Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Medals

Everything posted by eddo36

  1. eddo36

    How to Stop or Alter course to Nuclear War

    Something to play around with if you want to know the effect of various nukes at your place.
  2. PAK-DA IFLS - There is talk going around that the Russian military is developing a very interesting piece of technology. RIA Novosti reports that Colonel Alexei Solodovnikov, Russian commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, has referenced the development of a nuclear hypersonic plane that will be revealed at the International Military Technology Forum in September. The so-called “nuclear bomber†is capable of flying to outer space at hypersonic speeds, whereby it could fire nuclear warheads at targets on Earth. It will allegedly be able to travel any distance on Earth in one to two hours. The specifics of the prototype have not yet been reported. Although, Solodovnikov told RIA Novosti: “We are cooperating with Russia’s Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute on the design of an airframe and the aircraft's characteristics. I think that its lift-off mass must be 20-25 metric tonnes [22 to 27.5 tons] for it to be a strike aircraft. It will [be able to accelerate to] hypersonic speed in rocket mode." However, the Russian military has since refuted these rumors. In a statement to the Russian news agency TASS on Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that they hypothetically have the technology available, however, claims that they have been actually developing a prototype were “obviously misinterpreted". Others are also skeptical about the hearsay. Popular Mechanics said that the solution to creating enough engine power for the plane would be problematic at best. As they explain: “Afterburning turbofan engines used on fighter planes need oxygen to operate, something that isn't feasible in space. Scramjets aren't powerful enough, and ramjets wouldn't be fuel-efficient enough to use in regular atmospheric flight.â€
  3. (CNN) - President Barack Obama's administration estimated Friday that between 64 and 116 civilians have died during the years 2009-2015 from U.S. drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. In the same time span, the administration said between 2,372 and 2,581 militants had been taken out by drones. In an executive order, Obama tasked his administration with working in a uniform way to ensure that civilians aren't killed by drones. Agencies "shall maintain and promote best practices that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, take appropriate steps when such casualties occur, and draw lessons from our operations to further enhance the protection of civilians," Obama wrote in the order. Human rights groups are unlikely to be satisfied by the methods the administration used to calculate the figures and the geographic boundaries of the disclosure. Even ahead of the report's release, they dismissed the anticipated tally as being too low. The White House also announced Friday that Obama had signed an executive order telling U.S. agencies they "shall maintain and promote best practices that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, take appropriate steps when such casualties occur, and draw lessons from our operations to further enhance the protection of civilians." White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday the report was aimed at providing greater transparency. "The president believes that our counter-terrorism strategy is more effective and has more credibility when we're as transparent as possible," Earnest said. "There are obviously limitations for transparency when it comes to matters as sensitive as this. But the fact is, these operations that will be the substance of an announcement today are the kinds of operations that just a couple of years ago we wouldn't even confirm existed." Earnest continued, "It's an indication of how far that we've come that we are now in a position where we are describing the process for making decisions about these kinds of operations and being rather transparent, with not just the American public but with the world, about the outcome of those operations even when the outcome is not entirely consistent with our intentions." Ahead of the report's release, human rights groups were already dismissing what they asserted would be a woefully low estimate of the true number of civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes. Counts of civilian drone deaths have always caused controversy, given the difficulty in investigating the aftermath of strikes and unreliable reporting from on-the-ground sources. While the CIA drone program is widely reported upon and even referenced by government officials, it remains classified and individual strikes aren't typically confirmed by the agency. That's left outside groups -- like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the Long War Journal and the New America Foundation -- to piece together reports of strikes to account for civilian deaths. But distinguishing between militants and civilians is often difficult, and also has caused discrepancies. While some civilian deaths are clear-cut -- as when a 2014 U.S. strike on a wedding party in Yemen killed 12 -- others involve targets whose identities are less clear. Obama has insisted on more transparency in the drone program, and in 2013 unveiled policy reforms he said would bring a new legal framework to the use of drone technology. But that's done little to quiet the outrage from human rights groups, who say Obama has expanded a legally questionable killing regime. "What little the Obama Administration has previously said on the record about the drone program has been shown by the facts on the ground, and even the U.S. government's own internal documents, to be false," said the U.S. human rights group Reprieve in a statement made before the White House report's release. "It has to be asked what bare numbers will mean if they omit even basic details such as the names of those killed and the areas, even the countries, they live in," the group wrote Thursday.
