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Space


Analysis and insight on advances in space exploration and technology. Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important space trends.

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Our Star Trek-like Future Awaits on This Week’s Episode of Ask an Expert [VIDEO]

If you consider how much of our world's systems revolve around scarcity — from basic needs like food and shelter to quality-of-life improving desirables — it's no wonder that the resource-abundant world of the Star Trek universe would...

Who Will Become the First Martian? A Rundown of the Race to the Red Planet

In Ridley Scott’s film version of Andy Weir’s The Martian, to be released October 2, astronaut Mark Watney has to eat potatoes by himself on Mars after a dust storm strands him there. NASA...

What Water on Mars Means for the Future of Space Exploration

Geomorphologist Lujendra Ojha of Georgia Tech first noticed strange streaks on Mars in 2011. They appeared on the walls of craters — dark, downhill smears that appeared and then disappeared. He and colleagues watched...

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Sensors and robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries. This post (part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will...

A Peek at Some of the Coolest Companies in the SU Universe

"Want to become a billionaire? Then help a billion people." "The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities." Both of these statements are the way I describe the premise of Singularity University's Graduate Studies...

We Can’t Find Any Alien Neighbors and Virtual Reality Might Be to Blame

“If the transcension hypothesis is correct, inner space, not outer space, is the final frontier for universal intelligence. Our destiny is density.” – John Smart Only decades into our “age of cosmology” — the moment...

Virtual Reality Will Let You Experience the Awe Only Astronauts Have Known

Virtual reality will entertain us, connect us, open up new digital worlds—but can it revolutionize our view of the real world too? Maybe. By making us all astronauts for a day. The Overview Effect is...

GSP 2015 Closing Ceremony: Meet 20+ Startups With Revolution on the Brain

Join Singularity University August 20 at San Jose’s California Theatre for the 2015 Graduate Studies Program Closing Ceremony—a night of inspiration, impact, and exciting pitches for 20+ new startups aiming to tackle the world’s biggest challenges....

Forget Rocket Fuel: This Spaceplane Will Use Microwave Beams to Reach Orbit

Over half a century after the dawn of the space age, getting to space remains an epic challenge. Twice this year, the first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket met a fiery end...

Pluto First Contact Immortalized in Iconic Image on Instagram (How Else?)

Yesterday, as the New Horizons spacecraft rocketed past Pluto on its closest approach, NASA posted the best image of the dwarf planet yet. Where? On Instagram. In the almost decade since New Horizons left Earth,...

Why Entrepreneurs, Not Government, Drive Innovation

It's sad that the U.S. government doesn't fund risky research anymore. After all, "the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it's a crazy idea"… and if you're not funding crazy ideas, you're stuck with...

Three Futuristic Mars Machines That Aren’t Rovers

Human exploration of Mars dates back to the beginning of the space age. Our first machine emissaries buzzed the Red Planet in the 1960s, and the first landers touched down in the next decade. The...
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The Story Behind the First 3D Printed Wrench in Space [Video]

You may recall that late last year, a breakthrough in manufacturing occurred a few hundred miles above the Earth. After having sent a 3D printer to the International Space Station and printed its first object, a file for...

Watch NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Buzz Dwarf Planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt

This March, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft became the first explorer to visit a dwarf planet. Primarily a science mission, Dawn will map the surface of the asteroid belt’s largest citizen, Ceres, to learn more about what...

How to Disrupt Yourself With Moonshot Thinking and Unholy Alliances

I often consult for Fortune 500 companies who are looking for ways to innovate (quickly). Perhaps they've heard the stat that 40 percent of today's Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist in 10 years. Earlier...

Why 3D Printing a Jet Engine or Car Is Just the Beginning

The 3D printing (digital manufacturing) market has had a lot of hype over the past few years. Most recently, it seems this technology arena has entered the "trough of disillusionment," as 3D printing stock prices...

