Space Oddity’s Spore Blog

A blog dedicated to Will Wright’s Spore and related Science news.

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Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water

April 8th, 2015 · No Comments

Scientists found in radar data the evidence that on the surface of Mars there are belts of glaciers covered by dust. The glaciers consist of water ice and the dust covering them actually preserves the ice on the surface. If the glaciers weren’t covered the ice would just vaporize. Read more in this article by

Mars distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes – between the blue lines, in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as the surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that there are glaciers composed of frozen water underneath the dust. Credit: Mars Digital Image Model, NASA/Nanna Karlsson

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Underwater robot that is FAST

April 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have created a robot that can move ten times its length per second. The way it does this is copied from the way an octopus moves when it is spooked. The robot is 3D printed in a firm synthetic material and does not contain any moving parts. Read more about this in the article.

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The First 32 Exoplanets to be Named

March 31st, 2015 · No Comments

The International Astronomical Union will name the first 32 exoplanets via a Exoworld Naming Contest open to the general public. An official statement in that regard will be made soon. These 32 planets move around 20 stars, most of these stars are visible to the naked eye. More can be found at Planetary Habitability Laboratory.

Illustration by L. Calçada

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James Lovelock interview

March 30th, 2015 · No Comments

Remember that Maxis classic simEarth? This year is its 25th anniversary. Lovelock, the scientist behind the Gaia hypothesis was an advisor to the developers of that game, and is been interviewed by Slate. You can read the interview and more about the game and Lovelock if you follow this link.

→ No CommentsTags: Biology · Maxoids · Other games · Robots

Curiosity has found nitrates on Mars

March 24th, 2015 · No Comments

NASA scientists report that the Curiosity rover has found another compound on Mars that could be indicative that life could have been possible om Mars at one time, in this case nitrates. While not outright proof, but it does make the likelihood higher. To quote the article:

The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has detected oxidized nitrogen-bearing compounds during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled sedimentary deposits within Gale crater. […] Fixed nitrogen could have facilitated the development of a primitive nitrogen cycle on the surface of ancient Mars, potentially providing a biochemically accessible source of nitrogen.

Self portrait by Curiosity in the Gale Crater where the nitrates were discovered.

→ No CommentsTags: Astronomy · Robots · Science

Very first Offworld Trading Company tournament

March 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

The great thing about a game in public Early Access is that most to the development and alterations of the game can be followed by anybody. The Mohawk team is encouraging players to stream while they are playing, and many do. A few good streamers who regularly stream OTC are:

Soon there will be a 1v1 twitch tournament of which all the matches can be followed on stream. Look here for more details:

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Offworld Trading Company

March 13th, 2015 · No Comments

When I was following the development of Spore, one of the many interesting and talented people working on it to me was Soren Johnson. He is a game designer and worked on Civilization 3 and was the lead designer of Civilization 4, which many people view as the best of the series. Soren actually designed the civ phase in Spore. He since founded his own company Mohawk Games and found a publisher in Stardock.

The first game is now in Early Access and is called Offworld Trading Company. It plays on Mars, and let the player step into the shoes of a industry tycoon, setting up base and play the upcoming market. As always you’re not alone in that endeavor, other players are trying to do the same. That is the basic idea of the game, and the result is a unique almost board-game like RTS game.

The game is still in development, and the team is very open about the process, which is exciting to be a part of. In this blog I will follow this closely, so stay tuned.

The video below is made by one of the top players at the moment, Zultar. So you get to jump in at the deep end. ;-)

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Ganymede has a large salty ocean

March 13th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Ganymede, one of Jupiters many moons, is found to have a large underground ocean. It may even contain more water than can be found here on Earth. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from the fact that Ganymedes has aurora lights. This reveales the shape of the moons magnetics field, with in turn tells us about its interior build up. Another stunning fact that NASA’s Hubble telescope has helped us find during the 25 years it is now serving us.

→ 1 CommentTags: Astronomy · Robots

Solar powered Aeroplane

March 9th, 2015 · No Comments

Pioneering is still very possible in this day-and-age: today the Solar Impuse-2 started its attempt to fly around the world on solar power only.

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Mars had a large ocean

March 7th, 2015 · No Comments

Nasa has found evidence of a vast ancient ocean on Mars. This is the conclusion based on the relative quantity of deuterium versus regular water. Since Mars is relatively small, water is easily evaporated from the surface. Deuterium is heavier and will be ever more present in the compound. The measurements show that there must have been a huge amount of water present on Mars one day. Below a video of what this could have looked like.

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