Elon Musk sends engineers from his Boring Company to help Thai cave rescue mission  

“Tech billionaire sent his top employees to rescue 12 schoolboys and their coach.”

From DailyMail.com:

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has dispatched his top engineers to help rescue 12 schoolboys and their football coach trapped in a flooded Thai cave.

On Twitter, Musk suggested using an underwater air tube could be created for the children to crawl through.

The 47-year-old said his Boring Co, which digs tunnels for advanced transport systems, could feed a nylon tube into the submerged sections of the cave before inflating it ‘like a bouncy castle’ to create an underwater tunnel.

Musk said engineers from his Boring Co and SpaceX companies needed to be on site to oversee the evacuation.

The schoolboys are trapped 2.600 ft (800 m) underground, the equivalent of two Empire State Buildings stacked on top of one another.

A spokesman for The Boring Company told the BBC: ‘We are speaking with the Thai government to see how we can help, and we are sending SpaceX/Boring Company people from the US to Thailand today to offer support on the ground.

‘Once we confirm what exactly will be helpful to send or do, we will.

‘We are getting feedback and guidance from the people on the ground in Chiang Rai to determine the best way for us to assist their efforts.’

This is not the first time Musk has been approached to assist in a disaster zone.

The Puerto Rico government called on the 47-year-old billionaire for help last year, after a devastating hurricane hit the Caribbean island.

As well as providing expert advice to help rebuild the island’s infrastructure, electric automaker Tesla sent high-capacity battery packs to help keep the lights on in local homes and businesses.

Read the whole thing …

Life in a bubble: How we can fight hunger, loneliness, and radiation on Mars  

It’s becoming increasingly clear that sooner or later humanity will have to migrate to other planets in the universe — or face extinction when Earth’s resources run out as they inevitably will.

And experiments are underway in preparation for that eventuality.

From Business Insider:

One by one, four men and four women wearing dark coveralls stepped up to a lectern to deliver their final remarks.

“I take my last breaths of this atmosphere, knowing that I will take breaths from a different atmosphere from all of you,” said Jane Poynter, one of the crew members.

Then they lined up in front of a velvet rope, waved to the cameras, and stepped through an airlock crafted from submarine bulkheads. The doors were sealed. It was September 26, 1991. The group wouldn’t leave until 1993.

The airtight facility they entered, called Biosphere 2, is dug into a hillside of the Sonoran Desert near Oracle, Arizona. It’s a geodesic cocoon made of 6,500 triangular glass panes, and it looks something like a cross between a brilliant jewel and a sprawling terrarium. Inside are acres of lush green plants, millions of cubic feet of air, and an undulating 675,000-gallon saltwater ocean.

Poynter was walking into the largest, longest-running space colony simulation ever built. It would not only pioneer a system to regenerate all the food, air, and water needed to survive on Mars but also test the crew’s physical and mental limits. Poynter would also face a daunting emotional trial with another crew member, Taber MacCallum: a relationship they’d hidden for years from public view.

“It was an incredibly audacious and, in so many ways, incredibly successful attempt at building a prototype space base,” Poynter, who now co-runs the high-altitude-balloon company World View, told me nearly 25 years after she emerged from the biosphere.

People no longer get sealed inside Biosphere 2. Today it’s a scientific research facility run by the University of Arizona. Yet the original mission of the biospherians has taken on new relevance as threatening changes to the Earth’s climate, and ultimately to humanity, take alarming shape.

The outlook has grown so gloomy that, in the eyes of some, the idea of colonizing Mars as a backup drive for the human race now seems appropriate, if not inevitable. Joining Stephen Hawking and others is billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk, whose grand ambitions have made talk of inhabiting the red planet using his aerospace company, SpaceX, part of casual conversation.

The ultimate goal of his entrepreneurial existence, Musk has said, is to build a permanent, self-sustaining city of 1 million people on Mars — complete with pizza joints — as a sort of insurance policy against all-out catastrophe on Earth.

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Falcon Heavy may have drastically increased the number of asteroids we can mine  

From Gizmodo:

Asteroid mining is about more than just heading up into space and bringing back a rock full of platinum—you actually need to land something on just the right asteroid.

Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket launched by Elon Musk-led SpaceX two weeks ago, may have changed the game, says one astronomer.

“Instead of a few hundred we may have thousands of ore bearing asteroids available,” Martin Elvis from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told an audience at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Austin, Texas.