“Mars is there, waiting to be reached.”–Buzz Aldrin
“I want to die on Mars. Just not on impact.”–Elon Musk
Ah, Mars. Indeed it does seem to be just sitting there for the taking. And while I do appreciate Elon Musk’s desire not to die there on impact, I’m not so sure he cares whether you die there on impact. Or here on Earth, either, for that matter. His Mars ambitions are all over the news this week. As is usual for ‘ol Elon, they seem, well, over ambitious.
Mars/rocketry–The latest SpaceX pronouncement from Elon Musk, is that he aims to put humans on Mars by 2024. To attain that ambitious goal, he’s planning a new rocket design. It replaces the previous ITS (Interplanetary Transport System) design, with a new one called BFR. What does BFR mean? Well, its a BFD.
–Apparently Mars isn’t the only place Elon Musk wants to send you via his new BFR. He also wants to use it for very fast air transport on Earth. He might think it’s a good idea, but others not so much–as this article in The Verge suggests.
–Will we ever find Martians? NASA’s Mars 2020 rover aims to look for them. Or rather, for the carbon signatures of past Martian microbes, using a super hot laser technology.
–Speaking of colonizing Mars, the United Arab Emirates has stated a goal of building a major metropolis on Mars within 100 years. They plan to build a prototype right hear on Earth to test out the needed survival technologies.
Electric/next generation vehicles–Even as Elon Musk goes over the top with his rocketry ambitions, the bottom has, in a way, fallen out of his electric vehicle ambitions. It turns out that only 260 new Model 3 Teslas were produced in third quarter, versus an original projection of at least 1,500.
–Elon isn’t the only one with an aggressive agenda for electric vehicles. GM has announced they plan to introduce some 20 new all-electric models by 2023.
—BMW says they will add Amazon’s Alexa to their 2018 models. Great, it’s bad enough when that GPS voice gets all snarky on you; now there will be two of them.
Blockchain–Move over cryptocurrencies and other financial applications powered by blockchain. The CDC wants to use the technology to track disease outbreaks for the betterment of public health.
–Speaking of cryptocurrency, South Korea has joined China in banning new ICO’s. Initial Coin Offerings are the cryptocurrency equivalent of stock IPO’s.
Coming Attractions–On the next Seeking Delphi™ podcast, I’ll be speaking with Linda Groff, PhD, on her new book exploring options for future human evolution. Yes, for perhaps the first time in history, there are options.