colony could “reverse-colonize” Earth and restore human civilization. The author and journalist William E. Burrows and the biochemist Robert Shapiro proposed a private project, the Alliance to Rescue Civilization, with the goal of establishing an off-Earth “backup” of human civilization.[12]

Based on his Copernican principle, J. Richard Gott has estimated that the human race could survive for another 7.8 million years, but it is not likely to ever colonize other planets. However, he expressed a hope to be proven wrong, because “colonizing other worlds is our best chance to hedge our bets and improve the survival prospects of our species”.[13]

Resources in space, both in materials and energy, are enormous. The Solar System alone has, according to different estimates, enough material and energy to support anywhere from several thousand to over a billion times that of the current Earth-based human population.[14][15][16] Outside the Solar System, several hundred billion other stars in the observable universe provide opportunities for both colonization and resource collection, though travel to any of them is impossible on any practical time-scale without the use of generation ships or revolutionary new methods of travel, such as faster-than-light (FTL) engines.

All these planets and other bodies offer a virtually endless supply of resources providing limitless growth potential. Harnessing these resources can lead to much economic development.[17]

Expansion of humans and technological progress has usually resulted in some form of environmental devastation, and destruction of ecosystems and their accompanying wildlife. In the past, expansion has often come at the expense of displacing many indigenous peoples, the resulting treatment of these peoples ranging anywhere from encroachment to full-blown genocide. Because space has no known life, this need not be a consequence, as some space settlement advocates have pointed out.[18][19]

Another argument for space colonization is to mitigate the negative effects of overpopulation.[clarification needed] If the resources of space were opened to use and viable life-supporting habitats were built, Earth would no longer define the limitations of growth. Although many of Earth’s resources are non-renewable, off-planet colonies could satisfy the majority of the planet’s resource requirements. With the availability of extraterrestrial resources, demand on terrestrial ones would decline.[20]

Additional goals cite the innate human drive to explore and discover, a quality recognized at the core of progress and thriving civilizations.[21][22]

Nick Bostrom has argued that from a utilitarian perspective, space colonization should be a chief goal as it would enable a very large population to live for a very long period of time (possibly billions of years), which would produce an enormous amount of utility (or happiness).[23] He claims that it is more important to reduce existential risks to increase the probability of eventual colonization than to accelerate technological development so that space colonization could happen sooner. In his paper, he assumes that the created lives will have positive ethical value despite the problem of suffering.

In a 2001 interview with Freeman Dyson, J.Richard Gott and Sid Goldstein, they were asked for reasons why some humans should live in space.[5] Their answers were:

There would be a very high initial investment cost for space colonies and any other permanent space infrastructure due to the high cost of getting into space. However, proponents argue that the long-term vision of developing space infrastructure will provide long-term benefits far in excess of the initial start-up costs.[citation needed]

Because current space launch costs are so high ($4,000 to $40,000 per kilogram), any serious plans for space colonization must include developing low-cost access to space followed by developing in-situ resource utilization. Therefore, the initial investments must be made in the development of low-cost access to space followed by an initial capacity to provide these necessities: materials, energy, propellant, communication, life support, radiation protection, self-replication, and population.[citation needed]

Although some items of the infrastructure requirements above can already be easily produced on Earth and would therefore not be very valuable as trade items (oxygen, water, base metal ores, silicates, etc.), other high value items are more abundant, more easily produced, of higher quality, or can only be produced in space. These would provide (over the long-term) a very high return on the initial investment in space infrastructure.[24]

Some of these high-value trade goods include precious metals,[25][26] gemstones,[27] power,[28] solar cells,[29] ball bearings,[29] semi-conductors,[29] and pharmaceuticals.[29]

…the smallest Earth-crossing asteroid 3554 Amun… is a mile-wide (2km) lump of iron, nickel, cobalt, platinum, and other metals; it contains 30 times as much metal as Humans have mined throughout history, although it is only the smallest of dozens of known metallic asteroids and worth perhaps US$ 20 trillion if mined slowly to meet demand at 2001 market prices.[25]

Space colonization is seen as a long-term goal of some national space programs. Since the advent of the 21st-century commercialization of space, which saw greater cooperation between NASA and the private sector, several private companies have announced plans toward the colonization of Mars. Among entrepreneurs leading the call for space colonization are Elon Musk, Dennis Tito and Bas Lansdorp.[30][31][32]

Potential sites for space colonies include the Moon, Mars, asteroids and free-floating space habitats. Ample quantities of all the necessary materials, such as solar energy and water, are available from or on the Moon, Mars, near-Earth asteroids or other planetary bodies.

The main impediments to commercial exploitation of these resources are the very high cost of initial investment,[33] the very long period required for the expected return on those investments (The Eros Project plans a 50-year development),[34] and the fact that the venture has never been carried out before the high-risk nature of the investment.

Major governments and well-funded corporations have announced plans for new categories of activities: space tourism and hotels, prototype space-based solar-power satellites, heavy-lift boosters and asteroid miningthat create needs and capabilities for humans to be present in space.[35][36][37]

There are two main types of space colonies:

There is considerable debate among space settlement advocates as to which type (and associated locations) represents the better option for expanding humanity into space.[citation needed]

Locations in space would necessitate a space habitat, also called space colony and orbital colony, or a space station which would be intended as a permanent settlement rather than as a simple waystation or other specialized facility. They would be literal “cities” in space, where people would live and work and raise families. Many designs have been proposed with varying degrees of realism by both science fiction authors and scientists. Such a space habitat could be isolated from the rest of humanity but near enough to Earth for help. This would test if thousands of humans can survive on their own before sending them beyond the reach of help.

Building colonies in space would require access to water, food, space, people, construction materials, energy, transportation, communications, life support, simulated gravity, radiation protection and capital investment. It is likely the colonies would be located near the necessary physical resources. The practice of space architecture seeks to transform spaceflight from a heroic test of human endurance to a normality within the bounds of comfortable experience. As is true of other frontier opening endeavors, the capital investment necessary for space colonization would probably come from the state,[38] an argument made by John Hickman[39] and Neil deGrasse Tyson.[40]

Colonies on the Moon, Mars, or asteroids could extract local materials. The Moon is deficient in volatiles such as argon, helium and compounds of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. The LCROSS impacter was targeted at the Cabeus crater which was chosen as having a high concentration of water for the Moon. A plume of material erupted in which some water was detected. Mission chief scientist Anthony Colaprete estimated that the Cabeus crater contains material with 1% water or possibly more.[41] Water ice should also be in other permanently shadowed craters near the lunar poles. Although helium is present only in low concentrations on the Moon, where it is deposited into regolith by the solar wind, an estimated million tons of He-3 exists over all.[42] It also has industrially significant oxygen, silicon, and metals such as iron, aluminum, and titanium.

Launching materials from Earth is expensive, so bulk materials for colonies could come from the Moon, a near-Earth object (NEO), Phobos, or Deimos. The benefits of using such sources include: a lower gravitational force, there is no atmospheric drag on cargo vessels, and there is no biosphere to damage. Many NEOs contain substantial amounts of metals. Underneath a drier outer crust (much like oil shale), some other NEOs are inactive comets which include billions of tons of water ice and kerogen hydrocarbons, as well as some nitrogen compounds.[43]

Farther out, Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids are thought to be rich in water ice and other volatiles.[44]

Recycling of some raw materials would almost certainly be necessary.

Solar energy in orbit is abundant, reliable, and is commonly used to power satellites today. There is no night in free space, and no clouds or atmosphere to block sunlight. Light intensity obeys an inverse-square law. So the solar energy available at distance d from the Sun is E = 1367/d2 W/m2, where d is measured in astronomical units (AU) and 1367 watts/m2 is the energy available at the distance of Earth’s orbit from the Sun, 1 AU.[45]

In the weightlessness and vacuum of space, high temperatures for industrial processes can easily be achieved in solar ovens with huge parabolic reflectors made of metallic foil with very lightweight support structures. Flat mirrors to reflect sunlight around radiation shields into living areas (to avoid line-of-sight access for cosmic rays, or to make the Sun’s image appear to move across their “sky”) or onto crops are even lighter and easier to build.

Large solar power photovoltaic cell arrays or thermal power plants would be needed to meet the electrical power needs of the settlers’ use. In developed nations on Earth, electrical consumption can average 1 kilowatt/person (or roughly 10 megawatt-hours per person per year.)[46] These power plants could be at a short distance from the main structures if wires are used to transmit the power, or much farther away with wireless power transmission.

A major export of the initial space settlement designs was anticipated to be large solar power satellites that would use wireless power transmission (phase-locked microwave beams or lasers emitting wavelengths that special solar cells convert with high efficiency) to send power to locations on Earth, or to colonies on the Moon or other locations in space. For locations on Earth, this method of getting power is extremely benign, with zero emissions and far less ground area required per watt than for conventional solar panels. Once these satellites are primarily built from lunar or asteroid-derived materials, the price of SPS electricity could be lower than energy from fossil fuel or nuclear energy; replacing these would have significant benefits such as elimination of greenhouse gases and nuclear waste from electricity generation.

However, the value of SPS power delivered wirelessly to other locations in space will typically be far higher than to locations on Earth. Otherwise, the means of generating the power would need to be included with these projects and pay the heavy penalty of Earth launch costs. Therefore, other than proposed demonstration projects for power delivered to Earth,[36] the first priority for SPS electricity is likely to be locations in space, such as communications satellites, fuel depots or “orbital tugboat” boosters transferring cargo and passengers between Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) and other orbits such as Geosynchronous orbit (GEO), lunar orbit or Highly-Eccentric Earth Orbit (HEEO).[47]:132

Nuclear power is sometimes proposed for colonies located on the Moon or on Mars, as the supply of solar energy is too discontinuous in these locations: The Moon has nights of two Earth weeks in duration. Mars has nights, relatively high gravity, and an atmosphere featuring large dust storms to cover and degrade solar panels. Also, Mars’ greater distance from the Sun (1.5 astronomical units, AU) translates into E/(1.52 = 2.25) only – the solar energy of Earth orbit.[48] Another method would be transmitting energy wirelessly to the lunar or Martian colonies from solar power satellites (SPSs) as described abovenote again that the difficulties of generating power in these locations make the relative advantages of SPSs much greater there than for power beamed to locations on Earth.

For both solar thermal and nuclear power generation in airless environments, such as the Moon and space, and to a lesser extent the very thin Martian atmosphere, one of the main difficulties is dispersing the inevitable heat generated. This requires fairly large radiator areas.

Transportation to orbit is often the limiting factor in space endeavours. To settle space, much cheaper launch vehicles are required, as well as a way to avoid serious damage to the atmosphere from the thousands, perhaps millions, of launches required.[citation needed] One possibility is the air-breathing hypersonic spaceplane under development by NASA and other organizations, both public and private. Other proposed projects include skyhooks, space elevators, mass drivers, launch loops, and StarTrams.

Transportation of large quantities of materials from the Moon, Phobos, Deimos, and near-Earth asteroids to orbital settlement construction sites is likely to be necessary.

Transportation using off-Earth resources for propellant in conventional rockets would be expected to massively reduce in-space transportation costs compared to the present day. Propellant launched from the Earth is likely to be prohibitively expensive for space colonization, even with improved space access costs.

Other technologies such as tether propulsion, VASIMR, ion drives, solar thermal rockets, solar sails, magnetic sails, electric sails, and nuclear thermal propulsion can all potentially help solve the problems of high transport cost once in space.

For lunar materials, one well-studied possibility is to build mass drivers to launch bulk materials to waiting settlements. Alternatively, lunar space elevators might be employed.

Lunar rovers and Mars rovers are common features of proposed colonies for those bodies. Space suits would likely be needed for excursions, maintenance, and safety.

Compared to the other requirements, communication is easy for orbit and the Moon. A great proportion of current terrestrial communications already passes through satellites. Yet, as colonies further from the Earth are considered, communication becomes more of a burden. Transmissions to and from Mars suffer from significant delays due to the finitude of the speed of light and the greatly varying distance between conjunction and oppositionthe lag will range between 7 and 44 minutesmaking real-time communication impractical. Other means of communication that do not require live interaction such as e-mail and voice mail systems should pose no problem.

In space settlements, a life support system must recycle or import all the nutrients without “crashing.” The closest terrestrial analogue to space life support is possibly that of a nuclear submarine. Nuclear submarines use mechanical life support systems to support humans for months without surfacing, and this same basic technology could presumably be employed for space use. However, nuclear submarines run “open loop”extracting oxygen from seawater, and typically dumping carbon dioxide overboard, although they recycle existing oxygen.[citation needed] Recycling of the carbon dioxide has been approached in the literature using the Sabatier process or the Bosch reaction.

Although a fully mechanistic life support system is conceivable, a closed ecological system is generally proposed for life support. The Biosphere 2 project in Arizona has shown that a complex, small, enclosed, man-made biosphere can support eight people for at least a year, although there were many problems. A year or so into the two-year mission oxygen had to be replenished, which strongly suggests that they achieved atmospheric closure.

The relationship between organisms, their habitat and the non-Earth environment can be:

A combination of the above technologies is also possible.

Cosmic rays and solar flares create a lethal radiation environment in space. In Earth orbit, the Van Allen belts make living above the Earth’s atmosphere difficult. To protect life, settlements must be surrounded by sufficient mass to absorb most incoming radiation, unless magnetic or plasma radiation shields were developed.[51]

Passive mass shielding of four metric tons per square meter of surface area will reduce radiation dosage to several mSv or less annually, well below the rate of some populated high natural background areas on Earth.[52] This can be leftover material (slag) from processing lunar soil and asteroids into oxygen, metals, and other useful materials. However, it represents a significant obstacle to maneuvering vessels with such massive bulk (mobile spacecraft being particularly likely to use less massive active shielding).[51] Inertia would necessitate powerful thrusters to start or stop rotation, or electric motors to spin two massive portions of a vessel in opposite senses. Shielding material can be stationary around a rotating interior.

Space manufacturing could enable self-replication. Some think it the ultimate goal because it allows an exponential increase in colonies, while eliminating costs to and dependence on Earth.[53] It could be argued that the establishment of such a colony would be Earth’s first act of self-replication.[54] Intermediate goals include colonies that expect only information from Earth (science, engineering, entertainment) and colonies that just require periodic supply of light weight objects, such as integrated circuits, medicines, genetic material and tools.

The monotony and loneliness that comes from a prolonged space mission can leave astronauts susceptible to cabin fever or having a psychotic break. Moreover, lack of sleep, fatigue, and work overload can affect an astronaut’s ability to perform well in an environment such as space where every action is critical.[55]

In 2002, the anthropologist John H. Moore estimated that a population of 150180 would permit a stable society to exist for 60 to 80 generations equivalent to 2000 years.

