NASA plans to send volunteers on ‘ONE-WAY mission to Mars to colonise planet’

Humans could be sent one-way to Mars under ambitious plans being investigated by NASA to permanently colonise other planets in space.

Space agency officials confirmed feasability studies were under way to asses whether astronauts could be permanently sent to the red planet, or its moons, to establish human colonies.

The multi-billion pound mission, titled Hundred Years Starship, is being spearheaded by the Ames Research Centre, one of NASA’s main research centres, based in Moffett Field, California.

Officials from the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are also heavily involved in turning the science fiction idea into a reality.

Early estimates put the cost of such a mission, which has “just started” at more than £7 billion and could be achieved by 2030.

Scientists have been given £600,000 government grant – including £100,000 from NASA – to start research into the idea, according to US reports.

The world’s billionaire’s, including Larry Page, Google’s co-founder, have been asked to help fund the project.

Pete Worden, the Ames director, confirmed the plans to a conference in San Francisco at the weekend.

“You heard it here. We hope to inveigle some billionaires to form a Hundred Year Starship fund,” he told the Long Conversation event at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

“The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds. Twenty years ago you had to whisper that in dark bars and get fired.

“Within a few years we will see the first true prototype of a spaceship that will take us between worlds.”

Such a space journey would take up to nine months with volunteers embarking on the mission knowing they would never return to earth.

This is because the cost of returning astronauts to earth would make the project prohibitively expensive. Supplies would be sent to make them self-sufficient.

Such a mission would be gruelling for humans with forbidding conditions including sub-zero temperatures and a thin atmosphere.

Read moreNASA plans to send volunteers on ‘ONE-WAY mission to Mars to colonise planet’

Several Dozen Pentagon Workers Used Their High-Level Security Clearances To Purchase And Download Child Pornography

Taxpayers money at work!


Security agencies were left at risk, investigators say



WASHINGTON — Federal investigators have identified several dozen Pentagon officials and contractors with high-level security clearances who allegedly purchased and downloaded child pornography, including an undisclosed number who used their government computers to obtain the illegal material, according to investigative reports.

The investigations have included employees of the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — which deal with some of the most sensitive work in intelligence and defense — among other organizations within the Defense Department.

The number of offenders is a small percentage of the thousands of people working for sensitive Pentagon-related agencies. But the fact that offenders include people with access to government secrets puts national security agencies “at risk of blackmail, bribery, and threats, especially since these individuals typically have access to military installations,’’ according to one report by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service from late 2009.

Some of the individuals have been prosecuted and other cases have been dropped, while more have languished several years without resolution, according to the previously undisclosed documents about the investigations.

The more than 50 pages, compiled by the investigative service, part of the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s Office, contain summaries of investigations initiated since 2002, including some cases that remain open.

Read moreSeveral Dozen Pentagon Workers Used Their High-Level Security Clearances To Purchase And Download Child Pornography

US scientists develop ‘fake’ GMO blood for use on battlefield

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Darpa launched a search for a renewable blood supply in 2008 (Click on image to enlarge.)

American scientists have developed ‘artificial’ blood that could soon be used to treat wounded soldiers in battle.

The genetically-engineered blood is created by taking cells from umbilical cords and using a machine to mimic the way bone marrow works to produce mass quantities of usable units of red blood cells.

Known as ‘blood pharming’ the programme was launched in 2008 by the Pentagon’s experimental arm, Darpa, to create blood to treat soldiers in far-flung battlefields.

The firm Arteriocyte, which received $1.95 million for the project, has now sent off its first shipment of O-negative blood to the food and drugs watchdog in the US, the FDA.

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U.S. soldiers carry a wounded soldier in Iraq. The breakthrough could help provide enough blood for battlefield transfusions

The blood is made by using hematopoietic cells taken from umbilical cords in a process called ‘pharming’ – using genetically engineered plants or animals to create mass quantities of useful substances.

One umbilical cord can be turned into around 20 units of usable blood. A wounded soldier in the field will require an average of six units during treatment.

Blood cells produced using this method are ‘functionally indistinguishable from red blood cells in healthy circulation’, the company claims.