  4. eddo36

    Pentagon ends transgender ban

    CNN - The Pentagon said Thursday it was ending the ban on transgender people being able to serve openly in the U.S. military. The announcement -- which removes one of the last barriers to military service by any individual -- was made by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who had been studying the issue for almost a year. The decision comes as the military has witnessed major changes in the role of women and the inclusion of gays, lesbians and bisexual service members in recent years. "The Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now -- the finest fighting force the world has ever known," Carter said Thursday at the Pentagon. "We don't want barriers unrelated to a person's qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or marine who can best accomplish the mission. We have to have access to 100% of America's population," he added. "Although relatively few in number, we're talking about talented and trained Americans who are serving their country with honor and distinction," he said. "We want to take the opportunity to retain people whose talent we've invested in and who've proven themselves." Carter said the decision was "a matter of principle." "Americans who want to serve and meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to compete," he said. The ground work to lift the prohibition began last year when the secretary said he would study the "readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly." "This has been an educational process for a lot of people in the department, including me," Carter said, describing his meetings with transgender service members. Carter said the ending of the ban takes effect immediately and that no longer could a transgender person be discharged on that basis. At the upper end of the estimates, there are as many as 11,000 transgender active duty service members and reservists who will be affected by the decision, according to a RAND Corporation study cited by the Pentagon. Carter noted the Pentagon received input from transgender service members and experts and medical professionals outside the department. He also said at least 18 other countries allow transgender members to serve openly. The move comes after gays, lesbians and bisexuals were allowed to serve openly in 2011 when the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was ended. In 2015, the Family Medical Leave Act was extended to cover all legally married same-sex couples and the Defense Department amended its equal opportunity program "to protect service members against discrimination because of sexual orientation." Rep. Mac Thornberry, Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Friday he had a number of longstanding questions for the Pentagon that remained unanswered. "In particular, there are readiness challenges that first must be addressed, such as the extent to which such individuals would be medically non-deployable," Thornberry said in a statement. "Almost a year has passed with no answer to our questions from Secretary Carter. Our top priority must be warfighting effectiveness and individual readiness is an essential part of that." The Pentagon's decision coincides with broader acceptance of transgendered individuals in the U.S., but also criticism from social conservatives.
  5. eddo36

    Pentagon ends transgender ban

    Any other countries openly allow transgenders to serve openly?
  6. CNN - Soldiers are showing some skin. For the first time, troops facing the summer heat are being permitted to roll up their uniform sleeves as part of a pilot program launched by the Army in Fort Hood, Texas. If successful, the 10-day trial run, which ends on Sunday, may be extended to bases across the country. It would allow soldiers to roll up their sleeves on the Army combat uniform during the hot summer months -- something that has been prohibited since 2005. "This pilot program shows soldiers that senior leaders listen to them. Soldiers have been asking me about rolling sleeves since I became the sergeant major of the Army. We'll take the feedback from Fort Hood and determine the next step," Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey told CNN. The story was first reported by the Army Times, which explained that the ban originally had been put into place to protect soldiers' forearms from sunburn and insect bites and that the uniform was never designed to have rolled sleeves. The debate on rolled sleeves been going on for years, particularly as other divisions of the U.S. military have been allowed to do so. For example, while Marines must keep their sleeves down in combat zones and during winter, they are allowed to have rolled sleeves during the summer. Navy sailors are also allowed to have rolled sleeves during the summer. While rolled-up sleeves might seem like a trivial issue to some outside the military, an Army historian said there's a reason the policy is in place. "For some officers, you have to look right to work right," said Luther Hanson, Museum Specialist at the Army Quartermaster Museum in Fort Lee, Virginia. "Rolled sleeves wouldn't look proper, you wouldn't look regulation ... everyone has to look exactly the same. It's a mindset." The first time rolled sleeves were seen was in the