Updated: Jan 13
Space Exploration, UFO Sightings, New Technology and Best in Science Fiction
The future is here! 2020 is already underway and it is looking to be a very Cosmic year. With a space race to Mars, autonomous robots building stuff on the moon, and, if we’re lucky, maybe even a possible confirmation of life outside our planet, there is plenty to be excited about! To prepare you for all this adventure, Cosmic Thirst presents its Top 4 Cosmic Things to Thirst for in 2020.
THE GREAT SPACE RACE TO MARS
Reminiscent of the USA/Soviet race to the Moon in the 1960’s, there is yet again another space race heating up in 2020, ‘The race to Mars.’ Except this time, we have more than just two contenders. All the big players are represented with... not 2... not 3... but 4 major governmental space agencies all planning unmanned missions to the Red Planet.
Even the United Arab Emirates (UAE), new to the scene, will debut with their first-ever mission to mars.
Along with the UAE, we can include China’s HX-1 orbiter and rover mission. Then there is a team effort by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (RSA) to launch ExoMars at the end of July. Last but certainly not least is NASA’s very own, unnamed, 2020 Mars Rover. Mars is about to get a lot more crowded.
[COSMIC NOTE] In a very NASA-like marketing campaign, they asked K-12 students back in June to submit essays with their best name ideas for the 2020 Mars Mission - submissions closed on November 1st. Check back with NASA in a couple weeks when they open up voting for the best name.
The goal? UAE’s Hope Mission won’t actually land on Mars, but instead just orbit the planet. They will try to reach some confirmation regarding past life on mars and the feasibility of sustaining future life. NASA’s 2020 rover will drill down for soil samples in hopes of finding microbial life. China’s HX-1 rover will be capable of heating up core samples to 900 degrees to look for organic composition. ExoMars will have a similar objective. The exception being UAE’s Hope Mission, which will orbit the planet and monitor the climate. It is also tasked with figuring out why hydrogen is leaking at a fast rate from Mars’ atmosphere. Maybe we will finally get to see our very own Martian.
Not only are they all launching in 2020 – They are all launching at the same time! The Earth and Mars spend all of their time spinning around the sun and doing their thing, but every 26 months they decide to hook-up for a little cosmic date, known as conjunction. Basically, every 780 days Earth is at its closest with Mars, known as the planet’s synodic period. It is the most efficient time to launch a mission to Mars. This is why all four programs have a launch date from the middle of July to the beginning of August – even then the results technically should belong in a 2021 post as it will take about eight months to reach the Red Planet, making touchdown for all projects sometime in February 2021.
Although it will take a couple years to see the fruit of these expeditions one can’t help but to be excited. The union between world governments and their respective space agencies in gaining more knowledge and learning about our Universe should be used as a blueprint for further cooperation between the Nations. This is all important for the next big step, a manned mission to Mars.
INCREASED UFO / UAP SIGHTINGS
Expect plenty of UFO’s in 2020. Snakes in the sky, a cigar-shaped spaceship/asteroid, triangular multi-colored lights - 2019 was an insane year for unidentified flying objects – with more sightings than ever before. So insane that the United States Air Force even coined a new term to refer to these objects: UAP, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.
What does it all mean? Are they all hoaxes or are we truly being visited by aliens? We know that there are more satellites in orbit than ever before (Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to have 1400 satellites in orbit by the end of 2022 to global high-speed internet). We know that drones have become accessible and common place. And we know that more people than ever have an ever-present camera and video capability with there being 3.3 billion smart phone users on the planet. All of this contributes to increased sightings of UAP.
Most ufologists and space explorers will agree that about 95% of all these sightings can be explained. Most can be attributed to honest mis-identification of natural phenomena, aircraft –military or otherwise, or other mundane explanations. Even the USAF’s Project Blue Book was able to explain 94% of its cases before it was shuttered in 1970. But that still leaves 5% or so that is unexplained. The interesting ones being the reports of craft without any propulsion sound, or UAP’s being able to accomplish aerial maneuvers that if not physically possible, definitely don’t exist with any known technology today.
[COSMIC NOTE] Bernie Sanders has pledged to reveal all government secrets and information regarding aliens and the unknown if he is elected in November.
One can’t help but feel that something is close to being revealed. There is just too much phenomena to ignore. If not in 2020 then very soon some of this information will be revealed. The key will be the USAF which has been involved since the beginning. More and more credible government sources will come forward, more evidence will be presented, the truth cannot be hidden for longer. Keep your eyes to the sky in 2020!
