This essay hypothesizes that the Universe contains a self-reproducing neural network of Black Holes with computational abilities—i.e., the Universe can “think”! It then rephrases the Final Anthropic Principle to state: “Intelligent information-processing must come into existence in each new Universe to assure the birth of intelligent successor universes”. Continued research into the theory of Early Universe and Black Hole information storage, processing and retrieval is recommended, as are observational searches for time-correlated electromagnetic and gravitational wave emission patterns from widely separated (...) Black Hole transient events indicative of the existence of a universal inter-Black Hole faster-than-light communications network. (shrink)
I have been working for a long time about basic laws which direct existence, and some mathematical problems which are waited for a solution. I can count myself lucky, that I could make some important inferences during this time, and I published them in a few papers partially as some propositions. This work aimed to explain and discuss these inferences all together by relating them one another by some extra additions, corrections and explanations being physical phenomena are prior. There are (...) many motivation instruments for exact physical inferences. (shrink)
While physicists know how to use quantum mechanics, there is no consensus on what quantum mechanics is a mechanics of. The aim of this paper is to introduce the beginning of what might turn out to be an interpretation of quantum mechanics—one that leaves all calculated probabilities intact. The basic idea is that quantum mechanics describes the objective world, but there must be added to it ineffable variables, one of which is the temporal 'now'. Ineffable variables are not 'hidden variables'.
Large-scale, self-sufficient space colonization is a plausible means of efficiently reducing existential risks and ensuring our long-term survival. But humanity is by and large myopic, and as an intergenerational global public good, existential risk reduction is systematically undervalued, hampered by intergenerational discounting. This paper explores how these issues apply to space colonization, arguing that the motivational and psychological barriers to space colonization are a special—and especially strong—case of a more general problem. The upshot is not that large-scale, self-sufficient space colonization (...) will never occur, but that, absent institutional change, the conditions under which it is most likely to occur are precisely those conditions where the threat of suffering risks might be most high. (shrink)
The “Challenges and Issues of Modern Science” collection comprises scientific research on relevant topics related to the latest advancements in various fields of science. Emphasis is placed on developing aerospace technology, thermodynamics and energy, mechanical engineering, materials science and technologies, automation, electronics and telecommunications, information technology, project management, ecology, and industrial and environmental safety. It can be helpful for professionals in the respective fields, scientists, educators, and students. The presented material will help readers expand their knowledge of diverse approaches to (...) solving current scientific and practical issues. The papers are published in the author's edition. -/- До збірника «Виклики та проблеми сучасної науки» увійшли наукові праці з актуальних тем, що пов’язані з найновішими досягненнями в різних галузях науки. Акцентується увага на розвитку аерокосмічної техніки, термодинаміки та енергетики, машинобудування, матеріалознавства та технологій, автоматизації, електроніки та телекомунікацій, інформаційних технологій, управління проектами, екології, промислової та екологічної безпеки. Може бути корисним для фахівців у відповідних галузях, науковців, викладачів та студентів. Поданий матеріал допоможе читачам розширити знання про різноманітні підходи до розв’язання актуальних науково-практичних задач. Матеріали публікуються в авторській редакції. -/- . (shrink)
In this paper, we discuss the conceptualization of space as a dimension relevant to personal identity and the central role that is attributed to language with respect to its constitution. It is argued that the identification with a certain geographical space and the use of certain language or linguistic variety can be regarded as crucial for the self-definition of individuals and also groups. We pursue a threefold goal: to highlight the contribution of geographical research to our understanding of the self (...) as a phenomenon situated in space; to discern merits, but also problems related to the recent strong emphasis of the role of language with respect to identity constitution, especially in constructivist and poststructuralist approaches; and on the basis of these findings, to draw conclusions concerning the given and constructed elements of identity, with a particular focus on space and language. In addition to a survey of relevant theoretical positions, empirical examples are presented with the aim to illustrate how geographically marked identity is constituted. (shrink)