Army and Navy was during World War II, Hanson said. Before 1966, commanding officers could grant permission on a case-by-case basis for rolled sleeves. However, Hanson told CNN, "It finally got approved for use in Vietnam ... where it was necessary because you were sweating all the time." Reaction to the pilot program has so far has been largely positive. "Even though I am only just starting my Army training, when you look at other branches, they're all allowed to roll their sleeves," Will Patterson, 19, a cadet in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps at Mercyhurst University, told CNN, adding that his opinions were personal and didn't represent the Army's. "If it's what soldiers want, I think it's a great idea. It still looks professional and I think will improve morale." The Army Times published some of the responses it had received on their Facebook page: "About time! I always preferred to have my sleeves rolled. So much more comfortable. Hated it when the regs came out to not roll them anymore." -- Bob Shabasson "Having spent a great deal of time stationed in extremely hot climates I agree that troops should be able to roll their sleeves. Stupidity reigned when it was banned." -- Lisa Wililams But not everyone was on board. "It looks unprofessional, period. That's why it needs to be up to the command. If you're not doing manual labor of exerting yourself in support of the mission then you need to always present a professional appearance." -- Nancy Chisholm The Army has yet to announce when a final decision on the policy will be made. "It will review feedback from what happens at Fort Hood, and will look at the practicality of the sleeve-rolling experiment there before making any kinds of regulatory changes to current uniform policy," according to a statement on the Army website.
  7. http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/13/politics/first-woman-combatant-commander-lori-robinson/ It was another first for women in the military. Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson was appointed Friday to lead U.S. Northern Command, becoming the nation's first female combatant commander. "It is humbling," Robinson said at the ceremony at Peterson Air Force base in Colorado. "It is an honor. I can't think of a more sacred responsibility than defense of the homeland. And to be able to do that and be in this level of command is unbelievable." Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Robinson, a four-star general, was tapped because she was the most qualified for the post and called her a "superb officer." "She was selected because she was the most qualified officer," Carter said. "I hope that the excellence she represents is an inspiration to women to join our armed forces." Being a combatant commander is a prerequisite for serving as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making her the first woman who could qualify for that spot. Carter announced in March that he had recommended Robinson for the position to President Barack Obama. At the time, the defense secretary described her as having "very deep operational experience," "very good managerial experience" and, it "just so happens, would also be the first female combatant commander." Robinson, who had most recently serve as commander of Pacific Air Forces, had long been talked about as a possibility for the position. Northern Command oversees military operations in the continental United States, Alaska, Canada and Mexico. There are six regional combatant commands that oversee military operations around the globe. There are also three additional functional commands that oversee space, special forces and transportation operations. Combatant commands are led by a four-star general or admiral. The first woman to achieve the rank of four-star general was Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, who received the promotion in 2008. Robinson first entered the Air Force in 1982 and became an air battle manager, which are responsible for command and control of aircraft in air battle space.
  8. NASA, long known for its insatiable appetite for innovation has decided to invest in new projects, including building growable habitats and deep sleep chambers for astronauts on Mars. NASA seeks to challenge the impossible and “change the possible.†NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts), the agency's annual program that welcomes submissions from trailblazing researchers, has selected eight technology proposals to invest in. The projects have the "potential to transform future aerospace missions, introduce new capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems," the space agency said in a press release on Friday. Nasa said there is a range of cutting-edge concepts among the selected projects, including: an interplanetary habitat configured to induce deep sleep for astronauts on long-duration missions; a highly efficient dual aircraft platform that may be able to stay aloft for weeks or even months at a time, and even a method to produce “solar white†coatings for scattering sunlight and cooling fuel tanks in space down to 300°F below zero, with no energy input needed. NASA said the projects would take at least 10 years of study and development before they can be used on a mission. 
