Category Archives: Science/Engineering

Try, try again

Israel will try once more to land a robot craft on the moon.

“The 5-foot-tall Beresheet 1, the world’s first privately funded moon lander, crashed into the moon while attempting a landing [April 11] Apparently, a technical glitch caused its main engine to stop mid-landing.”

The second attempt could take 2 to 3 years to get ready. If at first you don’t succeed…

Via UPI

Fly By Wire

William Langewiesche anthropomorphizes airplanes.

In this book, it’s the Airbus A330 that landed on the Hudson River ten years ago. Having disgorged its passengers and crew safely, it was just “driftng nose high like a beast in the water, and refusing to die.”

Good story-telling, and good tech and flying skill, by the son of Wolfgang, author of Stick and Rudder, a classic book on the art of piloting.

Aransas Pass gets a makeover

“These massive infrastructure undertakings are just two among dozens of colossal infrastructure projects along Texas’ coastal bend. This crescent of sleepy beach towns and oyster-shell-crusted beaches is fast becoming a focal point for the world’s energy market. Tens of billions of dollars’ worth of public and private energy investments are transforming the area around Corpus Christi at a blinding pace. And most of them are dedicated to exporting energy—something that wasn’t possible until just a few years ago.”

The Corpus Christi area already is the number one crude oil exporter in the U.S. and is angling to be the number one LNG exporter as well.

Via Popular Mechanics

Israeli spacecraft takes Selfie

The Hebrew means Israel Lives! The English: Small Country, Big Dreams

Image

In only two years…

Roadster to the Sun

Space X’s Elon Musk celebrated the Feb. 6. 2018, first flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket by launching a cherry-red Tesla roadster with a space-suited mannequin driver into solar orbit. Video low-orbit view here.

“The Tesla will likely make quite a few laps around the sun before its deep-space adventure comes to an end. An orbit-modeling study performed last year predicted that the space car will eventually slam into either Venus or Earth, probably within the next few tens of millions of years.”

When you’re filthy rich you can do anything, obviously. Even evade the environmental wackos who might have held this up. Too late, guys, the roadster is now about 226 million miles away. And probably a wreck.

Via Space dot com

The Fitzgerald

A warship doomed by ‘confusion, indecision, and ultimately panic’ on the bridge.

The Navy she has become a sloppy ship. The Fitz was the second destroyer hit by  a tanker merchant ship, this time in broad daylight, in three months in 2017.

Via the good journalists at the Navy Times

UPDATE:  “There was debris everywhere,” Fort said under oath of the destroyer’s Combat Information Center. “Food debris, food waste, uneaten food, half-eaten food, personal gear in the form of books, workout gear, workout bands, kettlebells, weightlifting equipment, the status boards had graffiti on them. I’d never seen a CIC like that in my entire time in the Navy,” the surface warfare officer of more than 25 years recollected.