This book is my gift to Albert Einstein on the occasion of his 142nd birthday - and is also a gift to everybody in the world he helped to shape! -/- My book adopts the view that the universe is infinite and eternal - but scientifically created. This paradox of creating eternity depends on the advanced electronics developed by future humanity. Those humans will develop time travel, plus programs that use "imaginary" time and infinite numbers like pi. They'll also become (...) the El or Elohim (names used by various religions to mean "God" or "the gods"). As astronomer Carl Sagan wrote in "Pale Blue Dot", "Many religions teach that it is the goal of humans to become gods." (I think that Elohim would be termed supernatural today, though their infinite abilities are actually natural outcomes of progress.) -/- A look through the book will tell you that some ideas are frequently repeated. This is because each article is meant to be understood without reading the others … so the same ideas show up in more than one. I’ve tried to stay away from jargon and equations unless they’re necessary (I find that they often make a subject harder to understand, not easier). All objects and events on Earth, in space, and in time (including the inevitability of world peace and immortality) are just one thing – strings of electronics' binary digits 1 and 0. -/- -/- TABLE OF CONTENTS -/- CHAPTER 1 - HYPOTHESIS OF QUANTUM GRAVITY -/- CHAPTER 2 - THE PHYSICIST AND THE PHILOSOPHER -/- CHAPTER 3 - ATTENTION MEDICAL DOCTORS! PHYSICS THEORY IMPLIES ALL PATIENTS CAN BE NORMALISED USING GRAVITY -/- CHAPTER 4 - SETI, EVOLUTION, AND TIME -/- CHAPTER 5 - ANYONS - ONE KEY TO UNLOCK GRAVITATIONAL-ELECTROMAGNETIC UNION, THE TOPOLOGICAL UNIVERSE, SPACE-TIME TRAVEL, FUTURE COMPUTERS, DARK MATTER/DARK ENERGY -/- CHAPTER 6 - WHAT CAUSES THE PLANETS TO SPEED UP AND SLOW DOWN WHILE THEY ARE ORBITING THE SUN -/- CHAPTER 7 - A BRIEF OUTLINE OF THE POSSIBLE BASICS OF COSMOLOGY IN THE 22nd CENTURY, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR RELIGION -/- CHAPTER 8 - THE WORLD'S REAL-LIFE EXPERIMENTS WITH COVID-19 AND PHYSICS ALTER SOCIETY AND GLOBAL ECONOMICS -/- CHAPTER 9 - UNITING TIME -/- CHAPTER 10 - EXTRACTING ENERGY FROM BLACK HOLES -/- CHAPTER 11 - TIME TREK: THE 25TH CENTURY'S ANSWER TO STAR TREK. (shrink)
The idea of terraforming Mars has, in recent times, become a topic of intense scientific interest and great public debate. Stimulated in part by the contemporary imperative to begin geoengineering Earth, as a means to combat global climate change, the terraforming of Mars will work to make its presently hostile environment more suitable to life—especially human life. Geoengineering and terraforming, at their core, have the same goal—that is to enhance (or revive) the ability of a specific environment to support human (...) life, society, and industry. The chapters in this text, written by experts in their respective fields, are accordingly in resonance with the important, and ongoing discussions concerning the human stewardship of global climate systems. In this sense, the text is both timely and relevant and will cover issues relating to topics that will only grow in their relevance in future decades. The notion of terraforming Mars is not a new one, as such, and it has long played as the background narrative in many science fiction novels. This book, however, deals exclusively with what is physically possible, and what might conceivably be put into actual practice within the next several human generations. (shrink)
This paper describes an AFOSR-supported basic research program that focuses on developing a new framework for combining hard with soft data in order to improve space situational awareness. The goal is to provide, in an automatic and near real-time fashion, a ranking of possible threats to blue assets (assets trying to be protected) from red assets (assets with hostile intentions). The approach is based on Conceptual Spaces models, which combine features from traditional associative and symbolic cognitive models. While Conceptual Spaces (...) are revolutionary, they lack an underlying mathematical framework. Several such frameworks have attempted to represent Conceptual Spaces, but by far the most robust is the model developed by Holender. His model utilizes integer linear programming in order to obtain an overall similarity value between observations and concepts that support the formation of hypotheses. This paper will describe a method for building Conceptual Spaces models for threats that utilizes ontologies as a means to provide a clear semantic foundation for this inferencing process; in particular threat ontologies and space domain ontologies are developed and employed in this approach. A space situational awareness use-case is presented involving a kinetic kill scenario and results are shown to assess the performance of this fusion-based inferencing framework. (shrink)
Achieving space situational awareness requires, at a minimum, the identification, characterization, and tracking of space objects. Leveraging the resultant space object data for purposes such as hostile threat assessment, object identification, and conjunction assessment presents major challenges. This is in part because in characterizing space objects we reference a variety of identifiers, components, subsystems, capabilities, vulnerabilities, origins, missions, orbital elements, patterns of life, operational processes, operational statuses, and so forth, which tend to be defined in highly heterogeneous and sometimes inconsistent (...) ways. The Space Domain Ontologies are designed to provide a consensus-based realist framework for formulating such characterizations in a way that is both consistent and computable. Space object data are aligned with classes and relations in a suite of ontologies built around the existing Space Object Ontology. They are stored in a dynamically updated Resource Description Framework triple store, which can be queried to support space situational awareness and the needs of spacecraft operators and analysts. This paper provides an overview of the Space Domain Ontologies and their development and use. It presents the motivation for and advantages of the Space Domain Ontologies, including the benefits they provide for enhancing and maintaining long-term space situational awareness. (shrink)
