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Feb. 13, 2013: Rewind to the late 1950s. The Soviet Union had just launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik. The United States, caught short, was scrambling to catch up, kick-starting a Cold War space race that would last for decades. Space was up for grabs, and it seemed like anything could happen.
The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). Credit: UN Information Service Into this void stepped the United Nations. In 1958, the General Assembly "recognizing the common interest of mankind in furthering the peaceful use of outer space ... and desiring to avoid the extension of present national rivalries into this new field...." established the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). COPUOS became a forum for development of laws and treaties governing space-related activities. Moreover, it set the stage for international cooperation on problems that no one nation could handle alone.
As the years went by, COPUOS membership ballooned from 18 to 74 nations, while items such as space debris, near-Earth asteroids, space-based disaster management, and global navigation were added to the committee's regular agenda. At each annual meeting in Vienna, Austria, COPUOS members confer about these issues, which present some key challenge or peril to the whole planet.
Oct. 26, 2010: Every hundred years or so, a solar storm comes along so potent it fills the skies of Earth with blood-red auroras, makes compass needles point in the wrong direction, and sends electric currents coursing through the planet's topsoil. The most famous such storm, the Carrington Event of 1859, actually shocked telegraph operators and set some of their offices on fire. A 2008 report by the National Academy of Sciences warns that if such a storm occurred today, we could experience widespread power blackouts with permanent damage to many key transformers.
The Daily Telegraph can disclose that one “nightmare scenario” being privately discussed by senior defence figures involves Iran successfully detonating a nuclear device high over Europe. “They could reduce our civilisation to the dark ages,” said one insider.
Some scientists say there is a similar danger from a once-in-a-century solar flare, a disturbance on the surface of the sun that could cause geomagnetic storms on earth.
A major flare in the mid-19th century blocked the nascent telegraph system, and some scientists believe that another such even is now overdue.
Originally posted by maryhinge
WHY have they not found a way to harvest this energy ?
is it even possible?