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Half a century after astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon, a new space race is underway to exploit the skies for commercial profit.
Tech giants and startups pursuing bold plans such as selling space tourism, mining asteroids and beaming giant adverts into the skies are winning millions in investment with pledges to bring the stars into reach.
Annual revenues from space-related business, currently worth $350 billion, could nearly triple in size by 2040, estimates U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley.
But the rapid growth of a market with seemingly boundless potential has sparked concerns about a lack of laws and potential conflicts over resources, prompting calls for more rules to govern humanity’s use of the cosmos.
“By 2040 (we believe) there will be 1,000 people living and working on the moon and 10,000 annual visitors,” said Aaron Sorenson, a spokesman from the Japanese lunar exploration startup ispace.
“Our company vision is to extend human presence into outer space. We believe that begins with the expansion of the earth’s economy to the moon,” he said.
Drops in launch costs brought about by technological advances such as the development of commercial reusable rockets have caught the interest of startups and investors.
Super-rich businesspeople including Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos who want to colonize space to support human life are pouring cash into cutting-edge private spacecraft.
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In addition, a resurgence in national space programs of countries such as India, which this week launched a rocket aiming to get a rover on the moon, as well as the United States and China could provide a source of funding for businesses.
Space hotels, cosmic business insurance, celestial advertising billboards, and in-space manufacturing are among the businesses being explored by firms hoping that technology will open up new horizons amid a boom of commercial space activity.
“I think very soon you are going to see major, traditional nonspace businesses taking notice,” said Sorenson, whose company is working to develop a high-frequency shuttle between earth and the moon.
Aerospace companies such as Musk’s SpaceX and Bezos’ Blue Origin are aiming to become the first private firm to launch a human into space.
A handful of firms have also been exploring the potential of mining asteroids for minerals and resources, a business that for now remains in the realm of science fiction but which space companies think could be possible in a decade or two.
Governments are positioning to take advantage of these new markets even before they become a reality.
The United States and Luxembourg have both passed legislation aiming to allow property rights on planets and create regulations to permit space mining, with Russia indicating earlier this year that it may follow suit.
But it is doubtful whether some of the more futuristic firms have yet established a clear business model, said Ian Christensen from the Secure World Foundation, a space advocacy group.
The rush of speculation in space has also revealed gaps in the international laws and treaties governing its use and sparked calls for greater oversight.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, with more than 100 nations party to the agreement, provides the main framework for space law, and says no nation can claim ownership of outer space and it must be free for use by all countries.
“In those days everybody thought that space was basically for a few states, for military purposes,” said Frans von der Dunk, a professor of space law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Nobody really foresaw the commercial development which we have seen since. So in that sense a lot needs to be clarified.”
Key questions include whether companies can claim ownership over space minerals, according to von der Dunk. If so, how should countries divide up access rights to ensure the spoils are shared fairly?
There is also debate about how to deal with the growing amount of “space junk” hurtling around the earth, such as broken satellites and spent rocket parts, which can cause serious damage to spacecraft.
“If it goes on like this then maybe 10 or 20 years from now it will be nearly impossible to conduct safe space operations because there’s so much junk floating around,” said von der Dunk.
Another worry is that plans by companies like Amazon and SpaceX to launch thousands of satellites will jam space with yet more clutter and increase the risk of collisions, said Christopher Newman, a space law and policy expert from Britain’s Northumbria University.
Clarifying the rules of doing business in space could benefit commercial operators by offering them stability and clearer costs and risks, say legal experts.
But the likelihood of world powers agreeing to any major new international space treaties or a body to referee disputes between nations are slim, Newman said.
He added that treaties that give away sovereignty are “out of fashion.”
Until a clearer picture emerges of the future of space infrastructure, he said, space players will continue to enjoy a degree of “anarchy.”
“Space is congested, competitive and contested … and it’s only going to get worse as the technology, orbital population and access to space all increase,” he said. (VOA)
When it comes to our day-to-day life, there are several things which help us enhance our day with every step. One such thing is music. It enhances, motivates and boosts certain aspects of our personality in ways that may not come into notice. There have been several researches on how music affects human brain. Studies show it helps us in recovery and healing, and also, encouraging us to be better if exposed to the right kind and fit.
From kids to elderly, music as a commodity, can be consumed by all. It is the universal language that is spoken by each and every being, from animals to humans to plants, each respond to it in their own ways. Suffice to say, we are united by music and the effect it has over us. Plants, for example, grow better when exposed to good music. Many songs are being composed specifically to enhance and boost their growth. Same is the case for humans. For humans, the right kind of music can boost good health, physically as well as mentally. You might have noticed how in gyms, upbeat music is played. That is to channel energy into everyone present. It adds to the workout. Several researches around the world have shown better physical output when exposed to appropriate music. Fast paced songs with upbeat nature channeled speed and the slower ones slowed downs the listeners, without them noticing. The sub-conscious effects of music are continuously being studied.
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Our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to.Unsplash
Listening to upbeat or happy music also reduces stress and pressure from our minds. Many people become relaxed while listening to calming music. This is why calming sounds are used during a yoga session. Classical music seems to have the same calming and soothing effect. Furthermore, classical music has much more advantages over metal or techno music, it has proven to enhance learning and improve sleep in its listeners. A study was conducted in which participants were divided in groups where one group was exposed to classical music, another to metal and last one was supervised without any music. The group exposed to classical music showed healthier sleeping pattern than the rest.