The symbolism of nature as a book in which one reads is of ancient origin. This study focuses on the question of its mathematical and theological language in the biblical context and on the background of changes in natural philosophy, especially in the Renaissance period. The biblical context is associated with the paradigm shift in the Renaissance period, because all the researched authors addressed the questions of meaning and methods of research of nature in connection with the hermeneutics of biblical (...) texts. The change in attitude towards the method and results of nature research is connected with two concepts of the relationship of mathematics to the real world. As this world is considered to be created by God, the relationship of mathematics and matter is linked to the question of God's relationship to mathematics. In relation to nature, it was initially significantly limited to geometry, largely under the influence of Euclid and Pythagoras. In the Renaissance period, the preconditions for analytical geometry and infinitesimal calculus were already being created. Thanks to them, Newton was able to build a new physics that combined ancient and medieval approaches to astronomy and terrestrial nature, originally diametrically different, into one whole. (shrink)
In The Expanse, the future of humanity is constantly at stake. In The Expanse vestiges of an ancient alien civilization with incredibly advanced technology have been found—which eventually permits human interstellar expansion through the gates. James Lenman argues that, even if we agree that biodiversity is a good thing, it only means that it's good that there should be natural diversity while life exists on Earth. While we might not be facing interplanetary war or the unpredictable consequences of ancient alien (...) technology, many serious dangers face the human species today. We are quite resilient and have survived numerous disasters in the past, including floods, earthquakes, famine, pandemics, and wars. Small population size and restricted distribution range are factors that increase a species’ extinction risk. Interplanetary expansion could potentially bring about speciation, which means the separation of Homo sapiens into different species. (shrink)
If we had the ability to terraform Mars, would it be morally permissible to do it? This article surveys three preservationist arguments for the conclusion that we should not terraform Mars and three interventionist arguments that we should. The preservationist arguments appeal to a duty to conserve objects of special scientific value, a duty to preserve special wilderness areas, and a duty not to display vices characteristic of past colonial endeavors on Earth. The interventionist arguments appeal to a duty to (...) fulfill our pioneering nature, a duty to extend the lifespan of our species, and a duty to restore the ecosystems Mars may once have housed. The preservationist arguments are stronger than the interventionist arguments; terraforming Mars is probably morally wrong. (shrink)
In a previous paper we outlined a series of historical touchpoints between classical aether theories and modern theoretical physics which showed a shared conceptual lineage for the modern tools and methods of the most common interpretations and fluid based “Hydrodynamic” treatments of an electromagnetic medium. It was proposed that, though the weight of modern experimentation leaves an extremely narrow and convoluted window for even a reconceptualization of a medium, all of modern physics recognizes a plethora of behaviors and attributes for (...) free space and these physics are interchangeable with modern methods for treating superfluid-like continuums. Thus the mathematical equivalence of the methods do not comprise alternative physics but an alternative interpretation of the same physics. Though many individual components describing a “neo-aether” or “quintessence” are available, an overarching structural outline of how these tools can work together to provide an alternative working overview of modern physics has remained undefined. This paper will propose a set of introductory concepts in the first outline of a toy model which will later connect the alternative tools and conceptualizations with their modern counterparts. This introductory paper provides the simpler “100-miles out” overview of the whole of physics from this perspective, in an easily comprehensible, familiar and intuitive, informal dialog fashion. While this paper grants the largest and loosest introductory overview, subsequent papers in this series will address the finite connections between modern physics and this hydrodynamic view. (shrink)
We will survey a range of ontologies relevant to space and ground system domains. The ontologies form part of the Common Core Ontology ecosystem (CCO) developed under the IARPA KDD initiative. We focus specifically on the Space Domain Ontologies, a suite of ontologies to support space situational awareness, including the Spacecraft Mission Ontology, Spacecraft Ontology, Space Event Ontology and Space Object Ontology.
