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Space

Demo-2’s space explorers applaud the Crew Dragon spacecraft for a memorable experience.

NASA‘s veteran astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft commended the craft, saying that it was a fantastic experience to board the vehicle.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were full of praises for the collaborated efforts of SpaceX and NASA’s commercial crew program after designing the Crew Dragon spacecraft. The two astronauts safely jetted back to Earth after a mission that took over two months. 

Hurley reported that the flight had no hitches whatsoever, an experience that is spectacular compared to what they usually go through on space missions. In his experience, Hurley explains that this is the first mission that was glitch-free from the beginning to the end. Not even space shuttle missions are this way perfect.

An illustrative example is that Hurley anticipated that the vehicle shifts out of position and swerve into the dense atmosphere before the subsequent parachute ejection. However, he narrates that the space vehicle was steady and in perfect motion throughout the reentry mission.

Behnken recollects a pictographic memory of the capsule diving down the Earth’s atmosphere. He states that the Dragon came to life approaching the atmosphere and propelled downwards to stay in the orthodox altitude in the reentry mission.

Behnken explains that the Dragon exceptionally thrust itself down the atmosphere like a bird following its path. The capsule was outrightly steady and moving down the Earth withstanding the atmospheric pressure and winds.

Nonetheless, the atmospheric noise and the Dragon’s propulsion noise were high though the astronauts were ready for noise-proof devices. The cataclysmic motion of the spacecraft was an exuberant sight from the astronauts’ view. The astronauts felt like they were moving inside an animal’s body.

Initially, NASA’s plan was for the Demo-2 mission to spend a few days at the International Space Station before jetting back to Earth. NASA altered the plan to increase the days to months so that Behnken and Hurley can perform various operations at the station, including spacewalking. Additionally, this extension was to test the spacecraft’s feasibility to stay in space for such a long period.

Behnken is happy to have experienced the Crew-1 mission, tests, and the Crew-2 mission is confident that the upcoming missions will be eventful and tantalizing. He remarks that the upcoming mission to fly four astronauts to space will be memorable after experiencing this Demo-2 mission. The spacecraft is fully fit for the upcoming launches since the two experienced astronauts tested their performance while at the International Space Station.

Finally, Behnken connotes that some modifications can be done on the spacecraft for more comfort of the crew. NASA is keen to make the vital modifications as it reviews the report.

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News

AWS is finalizing on its six ground facilities while rescheduling its implementation strategy 

Amazon Web Services is keen to consider the customer response concerning the appropriate site for its antennas. For this reason, Amazon is slowing the launch of its commercial ground facility network. 

So far, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has established six ground facilities worldwide instead of similar 12 scheduled stations intended to reach completion last year. Initially, the deal was to develop the 12 stations for those new space industry entrants to minimize the cost of these firms developing their facilities for satellite data acquisition and deployment of their constellations. 

The senior manager of AWS facility development operations, Shayne Hawthorne, explained to SpaceNews via the July meeting that AWS altered its launch plans for 2019 after understanding its customers’ demands. Customers anticipated the ground facilities to be on different spots than what AWS had projected. 

Shayne states that the initial plan for the location of the ground facilities had an alteration after reaching out for customer response. The customer care team realized that the customers hope for their facilities to be in the North. 

This customer demand resulted in the development of one of the facilities in Sweden. The location facility will be meeting the needs of the polarly-located satellites, which are run by affiliates of AWS, who are the early adopters of the AWS services. 

Customer needs have led to the development of other ground facilities in Australia and Bahrain. Shayne further adds that there are other AWS ground facilities in the US and Ireland. 

Hawthorne reiterates that AWS is working on an additional 12 ground facilities for its establishment in its sites after obtaining customers’ feedback. He explains that various national regulatory agencies controlling the establishment of future ground stations make it hard to anticipate when the ground facilities will be complete for launching. 

Hawthorne reports that they are working towards developing other ground facilities worldwide once they complete the assessment of customer needs and the resources to meet them. He further explained that they would be producing another facility in a high latitude point with its completion speculations touching around December this year. 

In conclusion, Hawthorne reveals that creating another ground station will solely depend on customer demands or trends, which will result in its prioritization. Some of the upcoming AWS ground facilities users include satellite operators like Maxar Technologies, HawkEye 360, BlackSky, Capella Space, Spire, Open Cosmos, and Myriota. 

