Problems with manned SpaceX and Boeing capsules

The Government Accountability Office believes that NASA’s first manned space capsule will fly into space as early as 2019. SpaceX and Boeing are working on them, because they have plenty of work to do.

Some time ago, NASA decided that it was time to become independent of the Russians, providing American astronauts on the ISS, and set up a program to create new manned capsules. Contracts for this project have been won by SpaceX and Boeing, but they are not doing their job best,

Initially it was planned that the new spacecraft would be ready as early as 2017, but it soon became apparent that technical problems would prevent it from being built in time, so the first manned flight was postponed to 2018. It seems, however, that this term also can not be met.

According to a recent report prepared by the Government Accountability Office, the federal agency that runs Congress for audits of various types of projects. The report finds many problems that can seriously delay the start of new capsules. There are many challenges with both companies’ projects and technical issues with which Boeing engineers and SpaceX have to cope. The RBO suggests NASA to prepare an emergency plan that will provide astronauts on board the International Space Station after 2018.

Currently, NASA uses the courtesy of the Russians who donate Soyuz rockets. But it is very expensive cooperation, because Americans pay $ 80 million for one place. When Boeing and SpaceX created their own capsules, the agency wanted to save money. Unfortunately, the SpaceX and CST-100 Starliner, built by Boeing engineers, are not up yet.

It can not be ruled out that their first manned flight will take place in 2019 at the earliest. NASA has already prepared for a possible delay by purchasing additional space for Russians in 2018, but may have to buy another three more for a scheduled flight in early 2019.

Light and very fast helicopter from the sidewalk

Cheap in operation, fast, efficient and with excellent performance. The helicopter from Swidnik found military and civil use. The basic version allows you to transport four people at a distance of about 900 km.

The SW-4 has an aerodynamic hull, lightweight and multi-tasking. In addition to the pilot in the helicopter there is room for four passengers. The helicopter is allowed to move day and night according to the VFR guidelines.

The low maintenance and operating costs of the helicopter and easy handling have made the SW-4 one of the most popular private helicopters. The price of the basic version is from 750 thousand. Up to 1 million. zł. Puszczyka is designed for multitasking. The interior of the cab allows for quick changes and from a passenger vehicle it is easy to change it into a transport vehicle.

Currently, advanced unmanned work has been underway, which was ordered by the Italians as an armaments arrangement. The SW-4 is equipped with a Rolls-Royce 250 C20-R / 2 (SP) engine (336kW, 450shp, 457KM) turboshaft.

BMW will test autonomous series 7

In the second half of this year, BMW plans to start testing autonomous cars. They will be run jointly with Intel and MobileEye, and modern technologies will be tested on 40 BMW 7 Series models.

BMW, unlike Audi, does not invest so much in autonomous vehicles, but it does not mean that the Bavarian brand is not interested in such systems. On the contrary, the German concern will start testing the BMW 7 Series in just a few months, which will be the testing ground for the systems developed by Intel and MobileEye. Approximately 40 specially prepared vehicles, as part of the global test program, will leave the US and European cities.

Intel and MobileEye do not intend to limit their technology to BMW vehicles, but intend to create a scalable architecture that can be tailored to the needs of any vehicle manufacturer and vehicle. This way, manufacturers will not have to create technology from scratch, which will greatly speed up the design of such systems.

Forgotten master

He was some kind of Steve Jobs mechanical age. In the concentration camp he constructed the world’s smallest counting machine for Hitler to make him an Aryan. In fact, the Viennese engineer signed a pact with the devil. After the war profits from his invention were taken by others.

His fate seemed already sealed. In 1943, engineer Curt Herzstark was thrown by the Nazis into the concentration camp in Buchenwald. Later, however, the son of a Jewish factory opened unexpectedly to the possibility of becoming an Aryan.

“Listen, Mr. Herzstark,” said the camp commander one day. “We know you’re working on a calculating machine. Let us make sketches and if it turns out that this invention will be worth something, after the final victory we will give it to the Führer. But surely he will make Mr. Aryan. ”

In fact, the engineer signed a pact with the devil. Since then every night after the forced labor of the camp every day, he worked out detailed construction plans for the smallest calculating machine in the world. As a motivational addition he received special food rations and in fact managed to survive the concentration camp. The final victory, however, did not come, and Hitler did not have time to enjoy his device.

