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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]


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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Automation – Wikipedia

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Seychelles | history – geography | Britannica.com

Posted: August 27, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Alternate Title: Republic of 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


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


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


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?


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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Transportation, Land Use, and Freedom | Libertarianism.org

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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

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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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Talk:Colonization of Mars – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: February 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Cost of a Manned Mission?[edit]

Is there any reliable information about the cost of a manned mission to mars? I think it would be useful to include in the article.

For anyone who digs this up, two ideas would be:

Q: How much will sending humans to Mars cost? A: Estimates of the cost of a human Mars exploration program over the years have been wildly disparate, leaving much confusion in their wake. On the high end of the scale was the Space Exploration Initiative proposed by President George H. W. Bush in 1989 at $450 billion; Mars Direct occupies the low end of the scale at roughly $30 billion. – http://www.marssociety.org/portal/c/faq

-Lexspoon 12:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I know many are already aware that both “colonization” and “colonisation” are valid ways of spelling the word. Nevertheless, I thought it would be nice to make a note of it here since I noticed some people changing things to reflect one particular spelling. This may be done for the sake of consistency, but, in that case, it should be noted that the wikipedia article for the term is listed under Colonisation. –Xaliqen

Consideration ought to be given to retitling this entry “Settlement of Mars” rather than coloniz/sation, given the negative connotations the word “colonization” engenders in political discussion. Inevitably — amazingly — such diversionary concerns arise when discussing Martian settlement. Ericmachmer (talk) 21:48, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

The possibility of terraforming plays a great part all over the article. However, I’m in doubt about its feasibility. For one thing I believe it takes too long to wait for the results, and nobody is willing to invest a dollar into something that possibly (!) returns in some hundred or may be thousand years. For another, there is good reason Mars having such a thin atmosphere today. The long term stability of a terraformed environment is pretty unlikely. All this about the terraforming thing seems to be science fiction, while the colonization is not. So, how about reducing the idea of terraforming to a small paragraph with a link to the main article Terraforming of Mars? The whole article would be more believable if it concentrates strictly on technology that is in reach of men. — The Cascade (talk) 08:04, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, our presence will change the Martian environment, there is no doubt about it. I would not call this unintentional influence terraforming, because it surely does not aim to make Mars resemble Terra. Neither I would expect the unintentional changes to leed even into this direction. No, our presence will not terraform Mars. Probably, our presence will dirtyform it.

Still this is not what I meant. The article describes intentional terraforming. Sure, it is much easier to live on a terraformed Mars, but yet it is not possible with our current knowledge and technology. There are ideas, but nobody knows about the viability. It’s too premature. I find it nice to have that article Terraforming of Mars. It is a good article, and I definitely want to keep it, even grow it bigger, concentrate all available info in it. However, the article Colonization of Mars points to a more realistic scenario. It describes many ideas to colonize the planet without the need for terraforming, which is possible with known technology. I wouldn’t want to describe terraforming here as inevitable, which is not at all. I find terraforming too fantastic, and my impression is that it makes the article somehow fantastic, too. I’d rather want the article be realistic. — The Cascade (talk) 14:48, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for being rude. And offensive for that matter… first of all the green house gases: Mars has a lots of it. atmosphere consists of >95% CO2. and there is frozen CO2 all over the planet… thats just not the reason why the atmosphere is so thin.

there are mainly two reasons:

1. mars is too small to keep a dense atmosphere. just not enough gravity to keep it.

2. no magnetic field. the charged particles from the sun (sun wind) just “blow” away the atmosphere.

We can think about a solution for (2), like building a superconductor coil around the equator. But because of (1) this wont help in the long run… terraforming mars is a nice dream. but as long as we dont invent a seriously new kind physics, it will be a dream..

Anyway i think it is good to mention the historical ideas about terraforming, just please also mention that it is just nowhere close to be imaginable for someone who studied physics. (talk) 17:17, 25 January 2011 (UTC)


Mars surface gravity is high enough to keep all gases except Hydrogen, Helium and Water. Further, water stays in the troposphere, (because of the cold trap), and is not normally lost to thermal escape. Mars HAS lost about 15 meters of water globally, but most of this was from UV light disassociating water into hydrogen and oxygen, with the hydrogen being quickly lost. If Mars was to have an oxygen atmosphere (and an ozone layer), it would keep its water for billions of years. In fact, even with out an oxygen atmosphere, Mars has kept its water for billions of years. Plenty of water is in its ice caps and as permafrost. It has not lost all of its water from thermal escape or any other method.

