Profile

Cover photo
Christopher Dreyer
Works at Colorado School of Mines
Attended Drexel University
Lives in Lakewood, Colorado
8,391 followers|75,072 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideosReviews

Stream

 
There is a group raising funds via kickstarter to revive a 1970s era spacecraft. It will make a close flyby of earth soon. If they can raise the funds they can send commands to the spacecraft to put it into a new orbit. Lots more to read about if you follow the link.
 
A crowdfunding effort to rescue a 1970s NASA spacecraft as it zooms past the Earth. This is cool. http://buff.ly/Qf9JSr
The countdown is on to rebuild communications with a spacecraft before it drifts past this summer. The craft has functional instruments, but NASA has no budget to reactivate the program. It's up to private donors and dedicated volunteers to recapture the abandoned spacecraft.
3
1
Shannon A.'s profile photo
Add a comment...

Christopher Dreyer

Shared publicly  - 
 
Brian posts on the Drake equation. Are we alone? Are other intelligent life forms out there but we are all destined to never hear each other? Or is intelligent life common and nearby?
 
Forever Alone

It’s estimated that there are between 8 and 20 billion potentially habitable Earth-like worlds within our galaxy alone.  Those are just the ones that orbit Sun-like stars.  If you add in stars like red dwarfs, the number of potentially habitable planets rises to over 40 billion.  Of course that is just the ones within our galaxy.  There are about 100 billion galaxies within the observable universe.  That’s a lot of potential for other intelligent species, but so far none of them have made contact with us.  Just why is a bit of a mystery.

One solution is that no other intelligent species has contacted us because there are no other intelligent species besides ours.  It is possible that the appearance of intelligent life in the universe is so extraordinarily rare that we are the only such species in the entire universe.  It’s also possible that intelligent life is rather common, and there is some other reason that motivates them to avoid us.  Either way, it would be helpful if we had an idea of just how likely or rare intelligent life actually is.  One way to estimate this is through an equation known as the Drake equation.

The Drake equation was originally proposed at the first SETI conference by Frank Drake in 1961 as a way to stimulate discussion.  Drake did not intend it as a prediction of the correct value, but more as a “what if” to consider.  The equation itself is basically a product of the rate at which stars form in our galaxy, how many stars have planets, how many planets they typically have, what fraction are habitable, what fraction of habitable planets form life, how many form intelligent life, then civilizations, and how long those civilizations last.

When Drake first proposed the equation, most of the values in the equation were largely unknown.  We now have data on several of them.   We know that about 7 new stars form in our galaxy each year, virtually all main sequence stars are likely to have planets, and they likely have more than 1 planet.  There are about 60 billion Sun-like stars in our galaxy, and it’s estimated that about 15% – 30% of those stars have planets in their habitable zone.  From that we get a value of 8 to 20 billion potentially habitable Earth-like planets.

The rest of the Drake equation remains pretty speculative.  If we suppose there are 10 billion potential Earths, how many of them actually have life?  We only have one example of life arising on a planet, and drawing conclusions from a sample size of 1 is iffy at best.  But if we assume Earth is fairly typical, then perhaps 10% of these worlds could have possessed life for at least a billion years.  That would mean there is life on about 100 million planets.

Of these, what fraction will give rise to an intelligent species?  Intelligent life arose on Earth, so it’s possible that most planets with life will give rise to intelligence.  Or it could be that intelligence is just a fluke.  Again, we only have one example.  This is perhaps the most speculative aspect of the Drake equation.  Estimates range from nearly 100% to almost none.  Of those with intelligent life, how many can communicate across the stars?  Again, it’s anybody’s guess.  So there could be as many as 100 million civilizations, or as few as 1.

The last part of the equation is about how robust civilizations are.  When they arise do they last for a million years, or do they collapse within centuries?  Our own civilization is relatively young.  We’ve only had the potential to communicate across stellar distances for a few decades.  How much longer will our civilization last?  That’s a good question.

Carl Sagan saw the lack of communication with other intelligent species as a cautionary tale.  If upwards of 100 million planets have life, and the rise of intelligent life is common, then the reason we haven’t heard from our alien neighbors could be because civilizations are fragile.  Perhaps just as they develop the tools to reach the stars they also develop the tools of their annihilation.  Perhaps we should view the silent stars not as a mystery, but as a warning.

For now it is still largely speculation.  Planets are common, and potentially habitable planets seem to be common, but we just don’t have any hard evidence for more than that.

One thing, however is certain.  Either we are alone in the universe, or we are not.  Either case is deeply profound.

Image: NASA/JPL–Caltech/R Hurt (SSC–Caltech)
11
1
Paul Harrington's profile photo
Add a comment...
 
At the Denver Museum of Nature at Science talking to people about Blasterbotica, the senior design group I advise at the Colorado School of Mines. Come by, it's a free day at the museum.