Read moreUS scientists develop ‘fake’ GMO blood for use on battlefield

Pentagon Attempts To Develop A ‘Flying Submarine’

The US should rather attempt to ‘create’ a balanced budget instead.


Pentagon researchers are attempting to develop a military vehicle which can travel underwater like a submarine before bursting out of the waves and flying like an aeroplane.

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The manta ray-like flying submarine from The Incredibles. Photo: PIXAR

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the US military science and technology department, has set about creating an aircraft that can fly low over the water until near its target before disappearing under the sea to avoid detection.

It would then creep closer in submarine form before attacking its target, probably a ship or coastal installation, and fly home.

New Scientist reports that the project, which has been in development since 2008, has reached design proposal stage, and several outside developers have submitted designs. DARPA could start allocating funding to developers in as little as a year.

While the principles of hydrodynamic and aerodynamic flight are similar, the technological challenges are profound. Aircraft need to be as light as possible, so that they can use a minimum of power to get airborne, while submarines need to be dense and strong to withstand water pressure. Heavier-than-air aircraft get their lift from airflow over their wings – submarines simply pump water in and out to change their buoyancy.

One method of getting around the latter problem is to design a submarine that is lighter than water, but – like an upside-down aeroplane – uses lift generated by its wings to force it away from the surface. Then, after surfacing, the wings’ “angle of attack” would be changed to generate upwards lift instead, allowing it to fly.

Read morePentagon Attempts To Develop A ‘Flying Submarine’

DARPA Spills Details on its Plans for the ‘Transformer TX’ Flying Car

The Pentagon agency hopes to have a $43 million VTOL SUV in the air by 2015

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Transformer Car Oh hi DARPA, you called?

DARPA didn’t reveal much at first about its “Transformer TX” program aimed at developing a flying car for the military. But now the full proposal has been published, and shows that the Pentagon agency hopes to get a prototype airborne by 2015, The Register reports.

The mad scientists want a vertical-takeoff vehicle that handles like an off-road-capable SUV on the ground, and can cruise like a light single-engine aircraft at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.

Size limits for the design come to about two nose-to-tail Hummers, The Register calculates. That’s roomy enough for four fully-equipped troops, or one stretcher and one medic.

DARPA also wants its dream vehicle to have the ability to cover 250 miles before filling up on gas. It suggests incorporating technologies such as a hybrid electric drive, adaptive wing structures, or ducted tilt-rotor fans similar to what the Avatar gunships use.

The flying car marvel should also be able to do its own unmanned operations, like any other good robotic helicopter or vehicle in the U.S. military’s service. And flight controls should allow for any enlisted man or woman capable of driving a Humvee to pilot the vehicle.

Read moreDARPA Spills Details on its Plans for the ‘Transformer TX’ Flying Car

The soldier of the future will communicate through telepathy: Pentagon

Pentagon Preps Soldier Telepathy Push

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Forget the battlefield radios, the combat PDAs or even infantry hand signals. When the soldiers of the future want to communicate, they’ll read each other’s minds.

At least, that’s the hope of researchers at the Pentagon’s mad-science division Darpa. The agency’s budget for the next fiscal year includes $4 million to start up a program called Silent Talk. The goal is to “allow user-to-user communication on the battlefield without the use of vocalized speech through analysis of neural signals.” That’s on top of the $4 million the Army handed out last year to the University of California to investigate the potential for computer-mediated telepathy.

Before being vocalized, speech exists as word-specific neural signals in the mind. Darpa wants to develop technology that would detect these signals of  “pre-speech,” analyze them, and then transmit the statement to an intended interlocutor. Darpa plans to use EEG to read the brain waves. It’s a technique they’re also testing in a project to devise mind-reading binoculars that alert soldiers to threats faster the conscious mind can process them.

Read moreThe soldier of the future will communicate through telepathy: Pentagon

Report: Army to spend $50M on video games

The U.S. Army plans to spend some $50 million over five years on combat video games to train soldiers, according to a report in Stars and Stripes.

