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NASA Chamber A
40 tons: the weight of the door to NASA’s Chamber A, a room that recreates the deadly conditions of deep space and, because it can reach 11 Kelvin, is the coldest place on Earth
4: the number of spiral arms that make up the Milky Way, according to a new study (previous observations give our galaxy just two arms)
The Milky Way
1 trillionth of a second: the time it should take scientists to heat water to 600 degrees Celsius using a clever new heating method
Illustration of a Cloud of Water Molecules Heated to 600 Degrees Celsius
$11,720: the money raised via Indiegogo for an absurd device that claims to translate dog thoughts into English
No More Woof
$2 million: the top prize of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a Pentagon-funded competition to develop robotic first responders
$1 million: the prize the Methuselah Foundation is offering the the first research group to make a bioengineered liver
2 centimeters: the average amount of space between penguins in a huddle, according to researchers who created a mathematical model of penguin huddles
Emperor Penguin Huddle
1.2 million: the estimated number of Americans who get salmonella infections each year (but don’t worry, your eggnog is safe)
$199: the price of the Canary home security system, which includes a wide-angle HD camera, infrared motion sensor, temperature and humidity sensors, and microphone
1903: the year the Wright brothers first piloted a heavier-than-air craft. Read the story of their famous first flight in the September 1925 issue of Popular Science.
Orville piloting the flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903.
1976: the year of the last soft landing on the moon, until China’s Chang’e 3 spacecraft touched down last week (video)
14,838: the number of pieces of large debris orbiting Earth (see where they are)
10 kilowatts: the power of a recently tested, truck-mounted Army laser that can zap incoming drones and mortar shells
HEL MD Set Up Outside
This truck has a freakin’ laser on it.
You're reading The Week In Numbers: China Lands On The Moon, Nasa’s Deep
It wasn’t until after Apollo 11 landed on the Moon that NASA starting thinking seriously about giving astronauts some sort of surface mobility system, a vehicle that would allow them to cover more ground during their brief sojourns on the lunar surface. In early 1970, the space agency award Boeing a contract to develop and build such a system. And Boeing delivered. The company delivered the first flight ready lunar rover to NASA on March 15, 1971, just 17 months after winning the contract and two weeks ahead of schedule. This rover flew on Apollo 15, and while taking a car to the Moon might seem insane, the rover’s simple and elegant design made it a worthwhile addition to the final three Apollo missions.
Apollo 17’s lunar rover on the Moon
Increasing Surface Mobility
Forward-thinking engineers had been dreaming up ways to increase astronauts mobility on the lunar surface since the early 1960s. Some wanted to see full roving laboratories akin to mobile homes — designs like MOLAB — serve double duty as crew quarters and traveling workspace on lunar missions. Others favoured worm- and centipede-inspired vehicles that would distribute their weight across a larger surface area to avoid sinking into the dust. Still other proposals imagined flying platforms that would give astronauts a bird’s eye view of the lunar terrain as they traveled from place to place. There was even, briefly, serious interest in sending astronauts to the Moon with electric mini-bikes.
The reality was that a car-like vehicle was ideal. Stable on four wheels and flat, it could carry two astronauts and their life support systems and tools to interesting sites a fair distance from their landing site.
But the design constraints for the lunar rover were strict. As was the case with the Apollo program on the whole, weight was something NASA didn’t have a lot of wiggle room with. The rover would have to be light enough to launch with the Apollo payload as it was, but also be sturdy enough to traverse all types of terrains, conquer slopes up to 25 degrees, and function in temperatures ranging from -279 to 243 degrees Fahrenheit. And like everything designed for use on the Moon, it had to be something astronauts could unload and use easily wearing their bulky pressure suits.
The final rover that Boeing built met these strict specifications. It was an electrically propelled vehicle that weighed 480 pounds on Earth (80 pounds on the Moon), could carry about twice its own weight, and move at a top speed of about 8.6 miles per hour. Physically, it was an open design with two seats and a central control panel with a joystick that either astronaut could manipulate with a bulky glove on.
But designing it was only half the battle. The rover would be useless if engineers couldn’t figure a way to get it down to and ready to drive on the lunar surface.
The steps to deploy your lunar rover.
**Getting the Rover to the Moon **
Luckily, the Apollo lunar module had enough storage space on board to carry a folded lunar rover. With its wheels folded in and its forward and rear chassis (or frame) folded over its middle section, the rover fit snugly into the LM descent stage’s quadrant 1, one of four storage units on the lower portion of the spacecraft.
The folded rover was anchored to the LM at one upper central strut on the lander’s body and to two points on its lower portion. Keeping it in this stowed position was a system of cables, shock absorbers, pin retract mechanisms, telescoping tubes, push—off rods, and a handful of other minor gears all designed so one astronaut could unpack the vehicle alone.