Categories
Energy

BMW allegedly working on the 1000-HP Electric M5

Porsche does have the Taycan Turbo S that is known to be the swiftest four-door that has been tested and verified. Audi is getting ready to unveil the 590-hp e-Tron GT, not forgetting the Tesla. Nonetheless, the BMW, whose M5 contestant sedan climbed up to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 2.6 seconds throughout the vehicle and driver testing, does not have gut-punching electric cars, at best not yet. It is working on the electric versions of the 5-series, 3-series, 7-series, and X1 conversely, based on a publication from the British magazine Car, it could also be tasking on electric M5 padding up to 1000 horsepower.

The forthcoming-era 5-series sedan that shall contain electric and hybrid components is ready to make its first appearance in the second half of the year 2023. The latest M5, allegedly also with electric and plug-in-hybrid components, shall follow in 2024, Car magazine states. The electric M5 shall supposedly make use of three 335-hp electric-based engines, one of them driving front wheels as well as the other two in the back. The entire production shall be nearly 1000 horsepower.

The most powerful and efficient kind of the 2021 BMW M5 is the Competition variant that is fuelled by a 617-hp twin-turbo 4.4 litre V-8. The high powerful type of the Porsche Taycan, the Turbo S, contains two electric engines that generate 750 horsepower, and the Tesla Model S running makes 778 horses from two of its electric motors. Hence BMW may be competent to get back the swiftest-four-door name in the forthcoming few years.

Fortunately for those people who are not prepared for the demise of internal burning in the M5, there shall as well be a plug-in-hybrid kind. This M5 shall supposedly make use of a similar powertrain as the forthcoming X8 M SUV. That is a crossbreed twin-turbo V8 powertrain generating nearly 750 horsepower dispatching push to all the four wheels. Car and Driver reached out to BMW. Conversely, a representative hesitated to remark on whether electric, as well as the hybrid, are in the works or not.

The electric 5-series is not solely the EV BMW is tasking upon. BMW has remarked that it is targeting to have twenty-five electric cars on the road by 2023. 

It shall be thrilling to observe how the hyper-potent all-electric sedan battles fall out. With two same automobiles, this fight shall be accomplished or stumped in terms of charging chances, made quality and driving undercurrents 

At the onset of this year, BMW proclaimed that it should be drawing some of its famous diesel motors from production, and this came about release regulation.

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Space

Cubesat illustrates Earth science device

WASHINGTON – A Cubesat initiated earlier in the current year has adequately tested an edition of an instrument that will hover on a more significant NASA operation in development.  

The Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter (HARP) Cubesat was installed in February from the International Space Station (ISS) following its delivery to the station on a Cygnus cargo space ship. The Cubesat ferries imaging Polarimeter was built to gauge the properties of aerosol and cloud particles in Earth’s atmosphere.  

Space Dynamics Lab (SDL) of Utah State University manages the three-unit Cubesat and also designed the spacecraft. The payload was created and is run by the University of Maryland B Baltimore County (UMBC). The payload accomplished “first flight” in April and took their original pictures in May. 

Tim Nelson, the program director for HARP at SDL, stated that the spaceship displays that CubeSats can offer valuable data in Earth sciences. Tim confirmed in a statement that the application of Earth observation technology-based in space has, in the past, been the domain of big satellites. He added that HARP helps confirm that miniaturized antennas on tiny satellites can generate a high degree of reliability at a portion of the time and cost it takes to construct bigger satellites. 

The instrument’s utility derives from its capability to gauge the size allotment of cloud droplets that can give information on the ice and water clouds properties. That could, in turn, enhance aerosol processes modeling and assist in reducing qualms in climate modeling.

HARP is a forerunner for a related instrument dubbed, HARP2, being developed by UMBC for NASA’s Plankton, Cloud, Aerosol, ocean Ecosystems mission. HARP2 is set to feature enhanced resolution and antenna performance and will be in a position to offer world coverage every two days from the sun-synchronous orbit of PACE. 

PACE has been the talk of frequent attempts at cancellation in the budget request of the administration, comprising in the 2021 fiscal year budget proposal earlier in the current year. Nonetheless, Congress has declined those proposals and decided to fund the development of PACE. The spaceship is set to initiate on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in late 2022. 

Tiny satellites such as CubeSats play a significant role in technology demonstration, exploration, scientific research, and educational research at NASA. These small satellites offer a cheap platform for NASA operations, comprising planetary discovery, Earth observations, and essential space and Earth science.

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Space

Pentagon selects SpaceX and ULA to run the NSSL Phase 2 contract 

The US Air Force has selected the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX to meet the NSSL Phase 2 contract’s demands. This five-year contract involves the deployment of national security payloads for the US forces, which attracts $653 million.

ULA and SpaceX overtook Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman to win the Phase 2 contract called the National Security Space Launch payload deal. 

So far, the United Launch Alliance confirmed the reception of a $337 million deal while SpaceX got a $316 million deal for the respective projects. These contracts will run through the 2022 financial year according to the press release by the Pentagon.

SpaceX and ULA will be launching missions beginning 2022 to 2027 when the Phase 2 contract schedules to come to a halt. The Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office will be launching over 30 missions in this Phase 2 contract. 

Air Force’s assistant secretary for procurement, technology and transit services, Will Roper, stated that the agency motivates innovation by serving both the government and commercials through the competitive launch market. 

Roper reiterates that the success of Phase 2 contracts will mark a milestone in which the US will stop depending on Russia for the launch of payloads. He said that the deployment of the American payloads via the American rockets would minimize their reliance on the Russian RD-180 engines. The US will be able to launch space vehicles in both its private and public sectors.

The transition to the advanced space launch cars will help the US minimize their use of Atlas V rocket, which has a Russian-made engine. The Department of Defense will no longer purchase the Atlas V rockets for its launches once this ideology becomes law at the terminal of 2022.

Phase 2 of the NSSL contract details that ULA will receive 60% of the subcontracts, while SpaceX will receive 40%. The Pentagon will be giving out missions to these rockets’ developers annually, depending on the rising demand. The Air Force forecasts to purchase launches in the next half-decade until the purpose comes to a cataclysmic end.

The initiation of the Phase 2 NSSL contract began last year with the auction of agreement between various firms. The firms that participated in this bid include Blue Origin, the United Launch Alliance, SpaceX, and Northrop Grumman. The startups like Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman lost the contracts to ULA and SpaceX, forcing them to focus on their ongoing projects.

Nonetheless, ULA is organizing the creation of the Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle, which survives on Blue Origin’s engine. SpaceX, on the other hand, is giving out Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy, the approved projects for Phase 2. The CEO of Blue Origin is happy that their engine will be usable in the upcoming eventful launches of the Vulcan.

In conclusion, Northrop Grumman was unhappy with the Pentagon’s choice but confident that they submitted a quality proposal for consideration in the NSSL Phase 2 contract bid.

Categories
Energy

‘Audio wizardry’ and optional engine noise features found in Electric Ford Mustang Mach-E.  

ROMEO, Mich-any driver who has driven the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, can tell its uniqueness from any other car that has ever carried the badge from Ford Motor industries. 

First, the vehicle has a considerable table screen, like that of Tesla, in the middle of the instrumental panel. Secondly, the acceleration of the car is just excellent. It is instantaneous. The common difference is that it comprises all-electric intersects rather than a double-door activity car with an internal combustion engine.  

The vehicle goes for $44,000, and it is being hyped for being ‘Mustang-inspired,’ where one can easily fall for its unique features. However, the most common element in the vehicle is the sound produced by its engine as its velocity increases. 

As expected during the exhibition of the Mustang Mach-E vehicle later this year, customers will hear the sound produced by the engine the pedal of increasing the velocity is pushed. The Mustang Mach-E vehicle is powered by batteries and electric motors rather than gasoline. In a statement to CNBC, Leeway Ho, who is the motor engineering director of the Mustang Mach-E, stated that power, the sound of the engine among other features are what the firm is trying to provide to the customers. He added that the engine sound is what makes the ride of the Mustang Mach-E vehicle, or else, the exception of the music makes the car a conventional electric vehicle.  

Audio wizardry

Over the past years, external sounds produced by EVs have been the topic of discussion. Since batteries and electric motors are what powers up a vehicle, they do not provide any music with engines. That becomes a secure hazard, especially for the visually impaired since they depend on the car’s engine to affirm their vehicles’ presence.

Users of the vehicle will be able to turn the engine sounds off by visiting the car’s settings on its huge center control screen. The noises from the driver appear to be originating from the front trunk of the vehicle, but in a real sense,  sounds come from vehicle’s speakers.

The noises vary with the type of mode the radio is set to function. the three methods include; whisper, engaged, and unbridled. ]the driver can switch to any way of his or her choice, which makes it more efficient. Each of the modes is tuned to change the driving dynamics and other components like data collection, ambient lighting, and sounds.