  9. Video of Raytheon's new TOW launcher here Raytheon is developing a new launcher for its tube-launched, optically tracked, wireless-guided (TOW) missiles. The TOW missile program has been around for 52 years and has gone through many evolutions, Phil Alvarez, a senior manager for missile systems at Raytheon, told Defense News at SOFEX, a special operations conference in Jordan. “The company took a look at the market, what customers, particularly international customers have, what launchers, and we looked at the feasibility of what systems are used by the US, and it’s kind of limited and we said, ‘What is the middle ground we can provide as far as capability at a price point these international customers could afford,’†Alvarez said. And so the TOW Eagle Fire launcher was born. The older launchers — the M220s — have a “pretty well-defined†capability when it comes to detection, identification and engagement range and it only performs during the day, according to Alvarez. Then there’s the Integrated Targeting System (ITAS) launcher, which is a long-range system with a lot of capability, but is expensive to own and operate and is only releasable to certain countries. The Eagle Fire launcher has about 75 percent of the capability of ITAS and costs about one-third of the price, Alvarez said. The new launcher is fully digital, has the capability to see at night, and is powered by lithium ion batteries or a vehicle’s power source. The battery life is extended from two hours to nine hours. The cost of ownership was also greatly reduced from previous systems, Alvarez noted, because Raytheon was able to develop the launcher with just five line replaceable units. The older launcher had more than 10 LRUs. With fewer LRUs, the time to train and to maintain the launcher will be greatly reduced and will save millions of dollars on extensive training, according to Alvarez. The launcher is capable of firing both old wired TOW missiles — there are tens of thousands of those out there — and the new RF transmitter TOW missiles. Raytheon announced at SOFEX that Jordan has signed an agreement with the Pentagon to buy RF TOW missiles. Raytheon will begin delivery this year. Jordan has had wired TOW missiles in its inventory for nearly 30 years and fires them from Apache attack helicopters as well as from a tube. Over 40 countries own TOW missiles and Raytheon has delivered over 690,000 of them worldwide, so the interest in a new launcher with a more reasonable price point is likely to be high. TOW missiles are expected to be in service beyond 2025, according to Raytheon. Alvarez said Raytheon expects to finish developing the launcher in 2018. The launcher had its first firing demonstration at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, in September and quietly made its debut in October at an international users conference.
  10. eddo36

    Military comics

    http://www.war-stories.com/lomaxcomics/ Vietnam Journal by Don Lomax
  11. eddo36

    USA election 2016

    Wrong, on the bottom two. Correct on the top 4.
  12. RT - Russia’s electronic warfare equipment producer launched tests of a tactical electromagnetic combat complex fully integrated with latest air-defense systems. It guarantees complete neutralization of all enemy electronics. Factory testing is underway for components of the new system, capable of protecting troops and civilian facilities from air and space attacks, a representative of Russia’s leading producer of electronic warfare systems, Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (KRET), told TASS. The tests are expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Integrated with air defense systems and networks, the new complex “maintains automated real-time intelligence data exchange with the airspace defense task force†to facilitate centralized target distribution, the source said. Solutions realized in the new complex ensure secure suppression of any existing and perspective airborne electronic equipment, making it impossible for the aircrafts and satellites to proceed with their missions. It uses brand-new algorithms of electronic jamming with expanded combat capabilities and modernized command module design. The complex consists of multiple jamming modules exercising long-range impact on enemy command system with a powerful and complex digital signal. “We’ve created multichannel information transmission system ensuring simultaneous electronic jamming of various systems,†KRET’s representative said. Jamming modules serve as elements of a hierarchically-organized multilevel system, which “optimally distributes its energy, band and intellectual resource,†KRET’s press service cited the deputy general director, Igor Nasenkov. Besides that, all modules are equipped with means of electronic self-defense, because they “they come as top-priority target for enemy’s primary attack,†Nasenkov said. In November 2015, Nasenkov said that a new upcoming ground-based electronic defense system integrated with air defense system is going to be incorporating antisatellite capabilities. The new jammer would render enemy precision weapons useless by suppressing guidance systems, including those relying on satellite signals. “The system is meant to jam enemy aviation, carrier-launched, tactical and strategic, and jam the signals of foreign military satellites,†Yury Maevsky, deputy head of KRET, told TASS also last November. Maevsky said elements and modules of the upcoming electronic warfare system are going to be deployed at will on various land-based, airborne and naval carriers.