Space philosophy offers rich insights in the future and is already well‐developed new branch of philosophy. However, space philosophers still do not pay much attention to a number of bioethical issues that may occur in space. This paper aims to introduce space bioethics, as a new branch in space philosophy, space ethics and space policy, to the philosophical and bioethical discourse. The basic issues discussed in space bioethics include—but are not limited to—human reproduction in space and human enhancement for space. (...) This paper concludes that the new space bioethics should be a feminist new bioethics that is free from many of the historical biases associated with a male‐centred perspective in philosophy and bioethics. Bioethical issues in space have also impact on future political decisions related to objectives and nature of space missions. (shrink)
Ian Stoner has recently argued that we ought not to colonize Mars because doing so would flout our pro tanto obligation not to violate the principle of scientific conservation, and there is no countervailing considerations that render our violation of the principle permissible. While I remain agnostic on, my primary goal in this article is to challenge : there are countervailing considerations that render our violation of the principle permissible. As such, Stoner has failed to establish that we ought not (...) to colonize Mars. I close with some thoughts on what it would take to show that we do have an obligation to colonize Mars and related issues concerning the relationship between the way we discount our preferences over time and projects with long time horizons, like space colonization. (shrink)
Black holes are one of the fascinating objects in the universe with gravitational pull strong enough to capture light within them. Through this article we have attempted to provide an insight to the black holes, on their formation and theoretical developments that made them one of the unsolved mysteries of universe.
Many global catastrophic risks are threatening human civilization, and a number of ideas have been suggested for preventing or surviving them. However, if these interventions fail, society could preserve information about the human race and human DNA samples in the hopes that the next civilization on Earth will be able to reconstruct Homo sapiens and our culture. This requires information preservation of an order of magnitude of 100 million years, a little-explored topic thus far. It is important that a potential (...) future civilization will discover this information as early as possible, thus a beacon should accompany the message in order to increase visibility. The message should ideally contain information about how humanity was destroyed, perhaps including a continuous recording until the end. This could help the potential future civilization to survive. The best place for long-term data storage is under the surface of the Moon, with the beacon constructed as a complex geometric figure drawn by small craters or trenches around a central point. There are several cost-effective options for sending the message as opportunistic payloads on different planned landers. (shrink)
This article provides a brief outline of Special Theory of Relativity. The physics before the relativity, the special relativity in itself, and the consequences of special relativity are discussed here.
This study aims to contribute to the research in the history of science, specifically, in the area of the seventeenth century cosmology, which had in Riccioli, a contemporary of Galileo, an undeniable protagonist. In many histories of science, Giovanni Battista Riccioli (1598-1671) is either omitted or mentioned only briefly in relation to his main cosmological work, the Almagestum Novum (1651), which is generally taken as little more than a source of useful information. When it comes to evaluating Riccioli’s philosophical views (...) or his contribution to the development of modern science, especially in observational astronomy, contrasting opinions have been expressed. Several scholars believed especially in the past, but some still in the present, that although during the dispute over Copernicanism Riccioli was personally convinced that the official positions of Catholic theologians were untenable, he kept his own views private, and mentioned in his works only official opinions, as if he fully agreed with them. Depicted as “a spokesman for the Society of Jesus” who was asked by his superiors to uphold a lost cause, Riccioli has been accused of behaving like a bad advocate, one who acted by commission, rather than by conviction, and who did not make a real effort to argue convincingly against the Copernican views. Since no comprehensive and contextual study of Riccioli’s cosmological views has ever been carried out, references to his thought are often put forward out of perspective. The present study attempts thus to achieve a more complete view, and sets out to illustrate the context of Riccioli’s work in the Society of Jesus, and more generally within the seventeenth century research and debate on cosmology. (shrink)
This paper presents an ontology architecture concept for the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Program. It incorporates the author‘s domain ontology, The Space Situational Awareness Ontology and related ontology work. I summarize computational ontology, discuss the segments of ESA SSA, and introduce an option for a modular ontology framework reflecting the divisionsof the SSA program. Among other things, ontologies are used for data sharing and integration. By applying ontology to ESA data, the ESA may better achieve its (...) integration and innovation goals, while simultaneously improving the state of peaceful SSA. (shrink)