A much smaller initial population of as little as two women should be viable as long as human embryos are available from Earth. Use of a sperm bank from Earth also allows a smaller starting base with negligible inbreeding.

Researchers in conservation biology have tended to adopt the “50/500” rule of thumb initially advanced by Franklin and Soule. This rule says a short-term effective population size (Ne) of 50 is needed to prevent an unacceptable rate of inbreeding, whereas a longterm Ne of 500 is required to maintain overall genetic variability. The Ne=50 prescription corresponds to an inbreeding rate of 1% per generation, approximately half the maximum rate tolerated by domestic animal breeders. The Ne=500 value attempts to balance the rate of gain in genetic variation due to mutation with the rate of loss due to genetic drift.

Location is a frequent point of contention between space colonization advocates. The location of colonization can be on a physical body or free-flying:

Compared to other locations, Earth orbit has substantial advantages and one major, but solvable, problem. Orbits close to Earth can be reached in hours, whereas the Moon is days away and trips to Mars take months. There is ample continuous solar power in high Earth orbits. The level of (pseudo-) gravity can be controlled at any desired level by rotating an orbital colony.

The main disadvantage of orbital colonies is lack of materials. These may be expensively imported from the Earth, or more cheaply from extraterrestrial sources, such as the Moon (which has ample metals, silicon, and oxygen), near-Earth asteroids, comets, or elsewhere. As of 2016[update], the International Space Station provides a temporary, yet still non-autonomous, human presence in low Earth orbit.

Due to its proximity and familiarity, Earth’s Moon is discussed as a target for colonization. It has the benefits of proximity to Earth and lower escape velocity, allowing for easier exchange of goods and services. A drawback of the Moon is its low abundance of volatiles necessary for life such as hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon. Water-ice deposits that exist in some polar craters could serve as a source for these elements. An alternative solution is to bring hydrogen from near-Earth asteroids and combine it with oxygen extracted from lunar rock.

The Moon’s low surface gravity is also a concern, as it is unknown whether 1/6g is enough to maintain human health for long periods.

Another near-Earth possibility are the five EarthMoon Lagrange points. Although they would generally also take a few days to reach with current technology, many of these points would have near-continuous solar power because their distance from Earth would result in only brief and infrequent eclipses of light from the Sun. However, the fact that the EarthMoon Lagrange points L4 and L5 tend to collect dust and debris, whereas L1-L3 require active station-keeping measures to maintain a stable position, make them somewhat less suitable places for habitation than was originally believed. Additionally, the orbit of L2L5 takes them out of the protection of the Earth’s magnetosphere for approximately two-thirds of the time, exposing them to the health threat from cosmic rays.

The five EarthSun Lagrange points would totally eliminate eclipses, but only L1 and L2 would be reachable in a few days’ time. The other three EarthSun points would require months to reach.

Many small asteroids in orbit around the Sun have the advantage that they pass closer than Earth’s moon several times per decade. In between these close approaches to home, the asteroid may travel out to a furthest distance of some 350,000,000 kilometers from the Sun (its aphelion) and 500,000,000 kilometers from Earth.

The surface of Mars is about the same size as the dry land surface of Earth. The ice in Mars’ south polar cap, if spread over the planet, would be a layer 12 meters (39 feet) thick[56] and there is carbon (locked as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere).

Mars may have gone through similar geological and hydrological processes as Earth and therefore might contain valuable mineral ores. Equipment is available to extract in situ resources (e.g. water, air) from the Martian ground and atmosphere. There is interest in colonizing Mars in part because life could have existed on Mars at some point in its history, and may even still exist in some parts of the planet.[citation needed]

However, its atmosphere is very thin (averaging 800 Pa or about 0.8% of Earth sea-level atmospheric pressure); so the pressure vessels necessary to support life are very similar to deep-space structures. The climate of Mars is colder than Earth’s. The dust storms block out most of the sun’s light for a month or more at a time. Its gravity is only around a third that of Earth’s; it is unknown whether this is sufficient to support human beings for extended periods (all long-term human experience to date has been at around Earth gravity, or one g).

The atmosphere is thin enough, when coupled with Mars’ lack of magnetic field, that radiation is more intense on the surface, and protection from solar storms would require radiation shielding.

Terraforming Mars would make life outside pressure vessels on the surface possible. There is some discussion of it actually being done.[citation needed]

The moons of Mars may be a target for space colonization. Low delta-v is needed to reach Earth from Phobos and Deimos, allowing delivery of material to cislunar space, as well as transport around the Martian system. The moons themselves may be suitable for habitation, with methods similar to those for asteroids.

While the surface of Venus is far too hot and features atmospheric pressure at least 90 times that at sea level on Earth, its massive atmosphere offers a possible alternate location for colonization. At an altitude of approximately 50km, the pressure is reduced to a few atmospheres, and the temperature would be between 40100C, depending on the altitude. This part of the atmosphere is probably within dense clouds which contain some sulfuric acid. Even these may have a certain benefit to colonization, as they present a possible source for the extraction of water.

Because of Mercury’s extremely small axial tilt, there is a suggestion that Mercury’s polar regions could be colonized using the same technology, approach, and equipment that is used in colonizing the Moon. Polar colonies on Mercury would avoid the extreme daytime temperatures elsewhere on the planetthe temperatures on the poles are consistently below 93C (135F). Moreover, “Mercurys very low axial tilt (0.034) means that its polar regions are permanently shaded and cold enough to contain water ice.”[57]

Observations of Mercury’s polar regions by radar from Earth and the MESSENGER spacecraft have been consistent with water ice and/or other frozen volatiles being present in permanently shadowed areas of craters in Mercury’s polar regions.[58] Measurements of Mercury’s exosphere, which is practically a vacuum, revealed more ions derived from water than scientists had expected.[59] These volatiles would be available to hypothetical future colonists of Mercury.[57]

Compared on the Moon, solar panels on Mercury would be exposed to far more energythe intensity ranges from approximately four and a half times to more than ten times the intensity at one astronomical unit. In addition, the solar energy available to a colony on Mercury would never be blocked by an eclipse. On the other hand, it would need to deal with the far greater variance of solar intensity, which is a product of the planet’s highly elliptical orbit.[57]

Colonization of asteroids would require space habitats. The asteroid belt has significant overall material available, the largest object being Ceres, although it is thinly distributed as it covers a vast region of space. Unmanned supply craft should be practical with little technological advance, even crossing 1/2 billion kilometers of cold vacuum. The colonists would have a strong interest in assuring that their asteroid did not hit Earth or any other body of significant mass, but would have extreme difficulty in moving an asteroid of any size. The orbits of the Earth and most asteroids are very distant from each other in terms of delta-v and the asteroidal bodies have enormous momentum. Rockets or mass drivers can perhaps be installed on asteroids to direct their path into a safe course.

Ceres is a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, comprising about one third the mass of the whole belt and being the sixth largest body in the inner Solar System by mass and volume. Ceres has a surface area somewhat larger than Argentina. Being the largest body in the asteroid belt, Ceres could become the main base and transport hub for future asteroid mining infrastructure, allowing mineral resources to be transported further to Mars, the Moon and Earth. See further: Main-Belt Asteroids. It may be possible to paraterraform Ceres, making life easier for the colonists. Given its low gravity and fast rotation, a space elevator would also be practical.

The Artemis Project designed a plan to colonize Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Scientists were to inhabit igloos and drill down into the Europan ice crust, exploring any sub-surface ocean. This plan discusses possible use of “air pockets” for human habitation. Europa is considered one of the more habitable bodies in the Solar System and so merits investigation as a possible abode for life.

Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System. It may be attractive as Ganymede is the only moon with a magnetosphere and so is less irradiated at the surface. The presence of magnetosphere, likely indicates a convecting molten core within Ganymede, which may in turn indicate a rich geologic history for the moon.

NASA performed a study called HOPE (Revolutionary Concepts for Human Outer Planet Exploration) regarding the future exploration of the Solar System.[60] The target chosen was Callisto due to its distance from Jupiter, and thus the planet’s harmful radiation. It could be possible to build a surface base that would produce fuel for further exploration of the Solar System.

The three out of four largest moons of Jupiter (Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) have an abundance of volatiles making future colonization possible.

Titan is suggested as a target for colonization,[61] because it is the only moon in the Solar System to have a dense atmosphere and is rich in carbon-bearing compounds.[62]Robert Zubrin identified Titan as possessing an abundance of all the elements necessary to support life, making Titan perhaps the most advantageous locale in the outer Solar System for colonization, and saying “In certain ways, Titan is the most hospitable extraterrestrial world within our solar system for human colonization”.

Enceladus is a small, icy moon orbiting close to Saturn, notable for its extremely bright surface and the geyser-like plumes of ice and water vapor that erupt from its southern polar region. If Enceladus has liquid water, it joins Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa as one of the prime places in the Solar System to look for extraterrestrial life and possible future settlements.

Other large satellites: Rhea, Iapetus, Dione, Tethys, and Mimas, all have large quantities of volatiles, which can be used to support settlement.

Although they are very cold, the five large moons of Uranus (Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon) and TritonNeptune’s largest moonhave large amounts of frozen water and other volatiles and could potentially be settled. However, habitats there would require a lot of nuclear power to sustain a habitable temperature. Triton’s thin atmosphere also contains some nitrogen and even some frozen nitrogen on the surface (the surface temperature is 38 K or about -391Fahrenheit).

The Kuiper belt is estimated to have 70,000 bodies of 100km or larger.

Freeman Dyson has suggested that within a few centuries human civilization will have relocated to the Kuiper belt.[63]

The Oort cloud is estimated to have up to a trillion comets.

Statites or “static satellites” employ solar sails to position themselves in orbits that gravity alone could not accomplish. Such a solar sail colony would be free to ride solar radiation pressure and travel off the ecliptic plane. Navigational computers with an advanced understanding of flocking behavior could organize several statite colonies into the beginnings of the true “swarm” concept of a Dyson sphere.

It may be possible to colonize the three farthest giant planets that is, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune with floating cities in their atmospheres. By heating hydrogen balloons, large masses can be suspended underneath at roughly Earth-like gravity. A human colony on Jupiter would be less practical due to its high gravity, escape velocity, and radiation. Such colonies could export helium-3 for use in fusion reactors if they ever become operational. Escape from the giant planets, especially Jupiter, seems well beyond current or near-term foreseeable chemical-rocket technology due to the combination of large velocity and high acceleration needed to even achieve low orbit.

Looking beyond the Solar System, there are up to several hundred billion potential stars with possible colonization targets. The main difficulty is the vast distances to other stars: roughly a hundred thousand times further away than the planets in the Solar System. This means that some combination of very high speed (some percentage of the speed of light), or travel times lasting centuries or millennia, would be required. These speeds are far beyond what current spacecraft propulsion systems can provide.

Many scientific papers have been published about interstellar travel. Given sufficient travel time and engineering work, both unmanned and generational voyages seem possible, though representing a very considerable technological and economic challenge unlikely to be met for some time, particularly for manned probes.[citation needed]

Space colonization technology could in principle allow human expansion at high, but sub-relativistic speeds, substantially less than the speed of light, c. An interstellar colony ship would be similar to a space habitat, with the addition of major propulsion capabilities and independent energy generation.

Hypothetical starship concepts proposed both by scientists and in hard science fiction include:

The above concepts all appear limited to high, but still sub-relativistic speeds, due to fundamental energy and reaction mass considerations, and all would entail trip times which might be enabled by space colonization technology, permitting self-contained habitats with lifetimes of decades to centuries. Yet human interstellar expansion at average speeds of even 0.1% of c would permit settlement of the entire Galaxy in less than one half of a galactic rotation period of ~250,000,000 years, which is comparable to the timescale of other galactic processes. Thus, even if interstellar travel at near relativistic speeds is never feasible (which cannot be clearly determined at this time), the development of space colonization could allow human expansion beyond the Solar System without requiring technological advances that cannot yet be reasonably foreseen. This could greatly improve the chances for the survival of intelligent life over cosmic timescales, given the many natural and human-related hazards that have been widely noted.

If humanity does gain access to a large amount of energy, on the order of the mass-energy of entire planets, it may eventually become feasible to construct Alcubierre drives. These are one of the few methods of superluminal travel which may be possible under current physics.

Looking beyond the Milky Way, there are about 100 billion other galaxies in the observable universe. The distances between galaxies are on the order of a million times further than those between the stars. Because of the speed of light limit on how fast any material objects can travel in space, intergalactic travel would either have to involve voyages lasting millions of years,[64] or a possible faster than light propulsion method based on speculative physics, such as the Alcubierre drive. There are, however, no scientific reasons for stating that intergalactic travel is impossible in principle.

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Space colonization – Wikipedia

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Automation – Wikipedia

Posted: October 20, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Automation[1] or automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on tele phone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated. In modern days, it is also used in our homes. Smart home system is one of the every day application [2]

The biggest benefit of automation is that it saves labor; however, it is also used to save energy and materials and to improve quality, accuracy and precision.

The term automation, inspired by the earlier word automatic (coming from automaton), was not widely used before 1947, when Ford established an automation department.[1] It was during this time that industry was rapidly adopting feedback controllers, which were introduced in the 1930s.[3]

Automation has been achieved by various means including mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, electronic devices and computers, usually in combination. Complicated systems, such as modern factories, airplanes and ships typically use all these combined techniques.

Fundamentally, there are two types of control loop; open loop control, and closed loop (feedback) control.

In open loop control, the control action from the controller is independent of the “process output” (or “controlled process variable”). A good example of this is a central heating boiler controlled only by a timer, so that heat is applied for a constant time, regardless of the temperature of the building. (The control action is the switching on/off of the boiler. The process output is the building temperature).

In closed loop control, the control action from the controller is dependent on the process output. In the case of the boiler analogy this would include a thermostat to monitor the building temperature, and thereby feed back a signal to ensure the controller maintains the building at the temperature set on the thermostat. A closed loop controller therefore has a feedback loop which ensures the controller exerts a control action to give a process output the same as the “Reference input” or “set point”. For this reason, closed loop controllers are also called feedback controllers.[4]

The definition of a closed loop control system according to the British Standard Institution is ‘a control system possessing monitoring feedback, the deviation signal formed as a result of this feedback being used to control the action of a final control element in such a way as to tend to reduce the deviation to zero.’ ” [5]

Likewise; “A Feedback Control System is a system which tends to maintain a prescribed relationship of one system variable to another by comparing functions of these variables and using the difference as a means of control.'”[6]

The advanced type of automation that revolutionized manufacturing, aircraft, communications and other industries, is feedback control, which is usually continuous and involves taking measurements using a sensor and making calculated adjustments to keep the measured variable within a set range. [7] The theoretical basis of closed loop automation is control theory.

The control action is the form of the controller output action.