Scientists have shown that worlds with no magnetic field lose tiny amounts of air from solar wind erosion. This adds up over billions of years. However, it is not something that terraformers have to worry about over hundred of millions of year time scales. (100 million years is far longer than the lifetime of our species.)

Venus has no magnetic field and a solar flux more than 5 times what Mars has but it has not lost its atmosphere. Mercury has quite a strong magnetic field and basically has no atmosphere. The meme that no magnetic field = no atmosphere is far too simplistic. Venus is an obvious disproof of this idea.

Scientists think Mars had a 3 or 4 bar atmosphere early in its life and estimate that about 75% to 80% of this was lost to the solar wind. (The solar wind was ~100 times stronger at the start of the solar system and ~6 times stronger ~2.5 billion years ago.) Since it now has an atmosphere of 1/100th of a bar, where is its air?

In the soil. Lightning and UV radiation will form nitrates. On Earth these are recycled quickly by life. But in some regions like the Gobi desert, the nitrate beds are very deep. (Dozens of meters deep if I remember correctly, don’t quote me.) On Mars, most of the nitrogen was not lost, it has been deposited in the soil. Oxygen is too heavy for thermal escape, but will react with rocks or with salts to form perchlorates. Carbon dioxide will form carbonate rocks, be absorbed into CO2 clathrates, and be dissolved in ground water and form ice caps. Further, clays which are common on Mars will absorb carbon dioxide when they get cold, typically 4 to 6% by mass. Most of Mars’ atmosphere is in its soils and rocks.

If terraformers brought Mars atmosphere up to 1 bar pressure by dropping comets onto the planet, it would take 2 to 3 billion years of solar wind sputtering to reduce its air pressure to the point where humans still would NOT need a pressure suit. (Tho the pressure would be too low for humans to breath.) (This assumes that the Sun’s solar wind continues to decline or at least stays the same.) Claiming that we can’t live on a Terraformed Mars because the solar wind will erode the atmosphere in 2.5 billion years when the Earth’s biosphere won’t survive 800 mi
llion years (because the sun is warming) is silly. Let’s focus on the next two hundred to 200,000,000 years and let someone else worry about the time after that.

I’ll track down more references for these statements later. Out of time.


“Life and Death of Planet Earth, The: How The New Science Of Astrobiology Charts The Ultimate Fate” by Peter D Ward & Don Brownlee. // They show multicellar life likely won’t last 1/2 a billion years on Earth as the sun warms.




“Mars: A Warmer Wetter Planet” by Jeffrey S. Kargel // Discussed MEGAOUTFLO events in the past when the atmosphere in the soil out gases. Also talks about the 3 to 4 bar early Martian atmosphere & the martian water budget.

Warm regards, Rick. (talk) 15:51, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

I think that the discussion of economics on this page pays too much attention to ways that Earth could economically supplement life on Mars, and not enough attention to how Mars could supplement Earth. It mentions trade between Earth and Mars without mentioning what exactly Mars would have to offer Earth. I think the entire feasibility of Mars colonization rests on Mars having something that Earth does not have, and at this point, I have a great deal of trouble seeing what that might be, except cheap land, which doesn’t seem to me to make up for the transportation and development costs that would go into it. Maybe a tourist industry, but I don’t think you could build anything bigger than a small city on the basis of the tourist industry. Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above. The moon advocates have a myriad of ways to provide services/products to earth in a fiscal timetable, and value for value trades. However, this section on mars economics focuses mainly on earth providing economic benefits to mars and not an even exchange of value for value.Moonus111 (talk) 20:38, 1 October 2010 (UTC)


We know Mars has water enriched with deuterium (5 times more so than Earth). which is a viable export for cash. Strategic metals worth $10,000 / kg or more (gold and more expensive metals) can be shipped to Earth for a profit. Also, if there are asteroid bases, it is FAR cheaper to supply them from Mars than from Earth. Robert Zubrin suggested a triangle trade. High tech parts from Earth to Mars. Fuel, light industry supplies and food from Mars to the Asteroids. Asteroids send strategic metals back to Earth.