Modern scientific cosmology pushes the boundaries of knowledge and the knowable. This is prompting questions on the nature of scientific knowledge. A central issue is what defines a 'good' model. When addressing global properties of the Universe or its initial state this becomes a particularly pressing issue. How to assess the probability of the Universe as a whole is empirically ambiguous, since we can examine only part of a single realisation of the system under investigation: at some point, data will (...) run out. We review the basics of applying Bayesian statistical explanation to the Universe as a whole. We argue that a conventional Bayesian approach to model inference generally fails in such circumstances, and cannot resolve, e.g., the so-called 'measure problem' in inflationary cosmology. Implicit and non-empirical valuations inevitably enter model assessment in these cases. This undermines the possibility to perform Bayesian model comparison. One must therefore either stay silent, or pursue a more general form of systematic and rational model assessment. We outline a generalised axiological Bayesian model inference framework, based on mathematical lattices. This extends inference based on empirical data (evidence) to additionally consider the properties of model structure (elegance) and model possibility space (beneficence). We propose this as a natural and theoretically well-motivated framework for introducing an explicit, rational approach to theoretical model prejudice and inference beyond data. (shrink)
This is a quickly produced book that is an easy read on a plane. It will not give you any kind of depth on any of the issues and there are no refs to enable you to check anything. He covers asteroids, WMD´s, greenhouse effect, ice ages, volcanos, plagues, insects, bioengineering, cyberterror and, presciently, tsunamis. He does not mention overpopulation, supernovas or the Doomsday Hypothesis (the seemingly absurd but quite serious idea that on general grounds alone it is likely we (...) have lived half our total span as a species). His chapter on volcanos does not mention that Yellowstone Park in the USA is the worlds biggest caldera. To his credit he does take the greenhouse effect seriously and he was writing at least 13 years ago. If only the average citizen and the government had the same good sense. -/- Those interested in all my writings in their most recent versions may download from this site my e-book ‘Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks (2016)- Articles and Reviews 2006-2016’ by Michael Starks First Ed. 662p (2016). -/- All of my papers and books have now been published in revised versions both in ebooks and in printed books. -/- Talking Monkeys: Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet - Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 (2017) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071HVC7YP. -/- The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle--Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 (2017) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071P1RP1B. -/- Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization - Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 (2017) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711R5LGX . (shrink)
This article offers two arguments for the conclusion that we should refuse on moral grounds to establish a human presence on the surface of Mars. The first argument appeals to a principle constraining the use of invasive or destructive techniques of scientific investigation. The second appeals to a principle governing appropriate human behavior in wilderness. These arguments are prefaced by two preliminary sections. The first preliminary section argues that authors working in space ethics have good reason to shift their focus (...) away from theory-based arguments in favor of arguments that develop in terms of pretheoretic beliefs. The second argues that of the popular justifications for sending humans to Mars only appeals to scientific curiosity can survive reflective scrutiny. (shrink)
Human space exploration requires massive budgets every fiscal year. Especially under severe financial constraint conditions, governments are forced to justify to society why spending so much tax revenue for human space exploration is worth the cost. The value of human space exploration might be estimated in many ways, but its social significance and cost-effectiveness are two key ways to gauge that worth. Since these measures should be applied country by country because sociopolitical conditions differ in each country and must be (...) taken into consideration, the study on the social significance of human space exploration must take the coloration of a case-study. This paper, focusing on the case of Japan with surveying Japanese literary and national documents as well as taking its sociopolitical conditions into account, examines the social significance of human space exploration. -/- First, we give an overview of the circumstances surrounding Japan's human space exploration program. Derived from the statements of such relevant parties as scholars, journalists, policy makers, and astronauts, this overview indicates that the main concerns about human space exploration in Japan are its social significance and cost-effectiveness (Section 1). Next, an overview of behavioral science—an essential field for human space exploration (referred to in this paper as space behavioral science) that provides support for astronauts—is presented from the perspective of stress research in isolated and confined environments (Section 2). We then give two examples of where such knowledge from space behavioral science research has been applied to terrestrial isolated and confined environments. One is JAXA’s support in 2009 for people who were vulnerable to infection by a new strain of flu and accordingly placed in an isolated and confined facility under the Infectious Disease Law and the Quarantine Law. The other is NASA's support in 2010 for Chilean mine workers who were trapped 700 m underground after a mining accident (Section 3). Based on these case studies, we illustrate the further social