  13. RT - A hypersonic missile being developed by Russia is likely to go into serial production as early as 2018, four years ahead of schedule. Testing of the Zircon missile, which can fly at speeds over 6,000 km/h, has already begun. Russia’s military-industrial complex has shortened the timeframe for the introduction of the hypersonic missile by four years, moving the mass production of Zircon rockets from 2022 to 2018, TASS reports, citing a source in the industry. “We plan to complete official tests in 2017 and start serial production a year later,†the source said. In February 2015 it was reported that a special fuel formula that allows hypersonic aerial vehicles to fly five times faster than the speed of sound had been developed in Russia, Sputnik cited the deputy defense minister, Army General Dmitry Bulgakov, as saying. The highly secretive new missile is expected to be able to fly at least five to six times faster than the speed of sound, which is over 6,125 km/h, making it practically impossible to intercept. With a rumored range of at least 400km (1,000km, according to other reports), the new missile will be able to find its target in a matter of minutes, making it impossible for a naval vessel to escape its reach, which is a common problem with modern subsonic anti-ship cruise missiles. It was reported in February that the Russian Navy’s nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great, Project 11442) would be armed with hypersonic cruise missiles by 2022. Another vessel of project 11442, the nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov, has been undergoing a general overhaul since late 2014 and will be completely refurbished and rearmed with brand-new Zircon and Kalibr NK missile systems. Zircon missiles will reportedly also be mounted on the newest fifth-generation nuclear-powered Husky class submarines, currently in development. Russia is also actively developing other hypersonic systems, such as BrahMos II, a short-range ramjet missile based on the P-800 Onyx. The joint Russian-Indian project BrahMos is currently producing missile which travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3 (or up to three times the speed of sound), widely believed to be the world's fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.
  14. Rachael Crane explores the future of space travel. Where are we going, how will we get there and can we handle the trip?
  15. RT - The latest marvels of Russian armored engineering have been deployed by Russian special forces during an anti-terrorist operation in Dagestan. The “Falkatus†and “Tiger†assault vehicles, which were top secret until only recently, were finally caught in action, much to everyone’s amazement. The special operation conducted on the outskirts of Makhachkala earlier this week resulted in the neutralization of three members of a terrorist cell. But besides this feat, the world received its first glimpse of two state-of-the-art armored multipurpose SUVs that military enthusiasts and bloggers have been speculating about for years. The newly-modified “Tiger†armored vehicle gave a breathtaking performance – firing what appeared to be a missile or a smoke grenade at terrorists who had been holed up in a mansion. The new version of the Russian assault armored vehicle, that had never previously been seen in photos or video footage, can be seen equipped with a turret which offers a 360 degree view. “Tiger†was designed specifically for the Federal Security Service (FSB) special forces for assault operations in dense urban areas. Unlike the basic version, the assault modification of “Tiger†comes with a more powerful engine and additional armor. New communications and life support installations were added for the convenience of servicemen and its driver. In addition to “Tiger†the footage also shows the “Falkatus†armored vehicle in action, whih was previously known as the “Punisher.†No one knows the exact characteristics of the new top secret vehicle, but experts believe that it can comfortably accommodate 10 people. The car allows soldiers to sit back to back to provide all-round visibility. All doors are fitted with narrow viewing windows while the roof over the troop compartment has a circular hatch, which many observers speculate could be used to install a weapon, if necessary under specific battle conditions. The V-shaped body that has been compared to the Batmobile has armored glass windows and windshield to better dissipate blast waves from explosions. The car is also fitted with Class 6a armor for better ballistic protection. The vehicle also has firing openings in the sides and rear doors. It is said that "Falkatus" has double-axle chassis, similar to the rally race version that "KAMAZ" uses in the Dakar rally. There is even speculation that "KAMAZ" rally driver and seven time Dakar champion, Vladimir Chagin, was involved in a test driving project. It is also believed that several modifications of the machine, each of which is different from the other, has already been built. As the specifications of “Falcatus†remain secret, bloggers believe that the 12 ton vehicle has 730 horsepower under the hood which allows it to reach speeds of up to 200 kmh. The “Falcatus†made its debut to the public when President Vladimir Putin inspected the FSB’s latest special operation vehicles in Moscow in February. The president also inspected a giant KAMAZ-produced “Viking†armored vehicle, based on the KAMAZ-4911 Extreme, originally designed for international racing events such as the Dakar Rally, and an armored dune buggy featuring rally-car seats.