It is also easier for Mars to send stuff to Luna than it is to go from Earth to Luna. So if we get an industry collecting Helium 3 from the Moon, a similar triangle trade can be set up between the Earth, Mars and the Moon.

It won’t be profitable to go to Mars to get Platinum (for example). It would be cheaper to re-open marginal mines on Earth. But the platinum on Mars won’t have been picked over for hundreds of years – it will be right on the surface. If there are Martian colonists, they will be able to easily collect iridium, deuterium, rubidium, palladium, gallium, gold, etc, since there will be vulcanism and water created deposits right on the surface. These could be sold for a profit to get high tech, low mass supplies from Earth.

Mars has all of the elements needed for rocket fuel, plastics, industrial metals, computer chips and food. It also has a ~24 hour day night cycle which allows growing food economically. Coupled with Mars’ greatest resource (a shallow gravity well) it can supply needed materials to bases in the inner and outer solars system more cheaply than Earth can.

For example: On page 230 of “the case for Mars” Robert Zubrin shows that a mission to Ceres requires 50 times less mass to be launched from Mars rather than Earth. (If the mission requires 1,000 tonnes of supplies it can be done with two launches from Mars or 107 launches from Earth.) This assumes that no propellent has to be hauled to Ceres. If we have to bring return fuel as well, then the Earth based mission becomes even more hopeless. Even if space launches from Mars are 10 times more expensive than Earth, it would still be much more profitable to send supplies from Mars.

Luna has severe disadvantages for a self sustaining colony. It lacks 24 hour day night cycle which is a huge problem if you have to grow plants there. (Plants require a really tremendous amount of energy to grow with artificial light.) Its lack of atmosphere means that plants will die from solar flares unless you have thick glass walls which will crack from the day / night heat stress. It lacks ores since the moon is made up of junk rock (see page 220 ibid for why ores are rare on Luna but likely common on Mars). Elements like H, C, N, P, K & S are all rare or very rare on Luna and must be imported from else where. There is plenty of oxygen and silicon but they are tightly bound to the rock and require a huge amount of energy and hydrogen and carbon to extract.

For references to what I’ve said above (and far more details), see “The Case for Mars” and “Opening Space” by Robert Zubrin. (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Warm regards, Rick.

WHY WAS COMMENTS ON ROCKET SLEDS / ROTATING SKY HOOKS DELETED? Space elevators are far more difficult to build than a rocket sled / sky ramp and or a rotating sky hook. If you are looking for cheap ways for a martian colony to make getting into space both methods are far more practical than a space elevator. Further, a sky ramp can put things into low Mars orbit, which a space elevator can’t do, unless you haul rocket fuel up and launch from part way up the the elevator. I suggest that a rocket sled or Mag Lev style sky ramp located on Pavonis Mons is so many more times more practical than a space elevator (especially for a small colony struggling for capital) that the space elevator reference should be considered to be removed as a remote fantasy. I did not site sources in this article, but provided links to Wiki pages where there ARE references. (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Regards, Rick

While interesting, I’d not stress this too much until 1) the results are duplicated independently, and 2) a longer time period is tested. 34 days is hardly long enough to ensure the survival of earth-life in Martian conditions. Cumulative radiation affects, for example, could prove disastrous over the course of months/years. Additionally, one good solar flare would probably destroy any life exposed to it in the same environment that this lab used, which due to its lack of a magnetosphere, Mars would be greatly affected by (locally.) I don’t have a paper to cite, but discussions with some profs at the local university were not very positive on the long-term success of such tests. Note that hard questions were not asked/answered in the news articles cited, either. HammerFilmFan (talk) 12:20, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

On the 10th of November 2011 R.Schuster called for a citation for the statement: “It is not known if this is enough to prevent the health problems associated with Weightlessness.” However it is well known that no experiments were done in which human beings were subjected to fractional g accelerations for weeks or more at a time. The experimental evidence is from free fall in orbit. There does not need to be much documentation to show that we do not know something. So it seems we could just drop the citation nee
ded template on the basis of common knowledge. We should do that or get rid of the statement. – Fartherred (talk) 02:18, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