utility of such knowledge through a discussion of potential applications in other situations in Japan. Focusing on Japan for its geographical and social features in being an earthquake-prone archipelago and having the world's preeminent aging society, we show that refugees living in evacuation centers and people in an elderly-elderly homecare situation pose socially problematic situations specific to Japan. We then argue that space behavioral scientific knowledge can be applied to support people under these and other isolated and confined environments in various ways (Section 4). Finally, we demonstrate that such an application can be understood as an ethical contribution to Japanese society and that this contribution can be embedded in Japan's space policy (Section 5). We conclude that human space exploration can be a socially significant and cost-effective endeavor that is worthy of tax revenue expenditures because space behavioral science is highly likely to provide unique and useful knowledge to help address various social problems concerning terrestrial isolated and confined environments and support people in sufferings there. (shrink)
The orbital space environment is home to natural and artificial satellites, debris, and space weather phenomena. As the population of orbital objects grows so do the potential hazards to astronauts, space infrastructure and spaceflight capability. Orbital debris, in particular, is a universal concern. This and other hazards can be minimized by improving global space situational awareness (SSA). By sharing more data and increasing observational coverage of the space environment we stand to achieve that goal, thereby making spaceflight safer and expanding (...) our knowledge of near-Earth space. To facilitate data-sharing interoperability among distinct orbital debris and space object catalogs, and SSA information systems, I proposed ontology in (Rovetto, 2015) and (Rovetto and Kelso, 2016). I continue this effort toward formal representations and models of the overall domain that may serve to improve peaceful SSA and increase our scientific knowledge. This paper explains the project concept introduced in those publications, summarizing efforts to date as well as the research field of ontology development and engineering. I describe concepts for an ontological framework for the orbital space environment, near-Earth space environment and SSA domain. An ontological framework is conceived as a part of a potential international information system. The purpose of such a system is to consolidate, analyze and reason over various sources and types of orbital and SSA data toward the mutually beneficial goals of safer space navigation and scientific research. Recent internationals findings on the limitations of orbital data, in addition to existing publications on collaborative SSA, demonstrate both the overlap with this project and the need for data-sharing and integration. (shrink)
Space situational awareness (SSA) is vital for international safety and security, and for the future of space travel. The sharing of SSA data and information should improve the state of global SSA for planetary defense and spaceflight safety. I take steps toward a Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Ontology, and outline some central objectives, requirements and desiderata in the ontology development process for this domain. The purpose of this ontological system is to explore the potential for the ontology research topic to (...) (i) represent SSA general knowledge, data, and entities/objects, (ii) clearly express the meaning of SSA data, and (iii) foster SSA data-sharing. The overall goal and motivation is to (iv) improve our capacity for planetary defense, e.g., from near- or deep-space objects and phenomena, and (v) facilitate safer and peaceful space access, navigation and travel, by improving global SSA. This research is thereby intended only for peaceful space-domain applications and uses, with particular interests in orbital debris. There is little application of ontology to the space domain as compared with other disciplines and little if any ontological development of SSA and related domains. In this respect, this paper offers novel concepts. (shrink)
For the purpose of this analysis, risk assessment becomes the primary term and risk management the secondary term. The concept of risk management as a primary term is based upon a false ontology. Risk management implies that risk is already there, not created by the decision, but lies already inherent in the situation that the decision sets into motion. The risk that already exists in the objective situation simply needs to be “managed”. By considering risk assessment as the primary term, (...) the ethics of responsibility for risking the lives of others, the environment and future generations in the first place comes into the forefront. The issue of risk heeding is especially important as it highlights the need to pay attention to warnings of danger and to take action to redress problems before disasters occur. In this paper, the decision making that led to the choice of technology utilized and the implementation of such technology in the case of the space shuttle Challenger disaster will be used as a model to illustrate the need to take ethical factors into account when making decisions regarding the safety of technological systems and the heeding of danger warnings. While twenty-five years separates the decision to launch the Challenger and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, the lessons of the Challenger disaster are still to be learned. (shrink)
