Space the Final Frontier

So You Wanna Be a Martian Colonist


Let’s face it: Most of us aren’t going to make NASA’s rather stringent cut for the space program. So how’s a girl supposed to fulfill her destiny to rule Mars as Red Queen, given that that the  planet is, at best, 33.9 million miles away?

Well, here’s an idea! Mars One, an organization that hopes to create of a Martian settlement by turning the whole kit and kaboodle into a reality TV show, just posted its requirements for would-be settlers. And there is good news for those of us who flunked precalculus:  Read More


Booting Up: Trampoline to Work Edition

(Photo: Caters News Agency)

The Gmail app for iPad and iPhone got an upgrade. [Gmail Blog]

Despite the cluttered app market, half of all revenue from the app store goes to just 25 developers. [The Register]

Techstars company Karma has launched its $79 4G mobile hotspot that rewards users for sharing their connection. [TechCrunch]

If the Curiosity Rover can last eight more years, it will get a friend. NASA plans to send another rover to Mars in 2020. [BBC]

Why walk or drive to work when you could trampoline? [The Guardian]

The Final Frontier

Bill Nye Needs Your Help to Restore NASA’s Space Exploration Budget

(Photo: YouTube)

Millennial icon Bill Nye the Science Guy, whom this reporter once had the immense pleasure of interviewing, currently serves as the CEO of the Planetary Society. There, he’s worked to raise awareness about the Curiosity Rover’s mission to Mars, as well as advised Elon Musk on what the space research community needs out of a commercial space program. (“We need cheap access to orbit,” Mr. Nye told us in an interview. “It’s the key first step. Getting to orbit right now is too expensive.”)

Mr. Nye is working to raise awareness about NASA’s gutted space exploration budget. Yesterday, his team published a YouTube video of Mr. Nye urging viewers to send a letter to the President, asking him to restore the budget. Read More

Check-In Please!

Curiosity Rover Joins Foursquare, Checks in From Mars

(Photo: Foursquare)

In a delightfully geeky publicity stunt for New York-based location checkin service, NASA tweeted moments ago that the Curiosity Rover has joined Foursquare. “Guess who just joined @Foursquare? That’s right… @MarsCuriosity just checked in from the Red Planet,” tweeted NASA. It’s the first-ever checkin on a different planet, and we have to admit it’s pretty awesome.

“One check-in closer to being Mayor of Mars!” the Rover wrote for its inaugural checkin. Read More

The Final Frontier

Richard Branson Intends to Colonize Mars Whether You Like It or Not

Let's all work from SPACE! (Photo: Chatter-fest)

Though commercial space initiatives have a whiff of sadness about them (RIP lots of NASA funding, RIP the space craze of the ’50s), space geeks like your Betabeat reporters are excited by the prospect of making our way into outerspace however we can. And by the looks of it, every day people like you and me could soon be headed off into the ether–provided we have the massive amounts of cash to front the trip. Read More

The Final Frontier

NASA Scientist and Internet Crush Bobak Ferdowsi Hosting a Radio Show Called ‘Getting Curious with the Mohawk Guy’

(Photo: NewNowNext)

It’s been a few weeks since we last checked in with super-studly NASA scientist Bobak Ferdowsi, who became an Internet sensation overnight for helping land the Mars Curiosity rover while lookin’ fly in a specially-styled mohawk. The Internet was agog when they discovered that genius young flight directors could also be attractive.

Now Mr. Ferdowsi is parlaying his devastating breed of smart and charming into a radio show he’s hosting today, entitled “Getting Curious With the Mohawk Guy,” natch. Read More

The Final Frontier

Earth Braces for Inevitable Martian Attack as NASA Prepares to Broadcast From Mars

Aliens can't even handle this. (Photo:

When one considers the ultimate symbol of American progress and invention, there is really only one person who comes to mind: Black Eyed Peas singer His sartorial savvy? Swoon-worthy. His talented vocal breadth? Impeccable. is not the hero America needs, but he is the one we deserve.

We can only imagine that this is why, during an educational initiative spearheaded by NASA that launches today at 4 p.m., the Curiosity Rover will broadcast a new single by called “Reach for the Stars,” natch. (Did we mention what a brilliant lyricist Mr. Am is?) Read More

Space the Final Frontier

Would You Sign Up for a Reality TV Show that Offered a One-Way Ticket to Mars?

That's some lonely country.

Elon Musk isn’t the only entrepreneur with his gaze fixed firmly on the horizon of the Red Planet. My Fox New York reports that a Dutch company named Mars One wants to put humans on the alien world’s surface by 2023. Not only that, they’ll be a very special brand of human: Reality TV stars.

No, the company is not simply strapping Jill Zarin to a rocket and waiting for the inevitable rating success. Think of their proposal as more like an Astronaut Idol, or So You Think You Can Dance (On the Surface of Mars). The aim is to create a “global media spectacle” and thereby fund the project commercially: Read More


Booting Up: Terms on Service on Your Terms Edition

Should've read the terms of service.

The cost of Google’s purchase of Frommer’s is said to be $23 million. At that price, how could they not buy it? [New York Times]

At last, a service that flags troublesome clauses lurking deep within those terms of service agreements you don’t read. No longer need you fear becoming part of a human CentiPad. [TechCrunch]

The latest addition to Facebook’s timeline: “Expecting a Baby.” The folks are going to love this. [Facebook]

The Pentagon is testing “hypersonic” flight technology that makes the Concorde (R.I.P.) look lame. Try New York to London in an hour. You can’t even get to Bay Ridge that fast. [CNN]

In the future, we will all telecommute via iPads on wheels with giraffe-like necks. [The Verge]


Booting Up: A Good Look Around Mars Edition

<3 (Photo: Domain Gang)

Craigslist has taken a step back from becoming the Internet asshole, dropping exclusive license to all posts. [EFF]

How your tech story promotion sausage gets made. [New York Times]

Here’s a 360 panoramic view of Mars taken by the Curiosity rover. It is riveting. [Wall Street Journal]

No surprise here: self-driving cars are better at driving than actual humans. [The Atlantic]

Oh good, you can now live without breathing. [Gizmodo]

Maybe the Singularity isn’t coming, after all. [Cognitive Social Web]