This weekend will see the 82nd running of the 24 Heures du Mans, or the 24 Hours of Le Mans for you non-French speakers. One of the major races of any fan’s schedule, it has long been a technological proving ground. It was originally conceived of to test the endurance of man and machine, and continues in that spirit today. However, in 1955 technological advancement and the pursuit of speed led to a mismatch in technologies that is a direct cause to one of the greatest motorsports tragedies in history.
Continue reading Disaster at Le Mans – Mismatched Technology
About half way between Detroit and Chicago sits the city of Kalamazoo, MI. Originally the home of Gibson guitars and now a major center in the craft beer movement, Kalamazoo seems to be a calm town. Until you walk into a building bordering the airport and stand under a pink Curtis P-40N Warhawk.
Continue reading Atomic Toasters Goes To The Zoo
On July 26, 1971 a Saturn V rocket blasted away from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center en route to Hadley Rille on the moon. Commanded by Dave Scott, Apollo 15 was touted by NASA as the most successful lunar landing to date. It was the first of the “J Missions”, which included a longer stay on the moon’s surface than the earlier missions and a greater focus on science.
Now you can own a piece of that spacecraft.
Continue reading Apollo 15 Rotational Hand Controller Up For Auction
Have a happy Easter weekend!
Above, Columbia sits atop Launch Pad 39A in preparation for STS-1, the first space shuttle mission. This wasn’t the first time LC-39A would see the flames of rocket motors. It has been around since the Apollo days. In fact, the first unmanned, manned, and Saturn V launches of the Apollo program left earth [...]
This last weekend I decided to tackle a couple of tech projects I’ve been meaning to do for a while. The genesis of all of this was the fact that I have a detached garage with no connection to the innerwebs. Having access to the tubes that carry the World Wide Web while working on a project out there without having to run inside and muck up the desktop’s keyboard with dirty or greasy hands would be quite convenient. So, I developed a plan. As we all know, the best laid plans fall apart as soon as the first shot is fired.
Continue reading A Nerdy Weekend Filled With Success and Resounding Failure
In the mid-1970s, France’s air force and navy both wanted to upgrade their fighter jets. Instead of developing their own, they decided to team up with several other European countries to help share costs. Nobody could agree on requirements, how much of the plane would be built in what country, and what color the needles on the gages should be. So, France wound up going it alone. The result is the Dassault Rafale, which has the distinction of being one of the few European aircraft developed and built almost completely in a single country. It’s decidedly French, and quite beautiful.
Hit the jump to watch a video.
Continue reading Dassault’s Canarded Killer
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When I see stories like this it gives me hope for our future. Here is a high school class who is not only building an impressive robot, but they are using it to help others and learn about a portion of history that soon will not have anyone left [...]
Humans are a pretty amazing lot. We fight and bicker over some really stupid stuff most of the time. However, when something happens to really focus us on what it really means to be a human we pull together. In times of tragedy and hardship we often want to do something, even if [...]
I have a fascination with watching launch failures. When The Professor sent me a link to this video on Universe Today I watched all 32 minutes. It’s fascinating in that “watching a train wreck” way that us humans are so enamored with, but also in a professional way. You see, I watch these [...]