Achieving space domain awareness requires the identification, characterization, and tracking of space objects. Storing and leveraging associated space object data for purposes such as hostile threat assessment, object identification, and collision prediction and avoidance present further challenges. Space objects are characterized according to a variety of parameters including their identifiers, design specifications, components, subsystems, capabilities, vulnerabilities, origins, missions, orbital elements, patterns of life, processes, operational statuses, and associated persons, organizations, or nations. The Space Object Ontology provides a consensus-based realist framework (...) for formulating such characterizations in a computable fashion. Space object data are aligned with classes and relations in the Space Object Ontology and stored in a dynamically updated Resource Description Framework triple store, which can be queried to support space domain awareness and the needs of spacecraft operators. This paper presents the core of the Space Object Ontology, discusses its advantages over other approaches to space object classification, and demonstrates its ability to combine diverse sets of data from multiple sources within an expandable framework. Finally, we show how the ontology provides benefits for enhancing and maintaining longterm space domain awareness. (shrink)
A short summary paper of my Orbital Space Domain Ontology project (purl.org/space-ontology), originally conceived in 2011. Since then I've sought (without success) opportunities to realize it (either as a PhD or other degree thesis; or in an employment position) toward my original passion of entering the space sector and gaining further space education. Since then persons in the relevant space disciplines have seen the potential in it, and unfortunately some have taken advantage of my ideas yet excluded me from work. (...) I continue to struggle to fight for my own ideas as I see others professionally and financially benefit at my expense. References and documentation are available upon request to confirm my early ideation and origination on this topic. Please contact me if you have opportunities. Thank you. (shrink)
This paper develops the ontology of space objects for theoretical and computational ontology applied to the space (astronautical/astronomical) domain. It follows “An ontological architecture for Orbital Debris Data” (Rovetto, 2015) and “Preliminaries of a Space Situational Awareness Ontology” (Rovetto, Kelso, 2016). Important considerations for developing a space object ontology, or more broadly, a space domain ontology are presented. The main category term ‘Space Object’ is analyzed from a philosophical perspective. The ontological commitments of legal definitions for artificial space objects are (...) also discussed. Space object taxonomies are offered and space object terms are defined. (shrink)
This paper defends, and emphasizes the importance of, spaceflight, broadly construed to include human and unmanned spaceflight, space science, exploration and development. Within this discourse, I provide counter-replies to remarks by physicist Dr. Steven Weinberg against my previous support of human spaceflight. In this defense of peaceful spaceflight I draw upon a variety of sources. Although a focus is human spaceflight, human and unmanned modes must not be treated as an either-or opposition. Rather, each has a critical role to play (...) in moving humanity forward as a spacefaring species. In the course of this communication, I also stress NASA’s (and other space agency’s) perennial role as a science and technology-driver, and its function to provide a stable and unified platform for space programs. (shrink)
This paper applies some ontology architectures to the space domain, specifically the orbital and near-earth space environment and the space situational awareness domain. I briefly summarize local, single and hybrid ontology architectures, and offer potential space ontology architectures for each by showing how actual space data sources and space organizations would be involved.
When the time comes to decide how to govern an extraterrestrial settlement there will be many alternatives to chose from. We will have the opportunity to try new and so far untested theories, but there are also some old forms of government that might be tempting to try again. We might for instance let the company whose activities on the world are the reason for the establishment govern the settlement. This has been tried before on our own planet both because (...) it was seen as convenient and as an incentive for colonisation. In this chapter I will ask what this solution would mean for the civil liberty of the settlers. To answer the question I will look at some historical analogues and have a philosophical discussion. The conclusion is that a settlement governed by a body whose sole reason for existence is to make money for the owners, that is led by a board that answers only to the owners and not to the people, that functions as both government and sole employer, and that has the unlimited power over the life support systems necessary for the survival of the settlers will not be a good basis for civil liberties. (shrink)
The orbital debris problem presents an opportunity for inter-agency and international cooperation toward the mutually beneficial goals of debris prevention, mitigation, remediation, and improved space situational awareness (SSA). Achieving these goals requires sharing orbital debris and other SSA data. Toward this, I present an ontological architecture for the orbital debris and broader SSA domain, taking steps in the creation of an orbital debris ontology (ODO). The purpose of this ontological system is to (I) represent general orbital debris and SSA domain (...) knowledge, (II) structure, and standardize where needed, orbital data and terminology, and (III) foster semantic interoperability and data-sharing. In doing so I hope to (IV) contribute to solving the orbital debris problem, improving peaceful global SSA, and ensuring safe space travel for future generations. (shrink)