One of the simplest types of control is on-off control. An example is the thermostat used on household appliances which either opens or closes an electrical contact. (Thermostats were originally developed as true feedback-control mechanisms rather than the on-off common household appliance thermostat.)

Sequence control, in which a programmed sequence of discrete operations is performed, often based on system logic that involves system states. An elevator control system is an example of sequence control.

A proportionalintegralderivative controller (PID controller) is a control loop feedback mechanism (controller) widely used in industrial control systems.

A PID controller continuously calculates an error value e ( t ) {displaystyle e(t)} as the difference between a desired setpoint and a measured process variable and applies a correction based on proportional, integral, and derivative terms, respectively (sometimes denoted P, I, and D) which give their name to the controller type.

The theoretical understanding and application dates from the 1920s, and they are implemented in nearly all analogue control systems; originally in mechanical controllers, and then using discrete electronics and latterly in industrial process computers.

Sequential control may be either to a fixed sequence or to a logical one that will perform different actions depending on various system states. An example of an adjustable but otherwise fixed sequence is a timer on a lawn sprinkler.

States refer to the various conditions that can occur in a use or sequence scenario of the system. An example is an elevator, which uses logic based on the system state to perform certain actions in response to its state and operator input. For example, if the operator presses the floor n button, the system will respond depending on whether the elevator is stopped or moving, going up or down, or if the door is open or closed, and other conditions.[8]

An early development of sequential control was relay logic, by which electrical relays engage electrical contacts which either start or interrupt power to a device. Relays were first used in telegraph networks before being developed for controlling other devices, such as when starting and stopping industrial-sized electric motors or opening and closing solenoid valves. Using relays for control purposes allowed event-driven control, where actions could be triggered out of sequence, in response to external events. These were more flexible in their response than the rigid single-sequence cam timers. More complicated examples involved maintaining safe sequences for devices such as swing bridge controls, where a lock bolt needed to be disengaged before the bridge could be moved, and the lock bolt could not be released until the safety gates had already been closed.

The total number of relays, cam timers and drum sequencers can number into the hundreds or even thousands in some factories. Early programming techniques and languages were needed to make such systems manageable, one of the first being ladder logic, where diagrams of the interconnected relays resembled the rungs of a ladder. Special computers called programmable logic controllers were later designed to replace these collections of hardware with a single, more easily re-programmed unit.

In a typical hard wired motor start and stop circuit (called a control circuit) a motor is started by pushing a “Start” or “Run” button that activates a pair of electrical relays. The “lock-in” relay locks in contacts that keep the control circuit energized when the push button is released. (The start button is a normally open contact and the stop button is normally closed contact.) Another relay energizes a switch that powers the device that throws the motor starter switch (three sets of contacts for three phase industrial power) in the main power circuit. Large motors use high voltage and experience high in-rush current, making speed important in making and breaking contact. This can be dangerous for personnel and property with manual switches. The “lock in” contacts in the start circuit and the main power contacts for the motor are held engaged by their respective electromagnets until a “stop” or “off” button is pressed, which de-energizes the lock in relay.[9]

Commonly interlocks are added to a control circuit. Suppose that the motor in the example is powering machinery that has a critical need for lubrication. In this case an interlock could be added to insure that the oil pump is running before the motor starts. Timers, limit switches and electric eyes are other common elements in control circuits.

Solenoid valves are widely used on compressed air or hydraulic fluid for powering actuators on mechanical components. While motors are used to supply continuous rotary motion, actuators are typically a better choice for intermittently creating a limited range of movement for a mechanical component, such as moving various mechanical arms, opening or closing valves, raising heavy press rolls, applying pressure to presses.

Computers can perform both sequential control and feedback control, and typically a single computer will do both in an industrial application. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are a type of special purpose microprocessor that replaced many hardware components such as timers and drum sequencers used in relay logic type systems. General purpose process control computers have increasingly replaced stand alone controllers, with a single computer able to perform the operations of hundreds of controllers. Process control computers can process data from a network of PLCs, instruments and controllers in order to implement typical (such as PID) control of many individual variables or, in some cases, to implement complex control algorithms using multiple inputs and mathematical manipulations. They can also analyze data and create real time graphical displays for operators and run reports for operators, engineers and management.

Control of an automated teller machine (ATM) is an example of an interactive process in which a computer will perform a logic derived response to a user selection based on information retrieved from a networked database. The ATM process has similarities with other online transaction processes. The different logical responses are called scenarios. Such processes are typically designed with the aid of use cases and flowcharts, which guide the writing of the software code.

The earliest feedback control mechanism was the thermostat invented in 1620 by the Dutch scientist Cornelius Drebbel. (Note: Early thermostats were temperature regulators or controlers rather than the on-off mechanisms common in household appliances.) Another control mechanism was used to tent the sails of windmills. It was patented by Edmund Lee in 1745.[10] Also in 1745, Jacques de Vaucanson invented the first automated loom.

In 1771 Richard Arkwright invented the first fully automated spinning mill driven by water power, known at the time as the water frame.[11]

The centrifugal governor, which was invented by Christian Huygens in the seventeenth century, was used to adjust the gap between millstones.[12][13][14] The centrifugal governor was also used in the automatic flour mill developed by Oliver Evans in 1785, making it the first completely automated industrial process.[citation needed] The governor was adopted by James Watt for use on a steam engine in 1788 after Watts partner Boulton saw one at a flour mill Boulton & Watt were building.[10]

The governor could not actually hold a set speed; the engine would assume a new constant speed in response to load changes. The governor was able to handle smaller variations such as those caused by fluctuating heat load to the boiler. Also, there was a tendency for oscillation whenever there was a speed change. As a consequence, engines equipped with this governor were not suitable for operations requiring constant speed, such as cotton spinning.[10]

Several improvements to the governor, plus improvements to valve cut-off timing on the steam engine, made the engine suitable for most industrial uses before the end of the 19th century. Advances in the steam engine stayed well ahead of science, both thermodynamics and control theory.[10]

The governor received relatively little scientific attention until James Clerk Maxwell published a paper that established the beginning of a theoretical basis for understanding control theory. Development of the electronic amplifier during the 1920s, which was important for long distance telephony, required a higher signal to noise ratio, which was solved by negative feedback noise cancellation. This and other telephony applications contributed to control theory. Military applications during the Second World War that contributed to and benefited from control theory were fire-control systems and aircraft controls. The word “automation” itself was coined in the 1940s by General Electric.[15] The so-called classical theoretical treatment of control theory dates to the 1940s and 1950s.[7]

Relay logic was introduced with factory electrification, which underwent rapid adaption from 1900 though the 1920s. Central electric power stations were also undergoing rapid growth and operation of new high pressure boilers, steam turbines and electrical substations created a large demand for instruments and controls.

Central control rooms became common in the 1920s, but as late as the early 1930s, most process control was on-off. Operators typically monitored charts drawn by recorders that plotted data from instruments. To make corrections, operators manually opened or closed valves or turned switches on or off. Control rooms also used color coded lights to send signals to workers in the plant to manually make certain changes.[16]

Controllers, which were able to make calculated changes in response to deviations from a set point rather than on-off control, began being introduced the 1930s. Controllers allowed manufacturing to continue showing productivity gains to offset the declining influence of factory electrification.[17]

Factory productivity was greatly increased by electrification in the 1920s. Manufacturing productivity growth fell from 5.2%/yr 1919-29 to 2.76%/yr 1929-41. Field notes that spending on non-medical instruments increased significantly from 192933 and remained strong thereafter.

In 1959 Texacos Port Arthur refinery became the first chemical plant to use digital control.[18] Conversion of factories to digital control began to spread rapidly in the 1970s as the price of computer hardware fell.

The automatic telephone switchboard was introduced in 1892 along with dial telephones.[19] By 1929, 31.9% of the Bell system was automatic. Automatic telephone switching originally used vacuum tube amplifiers and electro-mechanical switches, which consumed a large amount of electricity. Call volume eventually grew so fast that it was feared the telephone system would consume all electricity production, prompting Bell Labs to begin research on the transistor.[20]

The logic performed by telephone switching relays was the inspiration for the digital computer. The first commercially successful glass bottle blowing machine was an automatic model introduced in 1905.[21] The machine, operated by a two-man crew working 12-hour shifts, could produce 17,280 bottles in 24 hours, compared to 2,880 bottles made by a crew of six men and boys working in a shop for a day. The cost of making bottles by machine was 10 to 12 cents per gross compared to $1.80 per gross by the manual glassblowers and helpers.

Sectional electric drives were developed using control theory. Sectional electric drives are used on different sections of a machine where a precise differential must be maintained between the sections. In steel rolling, the metal elongates as it passes through pairs of rollers, which must run at successively faster speeds. In paper making the paper sheet shrinks as it passes around steam heated drying arranged in groups, which must run at successively slower speeds. The first application of a sectional electric drive was on a paper machine in 1919.[22] One of the most important developments in the steel industry during the 20th century was continuous wide strip rolling, developed by Armco in 1928.[23]

Before automation many chemicals were made in batches. In 1930, with the widespread use of instruments and the emerging use of controllers, the founder of Dow Chemical Co. was advocating continuous production.[24]

Self-acting machine tools that displaced hand dexterity so they could be operated by boys and unskilled laborers were developed by James Nasmyth in the 1840s.[25]Machine tools were automated with Numerical control (NC) using punched paper tape in the 1950s. This soon evolved into computerized numerical control (CNC).

Today extensive automation is practiced in practically every type of manufacturing and assembly process. Some of the larger processes include electrical power generation, oil refining, chemicals, steel mills, plastics, cement plants, fertilizer plants, pulp and paper mills, automobile and truck assembly, aircraft production, glass manufacturing, natural gas separation plants, food and beverage processing, canning and bottling and manufacture of various kinds of parts. Robots are especially useful in hazardous applications like automobile spray painting. Robots are also used to assemble electronic circuit boards. Automotive welding is done with robots and automatic welders are used in applications like pipelines.

The main advantages of automation are:

The following methods are often employed to improve productivity, quality, or robustness.

The main disadvantages of automation are:

In manufacturing, the purpose of automation has shifted to issues broader than productivity, cost, and time.

Lights out manufacturing is when a production system is 100% or near to 100% automated (not hiring any workers). In order to eliminate the need for labor costs altogether.

The costs of automation to the environment are different depending on the technology, product or engine automated. There are automated engines that consume more energy resources from the Earth in comparison with previous engines and those that do the opposite[clarification needed] too.[citation needed] Hazardous operations, such as oil refining, the manufacturing of industrial chemicals, and all forms of metal working, were always early contenders for automation.[dubious discuss][citation needed]

Another major shift in automation is the increased demand for flexibility and convertibility in manufacturing processes. Manufacturers are increasingly demanding the ability to easily switch from manufacturing Product A to manufacturing Product B without having to completely rebuild the production lines. Flexibility and distributed processes have led to the introduction of Automated Guided Vehicles with Natural Features Navigation.

Digital electronics helped too. Former analogue-based instrumentation was replaced by digital equivalents which can be more accurate and flexible, and offer greater scope for more sophisticated configuration, parametrization and operation. This was accompanied by the fieldbus revolution which provided a networked (i.e. a single cable) means of communicating between control systems and field level instrumentation, eliminating hard-wiring.

Discrete manufacturing plants adopted these technologies fast. The more conservative process industries with their longer plant life cycles have been slower to adopt and analogue-based measurement and control still dominates. The growing use of Industrial Ethernet on the factory floor is pushing these trends still further, enabling manufacturing plants to be integrated more tightly within the enterprise, via the internet if necessary. Global competition has also increased demand for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems.

Engineers can now have numerical control over automated devices. The result has been a rapidly expanding range of applications and human activities. Computer-aided technologies (or CAx) now serve as the basis for mathematical and organizational tools used to create complex systems. Notable examples of CAx include Computer-aided design (CAD software) and Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM software). The improved design, analysis, and manufacture of products enabled by CAx has been beneficial for industry.[27]

Information technology, together with industrial machinery and processes, can assist in the design, implementation, and monitoring of control systems. One example of an industrial control system is a programmable logic controller (PLC). PLCs are specialized hardened computers which are frequently used to synchronize the flow of inputs from (physical) sensors and events with the flow of outputs to actuators and events.[28]

Human-machine interfaces (HMI) or computer human interfaces (CHI), formerly known as man-machine interfaces, are usually employed to communicate with PLCs and other computers. Service personnel who monitor and control through HMIs can be called by different names. In industrial process and manufacturing environments, they are called operators or something similar. In boiler houses and central utilities departments they are called stationary engineers.[29]

Different types of automation tools exist:

When it comes to Factory Automation, Host Simulation Software (HSS) is a commonly used testing tool that is used to test the equipment software. HSS is used to test equipment performance with respect to Factory Automation standards (timeouts, response time, processing time).[30]

Many roles for humans in industrial processes presently lie beyond the scope of automation. Human-level pattern recognition, language comprehension, and language production ability are well beyond the capabilities of modern mechanical and computer systems (but see Watson (computer)). Tasks requiring subjective assessment or synthesis of complex sensory data, such as scents and sounds, as well as high-level tasks such as strategic planning, currently require human expertise. In many cases, the use of humans is more cost-effective than mechanical approaches even where automation of industrial tasks is possible. Overcoming these obstacles is a theorized path to post-scarcity economics.

The Paradox of Automation says that the more efficient the automated system, the more crucial the human contribution of the operators. Humans are less involved, but their involvement becomes more critical.

If an automated system has an error, it will multiply that error until its fixed or shut down. This is where human operators come in.[31]

A fatal example of this was Air France Flight 447, where a failure of automation put the pilots into a manual situation they were not prepared for.[32]

Food and drink

The food retail industry has started to apply automation to the ordering process; McDonald’s has introduced touch screen ordering and payment systems in many of its restaurants, reducing the need for as many cashier employees.[33]The University of Texas at Austin has introduced fully automated cafe retail locations.[34] Some Cafes and restaurants have utilized mobile and tablet “apps” to make the ordering process more efficient by customers ordering and paying on their device.[35][spamlink?][36] Some restaurants have automated food delivery to customers tables using a Conveyor belt system. The use of robots is sometimes employed to replace waiting staff.[37]

Stores

Many Supermarkets and even smaller stores are rapidly introducing Self checkout systems reducing the need for employing checkout workers.

Online shopping could be considered a form of automated retail as the payment and checkout are through an automated Online transaction processing system. Other forms of automation can also be an integral part of online shopping, for example the deployment of automated warehouse robotics such as that applied by Amazon using Kiva Systems.

