The Expanse is chock full of nifty gadgets, technology and, uh, sexual recreation. But just how realistic is all of it? Let's take a look at all of the future tech in each episode and discuss just how possible it really is.
In Season 1, Episode 6: "Rock Bottom," we meet Diogo's Uncle Mateo, a working-class 'rockhopper' who explores asteroids looking for precious ore.
Raw materials will be at a premium in the future, that much is certain. Civilizations need materials and if humanity is looking to expand our reach, we're going to need the ore to get there. Based on known terrestrial reserves, and growing consumption in both developed and developing countries, key elements needed for modern industry and food production could be exhausted on Earth within 50–60 years. These include phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper. It has been suggested that platinum, cobalt and other valuable elements from asteroids could be mined for profit, used to build solar-power satellites, and space habitats.
Scientists have even gone so far as to classify asteroids based on the raw materials they provide:
C-type asteroids have a high abundance of water and organic carbon, phosphorus, and other key ingredients for fertilizer which can be used to grow food.
S-type asteroids carry little water but contain numerous metals including: nickel, cobalt and more valuable metals such as gold, platinum and rhodium. A small 10-meter S-type asteroid contains about 650,000 kg of metal with 50 kg in the form of rare metals like platinum and gold.
M-type asteroids are rare but contain up to 10 times more metal than S-types.
Not only this is possible, it's an action that will become a neccessity in years to come. Hopefully, by that time we'll have better nets to catch the payload.
Uncle Mateo removes a malfunctioning sensor wire in his helmet. He lifts his visor, exposing his face to the vacuum of space. He exhales slowly to prevent embolism, then re-locks his visor and finally inhales.
That's all well and good, but can you really expose your face in outer space?
Space is a vacuum, meaning that there are no particles floating around. When you are exposed to this, the air in your lungs has no choice but to be forced out through your mouth. If you held your breath you’d be in big trouble. This is because any remaining air would rapidly expand, rupturing the lungs. You won’t freeze instantly and your eyeballs won’t explode, but you will become aware of the spit on your tongue boiling away, as well as your sweat.
So the correct form, which Uncle Mateo seems to employ, would be to exhale, open up the hatch and expose yourself, fix the problem, close the hatch, and then breath normally. You'd only have about 15 seconds, but this seems to check out. Well-done Mateo!
How about the creepy dude spying on Naomi and Holden in the bar on Tycho? He inspires yet another reference to Canadian power trio Rush on the show: "The Camera Eye" (the fifth track on what's arguably their most popular album, Moving Pictures).
Just last Summer, Surgeons in Manchester performed the first bionic eye implant in a patient with age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world. The retinal implant converts video images from a miniature video camera worn on his glasses. Now he can make out the direction of white lines on a computer screen using the retinal implant. Fast forward this tech 300 years. I think we're good here. What's interesting is that is shows that he is live-transmitting the footage, which means that his body is basically acting like one big cellular transmitter. Scary stuff.
Who woulda thought Amos was so good at graffiti? Admittedly, his futuristic painting device seems to be providing not only the color but a lot of the actual artistry, too.
Surprisingly, there isn't a lot of information on the graffiti of the future (shocker), but that doesn't mean we can't do a bunch of conjecturing.
Let's start off by making a few assumptions:
1. This spray can has access to every color combination much like a computer printer. 2. The spray can has a built-in camera, computer, and gyroscope. 3. Also a sweet purple flashlight (not much of an assumption seeing as it's evident it has one).
If Amos were to use the camera and computing power of the can (that's a hell of a phrase) to map the location of the desired art, the computer could create a matrix that took into account realtive elevation of the canvas and the colors needed to create the art. Then using relative posisitioning, and gyroscopic tilt (technology currently found in your cell phone) between the can and "canvas" all it would have to do is determine the color, amount, and angle to spray the paint.
Miller had himself a little run-in with two of Anderson Dawes' OPA goons, but getting wounded on The Expanse ain't no big thing -- just spray a little bio-bandage and you're well on your way to being as good as new.
Didn't we go over this last week? Well, in case you missed it, researchers have already developed a skin gun that uses the patients own stem cells to create a liquid skin in burn victims. Imagine having a can of hair spray where instead of manageable locks, you have some extra skin ready at your beck and call. Sounds pretty sweet, particularly if you're into extreme sports.