Human beings have wondered about the stars since the dawn of the species. Does life exist out there – intelligent life, even – or are we alone? The quest for life in the universe touches on fundamental hopes and fears. It touches on the essence of what it means to formulate a theory, grasp a concept, and have an imagination. This book traces the history of the science of this area and the development of new schools in philosophy. Its essays (...) seek to establish the history and philosophy of astrobiology as research fields in their own right by addressing cognitive, linguistic, epistemological, ethical, cultural, societal, and historical perspectives on astrobiology. (shrink)
A simple operating principle (similar to a combination of a pottery wheel and a catapult or, simply, the weapon used by David to slay Goliath) coupled with the success of some moderate engineering challenges may allow for the transmission of a carrier wave from Earth to Mars in less than one second! This paper also directly addresses the controversy of light speed variance/invariance (which has arisen from the “wave/particle nature of light” debate) by referencing Joseph A. Rybczyk’s 2012 paper, “Lunar (...) Laser Evidence of Light Speed Variance”. (shrink)
During antiquity, the astronomical questions of the day and the methods used to formulate and answer them were clearly within the realm of philosophy. That changed most notably in the sixteenth century when Tycho Brahe turned astronomy into a modern empirical science by formulating (in principle) testable hypotheses, figuring out how to test them, building the proper instruments, and making – for that time – very accurate and systematic observations of the sky. These observations eventually led to the modern view (...) of the solar system and ultimately the rejection of the classical Aristotelian worldview. Since then, the exploration of space has been located clearly in the realm of natural science – and, to an increasing extent, technology. In parallel to that, space has – at least since World War II –to a high degree been a place for military and political ambitions and activities. The scientists that have been involved in space exploration have mainly been physicists, together with some chemists and geologists. Lately, the exploration of space has engaged more and more biologists in the search for extraterrestrial life. The international space station, along with plans to send humans to Mars, has led to an increased involvement of medical science. If present speculations about space tourism and mining on planets, moons, and asteroids hold true, in the future we will probably see many new professions dealing not just with exploration, but also exploitation of space. Philosophy has never totally left the realm of space exploration. As space exploration and exploitation become more and more interdisciplinary, and as space becomes a bigger part of our lives, it will be time once more for philosophy to turn its attention towards space. The mission for philosophers is not to indulge in speculations over questions that are better dealt with by empirical methods. Ther are, however, several questions connected to the exploration and exploitation of space that are of a philosophical nature and that deserve to be examined seriously from a philosophical perspective. I believe that philosophical scrutiny of these questions will be to the benefit of both space exploration and philosophy. Interesting and, indeed, important philosophical questions arise in many areas of space exploration. Some of the most interesting and important ones relate to the search for extraterrestrial life, of which some will be presented here. I will not attempt to answer these questions here. Instead, this chapter should be seen as an introduction to some of the philosophical questions raised by astrobiology. (shrink)
The question is: should the United States and nations at large pursue a human spaceflight program (and if so, why)? I offer an unwavering positive answer to this question, and state the reasons for it while considering the broad challenges and benefits of (human) spaceflight. Space exploration is a human activity that is intrinsically forward-looking, and as such, has positive potential. Both national and international space programs can galvanize the population, inspire the youth, foster job-creation, and motivate the existing workforce. (...) The nature of the enterprises involved—their scale, novelty, and complexity—requires a steady and continuous upward progression toward greater societal, scientific and technological development. That is, in order to overcome the challenges of human spaceflight, progress is required. More to the point, the survival of humanity depends on expanding beyond the confines of our planet. Human spaceflight, in short, presents us with an opportunity to significantly advance the nation and the global community. (shrink)
If we eventually discover extraterrestrial life, do we have any moral obligations for how to treat the life-forms we find; does it matter whether they are intelligent, sentient, or just microbial—and does it matter that they are extraterrestrial? -/- In this paper, I examine these questions by looking at two of the basic questions in moral philosophy: What does it take to be a moral object? and What has value of what kind? I will start with the first of these (...) questions by looking at the most important attempts to answer this question on our own planet and by asking whether and how they could be applied to extraterrestrial life. The results range from a very strong protection of all extraterrestrial life and all extraterrestrial environments, whether inhabited or not, to total exclusion of extraterrestrial life. Subsequently, I also examine whether extraterrestrial life that lacks moral status can have value to human or alien life with moral status, and if that could generate any obligations for how to treat extraterrestrial life. Based on this analysis, I conclude that extraterrestrial life-forms can have both instrumental value and end value to moral objects, which has strong implications for how to treat them. (shrink)