Involves the removal of human labor from the mining process.[38] The mining industry is currently in the transition towards Automation. Currently it can still require a large amount of human capital, particularly in the third world where labor costs are low so there is less incentive for increasing efficiency through automation.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started the research and development of automated visual surveillance and monitoring (VSAM) program, between 1997 and 1999, and airborne video surveillance (AVS) programs, from 1998 to 2002. Currently, there is a major effort underway in the vision community to develop a fully automated tracking surveillance system. Automated video surveillance monitors people and vehicles in real time within a busy environment. Existing automated surveillance systems are based on the environment they are primarily designed to observe, i.e., indoor, outdoor or airborne, the amount of sensors that the automated system can handle and the mobility of sensor, i.e., stationary camera vs. mobile camera. The purpose of a surveillance system is to record properties and trajectories of objects in a given area, generate warnings or notify designated authority in case of occurrence of particular events.[39]

As demands for safety and mobility have grown and technological possibilities have multiplied, interest in automation has grown. Seeking to accelerate the development and introduction of fully automated vehicles and highways, the United States Congress authorized more than $650 million over six years for intelligent transport systems (ITS) and demonstration projects in the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). Congress legislated in ISTEA that “the Secretary of Transportation shall develop an automated highway and vehicle prototype from which future fully automated intelligent vehicle-highway systems can be developed. Such development shall include research in human factors to ensure the success of the man-machine relationship. The goal of this program is to have the first fully automated highway roadway or an automated test track in operation by 1997. This system shall accommodate installation of equipment in new and existing motor vehicles.” [ISTEA 1991, part B, Section 6054(b)].

Full automation commonly defined as requiring no control or very limited control by the driver; such automation would be accomplished through a combination of sensor, computer, and communications systems in vehicles and along the roadway. Fully automated driving would, in theory, allow closer vehicle spacing and higher speeds, which could enhance traffic capacity in places where additional road building is physically impossible, politically unacceptable, or prohibitively expensive. Automated controls also might enhance road safety by reducing the opportunity for driver error, which causes a large share of motor vehicle crashes. Other potential benefits include improved air quality (as a result of more-efficient traffic flows), increased fuel economy, and spin-off technologies generated during research and development related to automated highway systems.[40]

Automated waste collection trucks prevent the need for as many workers as well as easing the level of labor required to provide the service.[41]

Home automation (also called domotics) designates an emerging practice of increased automation of household appliances and features in residential dwellings, particularly through electronic means that allow for things impracticable, overly expensive or simply not possible in recent past decades.

Automation is essential for many scientific and clinical applications. Therefore, automation has been extensively employed in laboratories. From as early as 1980 fully automated laboratories have already been working.[42] However, automation has not become widespread in laboratories due to its high cost. This may change with the ability of integrating low-cost devices with standard laboratory equipment.[43][44]Autosamplers are common devices used in laboratory automation.

Industrial automation deals primarily with the automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes. General purpose controllers for industrial processes include Programmable logic controllers, stand-alone I/O modules, and computers. Industrial automation is to replace the decision making of humans and manual command-response activities with the use of mechanized equipment and logical programming commands. One trend is increased use of Machine vision to provide automatic inspection and robot guidance functions, another is a continuing increase in the use of robots. Industrial automation is simply done at the industrial level.

Energy efficiency in industrial processes has become a higher priority. Semiconductor companies like Infineon Technologies are offering 8-bit micro-controller applications for example found in motor controls, general purpose pumps, fans, and ebikes to reduce energy consumption and thus increase efficiency.

Industrial robotics is a sub-branch in the industrial automation that aids in various manufacturing processes. Such manufacturing processes include; machining, welding, painting, assembling and material handling to name a few.[46] Industrial robots utilizes various mechanical, electrical as well as software systems to allow for high precision, accuracy and speed that far exceeds any human performance. The birth of industrial robot came shortly after World War II as United States saw the need for a quicker way to produce industrial and consumer goods.[47] Servos, digital logic and solid state electronics allowed engineers to build better and faster systems and overtime these systems were improved and revised to the point where a single robot is capable of running 24 hours a day with little or no maintenance.

Industrial automation incorporates programmable logic controllers in the manufacturing process. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) use a processing system which allows for variation of controls of inputs and outputs using simple programming. PLCs make use of programmable memory, storing instructions and functions like logic, sequencing, timing, counting, etc. Using a logic based language, a PLC can receive a variety of inputs and return a variety of logical outputs, the input devices being sensors and output devices being motors, valves, etc. PLCs are similar to computers, however, while computers are optimized for calculations, PLCs are optimized for control task and use in industrial environments. They are built so that only basic logic-based programming knowledge is needed and to handle vibrations, high temperatures, humidity and noise. The greatest advantage PLCs offer is their flexibility. With the same basic controllers, a PLC can operate a range of different control systems. PLCs make it unnecessary to rewire a system to change the control system. This flexibility leads to a cost-effective system for complex and varied control systems.[48]

Agent-assisted automation refers to automation used by call center agents to handle customer inquiries. There are two basic types: desktop automation and automated voice solutions. Desktop automation refers to software programming that makes it easier for the call center agent to work across multiple desktop tools. The automation would take the information entered into one tool and populate it across the others so it did not have to be entered more than once, for example. Automated voice solutions allow the agents to remain on the line while disclosures and other important information is provided to customers in the form of pre-recorded audio files. Specialized applications of these automated voice solutions enable the agents to process credit cards without ever seeing or hearing the credit card numbers or CVV codes[49]

The key benefit of agent-assisted automation is compliance and error-proofing. Agents are sometimes not fully trained or they forget or ignore key steps in the process. The use of automation ensures that what is supposed to happen on the call actually does, every time.

Research by the Oxford Martin School showed that employees engaged in “tasks following well-defined procedures that can easily be performed by sophisticated algorithms” are at risk of displacement. The study, published in 2013, shows that automation can affect both skilled and unskilled work and both high and low-paying occupations; however, low-paid physical occupations are most at risk.[50] However, according to a study published in McKinsey Quarterly[51] in 2015 the impact of computerization in most cases is not replacement of employees but automation of portions of the tasks they perform.[52]

Based on a formula by Gilles Saint-Paul, an economist at Toulouse 1 University, the demand for unskilled human capital declines at a slower rate than the demand for skilled human capital increases.[53] In the long run and for society as a whole it has led to cheaper products, lower average work hours, and new industries forming (I.e, robotics industries, computer industries, design industries). These new industries provide many high salary skill based jobs to the economy.

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Seychelles | history – geography | Britannica.com

Posted: August 27, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Alternate Title: Republic of Seychelles

Seychelles

National anthem of Seychelles

Seychelles, island republic in the western Indian Ocean, comprising about 115 islands. The islands are home to lush tropical vegetation, beautiful beaches, and a wide variety of marine life. Situated between latitudes 4 and 11 S and longitudes 46 and 56 E, the major islands of Seychelles are located about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) east of Kenya and about 700 miles (1,100 km) northeast of Madagascar. The capital, Victoria, is situated on the island of Mah.

Seychelles, one of the worlds smallest countries, is composed of two main island groups: the Mah group of more than 40 central, mountainous granitic islands and a second group of more than 70 outer, flat, coralline islands. The islands of the Mah group are rocky and typically have a narrow coastal strip and a central range of hills. The overall aspect of those islands, with their lush tropical vegetation, is that of high hanging gardens overlooking silver-white beaches and clear lagoons. The highest point in Seychelles, Morne Seychellois (2,969 feet [905 metres]), situated on Mah, is located within this mountainous island group. The coralline islands, rising only a few feet above sea level, are flat with elevated coral reefs at different stages of formation. These islands are largely waterless, and very few have a resident population.

The climate is tropical oceanic, with little temperature variation during the year. Daily temperatures rise to the mid-80s F (low 30s C) in the afternoon and fall to the low 70s F (low 20s C) at night. Precipitation levels vary greatly from island to island; on Mah, annual precipitation ranges from 90 inches (2,300 mm) at sea level to 140 inches (3,560 mm) on the mountain slopes. Humidity is persistently high but is ameliorated somewhat in locations windward of the prevailing southeast trade winds.

Of the roughly 200 plant species found in Seychelles, some 80 are unique to the islands, including screw pines (see pandanus), several varieties of jellyfish trees, latanier palms, the bois rouge, the bois de fer, Wrights gardenia, and the most famous, the coco de mer. The coco de merwhich is found on only two islandsproduces a fruit that is one of the largest and heaviest known and is valued by a number of Asian cultures for believed aphrodisiac, medicinal, mystic, and other properties. The Seychellois government closely monitors the quantity and status of the trees, and, although commerce is regulated to prevent overharvesting, poaching is a concern.

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Wildlife includes a remarkably diverse array of marine life, including more than 900 identified species of fish; green sea turtles and giant tortoises also inhabit the islands. Endemic species include birds such as Seychelles bulbuls and cave-dwelling Seychelles swiftlets; several species of local tree frogs, snails, and wormlike caecilians; Seychelles wolf snakes and house snakes; tiger chameleons; and others. Endemic mammals are few; both fruit bats (Pteropus seychellensis) and Seychelles sheath-tailed bats (Coleura seychellensis) are endemic to the islands. Indian mynahs, barn owls, and tenrecs (small shrewlike or hedgehoglike mammals introduced from Madagascar) are also found.

Considerable efforts have been made to preserve the islands marked biodiversity. Seychelles government has established several nature preserves and marine parks, including the Aldabra Islands and Valle de Mai National Park, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Aldabra Islands, a large atoll, are the site of a preserve inhabited by tens of thousands of giant tortoises, the worlds oldest living creatures, which government conservation efforts have helped rescue from the brink of extinction. Valle de Mai National Park is the only place where all six of the palm species endemic to Seychelles, including the coco de mer, may be found together. Cousin Island is home to a sanctuary for land birds, many endemic to the islands, including the Seychelles sunbird (a type of hummingbird) and the Seychelles brush warbler. The nearby Cousine Island is part private resort and part nature preserve, noted for its sea turtles, giant tortoises, and assorted land birds. Bird Island is the breeding ground for millions of terns, turtle doves, shearwaters, frigate birds, and other seabirds that flock there each year.

The original French colonists on the previously uninhabited islands, along with their black slaves, were joined in the 19th century by deportees from France. Asians from China, India, and Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) arrived later in smaller numbers. Widespread intermarriage has resulted in a population of mixed descent.

Creole, also called Seselwa, is the mother tongue of most Seychellois. Under the constitution, Creole, English, and French are recognized as national languages.

More than four-fifths of the population are Roman Catholics. There are also Anglicans, Christians of other denominations, Hindus, and Muslims.

More than four-fifths of the population live on Mah, many of them in the capital city, Victoria. The birth and death rates, as well as the annual population growth rate, are below the global average. Some one-fourth of the population are younger than age 15, and about one-half are under age 30. Life expectancy for both men and women is significantly higher than the global average.

Seychelles has a mixed, developing economy that is heavily dependent upon the service sector in general and the tourism industry in particular. Despite continued visible trade deficits, the economy has experienced steady growth. The gross domestic product (GDP) is growing more rapidly than the population. The gross national income (GNI) per capita is significantly higher than those found in most nearby continental African countries.

Agriculture accounts for only a fraction of the GDP and employs an equally modest proportion of the workforce. Arable land is limited and the soil is generally poorand the country remains dependent upon imported foodstuffsbut copra (from coconuts), cinnamon bark, vanilla, tea, limes, and essential oils are exported. Seychelles has a modern fishing industry that supplies both domestic and foreign markets; canned tuna is a particularly important product. The extraction of guano for export is also an established economic activity.

The countrys growing manufacturing sectorwhich has expanded to account for almost one-sixth of the total GDPis composed largely of food-processing plants; production of alcoholic beverages and of soft drinks is particularly significant. Animal feed, paint, and other goods are also produced.

Seychelles sizable trade deficit is offset by income from the tourism industry and from aid and investment. Although the countrys relative prosperity has not made it a preferred aid recipient, it does receive assistance from the World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and a variety of contributing countries, and aid obtained per capita is relatively high. The Central Bank of Seychelles, located in Victoria, issues the official currency, the Seychelles rupee.

Seychelles main imports are petroleum products, machinery, and foodstuffs. Canned tuna, copra, frozen fish, and cinnamon are the most important exports, together with the reexport of petroleum products. Significant trade partners include France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Germany.

The service sector accounts for nearly four-fifths of the GDP and employs the largest proportion of the workforce, almost three-fourths of all labourers. After the opening of an international airport on Mah in 1971, the tourism industry grew rapidly, and at the beginning of the 21st century it provided almost one-fourth of the total GDP. Each year Seychelles draws thousands of tourists, many attracted by the islands magnificent venues for scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, fishing, swimming, and sunbathing. The warm southeasterly trade winds offer ideal conditions for sailing, and the waters around Mah and the other islands are afloat with small boats.

The majority of Seychelles roadways are paved, most of which are on the islands of Mah and Praslin; there are no railroads. Ferry services operate between the islandsfor example, linking Victoria with destinations that include Praslin and La Digue. Air service is centred on Seychelles International Airport, located near Victoria on Mah, and the smaller airports and airstrips found on several islands. Seychelles has air connections with a number of foreign cities and direct flights to major centres that include London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, and Bangkok. Scheduled domestic flights, provided by Air Seychelles, chiefly offer service between Mah and Praslin, although chartered flights elsewhere are also available. The tsunami that reached Seychelles in 2004 damaged portions of the transportation infrastructure, including the road linking Victoria with the international airport.

Telecommunications infrastructure in Seychelles is quite developed. The country has a high rate of cellular telephone useamong the highest in sub-Saharan Africaand, at the beginning of the 21st century, the use of personal computers in Seychelles was several times the average for the region.

Under the 1993 constitution, Seychelles is a republic. The head of state and government is the president, who is directly elected by popular vote and may hold office for up to three consecutive five-year terms. Members of the National Assembly serve five-year terms. A majority of the available National Assembly seats are filled by direct election; a smaller portion are distributed on a proportional basis to those parties that win a minimum of one-tenth of the vote. The president appoints a Council of Ministers, which acts as an advisory body. The country is divided into more than 20 administrative divisions.

The Seychellois judiciary includes a Court of Appeal, a Supreme Court, and Magistrates Courts; the Constitutional Court is a branch of the Supreme Court.

Suffrage is universal; Seychellois are eligible to vote at age 17. Women participate actively in the government of the country and have held numerous posts, including positions in the cabinet and a proportion of seats in the National Assembly.

The Peoples Party (formerly the Seychelles Peoples Progressive Front) was the sole legal party from 1978 until 1991. It is still the countrys primary political party, but other parties are also active in Seychellois politics, including the New Democratic Party (formerly the Seychelles Democratic Party), the Seychelles National Party, and the Seychelles Movement for Democracy.

Seychelles defense forces are made up of an army, a coast guard (including naval and airborne wings), and a national guard. There is no conscription; military service is voluntary, and individuals are generally eligible at age 18 (although younger individuals may serve with parental consent).

