Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Leviathan Habitat Project

The League of the New Worlds announces the start of the Leviathan Project – the design, construction, testing and deployment of the first recreational undersea habitat built for novice and professional SCUBA enthusiasts and serious divers.

The Leviathan is a two man undersea habitat designed for two modes of operation: novice and professional.

In the novice mode, the habitat is designed for weekend outings in lake or ocean destinations around 25 feet in depth or less. The depth limit is selected to prevent decompression sickness upon return after up to 48 hours on the seafloor.

The Leviathan is an underwater dwelling that features a command and control center, a sleeping, entertainment room and kitchen as well as a shower, bathroom and wet room. The Leviathan also features a refrigerator, air conditioner, a full suite of interior and exterior lighting enhancements as well as a fully enhanced audio and visual entertainment center.

The undersea habitat is trailered and launched like a boat from an ordinary boat ramp. It is towed to its destination and then descends for a weekend of endless scuba diving or just the ultimate getaway hideout on the ocean floor.

The Leviathan is also designed as a deep water outpost (beyond 21' fsw) for professional decompression saturation diving. In this professional diving mode, it has literally no depth limitations. The Leviathan is being designed to be utilized as a habitat to construct the Challenger Station habitat - the largest habitat ever built and the hub of the world's first permanent human undersea colony. In this plan, several Leviathan class habitats will be used simultaneously.

Check back here often as we update this page with the Leviathan’s engineering and layout sketches as well as the specification sheets which are all now under development. We anticipate a first launch date and engineering tests of the Leviathan in 2009!

Yes - new custom built Leviathan model habitats will be offered to the general public for sale after its has been fully and rigorously tested.

A FAQ is being developed and will be posted here. If you would like to be put on our mailing list for development news, please email us!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The New Mars Unfolding

For years I have made frequent visits to the NASA Mars Exploration Rover site to see what plucky Spirit and Opportunity were up to. I cannot more highly recommend any site more than that – it is literally our window onto the surface of Mars, day after day, week after week.

But – alas- now the rovers have real competition! Orbiting high over the red planet is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) with a mission to map the planet to unbelievable detail both surface and subsurface – looking for water and whatever else it may find. And it is equipped with a telescopic camera so powerful it would make any world spy agency proud. For example, last week the MRO sent back a photo of the Mars Rover Opportunity sitting on the rim of Victoria Crater. The image was so startlingly clear, had it been an astronaut standing there, the camera would have snapped his picture too, complete with late day shadows!

So please, whatever you do, mark this MRO page and check back frequently over the next several years as Mars gives up its secrets in astonishing detail day after glorious day!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

QL PODCAST: Pluto New Horizons Principal Investigator Dr. Alan Stern

This Podcast is large. Please allow a minute or so for it to spool to your computer’s audio component and start playing. (Using a dial-up internet connection, it will take considerably more than a minute!) For more options, please look along the right column and click on the Podcasts Catalogue.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Astronomer's Civil War

The world’s Astronomers have chosen to organize themselves and make the rules and definitions they use as a community in an organized body called the “International Astronomical Union”, or the IAU. This group has no peer. There is only one. Therefore, whatever they decide to vote on becomes planetary astronomical law. This group met in August and decided the definition of a planet. In the process, several hundred extra-solar planets were lost and so was Pluto – literally voted out and disowned within the solar system’s planetary community.

To say this was not accepted very well around the world is an understatement. To say that this was not accepted in the world community of astronomers is also an understatement. The members had not even left their Prague hotels when the first petitions began to fly denouncing the decision as bogus. Now there are more signatures on the petitions than votes cast – and this is among professional astronomers. Many have even announced they will not recognize or teach the definition because it is fatally flawed. The world’s astronomers are now engaged in a full-up civil war.

Joining tomorrow in a 35 minute Podcast will be IAU member, professional planetary astronomer and Principal Investigator for the New Horizons Mission to Pluto, Dr. Alan Stern. Dr. Stern has pulled no punches in this debate and will join us here in at - the official Internet hideout for astronomer rebels. You don't want to miss this one!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The New Horizons Jupiter Mission

Although distant Pluto is the ultimate target for the New Horizons' spacecraft in 2015, it will fly close aboard giant Jupiter early in 2007. Much like the early Pioneer and Voyager fly-bys, the New Horizons spacecraft will have an opportunity to do some scientific studies while it flys by the gas giant and uses its gravity to assist it on its way to the outer limits of our solar system. Already the mission controllers have unpacked the spacecraft’s LORRI camera (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager), pointed it and took its best shot. The result is shown above with the shadows of Europa and Io featured in the image.

Quantum spoke with New Horizon’s Principal Investigator, Dr. Alan Stern and will feature the 35 minute interview in the next few days right here. Included in that interview are details of the fly-by, the New Horizon’s Mission and the very controversial decision by the International Astronomical Union to unceremoniously eject Pluto out of the solar system family as a planet. You don’t want to miss that Podcast right here!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Shuttle to the Sun

Out of all the amazing photographs of space exploration, this one totally blew my socks off. This is a shot of the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Atlantis taken on September 17th, shot against the backdrop of the sun. The shuttle has just undocked and is located some 200 meters away from the station just as this shot was taken though a telescope near Normandy, France. The ground based telescope was looking up some 550 kilometers into space. If you look closely enough, you can actually see the sun’s surface granularity, or penumbral filaments. This image has been enlarged as much as I could get by with. To see the actual full-disk photograph, click here.