SpaceX Mars Travel Posters

The Mars Colonization and Tourism Assoc. a.k.a. SpaceX released a set of retro travel posters depicting future travelers at three of the more prominent Martian landmarks. More information on Vice The original high-res versions are on the SpaceX Flickr page

CCCP-2061

Some great examples of retro-futurist “envisionings”

The site: http://ru-2061.livejournal.com/ is devoted to a drawing contest where artists imagine a planet Mars colonized by a thriving Soviet space program in the year 2061.

Not all of the work is good, but some is very good. The second round of the contest, “The Stone Belt” seems to have attracted more talent than the first.

The page is in Russian, but Chrome translates it pretty well.

Russian art is always fascinating to me because the default color palette is just a little different from the American one. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but if you look at, say images taken by Russian satellites:

the blues are shifted a bit toward green and the reds shifted a bit toward orange, in comparisons to the NASA photos which are usually “color-corrected” so that the blues, reds, and greens are fully saturated.

Space Settlement

NASA has a server called arc.nasa.gov (password-protected) with a subdomain at settlement.arc.nasa.gov which contains a number of odd things, including an archive of artists’ renderings of proposed earthling settlements in space. The proposals are basically for big round greenhouses, rotating to simulate gravity via centrifugal force – not so different than what has been proposed in a lot of science fiction in movies and on TV.

Somehow I’m comforted that there are people making plans for this kind of thing, even though it’s discouraging to see how so much of the optimism of the 60s and 70s (regarding space travel as well as almost everything else) never went anywhere.

Teresem

This is one of those things that sounds more like a discarded Dharma Initiative plot line from Lost than reality, yet it’s real. The Burlington (VT) Free Press recently profiled the Teresem Movement Foundation, based in Bristol, VT, which calls itself a “a transreligion for technological times”.

They are working on promoting “exponential life” – essentially getting to the point where we can download our consciousnesses into robotic bodies. The idea has been explored recently in shows such as Dollhouse and Caprica and does seem to be the ultimate target of a lot of scientific research.

Teresem has two journals: The Journal of Geoethical Nanotechnology and The Journal of Personal Cyberconsciousness.

The NYTimes profiled one of the automatons, Bina48, which, along with tripping the “uncanny valley” alarm, is a good demonstration of how AI hasn’t changed much since the days of the Alice chatbot

Heady stuff. Cool and unnerving.