In general, homes play a highly visible part in maintaining traditional Seychellois life. Many old colonial houses are well preserved, although corrugated iron roofs have generally replaced the indigenous palm thatch. Groups tend to gather on the verandahs of their houses, which are generally recognized as social centres.

The basis of the school system is a free, compulsory, 10-year public school education. Education standards have risen steadily, and nearly all children of primary-school age attend school. The countrys first university, the University of Seychelles, began accepting students in 2009. The literacy rate in Seychelles is significantly higher than the regional and global averages for both men and women.

Seychellois culture has been shaped by a combination of European, African, and Asian influences. The main European influence is French, recognizable in Seselwa, the Creole language that is the lingua franca of the islands, and in Seychellois food and religion; the French introduced Roman Catholicism, the religion of the majority of the islanders. African influence is revealed in local music and dance as well as in Seselwa. Asian elements are evident in the islands cuisine but are particularly dominant in business and trade.

Holidays observed in Seychelles include Liberation Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the 1977 coup, on June 5; National Day, June 18; Independence Day, June 29; the Feast of the Assumption, August 15; All Saints Day, November 1; the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8; and Christmas, December 25.

Because of the exorbitant expense of the large and lavish wedding receptions that are part of Seychellois tradition, many couples never marry; instead, they may choose to live en mnage, achieving a de facto union by cohabitating without marriage. There is little or no social stigma related to living en mnage, and the arrangement is recognized by the couples family and friends. The instance of couples living en mnage increases particularly among lower income groups.

Dance plays an important role in Seychellois society. Both the sga and the moutya, two of the most famous dances performed in Seychelles, mirror traditional African customs. The sensual dances blend religion and social relations, two elements central to African life. The complicated and compelling dance movements were traditionally carried out under moonlight to the beat of African drums. Dances were once regular events in village halls, but these have largely died out in recent years; now dances take place in modern nightclubs.

Seychellois enjoy participating in and watching several team sports. The national stadium, located in Victoria, offers a year-round program of events. Mens and womens volleyball are popular, and several Seychellois players and referees participate at the international level. Football (soccer) is also a favourite, and Seychellois teams frequently travel to East Africa and India to play in exhibition matches and tournaments. The Seychelles national Olympic committee was established in 1979 and was recognized that year by the International Olympic Committee. The country made its official Olympic debut at the 1980 Moscow Games, but its first Olympic athlete was Henri Dauban de Silhouette, who competed for Great Britain in the javelin throw at the 1924 Paris Games.

Much of the countrys radio, television, and print media is under government control. There are several independent publications, including Seychelles Weekly and Vizyon.

The islands were known by traders from the Persian Gulf centuries ago, but the first recorded landing on the uninhabited Seychelles was made in 1609 by an expedition of the British East India Company. The archipelago was explored by the Frenchman Lazare Picault in 1742 and 1744 and was formally annexed to France in 1756. The archipelago was named Schelles, later changed by the British to Seychelles. War between France and Britain led to the surrender of the archipelago to the British in 1810, and it was formally ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1814. The abolition of slavery in the 1830s deprived the islands European colonists of their labour force and compelled them to switch from raising cotton and grains to cultivating less-labour-intensive crops such as coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon. In 1903 Seychellesuntil that time administered as a dependency of Mauritiusbecame a separate British crown colony. A Legislative Council with elected members was introduced in 1948.

In 1963 the United States leased an area on the main island, Mah, and built an air force satellite tracking station there; this brought regular air travel to Seychelles for the first time, in the form of a weekly seaplane shuttle that operated from Mombasa, Kenya.

In 1970 Seychelles obtained a new constitution, universal adult suffrage, and a governing council with an elected majority. Self-government was granted in 1975 and independence in 1976, within the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1975 a coalition government was formed with James R. Mancham as president and France-Albert Ren as prime minister. In 1977, while Mancham was abroad, Ren became president in a coup dtat led by the Seychelles Peoples United Party (later restyled the Seychelles Peoples Progressive Front [SPPF], from 2009 the Peoples Party [Parti Lepep]).

In 1979 a new constitution transformed Seychelles into a one-party socialist state, with Rens SPPF designated the only legal party. This change was not popular with many Seychellois, and during the 1980s there were several coup attempts. Faced with mounting pressure from the countrys primary sources of foreign aid, Rens administration began moving toward more democratic rule in the early 1990s, with the return of multiparty politics and the promulgation of a new constitution. The country also gradually abandoned its socialist economy and began to follow market-based economic strategies by privatizing most parastatal companies, encouraging foreign investment, and focusing efforts on marketing Seychelles as an offshore business and financial hub. As Seychelles entered the 21st century, the SPPF continued to dominate the political scene. After the return of multiparty elections, Ren was reelected three times before eventually resigning in April 2004 to allow Vice Pres. James Michel to succeed him as president.

In late 2004 some of the islands were hit by a tsunami, which severely damaged the environment and the countrys economy. The economy was an important topic in the campaigning leading up to the presidential election of 2006, in which Michel emerged with a narrow victory to win his first elected term. He was reelected in 2011. One of Michels ongoing concerns was piracy in the Indian Ocean, which had surged since 2009 and threatened the countrys fishing and tourism industries. To that end, the Seychellois government worked with several other countries and international organizations to curb the illegal activity.

In October 2015 Michel called for an early presidential election, rather than wait until it was due in 2016. Michel was standing for his third term, again representing the Peoples Party. The election was held December 35, 2015. For the first time since the return of multiparty politics in 1993, the Peoples Partys candidate did not win outright in the first round of voting. Michel garnered 47.76 percent of the vote; his nearest challenger was Wavel Ramkalawan of the Seychelles National Party (SNP), who took 33.93 percent. Ramkalawan was an Anglican priest who was the leader of the SNP and had run for president in previous elections. The runoff election was held December 1618. On December 19 Michel was declared the winner by a very narrow margin, taking 50.15 percent of the vote, with only 193 votes between him and Ramkalawan. Michel was quickly sworn in the next day for his third term. Ramkalawan voiced allegations of voting irregularities and asked for a recount.

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Human spaceflight – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: August 25, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight) is space travel with a crew or passengers aboard the spacecraft. Spacecraft carrying people may be operated directly, by human crew, or it may be either remotely operated from ground stations on Earth or be autonomous, able to carry out a specific mission with no human involvement.

The first human spaceflight was launched by the Soviet Union on 12 April 1961 as a part of the Vostok program, with cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin aboard. Humans have been continually present in space for 700849902926700000015years and 297days on the International Space Station. All early human spaceflight was crewed, where at least some of the passengers acted to carry out tasks of piloting or operating the spacecraft. After 2015, several human-capable spacecraft are being explicitly designed with the ability to operate autonomously.

Since the retirement of the US Space Shuttle in 2011, only Russia and China have maintained human spaceflight capability with the Soyuz program and Shenzhou program. Currently, all expeditions to the International Space Station use Soyuz vehicles, which remain attached to the station to allow quick return if needed. The United States is developing commercial crew transportation to facilitate domestic access to ISS and low Earth orbit, as well as the Orion vehicle for beyond-low Earth orbit applications.

While spaceflight has typically been a government-directed activity, commercial spaceflight has gradually been taking on a greater role. The first private human spaceflight took place on 21 June 2004, when SpaceShipOne conducted a suborbital flight, and a number of non-governmental companies have been working to develop a space tourism industry. NASA has also played a role to stimulate private spaceflight through programs such as Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) and Commercial Crew Development (CCDev). With its 2011 budget proposals released in 2010,[1] the Obama administration moved towards a model where commercial companies would supply NASA with transportation services of both people and cargo transport to low Earth orbit. The vehicles used for these services could then serve both NASA and potential commercial customers. Commercial resupply of ISS began two years after the retirement of the Shuttle, and commercial crew launches could begin by 2017.[2]

Human spaceflight capability was first developed during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR), which developed the first intercontinental ballistic missile rockets to deliver nuclear weapons. These rockets were large enough to be adapted to carry the first artificial satellites into low Earth orbit. After the first satellites were launched in 1957 and 1958, the US worked on Project Mercury to launch men singly into orbit, while the USSR secretly pursued the Vostok program to accomplish the same thing. The USSR launched the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin into a single orbit in Vostok 1 on a Vostok 3KA rocket, on April 12, 1961. The US launched its first astronaut, Alan Shepard on a suborbital flight aboard Freedom 7 on a Mercury-Redstone rocket, on May 5, 1961. Unlike Gagarin, Shepard manually controlled his spacecraft’s attitude, and landed inside it. The first American in orbit was John Glenn aboard Friendship 7, launched February 20, 1962 on a Mercury-Atlas rocket. The USSR launched five more cosmonauts in Vostok capsules, including the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. The US launched a total of two astronauts in suborbital flight and four in orbit through 1963.

US President John F. Kennedy raised the stakes of the Space Race by setting the goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely by the end of the 1960s.[3] The US started the three-man Apollo program in 1961 to accomplish this, launched by the Saturn family of launch vehicles, and the interim two-man Project Gemini in 1962, which flew 10 missions launched by Titan II rockets in 1965 and 1966. Gemini’s objective was to support Apollo by developing American orbital spaceflight experience and techniques to be used in the Moon mission.[4]

Meanwhile, the USSR remained silent about their intentions to send humans to the Moon, and proceeded to stretch the limits of their single-pilot Vostok capsule into a two- or three-person Voskhod capsule to compete with Gemini. They were able to launch two orbital flights in 1964 and 1965 and achieved the first spacewalk, made by Alexei Leonov on Voskhod 2 on March 8, 1965. But Voskhod did not have Gemini’s capability to maneuver in orbit, and the program was terminated. The US Gemini flights did not accomplish the first spacewalk, but overcame the early Soviet lead by performing several spacewalks and solving the problem of astronaut fatigue caused by overcoming the lack of gravity, demonstrating up to two weeks endurance in a human spaceflight, and the first space rendezvous and dockings of spacecraft.

The US succeeded in developing the Saturn V rocket necessary to send the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon, and sent Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders into 10 orbits around the Moon in Apollo 8 in December 1968. In July 1969, Apollo 11 accomplished Kennedy’s goal by landing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon July 21 and returning them safely on July 24 along with Command Module pilot Michael Collins. A total of six Apollo missions landed 12 men to walk on the Moon through 1972, half of which drove electric powered vehicles on the surface. The crew of Apollo 13, Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise, survived a catastrophic in-flight spacecraft failure and returned to Earth safely without landing on the Moon.

Meanwhile, the USSR secretly pursued human lunar lunar orbiting and landing programs. They successfully developed the three-person Soyuz spacecraft for use in the lunar programs, but failed to develop the N1 rocket necessary for a human landing, and discontinued the lunar programs in 1974.[5] On losing the Moon race, they concentrated on the development of space stations, using the Soyuz as a ferry to take cosmonauts to and from the stations. They started with a series of Salyut sortie stations from 1971 to 1986.

After the Apollo program, the US launched the Skylab sortie space station in 1973, manning it for 171 days with three crews aboard Apollo spacecraft. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev negotiated an easing of relations known as dtente, an easing of Cold War tensions. As part of this, they negotiated the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, in which an Apollo spacecraft carrying a special docking adapter module rendezvoused and docked with Soyuz 19 in 1975. The American and Russian crews shook hands in space, but the purpose of the flight was purely diplomatic and symbolic.

Nixon appointed his Vice President Spiro Agnew to head a Space Task Group in 1969 to recommend follow-on human spaceflight programs after Apollo. The group proposed an ambitious Space Transportation System based on a reusable Space Shuttle which consisted of a winged, internally fueled orbiter stage burning liquid hydrogen, launched by a similar, but larger kerosene-fueled booster stage, each equipped with airbreathing jet engines for powered return to a runway at the Kennedy Space Center launch site. Other components of the system included a permanent modular space station, reusable space tug and nuclear interplanetary ferry, leading to a human expedition to Mars as early as 1986, or as late as 2000, depending on the level of funding allocated. However, Nixon knew the American political climate would not support Congressional funding for such an ambition, and killed proposals for all but the Shuttle, possibly to be followed by the space station. Plans for the Shuttle were scaled back to reduce development risk, cost, and time, replacing the piloted flyback booster with two reusable solid rocket boosters, and the smaller orbiter would use an expendable external propellant tank to feed its hydrogen-fueled main engines. The orbiter would have to make unpowered landings.

The two nations continued to compete rather than cooperate in space, as the US turned to developing the Space Shuttle and planning the space station, dubbed Freedom. The USSR launched three Almaz military sortie stations from 1973 to 1977, disguised as Salyuts. They followed Salyut with the development of Mir, the first modular, semi-permanent space station, the construction of which took place from 1986 to 1996. Mir orbited at an altitude of 354 kilometers (191 nautical miles), at a 51.6 inclination. It was occupied for 4,592 days, and made a controlled reentry in 2001.

The Space Shuttle started flying in 1981, but the US Congress failed to approve sufficient funds to make Freedom a reality. A fleet of four shuttles was built: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis. A fifth shuttle, Endeavour, was built to replace Challenger which was destroyed in an accident during launch which killed 7 astronauts on January 28, 1986. Twenty-two Shuttle flights carried a European Space Agency sortie space station called Spacelab in the payload bay from 1983 to 1998.[6]

The USSR copied the reusable Space Shuttle orbiter, which it called Buran. It was designed to be launched into orbit by the expendable Energia rocket, and capable of robotic orbital flight and landing. Unlike the US Shuttle, Buran had no main rocket engines, but used its orbital maneuvering engines to insert itself into orbit; but it had airbreathing jet engines for powered landings. A single unmanned orbital test flight was successfully made in November 1988. A second test flight was planned by 1993, but the program was cancelled due to lack of funding and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Two more orbiters were never completed, and the first one was destroyed in a hangar roof collapse in May 2002.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought an end to the Cold War and opened the door to true cooperation between the US and Russia. The Soviet Soyuz and Mir programs were taken over by the Russian Federal Space Agency, now known as the Roscosmos State Corporation. The Shuttle-Mir Program included American Space Shuttles visiting the Mir space station, Russian cosmonauts flying on the Shuttle, and an American astronaut flying aboard a Soyuz spacecraft for long-duration expeditions aboard Mir.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton secured Russia’s cooperation in converting the planned Space Station Freedom into the International Space Station (ISS). Construction of the station began in 1998. The station orbits at an altitude of 409 kilometers (221nmi) and an inclination of 51.65.

The Space Shuttle was retired in 2011 after 135 orbital flights, several of which helped assemble, supply, and crew the ISS. Columbia was destroyed in another accident during reentry, which killed 7 astronauts on February 1, 2003.

