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How Nokia’s rocket man is connecting planets

         

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, not too long ago stated: “If humanity doesn’t land on Mars in my lifetime, I might be very upset.”

And he wouldn’t be the one one. Right here, at Nokia Conversations, we’d additionally love to peer man take his first daring step on the purple planet, too. Whereas, in the beginning look, house trip and goodphones would possibly no longer appear to have big quantities in fashionable, there’s in reality various synergy between these two areas of human endeavour. A lot so, that we even have our very personal rocket man inside Nokia’s ranks.

Lasse Lindqvist, Director of Advertising and marketing Technique, studied at MIT the place he labored with NASA engineers on area fits. Now he’s a part of a Finnish workforce, Space Veggies, which has just won a NASA competition to design a greenhouse for Mars. We hooked up with him and his crew to find out more about their amazing concept to make the red planet a tiny bit greener.

Nokia rocketman

1. Space Veggies won the Deployable Greenhouse challenge in NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge 2013. Can you tell us what Space Veggies is about, how you came up with your winning concept and what were the main challenges?

Space Veggies is about challenge and especially the great challenges of space exploration and happy living.

Our winning concept has its roots in the many forms of sustainability. If mankind wants to live outside Earth one day, we have to be able to reach a much higher level of resource sustainability in our new habitats than we have here on Earth. Also, we need to make sure living there is mentally sustainable, i.e. people don’t go nuts!

Resource wise, this means 100% recycling of everything from the air we inhale and exhale to the food we eat, water we drink, etc. Mentally, on the other hand, it means the citizens of colonies need to have life around them, not just tin cans. Combining these two without creating a package too heavy was our main insight and also our main challenge. As for the teamwork, we were able to put together an amazing interdisciplinary group of people with varying talents and shared excitement.

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 2. This is the first success of the Finnish space community Spaceship. What exactly is Spaceship and how has Finland’s technology tradition, boosted by companies such as Nokia, helped contribute to it?

“Spaceship is a community and now also an official association. Our aim is to grow the Finnish space community and industry from the bottom up. One of the biggest things we’ll do in the near future is the local event of NASA’s Space Apps Challenge. Our long-term goal is to build a successful incubator for space related companies.

The Finnish technology tradition is of course a strong background force in this. Many of the people involved have lived in the middle of technology and also been involved in startups and tech companies or communities. The tradition just makes doing things like this more natural – and hopefully understandable!”

 3. One of the members of your team, Lasse Lindqvist, works at Nokia and Nokia have sponsored your efforts. How much synergy is there between mobile technology and space technology? Space Veggies

“Simply: a lot. Especially if you look at it from the point of view of “connecting people”. One of the biggest sacrifices of the first Martians, for example, will be that they’ll leave most of their loved ones behind. Being able to communicate with them would be essential. The more ways you could communicate the better. And then there’s the power of sharing. Next time someone sets foot on the Moon, an asteroid or Mars, it will be a truly global connected experience, even more than the broadcast in 1969.”

“Also, mobile technology has to address similar challenges as space technology. Packing hi-tech in a small space and light frame, making the most of very small amounts of energy and designing sophisticated user interfaces are great examples. Another interesting synergy comes from the concept of phones as tools for space exploration. With smartphones, almost all of us now carry around a very capable sensing, computing and communicating device. As an example, another Finnish team Meteorienteers designed an app to use mobile phones to track falling meteorites. And actually NASA has been experimenting with phones in space to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics of a capable, yet very inexpensive, satellite.

In short: phones contain a lot of tech that is used even today in space exploration and on the other hand, there are heavy synergies in development also.”

4. Since 1995, dozens of Finnish companies have contributed their expertise to the European Space Agency’s probes and satellites, including the 2003 Mars Express spacecraft. How do you think Finnish know-how, such as yours, can help in the future?

mars_express-2“There’s quite a bit Finnish corporations can do and these tech corporations are a excellent instance of it. However area remains to be incessantly known best as an engineering problem even supposing it’s way over simply that: It’s a design problem, a societal problem, a cheap problem. There’s actually a universe of challenges to be solved. And tackling these challenges can convey excessive rewards right here on Earth already lengthy ahead of we’re laying seeds within the Martian soil.

If we take a look at our idea, there are many areas during which Finnish firms may play a component: as an example processing of bio-waste into oils, soil, materials, and so on. (Take into consideration composting devices, as an instance!) Finland has some distinctive recognize-how on this sector and if we speak about recycling one hundred% of the whole lot, Finnish comprehend-how may and will have to be used to resolve these issues. That is additionally a type of issues the place an answer developed to be used on Earth can be upgraded for use in house and after that used extra effectively on Earth – an instance of the facility of aiming greater!”

5. As a part of your prize, you’ve been invited to watch NASA’s MAVEN mission launch subsequent week. Nokia has armed your staff with Nokia Lumia 1020s to seize the adventure. What do you suppose would be the most enjoyable a part of the expertise, each photographically and for my part?

“Photographically we think so much from the launch and Florida surroundings! For my part essentially the most attention-grabbing factor is to satisfy the individuals who designed and judged the problem and the opposite groups that participated. In spite of everything, finding out from folks and their insights is the good factor on this planet. The phones will indisputably assist us seize these insights and share them to the arena.

…Apart from possibly for the planet itself, which we’d would like to picture from the orbit. Would you purchase us tickets up there if we promise to take couple of photographs with the phones?”

It’s thrilling to grasp that Nokia experience and technology in reality is out of this world. And, if there’s anything else we’d love greater than taking smartphone pictures on the earth, it’s taking sensiblephones pictures in house. Unluckily, unless now we have our very personal Nokia rocket, that’s most definitely no longer going to be an possibility. Nonetheless, we will all the time dream. Query is, in case you had been placing in orbit with a Nokia Lumia 1020, what would you’re taking an image of?

Picture credit score: NASA/Pat Rawlings, SAIC