+Colorado School of Mines
9
2
Eldon Estep's profile photoBob Calder's profile photoChristopher Dreyer's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Eldon Estep I should included our website after all. It is Blasterbotica.mines.edu.
Add a comment...

Christopher Dreyer

➥ Astron/ Cosmo/ Space  - 
 
I thought people here might be interested in this kickstarter for educational kits for lunar regolith simulant.
 
Get a little simulated moon dust from a kickstarter to use in the classroom when talking about the moon. In science and space technology circles it's called lunar regolith simulant [1,2]. The company running the kickstarter has worked with NASA for years [3,4] to help produce lunar simulants. Now they have a kickstarter to create an educational kit to teach about the properties of the lunar surface.
[1]isru.msfc.nasa.gov/simulantdev.html
[2]isru.msfc.nasa.gov/lib/Documents/PDF%20Files/conf_pres_PTMSS2008_Schrader.pdf
[3]www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/76376
[3]sbirsource.com/sbir/awards/117101-industrial-scale-production-of-celestial-body-simulants
2
1
Manuel Alzurutt's profile photo
Add a comment...

Christopher Dreyer

Shared publicly  - 
 
Get a little simulated moon dust from a kickstarter to use in the classroom when talking about the moon. In science and space technology circles it's called lunar regolith simulant [1,2]. The company running the kickstarter has worked with NASA for years [3,4] to help produce lunar simulants. Now they have a kickstarter to create an educational kit to teach about the properties of the lunar surface.
[1]isru.msfc.nasa.gov/simulantdev.html
[2]isru.msfc.nasa.gov/lib/Documents/PDF%20Files/conf_pres_PTMSS2008_Schrader.pdf
[3]www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/76376
[3]sbirsource.com/sbir/awards/117101-industrial-scale-production-of-celestial-body-simulants
2
3
Manuel Alzurutt's profile photoYasin Gülener's profile photoChristopher Dreyer's profile photoRichard Harris's profile photo
2 comments
 
This is different. The sand in hour backyard is composed of round particles. This is because the sand particles were formed by erosion in water. On the moon (and asteroids) high speed micrometeorite impacts fracture the rock making very angular particles. The micrometeorite impacts also melt the rock altering its chemistry. All of this causes the physical properties of the dust to be unlike sand. The kickstarter has grinding and processing methods that make a dust that is very similar to moon dust.
Add a comment...
In his circles
2,335 people
Have him in circles
8,391 people
 
One of the fall outs of the Russian annexation of Crimea will be suspension of cooperation in space projects. NASA will stop working with Russia on everything be the space station. All access to the ISS is via Russian spacecraft. It is time for the US to fully fund the commercial crew program.
 
NASA Suspends Ties With Russia’s Space Agency, Except For ISS

NASA is suspending all contact with the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, citing Russia’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, officials said Wednesday. However, work related to the safe and continued operation of the International Space Station are exempt from the suspension.

In response to media reports, NASA released this statement Wednesday evening via their social media accounts:

"Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation. NASA and Roscosmos will, however, continue to work together to maintain safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station. NASA is laser focused on a plan to return human spaceflight launches to American soil, and end our reliance on Russia to get into space. This has been a top priority of the Obama Administration’s for the past five years, and had our plan been fully funded, we would have returned American human spaceflight launches – and the jobs they support – back to the United States next year. With the reduced level of funding approved by Congress, we’re now looking at launching from U.S. soil in 2017. The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It’s that simple. The Obama Administration chooses to invest in America – and we are hopeful that Congress will do the same."

Read more here: http://www.penny4nasa.org/2014/04/02/nasa-suspends-ties-with-russias-space-agency-except-for-iss/

Tell Congress that you support fully funding the Commercial Crew Program and that you want to end NASA’s dependence on expensive Soyuz trips: http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/

#Penny4NASA #NASABudget #NASA #ISS #Space #Science #Russia #Ukraine
3
Add a comment...

Christopher Dreyer

➥ Astron/ Cosmo/ Space  - 
 
Anyone near Denver? Come on by the +Denver Museum of Nature & Science!
 
At the Denver Museum of Nature at Science talking to people about Blasterbotica, the senior design group I advise at the Colorado School of Mines. Come by, it's a free day at the museum.

+Colorado School of Mines
3
Add a comment...

Christopher Dreyer

Shared publicly  - 
 
While we can predict some fluid motion there is much we still can not predict. Einstein spent some time trying to improve our understand of turbulence but could make progress. This sounds like a very interesting approach. Well worth the time to read.
 
The Navier-Stokes equations of fluid flow, used to model ocean currents, weather patterns and other phenomena, have been dubbed one of the seven most important problems in modern mathematics. https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140224-a-fluid-new-path-in-grand-math-challenge
3
Add a comment...

Christopher Dreyer

Shared publicly  - 
 
I use Facebook only to keep in touch with family. If you have a business or nonprofit, this video make a great case for why Facebook is worthless to you.
 