  16. Each I posted are different from each other, and I don't post everyday. Unless a mod tells me to, I don't see the big deal.
  17. CNN - The most expensive warship ever built, the $12.9 billion aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), is expected to join the U.S. Navy's fleet in September, a Navy official says. Sean J. Stackley, the Navy's assistant secretary for acquisitions, gave the timetable for the 100,000-ton, 1,100-foot-long supercarrier in testimony prepared for the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. As of March, the Ford, on which construction began in 2009, was 97% complete, Stackley said. He said the carrier is expected to begin sea trials in July and be delivered to the Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding two months later. The ship is named after the 38th president, who died in 2006. He served aboard the USS Monterey during World War II and was discharged from the Navy as a lieutenant commander. Stackley said the next carrier in the Ford class, the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), is scheduled to be launched in 2020. That ship was 18% percent complete as of March, he said. The third Ford-class carrier, the USS Enterprise (CVN 80), is set to begin construction in 2018, Stackley said. The timetable for the Navy's biggest warships came as Stackley gave lawmakers the Navy's budget request for the next five years. The service wants to spend $81.3 billion over that period to build 38 warships, he said. Included in that request are the first replacement for the aging Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, nine Virginia-class attack submarines, 10 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and smaller numbers of other surface ships. The goal of the building plan is to have a Navy battle force of 308 ships by 2021, according to Stackley's testimony.
  18. CNN's Rachel Crane takes you inside BA 330, one of the habitats Bigelow Aerospace has designed to make living in space more accessible.
  19. http://www.iflscience.com/space/here-s-how-we-could-build-colony-alien-world If the human race is to survive in the long-run, we will probably have to colonise other planets. Whether we make the Earth uninhabitable ourselves or it simply reaches the natural end of its ability to support life, one day we will have to look for a new home. Hollywood films such as The Martian and Interstellar give us a glimpse of what may be in store for us. Mars is certainly the most habitable destination in our solar system, but there are thousands of exoplanets orbiting other stars that could be a replacement for our Earth. So what technology will we need to make this possible? We effectively already have one space colony, the International Space Station (ISS). But it is only 350km away from Earth and relies on a continuous resupply of resources for its crew of six. Much of the technology developed for the ISS, such as radiation shielding, water and air recycling, solar power collection, is certainly transferable to future space settlements. However, a permanent space colony on the surface of another planet or moon adds a new set of challenges. Unnatural Habitat The first requirement for a human settlement is a habitat, an isolated environment able to maintain air pressure, composition (the amount of oxygen), and temperature, and protect the inhabitants from radiation. This is likely to be a relatively large and heavy structure. Launching large, heavy objects into space is a costly and difficult job. Spacecraft since the Apollo missions, which comprised several modules that had to separate and dock, have been sent up in pieces and assembled by astronauts. But given the impressive steps forward we are seeing in autonomous control, the pieces of a colony habitat may be able to assemble themselves. Today, manoeuvres similar to the Apollo docking are performed completely automatically. The alternative would be to carry a minimal “toolbox†from Earth and manufacture the habitat using locally-harvested resources. Specifically, 3D printers could be used to turn minerals from the local soil into physical structures. We’ve actually already started looking at making this possible. Private firm Planetary Resources has demonstrated 3D printing using raw material from a metal-rich asteroid sample found on Earth in an impact site. And NASA has installed a 3D printer on the ISS to show it can be used in zero-gravity, potentially as a way of making spacecraft components in space. Liquid Lifeline Once the habitat is built, the colony will