After Russia’s launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, Chairman Mao Zedong intended to place a Chinese satellite in orbit by 1959 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC),[7] However, China did not successfully launch its first satellite until April 24, 1970. Mao and Premier Zhou Enlai decided on July 14, 1967, that the PRC should not be left behind, and started China’s own human spaceflight program.[8] The first attempt, the Shuguang spacecraft copied from the US Gemini, was cancelled on May 13, 1972.

China later designed the Shenzhou spacecraft resembling the Russian Soyuz, and became the third nation to achieve independent human spaceflight capability by launching Yang Liwei on a 21-hour flight aboard Shenzhou 5 on October 15, 2003. China launched the Tiangong-1 space station on September 29, 2011, and two sortie missions to it: Shenzhou 9 June 1629, 2012, with China’s first female astronaut Liu Yang; and Shenzhou 10, June 1326, 2013.

The European Space Agency began development in 1987 of the Hermes spaceplane, to be launched on the Ariane 5 expendable launch vehicle. The project was cancelled in 1992, when it became clear that neither cost nor performance goals could be achieved. No Hermes shuttles were ever built.

Japan began development in the 1980s of the HOPE-X experimental spaceplane, to be launched on its H-IIA expendable launch vehicle. A string of failures in 1998 led to funding reduction, and the project’s cancellation in 2003.

Under the Bush administration, the Constellation Program included plans for retiring the Shuttle program and replacing it with the capability for spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit. In the 2011 United States federal budget, the Obama administration cancelled Constellation for being over budget and behind schedule while not innovating and investing in critical new technologies.[9] For beyond low earth orbit human spaceflight NASA is developing the Orion spacecraft to be launched by the Space Launch System. Under the Commercial Crew Development plan, NASA will rely on transportation services provided by the private sector to reach low earth orbit, such as Space X’s Falcon 9/Dragon V2, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser, or Boeing’s CST-100. The period between the retirement of the shuttle in 2011 and the initial operational capability of new systems in 2017, similar to the gap between the end of Apollo in 1975 and the first space shuttle flight in 1981, is referred to by a presidential Blue Ribbon Committee as the U.S. human spaceflight gap.[10]

After the early 2000s, a variety of private spaceflight ventures were undertaken. Several of the companies formed by 2005, including Blue Origin, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and XCOR Aerospace have explicit plans to advance human spaceflight. As of 2015[update], all four of those companies have development programs underway to fly commercial passengers before 2018.

Commercial suborbital spacecraft aimed at the space tourism market include Virgin Galactic SpaceshipTwo, and XCOR’s Lynx spaceplane which are both under development and could reach space before 2017.[11] More recently, Blue Origin has begun a multi-year test program of their New Shepardvehicle with plans to test in 20152016 while carrying no passengers, then adding “test passengers” in 2017, and initiate commercial flights in 2018.[12][13]

SpaceX and Boeing are both developing passenger-capable orbital space capsules as of 2015, planning to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station as soon as 2018. SpaceX will be carrying passengers on Dragon 2 launched on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Boeing will be doing it with their CST-100 launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle.[14] Development funding for these orbital-capable technologies has been provided by a mix of government and private funds, with SpaceX providing a greater portion of total development funding for this human-carrying capability from private investment.[15][16] There have been no public announcements of commercial offerings for orbital flights from either company, although both companies are planning some flights with their own private, not NASA, astronauts on board.

Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space on 25 July 1984.

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. Eileen Collins was the first female shuttle pilot, and with shuttle mission STS-93 in 1999 she became the first woman to command a U.S. spacecraft.

The longest single human spaceflight is that of Valeri Polyakov, who left Earth on 8 January 1994, and did not return until 22 March 1995 (a total of 437 days 17 h 58 min 16 s). Sergei Krikalyov has spent the most time of anyone in space, 803 days, 9 hours, and 39 minutes altogether. The longest period of continuous human presence in space is 700849902926700000015years and 297days on the International Space Station, exceeding the previous record of almost 10 years (or 3,634 days) held by Mir, spanning the launch of Soyuz TM-8 on 5 September 1989 to the landing of Soyuz TM-29 on 28 August 1999.

For many years, only the USSR (later Russia) and the United States had their own astronauts. Citizens of other nations flew in space, beginning with the flight of Vladimir Remek, a Czech, on a Soviet spacecraft on 2 March 1978, in the Interkosmos programme. As of 2010[update], citizens from 38 nations (including space tourists) have flown in space aboard Soviet, American, Russian, and Chinese spacecraft.

Human spaceflight programs have been conducted by the former Soviet Union and current Russian Federation, the United States, the People’s Republic of China and by private spaceflight company Scaled Composites.

Space vehicles are spacecraft used for transportation between the Earth’s surface and outer space, or between locations in outer space. The following space vehicles and spaceports are currently used for launching human spaceflights:

The following space stations are currently maintained in Earth orbit for human occupation:

Numerous private companies attempted human spaceflight programs in an effort to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize. The first private human spaceflight took place on 21 June 2004, when SpaceShipOne conducted a suborbital flight. SpaceShipOne captured the prize on 4 October 2004, when it accomplished two consecutive flights within one week. SpaceShipTwo, launching from the carrier aircraft White Knight Two, is planned to conduct regular suborbital space tourism.[17]

Most of the time, the only humans in space are those aboard the ISS, whose crew of six spends up to six months at a time in low Earth orbit.

NASA and ESA use the term “human spaceflight” to refer to their programs of launching people into space. These endeavors have also been referred to as “manned space missions,” though because of gender specificity this is no longer official parlance according to NASA style guides.[18]

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has begun work on pre-project activities of a human space flight mission program.[19] The objective is to carry a crew of two to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and return them safely to a predefined destination on Earth. The program is proposed to be implemented in defined phases. Currently, the pre-project activities are progressing with a focus on the development of critical technologies for subsystems such as the Crew Module (CM), Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), Crew Escape System, etc. The department has initiated pre-project activities to study technical and managerial issues related to crewed missions. The program envisages the development of a fully autonomous orbital vehicle carrying 2 or 3 crew members to about 300km low earth orbit and their safe return.

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing a plan to land humans on Mars by the 2030s. The first step in this mission begins sometime during 2020, when NASA plans to send an unmanned craft into deep space to retrieve an asteroid.[20] The asteroid will be pushed into the moons orbit, and studied by astronauts aboard Orion, NASAs first human spacecraft in a generation.[21] Orions crew will return to Earth with samples of the asteroid and their collected data. In addition to broadening Americas space capabilities, this mission will test newly developed technology, such as solar electric propulsion, which uses solar arrays for energy and requires ten times less propellant than the conventional chemical counterpart used for powering space shuttles to orbit.[22]

Several other countries and space agencies have announced and begun human spaceflight programs by their own technology, Japan (JAXA), Iran (ISA) and Malaysia (MNSA).

There are two main sources of hazard in space flight: those due to the environment of space which make it hostile to the human body, and the potential for mechanical malfunctions of the equipment required to accomplish space flight.

Planners of human spaceflight missions face a number of safety concerns.

The immediate needs for breathable air and drinkable water are addressed by the life support system of the spacecraft.

Medical consequences such as possible blindness and bone loss have been associated with human space flight.[32][33]

On 31 December 2012, a NASA-supported study reported that spaceflight may harm the brain of astronauts and accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.[34][35][36]

In October 2015, the NASA Office of Inspector General issued a health hazards report related to space exploration, including a human mission to Mars.[37][38]

Medical data from astronauts in low earth orbits for long periods, dating back to the 1970s, show several adverse effects of a microgravity environment: loss of bone density, decreased muscle strength and endurance, postural instability, and reductions in aerobic capacity. Over time these deconditioning effects can impair astronauts performance or increase their risk of injury.[39]

In a weightless environment, astronauts put almost no weight on the back muscles or leg muscles used for standing up, which causes them to weaken and get smaller. Astronauts can lose up to twenty per cent of their muscle mass on spaceflights lasting five to eleven days. The consequent loss of strength could be a serious problem in case of a landing emergency.[40] Upon return to Earth from long-duration flights, astronauts are considerably weakened, and are not allowed to drive a car for twenty-one days.[41]

Astronauts experiencing weightlessness will often lose their orientation, get motion sickness, and lose their sense of direction as their bodies try to get used to a weightless environment. When they get back to Earth, or any other mass with gravity, they have to readjust to the gravity and may have problems standing up, focusing their gaze, walking and turning. Importantly, those body motor disturbances after changing from different gravities only get worse the longer the exposure to little gravity.[citation needed] These changes will affect operational activities including approach and landing, docking, remote manipulation, and emergencies that may happen while landing. This can be a major roadblock to mission success.[citation needed]

In addition, after long space flight missions, male astronauts may experience severe eyesight problems.[42][43][44][45][46] Such eyesight problems may be a major concern for future deep space flight missions, including a crewed mission to the planet Mars.[42][43][44][45][47]

Without proper shielding, the crews of missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) might be at risk from high-energy protons emitted by solar flares. Lawrence Townsend of the University of Tennessee and others have studied the most powerful solar flare ever recorded. That flare was seen by the British astronomer Richard Carrington in September 1859. Radiation doses astronauts would receive from a Carrington-type flare could cause acute radiation sickness and possibly even death.[49]

Another type of radiation, galactic cosmic rays, presents further challenges to human spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit.[50]

There is also some scientific concern that extended spaceflight might slow down the bodys ability to protect itself against diseases.[51] Some of the problems are a weakened immune system and the activation of dormant viruses in the body. Radiation can cause both short and long term consequences to the bone marrow stem cells which create the blood and immune systems. Because the interior of a spacecraft is so small, a weakened immune system and more active viruses in the body can lead to a fast spread of infection.[citation needed]

During long missions, astronauts are isolated and confined into small spaces. Depression, cabin fever and other psychological problems may impact the crew’s safety and mission success.[citation needed]

Astronauts may not be able to quickly return to Earth or receive medical supplies, equipment or personnel if a medical emergency occurs. The astronauts may have to rely for long periods on their limited existing resources and medical advice from the ground.

Space flight requires much higher velocities than ground or air transportation, which in turn requires the use of high energy density propellants for launch, and the dissipation of large amounts of energy, usually as heat, for safe reentry through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Since rockets carry the potential for fire or explosive destruction, space capsules generally employ some sort of launch escape system, consisting either of a tower-mounted solid fuel rocket to quickly carry the capsule away from the launch vehicle (employed on Mercury, Apollo, and Soyuz), or else ejection seats (employed on Vostok and Gemini) to carry astronauts out of the capsule and away for individual parachute landing. The escape tower is discarded at some point before the launch is complete, at a point where an abort can be performed using the spacecraft’s engines.

Such a system is not always practical for multiple crew member vehicles (particularly spaceplanes), depending on location of egress hatch(es). When the single-hatch Vostok capsule was modified to become the 2 or 3-person Voskhod, the single-cosmonaut ejection seat could not be used, and no escape tower system was added. The two Voskhod flights in 1964 and 1965 avoided launch mishaps. The Space Shuttle carried ejection seats and escape hatches for its pilot and copilot in early flights, but these could not be used for passengers who sat below the flight deck on later flights, and so were discontinued.

The only in-flight launch abort of a crewed flight occurred on Soyuz 18a on April 5, 1975. The abort occurred after the launch escape system had been jettisoned, when the launch vehicle’s spent second stage failed to separate before the third stage ignited. The vehicle strayed off course, and the crew separated the spacecraft and fired its engines to pull it away from the errant rocket. Both cosmonauts landed safely.

In the only use of a launch escape system on a crewed flight, the planned Soyuz T-10a launch on September 26, 1983 was aborted by a launch vehicle fire 90 seconds before liftoff. Both cosmonauts aboard landed safely.

The only crew fatality during launch occurred on January 28, 1986, when the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after liftoff, due to failure of a solid rocket booster seal which caused separation of the booster and failure of the external fuel tank, resulting in explosion of the fuel. All seven crew members were killed.

The single pilot of Soyuz 1, Vladimir Komarov was killed when his capsule’s parachutes failed during an emergency landing on April 24, 1967, causing the capsule to crash.

The crew of seven aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia were killed on reentry after completing a successful mission in space on February 1, 2003. A wing leading edge reinforced carbon-carbon heat shield had been damaged by a piece of frozen external tank foam insulation which broke off and struck the wing during launch. Hot reentry gasses entered and destroyed the wing structure, leading to breakup of the orbiter vehicle.

There are two basic choices for an artificial atmosphere: either an Earth-like mixture of oxygen in an inert gas such as nitrogen or helium, or pure oxygen, which can be used at lower than standard atmospheric pressure. A nitrogen-oxygen mixture is used in the International Space Station and Soyuz spacecraft, while low-pressure pure oxygen is commonly used in space suits for extravehicular activity.

Use of a gas mixture carries risk of decompression sickness (commonly known as “the bends”) when transitioning to or from the pure oxygen space suit environment. There have also been instances of injury and fatalities caused by suffocation in the presence of too much nitrogen and not enough oxygen.

A pure oxygen atmosphere carries risk of fire. The original design of the Apollo spacecraft used pure oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure prior to launch. An electrical fire started in the cabin of Apollo 1 during a ground test at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station Launch Complex 34 on January 27, 1967, and spread rapidly. The high pressure (increased even higher by the fire) prevented removal of the plug door hatch cover in time to rescue the crew. All three, Gus Grissom, Edward H. White, and Roger Chaffee, were killed.[55] This led NASA to use a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere before launch, and low pressure pure oxygen only in space.

The March 1966 Gemini 8 mission was aborted in orbit when an attitude control system thruster stuck in the on position, sending the craft into a dangerous spin which threatened the lives of Neil Armstrong and David Scott. Armstrong had to shut the control system off and use the reentry control system to stop the spin. The craft made an emergency reentry and the astronauts landed safely. The most probable cause was determined to be an electrical short due to a static electricity discharge, which caused the thruster to remain powered even when switched off. The control system was modified to put each thruster on its own isolated circuit.

The third lunar landing expedition Apollo 13 in April 1970, was aborted and the lives of the crew, James Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise, were threatened by failure of a cryogenic liquid oxygen tank en route to the Moon. The tank burst when electrical power was applied to internal stirring fans in the tank, causing the immediate loss of all of its contents, and also damaging the second tank, causing the loss of its remaining oxygen in a span of 130 minutes. This in turn caused loss of electrical power provided by fuel cells to the command spacecraft. The crew managed to return to Earth safely by using the lunar landing craft as a “life boat”. The tank failure was determined to be caused by two mistakes. The tank’s drain fitting had been damaged when it was dropped during factory testing. This necessitated use of its internal heaters to boil out the oxygen after a pre-launch test, which in turn damaged the fan wiring’s electrical insulation, because the thermostats on the heaters did not meet the required voltage rating due to a vendor miscommunication.

As of December 2015[update], 22 crew members have died in accidents aboard spacecraft. Over 100 others have died in accidents during activity directly related to spaceflight or testing.