In a number of edits on the 19th of July, Robertinventor among other things removed the sentences: “It’s impossible for any manned mission to Mars to keep to the requirements of the [[COSPAR]] (Committee on Space Research) guidelines for planetary protection. NASA currently follows COSPAR guidelines.” He replaced these with a second link to [[Manned_mission_to_Mars#Critiques]] and his comments about introducing Earth organisms to Mars affecting Mars’ biologically pristine condition. I have added the comment about NASA following COSPAR guidelines of planetary protection to the [[Manned_mission_to_Mars#Critiques]]. However, this is better addressed directly in the [[Colonization of Mars]] article because it is a direct concern of colonization. The time of a colonization mission cannot be until nations supporting launches to orbit consider that the research question of life developing independently on Mars or not has been sufficiently addressed. Technologies necessary to the colonization of Mars have not been sufficiently developed to have a one-way mission to Mars yet, so we are not waiting just for the COSPAR requirements to expire; but it is a definite road block. There are some advocates of colonization that want colonization started in their lifetimes, as do the backers of Mars One. So this is an item of interest to them. For a neutral point of view, we should not be promoting Mars colonization or minimizing or ignoring the problems. We should present significant facts that are published. – Fartherred (talk) 17:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

The article fails to point out how easy it is to colonize mars. It has wind, a steady stream of wind will blow on mars as a faint wistle effect. Mars is a dead planet. It can easily be colonized and solar power is not an issue. Ever here of electro-magentic generators? Its called free energy. They would be quite sufficient.–Asfd777 (talk) 14:49, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

People can get the idea of domes for Mars colonies by looking at many old science fiction magazine covers, but a transparent dome is impractical for Mars. Temperatures down to -143 degrees Celsius just overwhelm the limited heating available from a dome greenhouse. It is more practical for a greenhouse to be a buried cylinder with a portion of the curved roof made of glass and steel exposed to sunlight from mirrors that concentrate it as much as is needed to maintain operating temperature, and the skylight covered by insulation at night. I cannot give a reliable source for this but it is rather obvious to someone who knows a little physics. I would like to see a reliable source for the statement that domes are useful for trapping heat for greenhouses on Mars so that if it comes from a graduate student I can urge that they flunk out and if it comes from a professor I can urge that his research funds be cut back. – Fartherred (talk) 21:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

There has been the direct observation of many of the elements necessary for life and this could be supported by citation. However some of the elements necessary for life are necessary only in trace amounts and have not been directly measured yet. We have from the theory of the solar system forming from a cloud of gas and dust that Earth and Mars formed from planetesimals that formed from dust in neighboring regions of the cloud. Therefore the elemental composition of Earth and Mars should have been similar to start with and only limited differences in environment caused changes in composition over geological ages. That Mars is expected to have all of the elements necessary for life can be arrived at by synthesis from sources that I have found, but maybe someone can find the synthesis published. Then it could be included in the article. – Fartherred (talk) 10:14, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

The result of the proposal was no consensus. –BDD (talk) 17:51, 22 March 2013 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

Colonization of Mars Settlement of Mars Reflects modern terminology in the space advocate community without the distracting cultural baggage accompanying the term ‘colonization’ Relisted. BDD (talk) 16:33, 15 March 2013 (UTC) Ericmachmer (talk) 15:56, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Comment I think consensus was quite clear, it was to not move. — (talk) 01:55, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Settlement of Mars , Mars settlement , Mars settlement should all redirect here. — (talk) 02:08, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Why is this useful? It seems to me that any worries about colonization should be addressed in the relevant sections up page. A lot of the info is literally duplicated from above. Also, it contains unsourced SYNTH from Robert Walker. Already have deleted some of the obvious duplication of info and unsourced opinions. The telerobotics paragraph is irrelevant so that was deleted as well. I have half a mind to delete the whole section. Warren Platts (talk) 17:14, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

This article now has an Advocacy section but no balancing Concerns section.