need continuous supplies of water, oxygen, energy and food to sustain its inhabitants, presuming the colony wasn’t built on an idyllic Earth-like planet with these resources in abundance. Water is fundamental for life as we know it but could also be used to make propellant or radiation shielding. An initial settlement would need to carry a certain amount of water and recycle all waste liquids. This is already done on the ISS, where no drop of liquid (washing, sweat, tears, or even urine) is wasted. But a colony would also likely try to extract water, possibly from underground supplies of liquid – as may exist on Mars – or ice, as can been found under the surface of certain asteroids. Water also provides a source of oxygen. On the ISS, oxygen is generated by using a process known as electrolysis to separate it from the hydrogen in water. NASA is also working on developing techniques to regenerate oxygen from atmospheric byproducts, such as the carbon dioxide we exhale while breathing. Energy Farming Producing energy is probably the technological aspect of starting a colony that we are best prepared for thanks to photo-voltaic solar panels. But depending on the location of the colony planet, we may need to improve this technology much further. At Earth distance, we can obtain about 470W of electric power for each square metre of solar cells. This value is lower on the surface of Mars because it is 50% further from the sun than Earth and has a thick atmosphere that partially shields the sunlight. In fact, Mars’s atmosphere is subject to periodic sand storms, which are notoriously problematic as the sand further limits the amount of received light and can also collect on and cover the panels. But we have already started to deal with these issues in the design of our current rover missions to Mars. For example, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity were designed to last about 90 days but after more than 12 years, they are still operational. And we’ve discovered that Martian wind periodically cleans the dust from the panels. A colony needs to be self-sustained so – without a Star Trek-style replicator – farming will be essential for producing food. Crops can also be used to convert carbon dioxide in the air back into breathable oxygen. Growing plants on Earth is relatively easy because the environment is what they have been adapting to for thousands of years, but growing fruits and vegetables in space or in another planet is not as simple. Temperature, pressure, humidity, carbon dioxide levels, composition of soil and gravity all affect the survival and growth of plants, with different effects on different species. Several studies and experiments are currently ongoing to try to grow plants in controlled chambers that mimic the environment of a space colony. One potential solution that has already been proven on Earth with radishes, lettuces and green onions is hydroponic farming, which involves growing plants in a nutrient-enriched fluid without any soil. Climate Change The final requirement for a space colony will be keeping the climate habitable. Atmospheric composition and climate on other celestial bodies are very different to Earth’s. There is no atmosphere on the moon or asteroids, and on Mars the atmosphere is made mainly of carbon dioxide, producing surface temperatures of 20°C down to -153°C during winter at the poles, and an air pressure just 0.6% of Earth’s. In such prohibitive conditions, settlers will be limited to living inside the isolated habitats and strolls outside will only be possible using spacesuits. One alternative solution may be to change the planet’s climate on a large scale. We’re already studying such “geo-engineering†as a way to respond to Earth’s climate change. This would require huge effort but similar techniques could be scaled and applied for example to other planets such as Mars. Possible methods include bioengineering organisms to convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to oxygen, or darkening the Martian polar caps to reduce the amount of sunlight they reflect and increase the surface temperature. Alternatively, a large formation of orbiting solar mirrors could reflect the light of the sun on specific regions such as the poles to cause a local increase in temperature. Some have speculated that such relatively small temperature changes could trigger the climate to take on a new state with much higher air pressure, which could be the first step towards terraforming Mars.
  20. http://idealconceal.com/ Think this will be legal in the US?