ROBOT BASE ON THE MOON
It’s like something straight out of an Isaac Asimov novel, autonomous robots working to build a city on the moon. Until they take over and use the moon as their command base for the complete takeover of human civilization... just kidding... But seriously, in 2020 Japan aims to create a robot moon base.
The goal is to send payloads and automated robots to the lunar surface. These autonomos robots (some controlled remotely) will then begin the process of excavating the moon site, building structures and life-central technology, and overall preparing it for future human habitation. This base can then be used for cost-efficient missions throughout the solar system, maybe even... MARS.
[COSMIC NOTE] The global industrial robotics market is already dominated by Japan. Three of the top robotic firms all hail from there; The Yaskawa Electric Corporation, The Fanuc Corporation, and Kawasaki.
The Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) believes that a moon base is essential to exploring the rest of our solar system. They have separated the mission into four parts:
1. The first step will involve landing large payloads on the moon and excavating the site to be ready for infrastructure. Think construction work and bulldozers.
2. The second step is similar in that they will excavate to a certain depth; deep enough to provide ample cover and room for a future moon dirt covering.
3. The third step is installing the modules and various habitats that future humans could inhabit.
4. Last but not least, moon dust or regolith will be used to cover the structures and modules. This will provide a natural shield against asteroids, comets and solar radiation. If an asteroid (even a very small one) were to hit the base it could cause oxygen to escape, endangering the lives of any present humans.
Unfortunately, it is hard to find a lot of information regarding the project or the project launch date. Expect setbacks and completion delays and more information to trickle down within the next couple years as the project progresses.
DUNE THE MOVIE
You've heard me talk about this before. Without it we wouldn’t have Star Wars. Myself and thousands of others would never have developed a passion for science fiction, space or the unknown if it wasn’t for Frank Herbert and his ground-breaking novel. In 2020 we will have the long-awaited release of the movie Dune, set to be distributed by Warner Bros. in December. But wait, there’s more... In 2020 we will also be awarded with a Dune TV series. Yes everyone, you guessed it, our lives will now be complete.
Full disclosure for the uninitiated, Dune has been adapted to film before. I am very critical of the past Dune TV projects, the movie and the show. I won’t get into a thousand-word essay bleating the fact that they were horrible (been there, done that). So much of the meaning and goose bump-causing revelations came from inner dialogue that does not easily translate to the big screen. But I am an optimist. With today’s cinematography and the renewed interest into science fiction, there should be no reason why I can’t be hopeful that Warner will provide the juice.
[COSMIC NOTE] “The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience. -DUNE
Here is a synopsis of the novel I grabbed from SparkNotes - Dune is based on a complex imagined society set roughly 20,000 years in the future. The setting is the year 10,191, and human beings have spread out and colonized planets throughout the universe. On the planet Caladan, Duke Leto of the House of Atreides is preparing to leave for his new position as the governor of Arrakis, a desert planet with valuable resources of melange, a spice drug that is extremely popular with wealthy people. Leto and his family, including his concubine, Jessica, and his son, Paul, suspect a trap by their rivals, the Harkonnens, led by Baron Harkonnen. Leto decides to settle on Arrakis because of its rich supplies of melange, despite warnings from his men, including his adviser, Thufir Hawat, and his master-of-arms, Gurney Halleck.
The director, Villeneuve, has already mentioned that his movie will be nothing like the first. “David Lynch did an adaptation in the ’80s that has some very strong qualities. I mean, David Lynch is one of the best filmmakers alive, I have massive respect for him,” Villeneuve said. “But when I saw his adaptation, I was impressed, but it was not what I had dreamed of, so I’m trying to make the adaptation of my dreams. It will not have any link with the David Lynch movie. I’m going back to the book and going to the images that came out when I read it.”
Here’s to hoping that Dune can overtake the current Marvel monopoly and become a household name for movie lovers around the globe. Me and a few thousand others will be there to say, “we were there first.”
WE WILL SEE YOU SOON!
There is a lot happening in 2020. Dozens of government and private space projects, renewed interest in space exploration, conspiracy theories and plenty of everything else as we enter a new decade. A LOT more than just 4 things. Let me know in the comments or Cosmic Community of some of the other projects and goings-on that you are looking forward to in 2020.