Categories
Space

Virgin Galactic details SpaceShipTwo test flight program to grab FAA Passenger Trips authorization

A commercial operator’s permit might be just a single spaceflight away for the Virgin Galactic.  The Virgin Galactic head space officer, George Whitesides, confirmed that the firm’s latest SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity, has been to suborbital space two times on the piloted trial flight, initially in December 2018 and subsequently in February 2019. One or two additional operations should be sufficient to gratify the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) permit requirements. 

Whitesides confirmed during a news discussion held on Tuesday, July 28, that their trust is that the statistics they got from the forthcoming flight will be able to give them final data that is needed to clear their commercial operating permit.  

The central focus of the media occasion was to converse about the cabin interior of SpaceShipTwo, the blueprint of which Virgin Galactic revealed on Tuesday. 

The SpaceShipTwo that is steered by two pilots and carries about six passengers is towed up by a shipper plane dubbed WhiteKnightTwo. At close to 50,000 feet altitude, SpaceShipTwo detaches and blasts off it aboard shoot up motor that powers the spaceship to space.

The six passengers on board the SpaceShipTwo will observe the Earth’s curvature against the deep space and get several minutes of buoyancy before returning for a runway touchdown at Virgin Galactic commercial hub spaceport in New Mexico.  

Whiteside confirmed that close to 600 people had secured a seat onboard the suborbital spaceship at a recent price of $250,000 for one ticket, and the number is expected to increase in the coming days. However, Whitesides also stressed that Virgin Galactic targets bringing down the price after a while, making spaceflight more available to more customers all over the world.  

The two spaceflights of VSS Unity to date the two came from Space Port and Mojave Air in California, close to the central offices of The Spaceship Company, the manufacturing subsidiary of Virgin Galactic. However, Spaceport America will accommodate the future space missions of the company. VSS Unity, together with its shipper plane, which is a WhiteKnightTwo car dubbed VMS Eve, moved to the New Mexico location earlier in the current year to finalize their test operation. 

The operation will not finish with the two piloted flights or the forthcoming one, even after they net Virgin Galactic, a profitable functioning license from the FAA. The last phase is going to be a small number of flights which will have some test passengers; who are going to be four in the back, where they are going to perform final phases of testing out customer experience. 

Categories
Energy

The $30,000 Sedan roofed with solar panels that energize fast

Image provided by Sono Motors

You can declare that Laurin Hahn does not have the drive, while in middle school; he invented what has recently become the most accepted dance society in Munich. Without real engineering skills, Laurin Hahn and buddy decided to produce a car energized by solar panels. After four years, they had a functioning prototype and created a firm to sell it. After several years, when the main stakeholders refused to invest more money, the two twisted to Crowdfunding. After about two months, they had gathered $62 million. Hahn, who is currently 26 years of age, states with amusement that he is relatively motivated; however, the vehicle’s point was to assist the world.

Their firm, dubbed Sono Motors, a Latin word for sound, is a riff on how silent electric cars are expanding a boxy, four-door rear door roofed in solar panels that are hardly visible. However, it could produce enough power to give the vehicle an additional 10 miles of range after some hours in the sun. After hitting the market in about 18 months, Sono pronounced as Sion will be of the black solar cell. Hahn states that the cost will be about 25,500 pounds, which would make it contend with Volkswagen AG ID.3, an electric sedan that began advertising in July for 35,000 pounds.  The Sion could also be electrical. However, Hahn believes that solar panels will eradicate one of the critical concerns drivers boast about electric vehicles’ much anxiety. Hahn confirms that even during cloudy weather, you can manage the car completely dry, abscond it on the roadside, and recharge on its own. He added that the thought that he cannot get jammed is exceptionally crucial.  

The idea was established in Hahn’s garage back in 2012, together with his friend Jona Christians purchased and gutted a previous Renault Twingo tailgate. The two spent days fixing solar panels to the top of the cars, hood, and doors and eventually pushed the vehicle out in the sunlight to absorb some sunlight and coped with driving some meters at a slow move. Christians and Hahn kept at it, with diversions to home universities to sharpen their technical knowledge, although the two finally dropped out. Their Twingo Street became legal throughout the time, capable of reaching distances and speeds that could work for many commuters.

They introduced a third associate, Navina Pernsteiner, who also happened to be Hahn’s roommate during the time, to take care of marketing. 

Categories
Space

The FCC has given Amazon’s mega satellite constellation project the green light.

The US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has agreed to Amazon’s demand for running a fleet of approximately 3200 network satellites that operate in the low-Earth orbit.