  21. Interesting but don't think those released are the classified ones.
  22. (DailyMail) - Monster trucks have been a design for racing and destruction, but a similar concept looks to assists workers in extreme environments. The Sherp ATV is an all-terrain mini monster that not only dominates over rugged environments, it also plows through water, snow and ice. This Russian ATV's is equip with enormous self-inflating tires and paddle-like treads that propels the machine over obstacles as tall as 27.5 inches. The Sherp ATV is the brain child of Alexei Garagashyan, a mechanic in Saint Petersburg, who has had an interest in unconventional solutions in traditional SUVs, such as building race cars, reports Auto Motor und Sport. Previous to this mini monster, Garagashyan designed a buoyant off-roader, which led to the idea of motorizing four wheels. The entire idea of Sherp is focused around four huge low-pressure tires, which are the most noticeable attributes of the vehicle. It measures 11 feet long and can climb over obstacles as tall as 27.5 inches. On land, the massive wheels move like tank treads in that, they lock up or slow up one side to turn. Combine them with skid-steer and it can turn in its own length, as long as it is 8.2 feet apart from an object. Sherp is equip with a water heater, analog devices and display and halogen headlights. There is a device that instantly drains water from the body of the vehicle when it is submerged in water. The cab seats two people, who use levers to steer and accelerate and slow the machine down. An indestructible diesel 15.3 gallon 44 horsepower engine from Kubota, a Japanese manufacture, is used to power 2,866 pound vehicle that tops out at 27.9 mph on land and 3.7 mph in water. Makers are pushing to brand Sherp as a work vehicle for extreme environments that will transport people and their tools on the top of a mountain or power lines or swamps, reports Yahoo Autos. The mini monster truck comes in two models that also come with a hefty price tag. One model goes for $65,000, which has a tent-like roof and no wipers or heater, and the ‘Kung’ starts at $70,000 and is made with a hardtop. There are also extras that can be purchased such as a matching trailer or additional tanks at the wheel. In 2010, Garagashyan created Cheburator, a makeshift board rotary jeep with a frame of welded pipes that topped out at 24 mph, which spurred the idea for Sherp. It has the ability to drive over the ice, break it and jump in and out to keep moving and it only costs $20,000. The company Sherpa began in 2012, to test Garagashyanom’s first prototype. ‘Our goal was to show the world the car, which has no equal on the terrain,’ according to the Sherpa website. ‘And only in 2015, having three years of improvements, changes and choosing the best technical solutions, materials and components we launched Sherpa-terrain vehicle into mass production.’
  23. (CNN) - The U.S. military is spending millions on an advanced implant that would allow a human brain to communicate directly with computers. If it succeeds, cyborgs will be a reality. The Pentagon's research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), hopes the implant will allow humans to directly interface with computers, which could benefit people with aural and visual disabilities, such as veterans injured in combat. The goal of the proposed implant is to "open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics" according to DARPA's program manager, Phillip Alvelda. In January, DARPA announced it plans to spend up to $62 million on the project, which is part of its Neural Engineering System Design program. The implant would be small -- no larger than one cubic centimeter, or roughly the size of two stacked nickels -- according to DARPA. The implantable device aims to convert neurons in the brain into electronic signals and provide unprecedented "data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world," according to a DARPA statement announcing the new project. DARPA sees the implant as providing a foundation for new therapies that could help people with deficits in sight or hearing by "feeding digital auditory or visual information into the brain." A spokesman for DARPA told CNN that the program is not intended for military applications. But some experts see such an implant as having the potential for numerous applications, including military ones, in the field of wearable robotics -- which aims to augment and restore human performance. Conor Walsh, a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Harvard University, told CNN that the implant would "change the game," adding that "in the future, wearable robotic devices will be controlled by implants." Walsh sees the potential for wearable robotic devices or exoskeletons in everything from helping a medical patient recover from a stroke to enhancing soldiers' capabilities in combat. The U.S. military is currently developing a battery-powered exoskeleton, the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, to provide superior protection from enemy fire and in-helmet technologies that boost the user's communications ability and vision. The suits' development is being overseen by U.S. Special Operations Command. In theory, the proposed neural implant would allow the military member operating the suit to more effectively control the armored exoskeleton while deployed in combat. However, Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist and professor of psychology at Harvard, was skeptical of the proposed innovation, calling the idea a "bunch of hype with no results." He told CNN, "We have little to no idea how exactly the brain codes complex information" and cited the problems from foreign objects triggering brain inflammation that can cause serious neurological issues. Pinker described "neural enhancement" for healthy brains as being a "boondoggle," but he suggested that there could be some benefit for people suffering from brain-related diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. In its announcement, DARPA acknowledged that an implant is still a long ways away, with breakthroughs in neuroscience, synthetic biology, low-power electronics, photonics and medical-device manufacturing needed before the device could be used. DARPA plans to recruit a diverse set of experts in an attempt to accelerate the project's development, according to its statement announcing the project. Pinker remained skeptical, however, telling CNN: "My guess is that it's a waste of taxpayer dollars."