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Human spaceflight – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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TMS Management Group :: Iowa Medicaid

Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm

* Attention Members:

Please remember that your scheduled non-emergency medical transports may be canceled due to inclement weather across Iowa. Please check with the transportation provider scheduled for your ride.

TMS is honored to be selected as the statewide brokerand we believe in order to ensure the most seamless transition possible, all partners should be involved throughout the entire process. Our philosophy is that the proposed brokerage service can only achieve maximum success if all forms of transportation systems and stakeholders in Iowa are part of the solution.

TMS has earned a reputation throughout the NEMT industry as a “provider-friendly” broker, and we are determined to make good on that reputation in the state of Iowa. We will give you 24 hours advance notice of trips though our Internet based trip dispatching system. This system will also help generate an invoice for you to pay you for your work twice a month.

If you are a transit provider or a transportation company, please complete the Transportation Provider Application.

For more information, feel free to visit the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise Provider website at http://www.ime.state.ia.us/Providers/index.html to view the Final Administrative Rule as proposed by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Iowa Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Program, Click Here

OnOctober 1, 2010, TMS became responsible for all parts of the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation service. When you have a need for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, TMS is just one phone call away. Once you have provided all the necessary information, a TMS operator will explain how your trip request will be met.

To request a ride please call 1-866-572-7662.

Medical Transportation and Waiver Services

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TMS Management Group :: Iowa Medicaid

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Transportation, Land Use, and Freedom | Libertarianism.org

Posted: at 4:17 pm

Transcript

Trevor Burrus: Welcome to Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org and the Cato Institute. Im Trevor Burrus.

Tom Clougherty: And Im Tom Clougherty.

Trevor Burrus: Joining us today is Randal OToole, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, specializing in urban growth, public land and transportation issues. Welcome to Free Thoughts, Randal.

Randal OToole: Hey, Im glad to be here.

Trevor Burrus: So the first question is the big one as we often do on Free Thoughts. How is transportation important to human freedom and flourishing?

Randal OToole: Well mobility is really important because mobility gives people access to more economic resources, more social resources, more recreation opportunities. Mobility of course has completely transformed in the 20th century. Before 1800, hardly anybody in the world had ever traveled faster than a horse could run and lived to tell about it. Although during the

Trevor Burrus: Lived to tell about it, its like people who fell out of hot air balloons and

Randal OToole: Or off a cliff.

Trevor Burrus: So they got a quick moment of OK.

Randal OToole: Yeah. So by 1900, we had developed steam trains and bicycles and streetcars and cable cars and those things accelerated the pace of life for many people and yet by 1910, most Americans were no more mobile than they had been in 1800 because frankly streetcars and steam trains and things like that were more expensive than the average American could afford.

Most Americans still lived in rural areas and they didnt have access to those, to streetcars or bicycles. Even Americans in urban areas, only middle class people could afford streetcars. Pretty much working class people had to walk to work. It was only when Henry Ford developed a moving assembly line that allowed him to both double worker pay and cut the cost of his cars in half, which made automobiles affordable to the working class that suddenly mobility was democratized and suddenly travel speed is accelerated from an average of 3 miles an hour to an average of 30 miles an hour or more.

That gave people access to far more jobs. If you were producing something, it gave you access to a far bigger consumer market. If you wanted to socialize with people who were like you, you didnt have to live right next door to them. You could get into your car and be near them. You have access to recreation opportunities. Things like national parks became popular only after the car became popular. Before cars the number of people visiting Yellowstone and people like places like that were numbered in the hundreds or low thousands each year. Now its the millions.

Trevor Burrus: Now you certainly have no Disneyland without people being able to drive to it and

[Crosstalk]

Randal OToole: You dont have Costco. You dont have supermarkets. You dont have Wal-marts. You dont have a lot of things that we take for granted today. Shopping malls, a lot of things. So the auto mobility transform lives for many people. For example, the only way blacks were able to boycott buses in Montgomery, Alabama after Rosa Louise Parks refused to get walk to the back of the bus was because they had enough cars that they could transport each other to work.

So cars were called by Blacks freedom vehicles. Cars play a huge role in womens liberation. It was only when families became two-car families and both the husband and the wife could own it, could have a car and become wage or salary earners that womens liberation became truly an important change in our lives.

So cars have transformed everybodys lives. Cars have transformed farming for example. Before cars, at least a quarter, perhaps a third of all of our farmland was dedicated to pasture for the horses and other livestock needed to power the farms.

By releasing that land, we ended up getting 100 million acres of forest lands, 100 million acres of crop lands. We have far more lands available for growing crops than we had before because of the internal combustion engine, powering tractors and trucks and other farm vehicles.

Trevor Burrus: Well, if you talk to people now though, its kind of I mean it is this mind-blowing thing when you start thinking about the effect that the car had on American life. But now a lot of people want to say that cars are bad for a variety of reasons, not seeming to understand the effect on this and a lot of the kind of urban planning and ideas of what a city should look like, it seems to be kind of anti-car in some basic level.

Randal OToole: Thats absolutely right. Theres a huge anti-automobile mentality out there, especially among urban planners and curiously, every city in the country has urban planners on their staff because they think theyre the experts. But its actually because the Supreme Court has made decisions that have said that the property rights clause or the Fifth Amendment of the constitution can be amended if you have an urban can be ignored if you have an urban planner on your staff. Basically, you dont have to worry about that if you have an urban planner who has written an urban plan for your city.

Trevor Burrus: This is like Kelo pursuant

[Crosstalk]

Randal OToole: Every single Supreme Court decision that has taken away peoples property rights has mentioned in that decision that the city or other entity that wanted to take away peoples property rights had written an urban plan. So if you have an urban planner on your staff, you can ignore property rights. You can take land by eminent domain. You can regulate land without compensation if you have an urban planner on your staff.

So they all have urban planners and urban planners all go to the same schools and most of these schools are architecture schools where they learn that we shape our buildings and our buildings shape up.

So if we want to shape society, we have to design our cities in a way to shape the way people live. Well, it has been proven over and over again that it doesnt work. It doesnt get people out of their cars, to force people to live in high densities.

San Francisco for example, the San Francisco Bay area increases population density by two-thirds between 1980 and 2010 and per capita driving increased. Per capita transit ridership declined by a third. It didnt change anything at all except for it made a lot more congestion.

So theres an anti-automobile mentality and the reality is most of the virtually all of the problems with automobiles can be solved by treating the problem, not by treating the automobile.

Trevor Burrus: Like congestion you mean.

Randal OToole: Well, congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gases, energy, traffic accidents, whatever. In 1970, people drove about 40 percent as much as they do today and we had 55,000 people killed per year. So today were driving 150 percent more and we only had 33,000 people killed last year. So fatalities are going down because they made both automobiles and highways safer. Thats only going to increase.

In 1970, many of our cities were polluted. You had a mile of visibility or less. In Portland, you couldnt see Mount Hood. In Seattle, you couldnt see Mount Rainier because the pollution is so bad. So we created the Environmental Protection Agency to solve the problem and they said lets do two things. Lets put pollution control requirements on new cars but lets also encourage cities to discourage driving by spending more on transit and increasing densities to encourage people to live closer to work.

Well, they did both things and today, pollution has gone down by more than 90 percent. Total pollution has decreased by more than 90 percent from what it was in 1970 and 105 percent of that decline is due to the pollution controls they put on cars. Negative 105 because

Trevor Burrus: More than 100 percent.

Randal OToole: Right, because the other thing they did that investing in transit and increasing densities to get people out of their cars failed. Instead what that did is it increased traffic congestion and cars pollute more in congested traffic than they do in free flowing traffic. So we ended up having more pollution thanks to the policy of trying to get people out of their cars. It failed miserably and yet were still pursuing that policy in many places supposedly to reduce greenhouse gases, to save energy and so on. It wont work but were doing it anyway.

Tom Clougherty: So I think one of the interesting, maybe disturbing things about transportation policy is that you have an obvious problem in congestion, a problem which is very costly. You also have a solution that virtually every economist is going to agree on and thats congestion pricing.

You also have on top of that a widespread perception that its politically impossible, that it will never happen. So therefore we have to go into a lot of these other things, which as youve pointed out may not be effective.

Do you see any future for congestion pricing? Could you maybe elaborate on that principle a little bit?

Randal OToole: Well, there are two things that are going to happen in the next 10 years. First of all, a lot of cars are going to become self-driving cars and thats going to be a very rapid transformation because starting in about 2020, you will be able to buy a car that will be able to drive itself on the vast majority of American streets and roads without your input at all.

Pretty soon you will be able to drive a car buy a car that will drive itself everywhere and they wont even have steering wheels. Well, a lot of congestion happens because of slow human reflexes and as soon as we get self-driving cars which have much faster reflexes, the capacity of roads is going to increase tremendously. Its typical that an urban freeway lane can move about 2000 vehicles an hour at speed.

With self-driving cars, we will be able to increase that to 6000 or more vehicles an hour. So thats going to take care a lot of the congestion problem right there. The other parallel development is that were moving away from gas guzzlers.

Cars that burn gas are burning less and less gas all the time and a lot of cars are not burning gasoline. That means that gas taxes which have paid for our roads have really paid for 80 percent of all the roads weve built and 100 percent of all the state highways that have been built in the country and interstate roads.

Those gas taxes arent going to be around anymore. So were going to have to find a new way of paying for roads. My home state of Oregon was the first state to have a gas tax to pay for roads in 1919 and today my home state of Oregon is experimenting with mileage-based user fees. Its the first state to experiment with them and what theyve done is theyve asked people to volunteer to pay a mileage-based user fee rather than a gas tax and I was one of the first people to volunteer.

They opened up volunteers at midnight on July 1st and at 12:01, I sent in my application and they sent me a little device that I plug into my car and now it keeps track of how many miles I drive and if I leave the state, I dont pay anything. In the state I pay a penny and a half per mile and they refund me all my gas taxes that I pay when I buy gas.

So the intention is to phase this in over time. So if you buy an electric car, you will have to get a mileage-based user fee device. If you buy a gasoline-powered car, you will be encouraged to do it and over time, we will transition from all gasoline or all gas taxes to all mileage-based user fees.

Well, with mileage-based user fees, it will be real, real easy to make a congestion fee, to make it a variable fee. Presumably the device you plug into your car when you say I want to go to work, you will tell your car take me on this to this address. The car will say, well, here are three different routes. If you go this way, youre going to have to pay this fee. If you go this way, you will have to pay this fee and it will take you five minutes longer. If you go this way, you will have to pay a lower fee and it will take you 10 minutes longer or whatever. You will have a choice of which route, which fee you pay and you will make that choice and that will encourage people to avoid congested routes and eventually solve that $200 billion congestion problem.

Trevor Burrus: This is interesting because you see all these technologies which werent even thought about a few years ago, whether its the device to measure how much your car is driving or a driverless car.

It kind of reminds me were talking about urban planners and who these people are and were and to sort of whether or not any urban planners in 1980 thought about driverless cars or the possibility of having something to measure how much youre driving and that and they probably did and so

Randal OToole: Well, the real question is are any urban planners in 2016 thinking about

Trevor Burrus: Yeah, so thats a better at the Car History Museum, I know you at one point were in Denver for the light rail fight. In the car museum, they have a Denver urban plan from 1955 or something like that. Its a 50-year urban plan. So this was what Denver looked like in 2005, which is just ludicrous. I mean it seems absolutely ludicrous.

Tom Clougherty: You mean they didnt get it right?

[Crosstalk]

Randal OToole: In 1950, nobody had ever taken a commercial jet airline flight. Nobody had ever direct dialed a long distance phone call. To make a long distance call, you had to call the operator and have them dial it for you. Of course almost nobody had ever programmed a computer. There was certainly no internet. Nobody could predict in 1950 what was going to happen in 2000.

Well today we can see driverless cars on the horizon but nobody can predict what is going to happen. Is everybody going to use an Uber-like car or are we going to own our own cars? Is it going to make people drive more because more people are going to be driving? Because you can be nine years old and drive a driverless car. I can put my dogs in the car and send them to the vet. I dont need to go with them.

Trevor Burrus: Thats going to be a service. It could be like Bark Car and they just put them in there and it drives them to the vet, yeah.

Randal OToole: Or is it going to lead to less driving because everybody is going to be not owning a car but Uber-ing their car? The thing about that is when if you own a car, when you say Im going to go to the store now, you figure Im going to pay the marginal cost to driving, the cost of gasoline. But if youre renting a car, you have to pay the average cost which is a much higher per mile cost. So thats going to change the calculus. Those people who decide not to own a car will probably travel less themselves than they would have traveled if they had owned a car because of that.

So is it going to lead to more or less driving? Nobody knows the answers to these questions. Urban planners, they know they dont know the answers to these questions. So their solution is to ignore the problem, to ignore the issue, design for the past because they know the past. So they design for streetcars. They design for light rail because those are the past forms of travel. They know how people lived when those were the forms of travel that people used.

So they designed cities to be streetcar cities. Thats really the urban planning fad today is to design cities to be like they were in the 1920s when the people who got around not on foot took streetcars.

Of course there were still a lot of people who got around on foot because they couldnt afford the streetcars and that of course is going to be a complete failure. Its not going to work. Its going to impose huge costs on those cities because theyre going to be designing for the wrong thing. Its going to put a huge cost on the people in those cities but theyre doing it anyway because thats the urban planning fad.

Trevor Burrus: So theyre thinking of sort of high density urban development with a lot of public transportation like streetcars and light rail and things like this, which is odd but it kind of makes you wonder if the entire concept of urban planning is just kind of silly. Are you kind of saying that?

Randal OToole: It doesnt make me wonder that. Its not kind of saying. Urban planning is a profession that doesnt deserve to exist. Thats why I call myself the antiplanner and I have a blog called The Antiplanner. Look up antiplanner and Im the first thing on the list. I write about this every day.

Urban planning always fails. They cant predict the future. So instead of predicting it, they try to envision it and they envision a past that they understand. Then they try to impose that on the future by passing all kinds of regulations and all kinds of laws.

Trevor Burrus: As I went to Tom being British, a town called Milton Keynes in or Keynes I think is how they say it.

Tom Clougherty: Milton Keynes. Its a must-see.

Trevor Burrus: In England, which is one of these post-war, fully-planned towns. I mean down to especially in England. They were really big on this. Have urban planners become less hubristic? I mean in England, they were just planning entire towns, entire blocks, trying to figure out everything that people wanted. Have they become less hubristic and a little bit more respectful of human freedom or are they just as planning as ever?

Randal OToole: Absolutely not. They have not become less hubristic and a lot of places a lot of private developers have built what are called master plan communities. The private developers did the planning and they were planning for the market. They were trying to figure out what do people want to live in and will build them a community like they want to live in.