I kept a copy of the original Concerns section in my user space here: User:Robertinventor/Colonization_of_Mars_-_concerns

I expected this to happen as the author said he is nauseated by all the concerns sections on Project Mars and is on a cleanup mission, also to remove all content written by myself on contamination issues. I did not write this now deleted section, just contributed some material to it. Robert Walker (talk) 14:12, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Please be aware that a Request for Arbitration has been submitted to address the long-standing user conduct issues that prevent the resolution of content disputes. The RFAR is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Mars Robert McClenon (talk) 23:04, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Can we include a more realistic-looking image (like CGI or something like that) as the lead one? The current one looks a little like it’s from a children’s magazine… –Againme (talk) 19:56, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


Why not just stage something in Arizona, to convey the illusion that there are already people on Mars? It seems that this “childish” picture is sufficient to mislead the uninformed that Mars is already colonized. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 18:42, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

This is in response to a personal email I received from wikieditor Grayfell, who asked that I discuss this here. I need instruction from him or anyone so I can email him personally, I find communicating this way to be overly complicated and incoherent First, I’m writing the final pages of a non-fiction book, which includes several chapters on the colonization of Mars, exoplanets, etc, so I’m somewhat of an expert on the subject, regarding the real potential of a colony on Mars.

Now, the Colonization of Mars is a particularly unique subject, in particular regarding its inclusion in an encyclopedia, because there isnt actually a colony on Mars! And such a thing is certainly not inevitable. EVERYTHING about the colonization of Mars is opinion and highly speculative. The case can easily be made that nothing about this wiki page is encyclopedic! and that this web page is nothing but a bullhorn for the Mars advocates which certainly seems to be the case when some of the edits Ive made are undone before Ive even logged off! I mean, why would anyone be so vigilant about (of all things) the colonization of Mars?

Your sense of how things can be edited is too strict. Even your sens
e of what constitutes an encyclopedic tone is subjective and about which you dont have the last word. You and a few others are way too quick to simply undo others edits, and is arrogant.

First, why do you insist on using the word hospitable in describing Mars? That is entirely propagandistic. In no sense of the word, relatively or absolutely, is Mars hospitable. That might have been a matter of speculation to people in the stone ages, who gazed up in wonder but who couldnt have known any better; to Galileo; or even to early 20th century manbut NOW? given all that we know, in all its degrees of precision?

The sources that you are protecting belie the facts, and have no place in this wiki page. Anyone can write a science article these days and theres no reason their opinion is more relevant than mine. Even science articles are biased and often have a case to promote, and this is especially true for articles about Mars and the exploration of space. Furthermore, there are no sources that say that Mars has been colonized (regardless of unmanned research – which is truly amazing and gives me goose bumps), so maybe the entire Colonization of Mars page should be removed.

For the intro paragraph for this webpage, you need something for a general audience, not bogged down in misleading data. The fact is, a colony on Mars is science-fiction, and there are HUGE obstacles that prevent this from ever happening. this should be conveyed somewhere in the wiki page, preferably at the top, rather than cater to the dreamers and fantasists in some form of agenda.

For example, its FAR better to say that circumstances on Mars in fact would be deadly to all life as we know it (except for perhaps some extremophilic microorganisms) THAN deadly to most life because that implies that there are some forms of life on Mars, which is an OUTRAGEOUS implication, and propagandistic. Things that can be grown in simulated conditions on Earth do NOT change this simple fact! Mars is absolutely NOT hospitable to life and it is propagandistic to suggest that it does or might. Its not encyclopedic to suggest that there MIGHT be life on Mars when after the last 50 years of reconnaissance and actual soil and air analysisNO LIFE HAS BEEN FOUND ON MARS. Its very irrational at this point in the research – given all that we know, and we know a lot, and to a great deal of precision that there might be life on Mars. Thats a serious hang-up that is not supported by science, only by science-fiction fans and fantasists. Science doesnt HOPE or DREAM. Science simply collects facts.

The discovery of life on another planet would be the biggest breakthrough OF ALL TIME. That milestone has not been reached, so to imply that life may exist on Mars because of some dumb simulation here on Earth, or the unrestrained enthusiasm for such, does NOT belong in an encyclopedia. Maybe in Bizarre Fantasy Weekly, but not an encyclopedia.

