Open letter to ban warfare AI

The Guardian: Musk, Wozniak and Hawking urge ban on warfare AI and autonomous weapons.

Future of Life Institute: Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI and Robotics Researchers.

Become an armchair discoverer

Internet has given us a great opportunity to let everyone take part and help out with real scientific research. Here are some projects where you can help:

Zooniverse – Operated by the Citizen Science Alliance it’s the largest citizen science project. Read more at Zooniverse or Wikipedia. There are several projects were you can take part: GalaxyZoo, Planet Four, Milky Way Project, Asteroid Zoo, Planet Hunters, Chimp&See and more than that. Help looking for signals at SETILive (not yet listed at Zooniverse).

SETI@Home – Put your computer at work. Running on a platform (BOINC) that is available for other projects as well. Your computer will analyze data from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. More at SETI@Home or Wikipedia.

It doesn’t stop there. Wikipedia has a long list of projects you can help out with:

Wikpedia: List of citizen science projects

The Next Planet Finders

The Kepler space telescope has been a success. But it hasn’t been fully functional for almost two years. This is what will be used next to find exoplanets:

Plato – Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars. Planned by ESA to be launched in 2016.
Plato website | Wikipedia

TESS – Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. To be launched in August, 2017 by SpaceX as part of NASA‘s Explorers program. The project is lead by MIT.
TESS webpage | Wikipedia

CHEOPS – CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite. Planned by ESA to be launched in 2017.
CHEOPS website | Wikipedia

This is the score so far for interesting planets:

Credit: NASA Ames/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt

Russian Father of Rocketry

Russian physicist, teacher, philosopher and science-fiction writer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky has inspired many people, including Russian movie producer Pavel Klushantsev. Tsiolkovsky himself was inspired by Jules Verne. More about this guy:

Space.com: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky: Russian Father of Rocketry

David Darling: Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin (1857-1935)

Russian Space Web: Tsiolkovsky

Wikipedia: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky