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Boring Bureaucratic Lack of Vision from European Space Agency’s Director

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In the eighties and nineties I worked for the European Space Agency (ESA). When I joined, I felt incredibly excited and proud to be a small part of the first wave of the greatest adventure of humankind – colonizing space. Then I found out that ESA is mostly a bureaucratic administration, and a recent RT interview with ESA’s Director General Jean Jacques Dordain confirms that impression.

I guess my problem was too much good science fiction. When I joined ESA I imagined something like the NASA of the Apollo program in the sixties and thought that perhaps, in ten or twenty years, I would participate in the return to the Moon that never happened, and then Mars, and then the stars.

Little did I know that ESA is meant for paper pushing like most state-run organizations and that, for European (as opposed to national) organizations, the problem is further aggravated by endemic petty squabbles among participating nation states.

One wonders how some excellent work still gets done. The answer is simple: the people. ESA, like NASA and other national space agencies, has wonderful people, smart and committed, motivated by grand visions of space exploration and colonization that keep them working long hours and giving their best.

The Rosetta team has great people. In one of the most awesome space achievements of 2014, the ESA team landed a spacecraft on a comet, which performed scientific measurements and sent data and images back. Though most media coverage of the mission has been centered on the pathetic ShirtStorm (or, better, BullShirtStorm) caused by online mobs of embittered feminists who didn’t like the shirt worn by mission scientist Matt Taylor at a press conference, the Rosetta mission has been rightly hailed as a spectacular feat, and it makes me proud of being a former ESA staff member.

ESANo Way to Live Outside Earth: Space Colonization a Myth

It’s well known that 95% of everything is boring routine and paperwork, and that is true even for space missions. Therefore, space scientists and engineers need motivation. Young people also need motivation to become scientists and engineers and pursue a career in space. For my generation, a source of inexhaustible motivation was the Apollo program, and the famous “Moon speech” of President John F. Kennedy.

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade…

NASA scientists, and even administrators and politicians, gave strongly motivating speeches in the sixties, full of inspiring visions of future generations living and working in space, and of our destiny to leave our planetary cradle behind and go to the stars. Who can provide a similar burning inspiration to space professionals and young people? The Director General of ESA is in a good position for that, but his RT interview is titled “No way to live outside Earth: Space colonization a myth – ESA director.

OK, Dordain doesn’t actually say that – the sensationalist title has been made up by RT journalist Sophie Shevardnadze. But the overall tone of Dordain’s replies legitimates the title.

“I must say that there is no alternative of planet Earth for humanity. This is maybe something that we have learned from space. There is no other place where this humanity can live. We cannot live on different planets in Solar System and going to an exoplanet will be much too far away, at least with the technologies that we know.”

What Dordain says is factually correct. We couldn’t support large numbers of people on other planets today, and we couldn’t go to the stars. Not with today’s technology, and not for a long time. But the required technology will be developed eventually, and in the meantime it’s important to keep the long-term vision of human expansion to the stars alive. The vision won’t be achieved by our or the next generation, but we are all part of the crew of Spaceship Earth en-route to the stars, and future generations will live among the stars. That’s the vision that ESA’s Director should offer. Instead, he sounds like a competent bureaucrat and administrator, cautious and politically correct. But not very inspiring, if you ask me. Hardly so.

One of the questions goes right to the heart of the problem:

in your early days when you were thinking about [space] exploration, it was so romanticized and every kid was dreaming to become an astronaut or cosmonaut. [H]ow has the interest in the space exploration changed?

Dordain answers that children and students are all interested in exploration and space, and space is still very inspiring.

No, Prof. Dordain, I am sorry, it isn’t. Space isn’t inspiring enough anymore, certainly not as it was in the sixties, and precisely because of the anti-visionary, de-romanticized approach of today’s over-bureaucratized space agencies. Today’s children may find space vaguely cool, but they want to become stock brokers of movie stars, not astronauts, because that’s what we adults value today.

In an article entitled “Innovation Starvation,” science fiction writer Neal Stephenson called for a return to inspiration. Our society, he argues, has lost the capacity to think big.

Let’s recover our capacity to think big inspiring thoughts, and do big inspiring things.

Images from European Space Agency and Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.




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Altcoins

Stellar Price Analysis: XLM/USD Has the Potential for a Short-term Rally, Though Bearish Set-up Eyed

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  • Stellar’s XLM potentially has further room for upside, within the short-term view.
  • Danger still looms for XLM/USD, as the daily chart suggests of a bearish technical pattern set up.

Steller’s native token XLM, has failed to commit to any sustained trend. This has been the case since the start of July. Bull rallies that have been witnessed were quickly sold by the market bears. This led the market to trade within a generally long running form of consolidation. Price action is narrowing, given the unsustainable short-term trend runs that have been witnessed. It comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the Stellar foundation have certainly been busy.

Stellar Developments

It was reported recently, blockchain security company BitGo, announced their support of Stellar Lumens (XLM). Being added to the BitGo’s list, Stellar now receives custody solutions. Their users will be able to generate wallets for Stellar Lumens. This is said to be starting at some point within the next couple of weeks. Elsewhere, as previously reported, the Stellar foundation at the start of this month released their heavily anticipated decentralized exchange, StellarX.

4-hour Chart Technical Review

XLM/USD 4-hour chart

Looking via the 4-hour chart, price action has formed a bullish pennant pattern. This comes after the surge higher between September 20-23. XLM/USD has since entered consolidation mode, trading within a range-bound nature. The price is coming very much towards the end of this technical pattern seen, raising the case for an imminent breakout. Near-term support can be observed around $0.2350 area. This is the lower tracking trend line of the mentioned pennant. A failure of the support could very likely see a fast fall to $0.2050. XLM/USD was last trading in this territory between September 12 – 20. The mentioned period was during a time of consolidation, prior to the mentioned breakout higher.

Resistance is seen just ahead of the current price. The above descending trend line of the pennant pattern is tracking around $0.2460-70. Enough bullish momentum to see the breach would likely force the price running to $0.2650. This is seen as an area of resistance on the 4-hour chart view. Looking further to the north, eyes would be on the supply heading into the $0.3000 mark.

Daily Chart Technical Review

XLM/USD daily chart

Taking into consideration the 4-hour chart view, there is still room for another squeeze higher. Despite this, danger appears to still be looming for XLM/USD. Risks on the daily chart point to the downside. The view of this is that a longer-term bearish pennant pattern is containing the price. XLM/USD support on the daily chart can be seen just sub of $0.2000. A long-running supporting trend line can be seen. The price having required assistance on June 29 and several occasions from September 8 – 12. To the upside, resistance can be seen around $0.2900. XLM/USD was rejected already on a few prior occasions, by the above descending trend line. July 25-2 and then most recently September 23, all saw respective bull runs halted.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 29 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Altcoins

IOTA Price Analysis: Current Behavior Raises Concerns of Another Drop in the Price

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  • Current technical indications still point to downside risks for IOTA’s MOITA price.
  • Near-term chart view sees a rising wedge pattern. The daily chart observes a bearish pennant formation.

The IOTA price remains at risk for now of a breakout to the downside. It appears more likely that downside pressure will be seen, in comparison to any upside surprises. Despite this, IOTA’s native token has made solid recovery in just over a week of trading. Since 25th September, it has gained 8%. Trending higher has been observed from a low of around $0.5200, up to current levels around $0.5600.

IOTA Developments

Most recently, Bitpanda announced they now offer deposit and withdrawal services for IOTA. Bitpanda is fintech company based in Vienna, Austria. They specialize in selling and buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Becoming Europe’s leading retail broker for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more, boasting a user base of over 900,000 users. “We are very pleased to announce not only withdrawal and deposit functionalities for IOTA on Bitpanda, but also that Bitpanda now officially supports the latest IOTA tech — IOTA Hub,” as stated in their most recent blog post.

This move goes to show the growing presence IOTA is having across the market. The market acknowledgement of the foundation’s technology. IOTA’s MOITA is currently the 11th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which is seen at $1.5 billion.

Elsewhere, as covered previously, the foundation is very close to revolutionizing the car insurance industry. They presented a new project in which they have been working on at bIOTAsphere. This was a proof of concept technology, known as Tangle. Full details mentioned in the previous article.

Near-term Technical Review 

IOT/USD 60-minute chart

Looking via the 60-minute chart, current price action has formed a rising wedge pattern. This price behavior makes it susceptible to a breakout to the downside. Should the bears manage to breach the lower support, sellers could pile in. To the downside, support in this view can be seen tracking around $0.5650. Further to the downside, 60-minute support should come into play around $0.5420.

Daily Chart Technical Review

IOT/USD daily chart

For over a month now, price action, as clearly seen on the daily chart view, has been firmly within consolidation mode. The range is getting tighter, building up the likelihood of an imminent breakout. Resistance is sitting just ahead around $0.5850, very close to current levels. Support eyed at $0.5430, a breakout could see the price tumbling. A potential downside target would likely be around the $0.4000 territory, testing 14th August low.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 29 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Crypto Market Development: Goldman Sachs-Backed Circle Acquires Crowdfunding Platform

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  • Goldman Sachs-backed Circle has announced it has acquired SeedInvest. The fee has not been disclosed.
  • SeedInvest are a crowdfunding platform. Circle are planning to expand SeedInvest’s offerings to support cryptocurrencies.

The Goldman Sachs funded crypto start up Circle, are really stepping up their dominance within the market. Over the past two days, there has been a couple positive developments from their camp. Firstly, the firm has acquired crowdfunding platform SeedInvest. Elsewhere, they have added a new feature for their app, known as Collections.

Circle Acquires SeedInvest  

Circle Internet Financial is acquiring SeedInvest. Should all be approved by regulators, the company are targeting the strategy of delivering a token marketplace. This will enable businesses as well as individuals to raise capital and interact with investors using open crypto rails and infrastructure. Circle will want to make it easier for startups to issue digital coins. The scope also to facilitate customers to trade a larger variety of digital tokens. A full statement can be observed by their latest blog.

Collections

Another development from Circle, coming in the form of adding a new feature, is “Collections”. This will allow its users to invest in a particular theme. The following themes offered are “Platforms, Payments, and Privacy.” Users will be able to invest in an entire theme, with a single click. Providing a simplified way for investors portfolio be focused on multiple coins. Full coverage was posted within a blog from the company.

Market Review

These developments continue to cement the huge improvements being observed across the market. The sky appears to be the limit, as the digital currency sector does not stop having its infrastructure solidified. Updates such as the announcements from Circle, demonstrate capabilities are not limited. See previous acknowledgement points of the sector taking big legitimizing steps, in a prior Litecoin article, under the section Big Infrastructure Improvement In The Crypto Market’.

The one thing that will likely continue to slowdown the market is regulation. This will have to be the case for the foreseeable future. As revolutionizing as the industry is, regulators must remain cautious for the sake of all parties involved. Their concerns remain about the safety of investors that want to participate in the marketplace as well as ensuring that anti-money laundering protocols are maintained. In the long run, it is in the best interest of all those involved. Besides all of this, there is still remains some way to go for complete a complete solid system, in comparison to the traditional financial system.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 29 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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