*Is Facebook being fraudulent? How much is a like worth?*

tl;dr You have to pay to advertise on Facebook or your page doesn't get promoted. Many publicly funded institutions cannot legally do this. Is this heralding the beginning of the end for Facebook as an outreach method?

long version

Shortly after I woke up this morning, i watched this video that was put up by +Derek Muller of +Veritasium. I knew I wanted to share it out, but had to think for a bit about just what I wanted to say

It's really easy to slam Facebook, especially if you're an avid user of +Google+ like the vast majority of us are. I know I have a personal bias against it as well, only really using it to share out my work to a slightly different demographic than those I reach on here and Twitter.

Derek brings up a huge cause for concern with the new model that Facebook started using last year when it comes to promotion and advertising on their platform. 

You must pay to play.

If you don't pay, then your posts (as a page) are not promoted throughout their network like it had previously. If you do pay, your page is promoted until you receive a certain amount of "likes", which is the equivalent to having someone circle your page here on G+. 

Many find this to be unfair, especially if you don't have any money budgeted for paid ads. Typically one could chalk that up as a battle between the haves & have-nots and call it a day. But herein lies a major problem. 

The purpose of advertising and marketing is for audience/customer engagement. You're trying to reach a wider group of people who may not have seen your content before and actually participate in the discussion or consumption of that content. 

What Derek found out is that even if you promote through completely legitimate means on Facebook, the "likes" that you get are from seemingly random no/low engaging users that have no real interest in what you're promoting. Essentially, for the money you've paid into their system of advertisements, you get absolutely nothing in return besides a number of likes.

For many people, that's completely fine. They can go to their boss/partners/investors and show that they're making a huge impact when it comes to social media. "People like us!" The longer you rely upon that sole metric as a measure of success, the more you realize you're literally throwing money away with nothing in return. 

As many of you know, I work in science outreach. I partner up with a bunch of amazing people to create things that help bring science to the public in a way that's accessible for most everyone who watches. Some of these are NASA contractors.

*NASA can not use taxpayer dollars to pay for advertisements*

There is a difference between public outreach and advertisements. Public outreach has the sole focus of educating the public and showing what the tax dollars have been used for. This is why there are teams dedicated to education & public outreach in association with missions, but you don't have television ads telling you to go visit +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and buy things at their visitor's center. 

So when a platform actively throttles down the content that's being created by NASA, their contractors or anything else because they're not actually able to pay for advertisements, I have an issue with this. There's currently no way around this problem except to dedicate resources to other platforms such as Google+ (for which I, among many people, welcome with open arms). 

Here on Google+ we've been able to cultivate amazing conversations with an enormous amount of people we've never had the opportunity to before. You can hang out with scientists, talk with engineers, ask an astronaut a question or even see how images from the +Hubble Space Telescope are processed live in a Hangout on Air! 

I thank Derek for making this amazing video that really highlights some problems with the advertising model that's on Facebook. I'll most likely have a conversation with him about this at #scio14  at the end of the month. I wish I could say I was just "FB Hating", but this is a major problem when it comes to sharing out the fantastic science that's being done across the world. 

ETA: +Amanda Blain also made a great write-up about this just an hour and a half ago, and is definitely worth a read, especially from a non-science-outreach point of view. http://goo.gl/EfRe63

#Outreach   #ScienceEveryday   #SocialMedia   #Facebook   #GooglePlus   #STEM   #Advertising   #Education  
8
2
David D. Stanton's profile photoBogdan Pricop's profile photoKay Holland's profile photo
 
Lovely.  And yet my boss still thinks FB is the best way to reach people.  I personally refuse to touch the thing and just maintain our g+ page.
Add a comment...
 
Get yourself a little simulated moon dust from a kickstarter. In science and space technology circles it's called lunar regolith simulant [1,2]. This company has worked with NASA for years [3,4] to help produce lunar simulants. Now they have a kickstarter to create an educational kit to teach about the properties of the lunar surface.
[1]isru.msfc.nasa.gov/simulantdev.html
[2]isru.msfc.nasa.gov/lib/Documents/PDF%20Files/conf_pres_PTMSS2008_Schrader.pdf
[3]www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/76376
[3]sbirsource.com/sbir/awards/117101-industrial-scale-production-of-celestial-body-simulants
1
Add a comment...
People
In his circles
2,335 people
Have him in circles
8,391 people
Work
Occupation
Engineer/Researcher
Employment
  • Colorado School of Mines
    Assistant Research Professor, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Lakewood, Colorado
Previously
Cherry Hill, New Jersey - Boulder, Colorado - Philadelphia, PA - Cleveland, Ohio - Tabernacle, NJ
Links
Contributor to
Story
Introduction
Engineer interested in space exploration, science, energy production, lasers, physics, science fiction and other cool stuff.
Education
  • Drexel University
    Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
    Mechanical Engineering
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Chris
This is a great little museum. The subject is interesting to just about anyone. The cost is low and well worth the expense.
Appeal: ExcellentFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
1 review
Map
Map
Map