Watching This Simulated Star Die Is Mesmerizing…and Good Science Too

Traditionally, we’ve done science by observing nature in person or setting up experiments in the lab. Now, a relatively new scientific technique is proving a powerful tool—simulating nature on supercomputers. A few years ago, Caltech...
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A Quantum Computer Is a Delicate Beast: Video Tour of D-Wave’s Black Box (Part I)

Quantum computing is an old idea. But in the practical sense, it’s still very early days. If you actually want your own ready-made quantum computer—you won’t have to do much comparison shopping. The D-Wave series of quantum computers have been...

Celebrate 25 Years of Hubble With This Warp Speed Tour of the Spectacular Gum Nebula

When our ancestors looked up at night, they saw the star-studded dome of heaven. It’s easy to understand why they thought this. Even today, gazing at the sky, the stars appear fixed on a gently curved surface. Of...

The Coming Problem of Our iPhones Being More Intelligent Than Us

Ray Kurzweil made a startling prediction in 1999 that appears to be coming true: that by 2023 a $1,000 laptop would have the computing power and storage capacity of a human brain.  He also...

Should We Arm the International Space Station With Lasers to Destroy Space Junk?

If you look closely enough, Earth has rings. NASA estimates there are some 500,000 pieces of space debris in orbit. Space junk, traveling up to ten times the speed of a bullet, endangers satellites...

The 4 Steps That Transform Physics Theories Into Groundbreaking New Technologies

Ever wondered how the technology we use every day came into existence? Sure, an engineer designed it, a manufacturer produced it, and some savvy marketing helped sell you the product, but where did the...

Our Solar System’s 9 Extraterrestrial Oceans in One Surprising Infographic

When scientists looked at Mars through early telescopes, they saw a fuzzy, rust-colored globe scored by mysterious dark gashes some believed were alien canals. Later, armed with sharper images, we scoffed at such naiveté. Mars is obviously dry as...

Which Industry Will Produce the Next Henry Ford…Space? 3D Printing? Biotech?

Modern machines, powerful and clever, have enabled us to attempt seemingly impossible tasks, like traveling to the moon. Now, mere decades after Apollo’s computers guided us to the lunar surface, millions carry vastly more processing...

Interview: Neil Jacobstein Discusses Future of Jobs, Universal Basic Income and the Ethical Dangers of AI

As part of Singularity Hub's Future of Work series, I had a chance to sit down with Neil Jacobstein, the co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics track. Neil has worked on AI applications...

Summit Spain: A Highlight Reel of 3D Printing’s Exponential Rise

"Digital manufacturing is really the most important topic of this summit, because it's the notion of creating what I want, when I want, and where I want. It's basically information enabling our physical world." By now, you've likely...

Revolution in Fundraising

Over the last 30 years, I've raised hundreds of millions of dollars for my startups and XPRIZEs. This is a critical blog for any entrepreneur trying to raise money. As the saying goes, no bucks,...
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Sci-Fi Sunday: Deep Space Is a Weird and Lonely Place for Humans and AI Alike

The desolate reaches of deep space figure heavily in today’s sci-fi short film double feature. Space, as it turns out, is really big and empty. Until we get warp drive or discover a local...

Might a ‘Gold Rush’ on the Moon Trigger the Next Epic Space Race?

As a kid, I devoured Star Trek: The Next Generation, and though it now appears nearly as campy as the original series did back then, I still love it. But Star Trek led me...

$34 Handheld Smartphone Device Diagnoses HIV and Syphilis in a Flash

Imagine never having to go to a lab for a blood test again. Never waiting days for results or paying through the nose for a single test. Instead, you attach a small device to...
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As the Powerful Argue AI Ethics, Might Superintelligence Arise on the Fringes?

Last year, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking admitted they were concerned about artificial intelligence. While undeniably brilliant, neither are AI researchers. Then this week Bill Gates leapt into the fray, also voicing concern—even as a chief of...
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Google Pledges $3 Million to Singularity University to Make Graduate Studies Program Free of Charge

Google, a long-time supporter of Singularity University (SU), has agreed to a two-year, $3 million contribution to SU's flagship Graduate Studies Program (GSP). Google will become the program's title sponsor and ensure all successful direct applicants get...

