The Doctor's next destination could be a galaxy far, far away, Variety reports. Matt Smith, best known in pop culture for his portrayal of the Eleventh Doctor, is supposedly signed on to join Episode IX.
Is this awesome? Yes, without a doubt. Is it real? Hard to say before the official cast roster is released, but I'm optimistic. It does get me thinking, though. If Matt Smith can cross over from Doctor Who to Star Wars, who else would be a good fit for crossing universes? I've got a few ideas.
Evangeline Lilly's most recent role was in the Marvel film Ant-Man and the Wasp, in which she played one of the titular characters, the Wasp (aka Hope van Dyne). She's also showed off her acting chops in other universes in the realm of geekdom, such as The Hobbit trilogy and Real Steel.
Why would she be a good fit for Star Wars, you ask? Because she's just kickbutt and generally awesome. Like, imagine her clocking out some Stormtroopers or even (gasp) working as an assassin for the First Order. Like, YES PLEASE.
Proxima Centauri is the closest star to us besides the sun, and coincidentally, also has a planet orbiting around it--known only as Proxima Centauri b--that's inside the habitable zone. In case you didn't know, that means that, with the right amount of atmospheric pressure, it's possible that Proxima Centauri b could have liquid water on its surface.
So, some say, forget Mars. It's about time we started looking for alien life on this extrasolar neighbor of ours.
But alas, without the warp drives of Star Wars legend, such an idea seems pretty far-fetched. Proxima Centauri b lies 4.2 light years from our home planet. In layman's terms, that's about 25 trillion miles. Yes, with a "t." To put that distance in perspective (as if you needed it), Pluto lies 4.67 billion miles away from Earth. NASA's New Horizons probe took over nine years to travel that distance. Suffice it to say, it would take much, much longer to travel 25 trillion miles.
But, in the perseverant spirit of humanity, some people believe we should still shoot for it. Instead of using traditional rockets, let's use lasers.
The project is called Breakthrough Starshot, a $100 million venture that's trying to reach Proxima Centauri b within the next fifty years. The idea is to use an earth-based array of lasers to slingshot a spacecraft towards the Alpha Centauri star system at about 134 million mph. With that kind of wicked speed, the little probe would arrive at Proxima Centauri in right around 20 years. Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, as we say in the South.
Take a look at this handy animation showing how such a craft would work:
For many of us, walking is second nature. Most babies learn to walk by the time they're one, and as such, it's kind of something we take for granted.
For robots, the road to walking on two feet has been much more difficult.
Take Honda's recently retired ASIMO robot, for example. Development on this humanoid bot started back in the 80s, and the finished product wasn't unveiled until the 2000s. When ASIMO was introduced to the world, it was the first robot to have the ability to walk like people--on two legs. Honda only just stopped working on ASIMO in June of this year.
Honda's robot is impressive--he can climb stairs, dance, recognize people's faces, and more. But of course, that impressiveness came at a cost. Not counting the decades of development that went into ASIMO, the robot is decked out with a complex array of motors and sensors that total up to around $1 million. To achieve Honda's vision of having ASIMO-like robot helpers in homes across the country, the cost is going to have to drop way down.
How do we make bipedal (two-legged) robots feasible for everyone? For researchers at the University of Tokyo, the answer is strap a drone onto the top of them. Take a look at their Aerial-Biped bot in action:
I'm a sci-fi/fantasy lover & writer who especially likes talking about Star Wars and futuristic tech. I like finding new things & finding the beauty in old things, especially in my "Everyday Snippets" series. I hope you'll join me on my blog and unleash your imagination!