This wiki page should not be used as a voice for dreamers, fantasists, or space tourism promoters. Now, I should be free to say THIS in the introductory paragraph maybe now you can appreciate how much restraint Ive been exercising.

The intro para to this wiki page should say, or convey, this specific point, because its realistic, not bogged down with misleading data, doesnt promote an agenda, and is entirely, as you say, encyclopedic:

It is absolutely true that This does not preclude the possibility that man might one day step foot on Mars and scout around, but whether or not we ever get to Mars seems less a matter of scientific progress, than the balance of power between sane and crazy which is properly referenced by National Geographic but which you reject because YOU HAVE AN AGENDA TO PROMOTE, which is in complete violation of the Wiki terms of service.

Its not scientific or encyclopedic to HOPE for something, just to state the facts or what can be reasonably surmised where scientific proof of something may be impossible, which seems to be the case, to a large degree, in this arena.

Given what we know, it makes more sense, at this point, to surmise that man will NOT colonize Mars, even though of course theres nothing to stop him from trying. This opinion should be conveyed, somehow, in the wiki page for this topic.

Bearing in mind that if someone wants to learn about Mars they are better served by the wiki page for Mars, because as a planet there is, of course, much to be said. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 20:03, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

As I indicated above, there are really no facts regarding a colonization of Mars, only opinions – much of which is wild speculation – so the idea of “reliable sources” regarding this is somewhat meaningless – since no one’s been to Mars! One could challenge anyone who claims to be an expert on this subject. For that reason I don’t understand why this webpage is so bulky! There seems to be nothing on the plus side for Mars! So where does the optimism come from?

Even for reliable sources, some things are still a matter of subjective opinion, or involve tremendous amounts of speculation, particularly about a colony on Mars. Such opinions are very biased, it’s nave to deny this. This occurs, for example, when a “specialist” says something will happen in 20 years – which gets them off the hook, and implies “let the next generation do it while we still collect a paycheck.” Engineers are not magicians, they can’t turn lead into gold. There’s an incentive to push things ahead 20 years and not a more realistic 50 – or 100. 20 years seems more within reach, so project funding is maintained. Imagine if they said 50 years – funding would stop! When a specialist at NASA says “something can be done” its because if he said “it can’t be done” he and the rest of his pals would lose their jobs! So this website CAN’T be a bullhorn for NASA or the Mars advocates. AND IN THIS ARENA, MANY THINGS MUST BE SURMISED, and this Wikipedia page includes a lot of surmising and speculating. Who do you think has their fingers crossed the hardest? NASA. When we read their articles we need to take everything they say with a few grains of salt, and be skeptical of their optimism, because the idea of a colony on Mars IS outrageous, for many reasons (and hence the book I’m writing). For starters, heavy payloads can’t land gently on Mars – but that’s just a distraction, that’s not even one of the REAL obstacles. Maybe these reasons are just more intuitive to me than you, based on years of reading and my own point of view, for which I have 2 science degrees to support, but you have a point of view too, it’s hard for ANYONE to be completely objective, we’re all rooting for one side or another.

Also, there are a lot of “opinions” on Wikipedia, everything isn’t sourced. Everything I’ve contributed to Wikipedia is objective, restrained, suitable for a general audience, and free of promotion. Even the part about “balance between sane and crazy” but I knew that would be deleted, even though some science articles are describing some things in this arena as just that. The content I’ve repeatedly posted to introduce this Wikipedia page is both historically correct, succinct, insightful, and captures the spirit of the concept without going overboard.

_____________________ I only

What’s interesting is that you haven’t substantiated any of your disagreements with me, just condescending threats and warnings.

As I just said to another editor,

So saying that something is “sourced” is, in the end, somewhat meaningless. Which is why I put a higher priority on relevance and readability than the source material. It goes without saying tha
t ALL of my edits are informed through the research I’ve been doing the last 15 months – and which is ongoing.