To oversee this investment, the Army created a game-training unit named, as military units often are, with an acronym, PEO-STRI, for “Project Executive Office – Simulation Training and Instrumentation.” This unit will track developments in the video game industry and choose promising products that could be used or modified to train soldiers.

The report said the Army unit also “has an undisclosed additional budget” to spend on a commercial game system to be used by February.

There’s already one game – DARWARS Ambush – in use for teaching soldiers. It was set up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA to focus mainly on the difficult problem of roadside ambushes that use explosives to hit at convoy vehicles. But that game, based on old technology, has limits, and the Army wants to upgrade to new systems.

Read moreReport: Army to spend $50M on video games

Darpa Wants to See Inside Your House

The Pentagon wants to be able to peer inside your apartment building — picking out where all the major rooms, stairways, and dens of evil-doers are.

The U.S. military is getting better and better at spotting its enemies, when they’re roaming around the streets. But once those foes duck into houses, they become a whole lot harder to spot. That’s why Darpa, the Defense Department’s way-out research arm, is looking to develop a suite of tools for “external sensing deep inside buildings.” The ultimate goal of this Harnessing Infrastructure for Building Reconnaissance (HIBR) project: “reverse the adversaries’ advantage of urban familiarity and sanctuary and provide U.S. Forces with complete above- and below-ground awareness.”

By the end of the project, Darpa wants a set of technologies that can see into a 10-story building with a two-level basement in a “high-density urban block” — and produce a kind of digital blueprint of the place. Using sensors mounted on backpacks, vehicles, or aircraft, the HIBR gear would, hopefully, be able to pick out every room, wall, stairway, and basement in the building — as well as all of the “electrical, plumbing, and installation systems.”

Darpa doesn’t come out and say it openly. But it appears that the agency wants these HIBR gadgets to be able to track the people inside these buildings, as well. Why else would these sensors be required to “provide real-time updates” once U.S. troops enter the building? Perhaps there’s more about the people-spotting tech, in the “classified appendix” to HIBR’s request for proposals.

Read moreDarpa Wants to See Inside Your House

Pravda: Shocking Menace of Satellite Surveillance (Part II)

There are various other satellite powers, such as manipulating electronic instruments and appliances like alarms, electronic watches and clocks, a television, radio, smoke detector and the electrical system of an automobile. For example, the digital alarm on a watch, tiny though it is, can be set off by a satellite from hundreds of miles up in space. And the light bulb of a lamp can be burned out with the burst of a laser from a satellite. In addition, street lights and porch lights can be turned on and off at will by someone at the controls of a satellite, the means being an electromagnetic beam which reverses the light’s polarity. Or a lamp can be made to burn out in a burst of blue light when the switch is flicked. As with other satellite powers, it makes no difference if the light is under a roof or a ton of concrete–it can still be manipulated by a satellite laser. Types of satellite lasers include the free-electron laser, the x-ray laser, the neutral-particle-beam laser, the chemical-oxygen-iodine laser and the mid-infra-red advanced chemical laser.

Read morePravda: Shocking Menace of Satellite Surveillance (Part II)

Pravda: Shocking Menace of Satellite Surveillance (Part I)

Unknown to most of the world, satellites can perform astonishing and often menacing feats. This should come as no surprise when one reflects on the massive effort poured into satellite technology since the Soviet satellite Sputnik, launched in 1957, caused panic in the U.S. A spy satellite can monitor a person’s every movement, even when the “target” is indoors or deep in the interior of a building or traveling rapidly down the highway in a car, in any kind of weather (cloudy, rainy, stormy). There is no place to hide on the face of the earth. It takes just three satellites to blanket the world with detection capacity. Besides tracking a person’s every action and relaying the data to a computer screen on earth, amazing powers of satellites include reading a person’s mind, monitoring conversations, manipulating electronic instruments and physically assaulting someone with a laser beam. Remote reading of someone’s mind through satellite technology is quite bizarre, yet it is being done; it is a reality at present, not a chimera from a futuristic dystopia! To those who might disbelieve my description of satellite surveillance, I’d simply cite a tried-and-true Roman proverb: Time reveals all things (tempus omnia revelat).

Read morePravda: Shocking Menace of Satellite Surveillance (Part I)