nUkiEmOLe sChema duRa #39/ 27 May 2021
Internet from space; Asteroids NEEDs; Antarctica: another planet; Climate as Change
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‘DW’ “Asteroids – a new El Dorado in space?
DW Documentary” 42:23mins 384,689 views 14 Mar 2021 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QxN3l5UIgc
Mining on asteroids sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but it could soon become a reality. Nations and powerful corporations already have plans for such ventures and are hard at work staking their claim to resources from space. How can economic growth continue unfettered once all the earth’s resources have been consumed? Major companies and governments have long been working on plans to exploit the resources to be found in the vastness of space. How far are humans from achieving this? This documentary examines the technological requirements of space mining. It also assesses how great the desire is to find new sources of raw materials. The film touches on scientific and fundamental societal issues – including humanity’s craving for new territories and our degradation of the Earth as we attempt to exploit all our planet has to offer.
‘dw’ “Internet from space”
DW Documentary” 42:25 mins 1,267,588 views 23 Oct 2020
The digital revolution has radically changed the way we live and work. But more than three billion people are still offline. As with any infrastructure, fast data connections initially reach urban centers. People who live in rural areas, even in rich industrialized countries, often have to get by without reduced bandwidth. Now several consortia are competing to bridge this gap with the help of hundreds of mini-satellites in low orbit. The idea is not entirely new: 25 years ago, others already failed because of their over-ambitious plans and technical limitations. It is only now that high numbers of satellites can be produced quickly and cheaply through automation and mass production. In February 2019, the OneWeb consortium launched the first six 150-kilogram satellites into a low-earth orbit. On their way to their final orbit at an altitude of 1,200 kilometers., the satellites must pass through a dense array of GPS and Earth observation satellites as well as the space debris of the past 60 years. Collisions are not exceptional. And hundreds more mini-satellites in space will mean even more space debris in the future. Dozens of ground stations are needed around the globe to supply the numerous satellites with Internet data and receive data from space. This requires sophisticated antenna technology, which is also as yet available on the necessary scale. Not to mention the difficult regulatory challenges facing Internet providers in over 200 states and territories. The original release date of this documentary was 2019 …
‘dw’ “Antarctica: A message from another planet“
DW Documentary” 42:25 mins 614,875 views 02 Jan 2021 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzJqbR2rPwY
The world’s major powers agree: the resources of Antarctica should be exploited peacefully. They have promised to promote peace and scientific research in Antarctica, and to protect its environment. But is this spirit real, or just a lot of talk?
This documentary features interviews with researchers, activists, diplomats, and military personnel from Spain, Russia, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, and the United States. There’s been much debate over how to share control of resources in Antarctica, which is the world’s oldest ecosystem. Critics say that behind the scenes, a game of high-stakes poker is underway. Could this competition end in armed conflict? Or will Antarctica serve as a model for peaceful international cooperation? This film addresses these complicated issues with in-depth analysis, accompanied by magnificent images of the Antarctic landscape. The documentary’s soundtrack was composed by Javier Weyler, former drummer of the Welsh rock band, the Stereophonics.
‘dw’ “Fine-tuning the climate“
DW Documentary” 2:09 thRu 42:25 mins 325,200 views 14 Oct 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1Enrzgrl1w
Engineers and scientists are trying to intervene in the Earth’s geochemical cycles.
Because it appears efforts to cut CO2 won’t suffice to avoid irreversible climate change. But does geoengineering offer a real solution? Or is it just human hubris? Some scientists believe that we need to explore radical, and perhaps dangerous, technologies in order to be able to lower the earth’s temperature through geoengineering in the near future. Science journalist Ingolf Baur explores the feasibility and risks of leading geoengineering projects. His journey takes him to meet scientists in Switzerland, Iceland, the US and Peru. Along the way, he encounters two very different strategies: One is to fish climate-damaging CO2 from the atmosphere and sink it underground or in the deep sea. The other, and this is the far more controversial strategy, seeks to develop techniques that dim sunlight. Global warming is causing entire mountain ridges like the Moosfluh above Switzerland’s Aletsch Glacier to break off. Such dramatic changes could increase the pressure to try geoengineering. Its most prominent proponent is David Keith from Harvard University in the US. He’s devised experiments to to sound out the possibilities of “solar geoengineering.” His idea is for fleets of aircraft to dump millions of tons of sulfur into the stratosphere every year, where it should reflect part of the incoming sunlight back into space. As audacious as this method seems, it’s actually no different to what happens during volcanic eruptions. Or could we still manage to get greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere again? In Iceland, a group of researchers is using a special process to filter carbon dioxide from the air and pump it 2,000 meters deep into basalt rock. The surprise: after a few months, the CO2 is already reacting chemically and turning to stone, which renders it harmless – permanently. The quantities are still far too small, but it shows that as controversial and risky as some geoengineering methods may be, in the end we may need technology to avert or at least mitigate the effects of climate collapse.