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Several brands and outlets encash on different characteristics of music. Calm and soothing music is used in spas to help customer relax. It is a known fact that our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to. So, music with faster beats will have our heart beating faster and the slow one will have calmer effect. This is why slow music channels calm. And the same fact has led to faster and upbeat music being played in food outlets. A study conducted in a farm, where people were invited to have food, where one half was exposed to slower music and for other fast-paced music was played. Not only did the group exposed to fast-music ate faster but also ate more than the group who ate in slower one. Next time you are in a food outlet or a restaurant observe the kind of music they are playing and the eating pattern.
Music can even be a facilitator of communication. We can sometimes convey our thoughts through the medium of a song. Sometimes someone’s words justify our inner feelings better than us. Or sometimes a song brings back certain memory or a place, and takes us to that certain moment. To say music is a time-machine would not be wrong. It is a dynamic blessing that can be used throughout our lives.
Key Words: Music, Calm, Soothing, Effects of Music
As more and more people are acknowledging the importance of their mental well-being, the wave of awareness the acknowledgment has brought is unprecedented. It may not have paved a clear path towards complete healing but it certainly has shown the way. The awareness is the key to heal. Healing begins only after the problem is identified. Similar to physical illness, the identification of the problem area is the first step. Even in case of a minor wound, when we go to the hospital the nurse first locates the wound. They, then, ask how we got hurt and identify the nature of the wound. Only then, they clean, put ointment and wrap it up if it needs wrapping and protection from air and dust. Sometimes, that protection is not needed. The wound heals out in the open. Same goes when it comes to healing of a mental trauma or illness. Sometimes, we confine in professionals or our loved ones, in order to let it out and process it openly. Sometimes, the trauma reduces with time. In any way, being aware and vigilant is the way to go.
Being knowledgeable about life in general, opens many channels for you. Being knowledgeable about yourself, opens gates inside you that lead to spiritual and general awareness about the concept of self. And the inner awareness is not necessarily internal, it can be seen from the outside as well. When we have positive energy from within it radiates physically as well. Have you encountered someone who’s spiritually awakened and aware? Do they stand out in the crowd? There are prominent examples of people who have made their mark in history, there is Swami Vivekanada, his awakening has revolutionised generations, one live example we can witness is The Dalai Lama.
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Healing is part of the spiritual journey.Unsplash
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Awareness is the first step towards the staircase of spirituality. Healing is part of that journey. In our world, we go by our lives without paying much attention to causes of our actions. Every little thing we do, we do it for a reason. We might be suffering without being aware of it. There might be certain actions which are screaming those are trauma-response and not really us. But we go by our days, without paying heed to the fact that it really is the small actions that carry weightage in our lives. When we become attentive and thoughtful with what we do, we introspect, and then act. Thoughtless actions do not bear much fruit anyway. Thoughtfulness not only benefits us personally, but makes world a better place to live in. It really is the need of the hour to introspect every little doing and if it does not fit with the idea of self, then, it is time to find the root cause of what has us where we are.
Being self-aware is crucial as a human quality as well. When we face our problems, we gain experience, that experience leads us to understand and empathise with others’ sufferings too. It is a wholesome development.
Key Words: Self-awareness, Spirituality, Thoughtfulness, Mental Health
Honestly, who hasn’t watched one of the epic series of HBO– Game of Thrones?
There’s no question that when the first episode of Game of Thrones was released on April 11, 2011, the youth population of the world became exuberant. The main reasons behind this reaction was, first, the theme of the show, and second, the hidden lessons which it put forward.
Some of the valuable lessons which the Game of Thrones taught us are:
1. The pack always survives. This aptly meant that whether your pack consists of your family or your friends, you are the strongest when you are surrounded by a support system. This is what Ned Stark taught his children, to be together when “the winter comes”.
2. Never forget who you truly are. One of the most important lessons was given by Tyrion Lannister. He taught us that we should never forget who we really are. This means that we must not forget our bad habits and where we lack. So, once we know who we are, no one could ever use our lagging points against us.
3. Reading is necessary. Tyrion Lannister said, “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.” There is absolutely no denying that reading is not a habit now-a-days, but a necessity. If you want to be sharp and smart, then you must devote sometime to books, for they would teach you a lot!
4. Always pay your debts. Well, one of the most philosophical and learned houses if Game of Thrones is House Lannister. And so, one of the sayings of their house is, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” From here we get another life lesson that we must always pay off what we owe from people.
5. Always believe, “You know nothing.” Ygritte said this to Jon Snow in a teasing manner. But, this is actually for all those who believe that they know each and everything. Well, never believe that you know everything. Always learn from new experiences and never hesitate to take advice from others.
So, these were five most significant lessons which the series Game of Thrones offered us. In reality, we all are aware of these lessons, but we never really work upon them. But now, let’s try to understand each lesson and become the heir someday!
Keywords: Entertainment, Game of Thrones, HBO, Series, Youth, Lessons.