They figure out, well, they want to be somewhat close to stores. So they have to have as many enough people in their community to convince a supermarket to open up a store, to come into Costco or something like that, to open up a store. They like to be near some nice restaurants. But they also like to have a yard. They also like to have wide streets to drive on.

So they plan for what people want. The urban planners that Im talking about are government planners and they plan for what they think people should have. They plan for what they think people should want, not what they do want. They think people should want to live in higher densities, that they should want to get around on transit, rather than driving, and so thats what they planned for even though nationwide only about two percent of travel is by well, one percent of travel and about two percent of commuting is by mass transit. Its insignificant outside of New York City, Washington and about four other urban areas. Transit is irrelevant really.

Tom Clougherty: Yeah. I mean its interesting that youre talking a lot about how contemporary urban planning is certainly anti-car, anti-automobility and yet I wonder whether the darkest era of urban planning was excessively pro-car. If you think of a lot of post-war development, the interstate highway system often driving major roads through established neighborhoods. Really trying to change peoples lives and the whole way they lived in the opposite direction of what theyre trying to do now. Is what we have now in urban planning almost a reaction to some of the mistakes of the past?

Randal OToole: No. I think what you have to whats consistent about urban planning is that its pro-middle class and anti-working class, anti-low income people. They call working class neighborhoods slums. This has been the trend for 125 years. Working class neighborhoods are slums. So we have to clear out those slums as if if we move the people out so that we dont have to look at them, they dont exist anymore.

Urban renewal in the 1950s was called by some negro removal because a million people were displaced by the urban renewal movement and most of them were Blacks, so 80 percent of them were Blacks.

They had to move from places that they could afford to places that were less affordable because they werent slums anymore. So the problem that urban that cities had in the 1940s and 50s that they saw they had is that the middle class people had moved to the suburbs and the people who were left were had lower incomes and they said, OK, these are slums. We have to get them out of here. You get the middle class people back into the cities and they looked at the interstates as a way of doing it.

The original interstate highway system as planned by the transportation engineers was going to bypass all the cities, was not going to enter the cities. They brought this proposal before congress and the cities went to congress and said, No, we want our share of the interstate money.

So they rewrote the system. They added 10 percent more miles all of which were in the inner cities and came back to congress in 56 and congress passed it with the endorsement of the urban mayors because the mayors wanted to use interstate highways as a vehicle for slum clearance.

They were to clear out the slums that the highways were built on. They would clear out the neighborhoods around those highways with eminent domain. That was all approved by the Supreme Court in the famous 1952 case here in Washington DC. Yeah.

And forced the people out and then build nice middle class neighborhoods. Today its the same thing. The whole complaint about urban sprawl is not a complaint about wealthy people moving in suburbs. Wealthy people started moving to the suburbs in the 1830s and nobody complained about urban sprawl then.

Middle class people started moving to the suburbs in the 1890s and nobody complained about it then. Weve had suburban sprawl for almost 200 years.

It was only when middle class people or simply when working class people started moving to the suburbs in the 1920s because they were able to buy Henry Fords affordable cars that people started complaining about urban sprawl.

The early complaints about urban sprawl were very class-oriented. You have these inelegant people out there in all stages of dress playing this ridiculous music on their Victor-Victrolaphones and dancing wildly and gesticulating and eating weird food.

Trevor Burrus: Showing their ankles.

Randal OToole: Doing all kinds of things that were horrible and it was very class-oriented and their prescription Im reading to you from a book called the Town and Country Plan. It was written by a British author and the prescription was we will pen all those people up in high-rises in the cities and in 1947, Britain passed the parliament passed a Town and Country Planning Act that put greenbelts around the cities for bidding development and then put high-rises in the cities that people lived in for a few years but was really only acceptable because a lot of housing had been palmed out. But as soon as people lived in it for more than 10 years, they realized we dont want to live like this. These are awful places to live in. So they revolted but

Trevor Burrus: This racial class part of the story seems to be I mean its you cannot separate it from the whole history of urban planning. Its about class and race and we have red lining. We have zoning. We have all these different things and its about the powerful who happen to be politically powerful in a given time trying to impose their view upon their fellow citizens and what the kind of city that they would like to live in which may not include you and your kind at least in my neighborhood.

Randal OToole: Well, I have a friend in California named Joseph Perkins whos a black radio talk show host and he says that he looks at urban planning smart growth as the new Jim Crow. He says the Sierra Club is the new KKK because theyre promoting these ideas and he goes to some place like Marin County, California which is just north of San Francisco and has very strict urban growth boundaries and low density zoning and he says he goes there and they he goes to these hearings and people are saying, We want to keep those people out.

He said, Well those people are people like me. But it isnt just people of color. Its a class thing. They want to keep the working class out. We dont like to talk about class in this country much but there definitely is a class structure.

You look at the progressives. They say, Well, we care about the working class. Well you might care about the working class but you dont like their values. They play country Western music which you hate. They drive around in big pick-ups.

Trevor Burrus: They drink soda.

Randal OToole: Yeah, they drink soda.

Trevor Burrus: They smoke cigarettes.

Randal OToole: They smoke cigarettes. They drink beer, not wine.

Trevor Burrus: Budweiser

Randal OToole: And they support Donald Trump and they oppose abortion and they do all the things that you say you care about them and yet your actual attitude is one of seething contempt.

Really zoning has always been about keeping working class people out of middle class neighborhoods and the whole planning today is about OK, were going to design transportation systems for the working class that will take them to work so that they can serve us and then take them home to places different from where we live and they can live a nice lifestyle in their high density apartment and walk down the stairs and go shopping so they dont have to shop in the same stores that we drive to. It sounds very idyllic if you

Trevor Burrus: Can afford it.

Randal OToole: No. If you can afford to not live that way, if youre a middle class person. But its not idyllic for the working class.

Trevor Burrus: So lets talk about some of these public transportation issues because I have this great classic Onion article because its tied in with all these ideas that public transportation is something that well, the headline is Report: 98 Percent Of US Commuters Favor Public Transportation for Others and weve had a spate of light rail, weve had streetcars and all these things have come up which it seems like the people who make them are not really theyre not using them. I expected them to probably not use them. They think other people should be using them. That seems to be a big story of public transportation.

Randal OToole: Well, theres a recent story that unfortunately it wasnt in the Onion but it was an authentic story in the Los Angeles Times that said despite the fact that were spending billions of dollars on transit, transit ridership is declining and thats true here in Washington DC as well. Transit ridership seems to have peaked about just before the financial crash and its not really recovering since the financial crash.

Really transit has been on a downhill since 1960 or 1950, the end of World War Two. What were seeing is people plowing more and more money into it and productivity is going down. The number of transit riders carried per transit worker is steadily declining.

The amount of money we spend to get one person out of their car has gone from a dollar in 1960 to $25 or more today just to get one person out of their car for one trip. We build transit lines that are so expensive that it would have been cheaper to give every single daily round trip rider on that transit line a new Toyota Prius every single year for the rest of their lives than to keep running that

Trevor Burrus: Im laughing and crying at the same time.

Randal OToole: And there are a lot of forces at work here. It started out in the 1970s. Congress had given cities the incentive to take over private transit. In 1965, almost all transit in America was private. By 1975, it was almost all public. Congress had said to cities you take over transit. We will pay for your new buses. We will pay for your capital costs. You just have to pay the operating costs.

So cities took them over and then in 1973, congress said, Oh by the way, if you have an interstate freeway thats planned in your city and you decide to cancel it, you can take the capital cost of that freeway and use it for transit capital investments. Well, cities thought that was great except for buses are so cheap that they couldnt afford to operate all the buses that you could buy for the cost of an interstate freeway.

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WTC PROGRESS – One World Trade Center

Posted: July 10, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and managed, operated and leased by The Durst Organization, One World Trade Center is redefining Lower Manhattans New York skyline. Standing at a symbolic 1,776 feet tall, the architectural and engineering marvel is an ever-present symbol of renewal and hope.

Designed by renowned architect David Childs, of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP, One World Trade Center incorporates new architectural and environmental standards, setting a new level of social responsibility in urban design.

The 104-story building, a joint venture between The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and The Durst Organization, is designed to be the safest commercial structure in the world and the premier c ommercial business address in New York. Currently One World Trade Center has leased 67 percent of its 3,000,000,000 square feet of office space which includes tenants: Cond Nast who is One WTCs an chor tenant leasing nearly 1.2 million square feet to house its global headquarters, U.S. General Services Administration which has leased more than 270,000 square feet, global digital gaming company High 5 Games has leased more than 85,000 square feet, Tech advertising firm xAd has leased more than 86,000 square feet, and prominent financial services Moodys has leased more than 70,000 square fee t bringing some of the worlds top companies to Lower Manhattan.

One World Trade Center has also attracted broadcast tenants CBS, NBC Universal-owned WNBC, WNJJ and PBS has relocated operations to the 408-foot-tall spire of One World Trade Center.

The ultra-modern design of One World Trade Center is an innovative mix of architecture, safety and sustainability featuring column-free floors, nine-foot high, floor to ceiling, and clear glass windows for

spectacular unparalleled views. The building’s simplicity and clarity of form are timeless, extending the long tradition of American ingenuity in high-rise construction. One World Trade Center will be a new visual landmark for New York and the United States.

One World Trade Center is designed to achieve LEED CS Gold Certification and its structure is designed around a strong, redundant steel frame, consisting of beams and columns. Paired with a concrete-core shear wall, the redundant steel frame lends substantial rigidity and redundancy to the overall building structure while providing column-free interior spans for maximum flexibility. The building incorporates highly advanced state-of-the-art life-safety systems that exceed the requirements of the New York City Building Code and that will lead the way in developing new innovative technology for high-rise building standards.

Through unprecedented collaborations with technology and energy leaders throughout the world, One World Trade Center’s design team used the latest methods to maximize efficiency, minimize waste a nd pollution, conserve water, improve air quality and reduce the impacts of the development.

Taking advantage of the next generation of innovative energy sources, as well as off-site renewable wind and hydro power, One World Trade Center is slated to be both safe and environmentally friendly.

Workers commuting to One World Trade Center will enjoy unprecedented access to mass transit service. Dazzling new climate-controlled corridors will connect One World Trade Center to the WTC Transportation Hub and the new PATH terminal, 11 NYC Transit subway lines and the new Fulton Street Transit Center, the World Financial Center and ferry terminal, underground parking and approximately 450,000 square feet of world-class shopping and dining amenities developed by Westfield a leading world-wide retail property owner situated throughout the16-acre World trade Center campus.

One World Trade Center’s location in Lower Manhattan positions it in close proximity to amenities at the World Financial Center, Battery Park City and the new West Side Promenade, as well as offers easy access to Tribeca, South Street Seaport and Wall Street. Neighborhood amenities include world-class shopping and a riverfront walkway in a mixed-use community that is active 24/7.

To learn about leasing space, see floor plans and more, visit the One World Trade Center site.

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Oil Offshore Marine – Oil and Gas Industry Jobs UK, Marine …

Posted: June 19, 2016 at 3:46 am

Oil Offshore Marine: Oil & Gas Jobs & CVs Online recruitment services (job vacancies, resume/cv database search) for Oil Industry, Energy, Offshore, Petroleum, Engineering, Construction, Drilling, Subsea, Marine, Shipbuilding, Shipping, Petrochemical. Have your own FREE account! Oil-Offshore-Marine.com provides online recruitment services (job vacancies, resume/cv database search, etc) for recruiters (agencies and employers) from Oil & Gas, Offshore & Subsea, Marine & Shipbuilding, Engineering, Shipping & Transportation, Renewable Energy, Petrochemical & Chemical, Mining, and Construction Industries. For jobseekers (candidates) we provide a wide range of 100% FREE services. Search for oil & gas jobs in the global oil industry. On Oil-Offshore-Marine.com you will find Oil & Gas Jobs, Oil Jobs, Oil Industry Jobs, Oil and Gas Careers, Marine Jobs, Offshore Jobs, Rig Jobs, Oil Careers, Offshore Merchant Marine Jobs, Oil Rigs Jobs, Drilling & Catering Ship Jobs, Petroleum Jobs, Energy Careers, Drilling Jobs, Offshore Supply Boat Jobs. Oil-Offshore-Marine.com – one engineering recruitment portal serving the whole international Oil & Gas, Energy, Offshore, Marine, Construction, Petrochemical, Engineering and Shipping industries. Oil-Offshore-Marine.com is a leading online job database (jobs search portal) career center, providing online recruitment tools (such as job postings, cv search in the cv database, advertising) to employers, recruitment agencies and advertisers seeking the best oil & gas (including offshore and marine) industry candidates for their job vacancies. Oil Offshore Marine is a worldwide career portal of Oil & Gas Jobs, Expat Jobs, Oil Careers and Overseas Jobs, providing career services for the Oil & Gas Industry, Offshore Industry, Marine Industry, Shipping Industry, Petrochemical Industry, Construction Industry, and Renewable Energy Industry (Biomass, Fuelcell, Geothermal, Renewable Fuels, Solar, Tidal, Wind).

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The Vindicator: The oldest continuously printing news source …

Posted: February 7, 2016 at 1:41 am

Senator Robert Nichols Senate District 3 http://www.senate.state.tx.us 512-463-0103 First elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, Robert Nichols represents 19 counties including the greater part of East Texas and Montgomery County. In the Texas Senate, Nichols serves as Chairman for the Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Senate Finance, Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Intergovernmental Relations Committees. He is a member of the Legislative Audit Committee and a former Vice Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Committee. During his five sessions as a state senator, Nichols authored and passed legislation to protect landowners rights, increase educational opportunities in East Texas and reform transportation policies. He has worked to reduce Medicaid fraud, and promote free-market principles. During his time with the Sunset Advisory Committee, he was able to help eliminate six state agencies which saved the tax payers $161.9 million. He has been named a Champion for Children by the Equity Center, a Courageous Conservative by the Texas Conservative Coalition, a Friend of County Government by the Texas Association of Counties and a Champion of Free Enterprise by the Texas Association of Business. Before running for Senate, Nichols served as transportation commissioner for eight years where he established a reputation for increasing efficiency without compromising quality. Nichols is a businessman from Jacksonville, Texas. In his hometown he served on city council, was elected mayor, built four successful manufacturing facilities, earned 32 U.S. patents, 128 foreign patents and created more than 900 jobs for East Texas families. Working his way through college by selling fireworks and ironing clothes for other students, Nichols earned a bachelors degree from Lamar University in 1968. He married his high school sweetheart, Donna, and they are the proud parents of three children: Brittney, Joshua and Collynnrae. Nichols is a member of First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. Senator Robert Nichols was introduced by Rotary Club of Liberty Sergeant at Arms Charles Grabein Tues., Nov. 3, 2015 at Liberty Center.

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