And again, regarding the “warring,” it takes two to tango. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 19:37, 13 November 2013 (UTC) __________________________

WikiEditor2563, why are you removing sourced, relevant text and wikilinks? [2] –NeilN talk to me 18:30, 13 November 2013 (UTC) _______________________

Note: this editor has now been indefinitely blocked. andy (talk) 22:56, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

I have no particular expertise in the area but as an ever-curious reader here is what struck me about the article:

My two cents anyways. –NeilN talk to me 00:27, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

As far as I can see the article now has no mention of the requirements for planetary protection of Mars. Particularly, increasing evidence of possible habitable regions on present day Mars surface for microbes. This is a recent news story in Nature about the warm seasonal flows now found in equatorial regions: Water seems to flow freely on Mars – Any areas of water could be off-limits to all but the cleanest spacecraft.

Current guidelines for Planetary protection require us to keep Mars free of Earth life so that we can study it in its pristine state. This is an international requirement under the Outer Space Treaty which all space faring countries and countries with space ambitions except N. Korea have signed and nearly all other countries as well.

There is much published on planetary protection issues for rovers on Mars, as of course is an ongoing thing – there is not so much published on planetary protection for future human missions to Mars, although the issues are of course far greater for humans.

This is one article Human Missions to Mars a Challenge for Planetary Protection:Gernot Groemer

There are also general statements in some of the COSPAR documents but no detailed discussion or technical details.

I think the general assumption is that the humans would be sent to Mars only after the current exploration phase is already completed, at a point when requirements for protection can be relaxed somewhat, but there is no set criterion for the end of the exploration phase (which I personally think must surely last at least several more decades, probably longer, before we have a reasonable understanding of Mars by way of ground truth).

On the idea that perhaps it might be a major issue for human missions to address, there is this 2012 space.com article, with remarks from Cassie Conley planetary protection officer. Manned Mars Missions Could Threaten Red Planet Life – which of course is a bit out of date not mentioning the newer 2013 resuults.

Suggestion: to say that

Robert Walker (talk) 14:00, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Hello everybody! I’m interested in reading about the feasability of a martian space elevator, such as mentionned by the end of the Tranportation section of this article. I already found an articles about the Space Elevators on Earth and the Moon. Now I need data about the martian one. Can anybody find them and add them to the article? Thanks. (talk) 15:28, 4 April 2015 (UTC) A Martian lost on Earth;)

In the section, Economics, there is a link to Economics of extraterrestrial resource extraction which at first sounds pertinent to colonization of Mars, but when one follows the link it leads by redirect to the asteroid mining article which is only indirectly related to Mars colonization. This link is particularly distracting because although it is attached to the words “economic problem” it does not elaborate the economic problem of the Colonization of Mars. – Fartherred (talk) 04:48, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Magnetosphere does nothing to UV or gamma rays, only to charged particles like beta and alpha rays. Now the sentence is misleading, but magnetosphere is good to mention in context of other radiation. I just don’t have clue what is the effect size..? (talk) 01:58, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

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Nsa | New York Post

Posted: January 31, 2016 at 2:44 am

NSA: Not tracking phones is a realmistake

November 29, 2015 | 6:13pm

WASHINGTON In the face of threats from ISIS, the National Security Agencys end Sunday to the bulk collection of phone records is a real mistake, according to the chairman…

LONDON Edward Snowden says he has offered to return to the United States and go to jail for leaking details of National Security Agency programs to intercept electronic communications…

September 29, 2015 | 2:28pm

Can you hear me now? That was the very first tweet by Edward Snowden as he finally joined Twitter on Tuesday. Using the handle @Snowden, the 32-year-old NSA whistle-blower racked…

ATLANTA Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said Tuesday that the government should have broad surveillance powers of Americans and private technology firms should cooperate better with intelligence agencies to…

August 16, 2015 | 11:59am

WASHINGTON Under a decades-old program with the government, telecom giant AT&T in 2003 led the way on a new collection capability that the National Security Agency said amounted to…

Federal and local authorities say no charges will be filed after an investigation of a fatal shooting by National Security Agency police at Fort Meade, Md.

PARIS France summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday following revelations by WikiLeaks that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the past three French presidents….

WikiLeaks published documents late Tuesday it says shows the US National Security Agency eavesdropped on the last three French presidents.

BERLIN German prosecutors on Friday closed their investigation into the alleged tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkels cellphone by the U.S. National Security Agency, saying they have been unable to…

Congress this week cut back the powers of the National Security Agency a first in the post-9/11 world. A far better target wouldve been the Transportation Security Administration. The…

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