Deployment started with a single mylar cable attached to the rover’s aft chassis. One astronaut pulled this tape end over end to start the sequence then handed it off to his moonwalking companion to keep tension on the cord. Next, the first astronaut climbed up the lunar module’s ladder to pull a D-ring that released the rover’s upper restraint. This let the rover to fall about five inches away from its stowed position. It couldn’t go any further; two cables kept it in place.
Stuck in this half-released position, the first astronaut then walked around to the rover’s other side to pull a second mylar cable. This tape lowered the rover slowly to the surface. It also released two support cables that in turn triggered a push-off tube that moved the rover’s centre of gravity outward away from the lunar module. As it descended, release pins on the chassis pulled out to allow the base of the vehicle to unfold. Then the wheels sprung into place automatically thanks to torsion bars.
The astronaut continued pulling this mylar tape until all four wheels touched the surface and the support cables went slack. Another mylar tape on the other side of the rover brought the vehicle the rest of the way to the surface while telescoping tubes made sure it came to rest safely away from the lunar module. The cables and tubes released once their job was done. The rover was on the surface.
How the Apollo lunar rovers stack up against other offworld rovers.
Success on the Surface
With the rover unpacked, the astronauts had to set up the vehicle before they could take it for a drive. They deployed fender extensions over each wheel, inserted toeholds, deployed handholds and footrests, set up the control and display console, unfolded the seats and released the seatbelts, and finally discarded all the now unnecessary locking pins and latches.
The lunar rover turned out to be well worth the rapid development schedule. On the first three lunar landing missions — Apollo 11, Apollo 12, and Apollo 14 — astronauts covered a total combined distance of 4.4 miles. With a rover, Apollo 15 more than tripled that distance covering a total of 17 miles. Apollo 16 covered slightly less ground, just 16.8 miles. The final lunar Apollo mission, Apollo 17, that got the most out of its rover. In December of 1972, Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt traveled 4.5 miles from their landing site, which was further than any other crew had gone, covered a total distance on the surface of 22.2 miles, and reached a top speed of about 11.5 miles per hour.
The variety of sites Apollo astronatus were able to visit with the luanr rover gave us far more scientific return from these missions than we would have been able to gather otherwise, deepening our understanding of the lunar environment and the Moon’s evolution. These missions also gave us incredible footage that continues to make Earth-bound drivers extremely jealous.
_Sources: The Apollo 15 Press Kit; NASA; The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal; The Lunar Rover Operations Handbook; The LRV Apollo News Reference. _
With all of the protests as the backdrop, June began with news breaking that storage manufacturer WD was going to face a class-action lawsuit for misleading their buyers of some of their high-spec, high-priced devices which had been hobbled with cheaper technology that dramatically slowed their performance. For inexplicable reasons this minor fact had been omitted from all the marketing and specifications, leaving WD to scramble their PR machine and humbly apologize and promise to do better. Something that probably wouldn’t have happened had they not been caught out. Still, maybe a lesson learned for next time.
While PC Guide looked into what would be the Best Wireless Charger to pick up it seemed Microsoft was also having problems with it’s much-vaunted May 2023 update for Windows 10. We were very much in June and a large number of users were still unable to download the new version due to incompatibilities in their system – incompatibilities in which nobody knows what they are. Doubtless, there’s been a few long nights in Seattle trying to sort this one out.
Our favorite artisan PC component manufacturer (niche we know), Jellykey unveiled its latest handcrafted keyboard keycaps and showed us the levels of detail that goes into creating every single one. We want these on display in a museum!
Our Editor Lewie revealed the news that Epic Games Store was to have an exclusive on the forthcoming Troy Total War game and that it would be free for the first 24 hours. Now Lewie isn’t a massive fan of distribution platform exclusivity so you can be sure that this news irritated him more than most people.
When it came to hardware we reviewed the outstanding new Define 7 Compact case from Fractal Design and loved pretty much every inch of it, and brought you news from Thermaltake’s Virtual Expo 2023 – an event put together on YouTube in light of the coronavirus issues.
Elsewhere Apple had a tough few hours as its iCloud service went down for many people causing the expected Twitter backlash and we got to grips with the Best Paper Shredder – an item you might think is ridiculous to cover, but in this age of home-working could perhaps save your bacon when it comes to destroying sensitive office documents and even bank statements and the like to prevent identity fraud.
A disturbing trend then emerged from Australia of domestic abuse victims being trolled via the transaction descriptions on their bank statements as abusers transferring small amounts of money found a way to insert threatening language into the description. It really does make you despair about the human race at times.