The FCC told Amazon to hasten this project to deploy about half of the satellites in this project before 2026. This move will ensure that they fulfill part of the project whose completion must not exceed 2029 for the full constellation in the low-Earth orbit.

Amazon revealed that it would be cashing in $10 billion in Kuiper to facilitate the deployment of these internet satellites. However, Amazon is still developing the deployment plan of the Kuiper project’s satellites. Amazon stated that it intends to launch the spacecraft in five consecutive sets with the first set of 578 satellites to the low-Earth orbit.

FCC explained that the Kuiper satellite system would improve the internet services for the hypersonic broadband for the customers, the government, and commercial businesses.

For this project to proceed, Amazon must give a detailed debris handling plan once the Kuiper satellite development is complete. Amazon will run the Kuiper project in three foldings with one at 590 kilometers, the other at 610 kilometers, and the final one at 630 kilometers.

The chair of FCC Ajit Pai reiterated his plan to launch the constellation with the Kuiper project. He tweeted earlier that this project will avail high-speed internet connectivity for Americans and the world at large.

Dave Limp, the Vice President of Amazon, is thankful to Pai for his agency’s unanimous support for the Kuiper project. Amazon is the latest addition to the firms that facilitate the deployment of high-speed internet satellites. These firms include SpaceX, Viasat, Telesat, and OneWeb.

Limp explains that the Kuiper project will facilitate hypersonic internet connectivity to places where there is none. Kuiper will alter the US landscape and create new jobs for its citizens in this $10 billion project. Amazon hopes that this project will expand the 4G and 5G internet connectivity to places where this network connection is yet to reach.

The lead technologist of the Kuiper project, Rajeev Badyal, noted that Amazon is working to avail internet connectivity at an affordable price. Experts think that this project depends on the accessibility of cheap mass-developed antennas. Amazon is creating an R&D facility for this Kuiper project in Redmond. 

Finally, Amazon has another comparable project whose purpose is to sell cloud services in the satellite industry. The founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos said that his other firm Blue Origin would be reaching out for the Kuiper contracts. Blue Origin is also championing for additional agreements with SpaceX through its New Glenn rocket facility. The success of these projects will facilitate the layout of this firm in the space industry roadmap.

Categories
Energy

Europe is transitioning to clean transportation despite the coronavirus challenge.

Although coronavirus has caused a standstill to various business operations, Europe’s transition to electric cars is still untamed. The sales of EVs and their hybrid counterparts are still high despite the market recess all due to government efforts. 

The 27 EU country members are going on with their scheduled transition in the transportation industry from ICE cars to electric vehicles to counter climate change. The regulatory commission on climate change is forcing carmakers to slide into the EV industry to minimize greenhouse gas emissions come next year.

Electric cars are cheap compared to the ICE cars thanks to the considerable government subsidies. Market studies show that the drop in demand for conventional petrol cars is a countereffect for the high demand for EVs and hybrids that combine electric motors with traditional engines. However, the US is witnessing a slow transition to electric-powered vehicles because of uncertainty in future policy changes.

European markets have witnessed a rise in the market share for electric vehicles and their hybrids despite the closure of showrooms because of the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, Germany recorded an increase of 5 per cent despite the 35 per cent drop in the overall car sales. On the other hand, France and Sweden recorded a 7 and 15 per cent increase in market sales for electric vehicles and hybrids.

One of the luring powers of EVs is the dedication of the government incentives in them. For example, an EV that costs 40000 euros in Germany has a total incentive of 12000 euros, making these vehicles irresistible. Currently, car fanatics have over 50 varieties of battery and hybrid models to consider buying. These vehicles go for as low as 20000 euros. 

Landsberg is Lech’s auto dealer Juergen Sangl says that the demand for EVs is tremendous. He expects his business to flourish in the future, thanks to the government’s efforts to shift to clean transportation. Customers of Electric Vehicles find them thrilling to drive for over 300 kilometers in a single charge.

However, the pandemic has had an enormous impact on the automakers. The chief executive of Daimler (designer of Mercedes Benz), Ola Kallenius, elaborates that they now have a challenge of pruning their costs with this new regular lifestyle pattern.

Finally, automakers in the EU member countries intend to minimize the emissions of their vehicles to as low as 90 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer of driving in 2021. The Transport & Environment advocacy group states that this move is possible if the countries raise their EV sales from 7 to 12 percent of the market. This move will also ensure the compliance of the EU with the Paris climate policy of tackling global warming and climate change.