In the News

2Pi Out Loud: Space Elevators

Space elevators have made recent major media headlines when a Canadian company, Thoth Technologies Inc, received a patent for a 12 mile (20 km) tall space elevator.  Their novel concept focuses on inflatable portions of the elevator structure.  This design, like others before it, remain a theoretical concept.  Th

The idea of a space elevator reduces costs of launching objects into space by removing the need for rocket-based launches.  The overall idea for a space elevator dates back to 1895, but material science and construction techniques have yet to overcome the physical requirements.

 

The 2Pi team hopes this could one day be a reality, especially since the concept could scale for larger space elevator projects on other planets like Mars.  However, we remain skeptical that a space elevator will be built in the near future and that rockets will remain the key method of space launches. 

Is It Time to Search for Life on Mars?

July 8, 2014w a little more about you.

Our event to debate whether we have already found evidence of life on Mars was fascinating.  The panel differed in their opinions, although all said there was much more we could do to gather data around this question.  We discussed big topics such as, how do you know life when you see it?  Are we looking for evidence of past life or extant life?  Watch the video of the event here.

 

McCurdy Wins Two NASA Grants

Two Pi fellow, Professor Howard E. McCurdy, is part of two grant teams funded by NASA. Work will begin soon on the two economic research projects.  One will analyze the costs and assumptions behind a commercial lunar mission.  The other will fund a monograph on innovation in space.

PBS Newshour: Can Humans Become a Multi-Planet Species?

December 4, 2014w a little more about you.

Miles O'Brien, interviews NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay for PBS Newshour.  Chris says the question is not, "Can we boldly go to Mars," it is "Can we boldly stay on Mars."  NASA is working toward that end.  Chris says the foremost concern about getting humans to Mars and about staying there longterm is that we need to work within current budget constraints. 

 

A Science, Technology, and Space Policy Initiative