Tomorrow’s Technology Depends on Today’s Physics

Did you know that you already love physics? Consider the technology around you. Your computer’s microchips were built from transistors using quantum physics. GPS navigation? Sensitive to nanosecond calculations derived from Einstein's general theory of...
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Top 5 Videos in Elon Musk and SpaceX’s Quest For Reusable Rockets

A week ago, in the open ocean off the Florida coast, the first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket nearly made history. SpaceX is attempting to recover, refurbish, and reuse its rockets to...

Take a Tour of Hubble’s Mind Blowing High Definition Snapshot of the Andromeda Galaxy

Recently, NASA and ESA released the most detailed image yet of Andromeda, our closest galactic neighbor at 2.5 million light years away. Andromeda—which is expected to collide and merge with our own Milky Way...

Women Working on the Frontiers of Technology

Are women starting companies in the most cutting edge fields and keeping pace with the future? Although many are now learning coding and engineering in school, working for global internet companies and building their...

Singularity University’s Top Six of 2014

From launching hardware to the International Space Station to hosting events in San Diego, New York City, and Amsterdam—it was a big year for Singularity University. The summer's Graduate Studies Program inspired 21 team projects,...

A 3D Printed Moon Base: Science Fiction or Science Fact?

One day everything in space will be made in space, and this will radically increase the potential for human space exploration. I recently read a novella that explores this very idea (see below for an...

How Technology Brought Us Closer to the Future in 2014

As the year draws to a close, it’s worth glancing over our shoulder. What technologies and themes were brightest in 2014? Read on. (And keep in mind, attempting such a summation is ambitious to the extreme—let us...

Can AI save us from AI?

Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence might just be the most debated technology book of the year. Since its release, big names in tech and science, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have warned of the...

Detecting Alien Planets With Your ‘Run-of-the-Mill’ Digital Camera

Astronomy is no stranger to citizen scientists. Amateur stargazers are credited with the discovery of comets, asteroids, and even planets. That said, while amateurs don’t use multi-million dollar observatories, it’s still an expensive hobby....
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Short Space Film “Wanderers” Reminds Us We Are All Explorers 

Wanderers is an inspiring vision of humanity’s expansion beyond planet earth, showing digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from photos and maps that we might find if we remember that we...

Made In Space Transports and Replicates First 3D Printed Object on Space Station

In September, Made In Space and NASA partnered to deliver the first 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS). And now this week, another first. The ISS astronauts fired up the printer to...

Exponential Medicine: Braingear Moves Beyond Electrode Swim Caps

If the last few decades in information technology have been characterized by cheaper, faster, and smaller computer chips, the next few decades will add cheaper, faster, and smaller sensors. Chips are the brains. Now...

Rosetta Successfully Lands Probe on Comet

After a 10-year mission, the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission has achieved a space first: landing a probe on a comet. The ESA confirmed that today that the probe has successfully landed. Launched in 2004,...

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Lost Over Mojave Desert

The European Space Agency recently made a short film to celebrate the Rosetta mission to visit and land on a comet. The film is aptly titled, “Ambition." What is space exploration if not ambitious?...

New Artificial Materials Open Possibilities for Manned Space Exploration

Space exploration has many challenges, but one inconvenient fact in particular - the lack of oxygen in much of the universe - poses a real challenge to making offworld exploration and living a reality. Here...

Elon Musk Is Right: Colonizing the Solar System Is Humankind’s Insurance Policy Against Extinction

Why blow billions of dollars on space exploration when billions of people are living in poverty here on Earth? You’ve likely heard the justifications. The space program brings us useful innovations and inventions. Space exploration...
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3D Printer Delivered to Space Station Launching New Era of Space Manufacturing

If space is the final frontier, we pilgrims have a lot to learn. To date, we’ve rarely ventured far beyond the thin envelope of Earth’s atmosphere. Why? Because we can’t yet survive long in...
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Crowdfunding Begins for Documentary Film Charting the Birth of Singularity University

Matt Rutherford, filmmaker and former producer of Charlie Rose, first met Salim Ismail at a birthday party in San Francisco. Over a beverage and some tech talk, the conversation turned to a new project...

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