Everybody needs a printer at the moment and we covered the Best Portable Printer and Best Printer for Macs towards the end of the week.
The week finally drew to a close as it began with George Floyd very much in the hearts and minds of people and the Bundle of Racial Justice and Equality was launched for just $5 (or whatever you wished to donate) with all proceeds going to causes fighting for racial justice in America, so even if you couldn’t attend a protest, you could at least play a small part in making the world a better place.
We will see you at the same time next week for our round-up. Stay safe.
Here’s a look at some of the most fun or useful jailbreak tweaks that came out this week. If you like these tweaks, but don’t have a jailbroken iOS device, you can check out chúng tôi to learn more about how to jailbreak your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
We love 1Password here at 9to5Mac. Unfortunately, due to the lack of plugin support in Safari for iOS, if you run across a page that requires a login, you have to switch from Safari to 1Password, copy the password you need, switch back to Safari, and then paste the password into the field.
PassIt solves this slightly annoying problem by adding a button the Share Sheet which opens the current page in 1Password’s in-app browser. You can then use 1Password’s built-in auto-login feature to quickly login and continue what you were doing.
PassIt is available for free on the BigBoss repo.
iMessage is great (when it works), but I routinely see people say that they wish certain people couldn’t see their read receipts. If you’ve ever found yourself saying that, Selective Reading is the tweak for you.
Selective reading adds a new field to each contact card allowing you to choose whether they can see read receipts or not, and it actually works. I did have some trouble with the “Ask” option (it never asked me what I wanted to do), but the on and off toggles work perfectly.
There’s also a default option which sets that contact to follow the universal setting that you’ve assigned in the Settings app.
If you’d prefer only a few people get read receipts, just turn them off in the Settings app and enable them on a contact-by-contact chúng tôi the other hand, if there are only a few people that you don’t want seeing read receipts, but would prefer the majority of your contacts be able to see them, just do the opposite: turn on read receipts in Settings and disable them for individual contacts.
SelectiveReading is only $.99, and is available now on BigBoss.
Many Twitter clients now include the option to quickly attach your most recent photo to a post, and I’ve come to rely on this button almost every time I tweet a photo. Tweak developer Filippo Bigarella realized that most people probably attach their most recent photo to MMS and iMessages most of the time, too, and created a tweak to do just that.
LastPic adds a single button to the photo selector in the Messages app that automatically attaches the most recent inage in the Camera Roll.
It works just like you’d expect, but I have noticed that it adds the button to the sheet that pops up when you press “add contact” (while messaging an unkown contact). Pressing the button on that sheet will crash the Messages app. Hopefully this will be resolved in a future update, but even if it isn’t, you almost certainly won’t actually have an issue with it.
LastPic is available for free on the BigBoss repo.
Readr is another Share Sheet plugin for Safari. This one adds two new buttons: “Read Now,” and “Read Later.” The “Read Now” button functions similarly to Safari Reader: it strips out everything except the main contents of the page for improved readability. Unlike Safari Reader, this is powered by the Readability service.
Readr is available for $1.99 on the BigBoss repository.
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These cryptocurrencies have a great future ahead in 2023
Cryptocurrencies have taken a solid place in the trading market. A lot more people are interested in buying cryptocurrency and Analytics Insight has selected the 10 most purchased cryptocurrencies in August 2023.Bitcoin
Bitcoin is considered the original crypto, and its launch in 2009 is what started the whole cryptocurrency movement. Bitcoin – and the blockchain technology on which it operates – was invented by an individual or group of individuals operating under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was put forward as an alternative to the fiat monetary system. The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has never been revealed. In the Bitcoin whitepaper, Nakamoto argued that a fiat monetary system controlled by central banks and a small number of financial institutions led to a centralized wealth and power and made social and financial mobility difficult. Ordinary people’s savings were eroded through inflation, largely as a result of central banks’ money printing. Bitcoin solved that problem by fixing the number of units ever issued, thereby preventing inflation caused by money printing. Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer blockchain technology meant it didn’t need financial institutions to facilitate transactions and verify ownership. Bitcoin is still by far the most popular cryptocurrency and its price movement has a strong impact on the rest of the crypto market.Ethereum (Ether)
Ethereum is historically the second most popular cryptocurrency however it is very different from Bitcoin. Ethereum is the name of the blockchain platform and Ether is the name of the cryptocurrency. Ethereum is the blockchain platform for smart contracts. They can also be considered as defined ‘rules’ from which many different applications, or Dapps – decentralized applications – can be created from. Ethereum Dapp’s range from games to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which are the cryptocurrency world’s equivalent to crowdfunding or IPOs. While other smart contract platforms have been launched since Ethereum, each claiming to offer more sophisticated blockchain technology, the original blockchain has retained its position as the most utilized. While Bitcoin is intended as an alternative to traditional fiat currencies, the purpose of Ether (besides being traded as an asset) is to pay for use of the Ethereum platform. It’s known as a ‘utility’ cryptocurrency.Ripple XRP
Ripple XRP is another ‘utility’ coin. Its blockchain platform is set up to facilitate cross-border transfers of fiat currency more efficiently. Closely connected to and supported by several banks from its beginning, Ripple XRP is often regarded as the ‘establishment’ cryptocurrency. The number of transfer services using Ripple’s platform has gradually grown over the years and there is a genuine possibility that it will become part of the traditional financial system.Litecoin
Litecoin is another potential fiat alternative and a prominent rival for Bitcoin. Its creators hope Litecoin will eventually be used to pay for everyday goods and services. Litecoin has positioned itself as a more practical and technologically superior alternative to Bitcoin. Litecoin transactions can be confirmed by the P2P network significantly quicker than Bitcoin transactions. In theory, this could make Litecoin more attractive for merchants, but with ‘real-life’ cryptocurrency transactions still hugely limited, Bitcoin’s more established ‘brand’ keeps it well out in front as the fiat alternative cryptocurrency of choice.NEO
Like Ethereum, NEO is a smart contract and Dapps platform. Released in 2014, NEO’s ambition was to improve upon Ethereum by offering approximately the same utility through a technologically more sophisticated example of blockchain technology. Many argue NEO is the technically superior platform to Ethereum but, as is the case with Litecoin and Bitcoin, the latter’s more established position has helped it maintain a larger market share.IOTA
IOTA is a unique cryptocurrency that is based on the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) structure, created to work with Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT facilitates feeless microtransactions involving connected devices, and it also helps maintain their data integrity. More recently, IOTA jumped to the top of the list of most traded cryptocurrencies and appears to have a big future, with IoT technology becoming the standard.Tether
Tether is a cryptocurrency with tokens issued by Tether Limited, which in turn is controlled by the owners of Bitfinex. Tether is called a stable coin because it was originally designed to always be worth US$1.00, maintaining US$1.00 in reserves for each tether issued.Cardano
Cardano is a public blockchain platform. It is open-source and decentralized, with consensus achieved using proof of stake. It can facilitate peer-to-peer transactions with its internal cryptocurrency, Ada. Cardano was founded in 2023 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson.Dogecoin
Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency created by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who decided to create a payment system as a joke, making fun of the wild speculation in cryptocurrencies at the time. Despite its satirical nature, some consider it a legitimate investment prospect.Binance coin
Neil Armstrong, it seems, forgot an important purse in his closet. The white cloth bag, of a type known among astronauts as a McDivitt Purse, held tools, a tether Armstrong used to rest his legs during the Apollo 11 mission, and the camera that recorded Armstrong’s—and humankind’s—first step on the moon. In fact, all of the contents of the purse had landed on the moon’s surface inside Apollo 11’s Eagle Lunar Module, making the items among the few the Apollo 11 astronauts bothered to bring back from the moon. Officially, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were supposed to leave the items behind, to save weight.
The objects have never been on display. Armstrong’s widow, Carol, only discovered the purse after Armstrong’s death in 2012. At the time, she wasn’t sure of what it was, although she knew enough to contact a curator at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Since then, the museum has worked on preserving the items. It plans to display them in the future. Meanwhile, however, you can get a look at a few of our favorite photos of the items, below.
Be sure also to visit the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, a website about the U.S. moon landings, run by U.S. astronomer Eric Jones. The journal was the first to publish these photos. It has plenty of background on the items, including snippets from the Apollo 11 transcripts in which Aldrin and Armstrong talk about the purse. The transcripts helped curators to track where the purse was during the moon landing and to determine that some smudges on its surface may be lunar dust, rubbed off of the back of Armstrong’s spacesuit. To learn the story of the purse’s discovery, check out this blog post from the National Air and Space Museum.
[Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, National Air and Space Museum]
Contents of the Purse
Data Acquisition Camera
This camera was mounted inside Apollo 11’s Eagle Lunar Module, to record Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
One of the Photos the Camera Captured
Keep It Capped
Among the purse’s contents was this cover, from the Eagle Lunar Module’s urine-collection system
Tether Discovered in the Apollo 11 Purse
Neil Armstrong used this tether to rest his legs during the mission.
Closeup of the Crewmen Optical Alignment Sight
This piece of equipment, discovered in the Apollo 11 purse, helped Neil Armstrong align the spacecraft while docking. It sat above Armstrong’s window.
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