At the end of the war, the life of Curt Herzstark was supposed to turn into a circle of fame and wealth, the Vienna handyman who was a kind of Steve Jobs mechanical age. His invention was a real revolution – at a time when bureaucrats and trade office owners had to fight monstrous orders of numbers by weighing many kilograms of office machines or just a pencil, he surprised the world of professionals with a small, elegant camera that could perform four basic arithmetic operations and Fits into every pocket.

In fact, however, this talented man was one of the three greatest unlucky people in technology history. At present, Herbert Bruderer, an expert in the history of computer science at the ETH (Zurich Technical University), decided to bring out the brilliant inventor from the darkness of oblivion. Historian during his research work deepened in the trains of “this sad life”.

And everything promised so great. Herzstark arrived where many others failed before him: he solved the mystery as in a tiny enclosure to accommodate the different mechanisms responsible for particular mathematical activities. He dealt with radical simplification. He succeeded in creating a structure in which, for example, a roller to be added after the lever was shifted he could also subtract.

In 1938 the inventor patented his mechanical calculator, which looked like a combination of a peppermint and a hand grenade mill.

At this point the story of success could start, but a few months after Herzstark’s visit to the patent office in Austria, the Nazis marched and annexed the Alpine republic. Inventors were allowed to keep his company based in Vienna only because his mother was a Catholic. However, the company had to work on precision tools for German tanks. The mini-calculator remained theoretical for the time being.

Then the engineer entered into a quarrel with a senior Gestapo officer who ordered two of his employees to be arrested for alleged espionage. This resulted in the fact that Curt Herzstark was sent to a concentration camp. And precisely in the inhumane conditions of the Buchenwald camp, his mechanical calculator began to take on a more specific shape since 1943. But liberation from the Nazi dictatorship – which the cruel prisoners dreamed of – has also put an end to this effort.

After the war and the return to Vienna, the inventor noticed that in his absence, his brother Ernst took over command in his family’s factory. The same, who in the thirties was known mainly from the shooting and collection of representative cars.

“He did not know anything at all,” Herzstark said, assessing his younger brother. That is why a talented engineer did not want to share his valuable patent with him. However, when choosing the future business partners, it turned out that there is no happy hand. In 1948, the smallest mechanical calculator entered under the name of “Curta” for serial production – for the inventor, however, was no reason to celebrate.

Businessmen who cooperated with the prince’s house in Liechtenstein deceived all the rules of the thief’s art of trust and, at that time, greatly weakened by tuberculosis of Herzstern. Instead of becoming an equal co-owner of a factory producing minicalkers, after some time, he had no right to interfere in the production process.

After the destructive positional battles, the inventor in 1952 had to settle for a ridiculously low sum. The pocket machine counting his opus magnum remaining, another equally great feat failed him until his death in 1988.

France will cover the roads with photovoltaic panels

Last year, we had the opportunity to learn about road surface coverage, a special type of photovoltaic cell. The French office found that the concept was worth checking out in real terms and announced the launch of tests on public roads.

The Achilles’ heel of photovoltaic cells is their low efficiency, and to get a reasonable amount of energy it is necessary to occupy larger areas, which is not always possible. There is a large area that can be used this way, and they are … expensive. Last year, the concept of covering them with a special type of panel was introduced, which would generate electricity and at the same time in no way worsen the driving conditions.

The French government has liked this idea and plans to implement it. Minister of the Environment Ségolene Royal announced that within the next five years, the panels will be located on 1000 km of national roads. Estimates of project enthusiasts speak to as many as five million citizens whose electricity demand would be met in this way.

Portable 3D printer for the construction of inexpensive homes

Apis Cor has unveiled a new model of a portable 3D printer. This device is not intended for small objects, but for the construction of small homes up to 38 square meters.

In a few years no one will ever need traditional construction teams to build a home, as their work will take over 3D printers. Such devices already exist and are growing more and more, and their latest generations are very useful.

Such a printer was presented by Apis Cor, a company specialized in the production of this type of device, which it created with the developer PIK. The new device is a portable printer designed for the construction of small homes of 38 square meters. The printer measures 3.1 m in height, 5 m in length and weighs 1.8 tons, so it is delivered to the construction site with a truck like other heavy construction equipment.

The first prototype of the printed house was made in December last year and was made in Russia. Construction takes about 24 hours, and the process itself is quite simple. The machine looks like a small crane equipped with nozzles, which layer overlays the cement, creating a coherent structure.

Naturally, the printer will not do the whole house, but only its basic design. Roof, wall insulation, windows and other elements must be added by people.

Ereader for musicians

Readers equipped with e-ink screens have so far been used primarily for fans of all sorts of literature, allowing for convenient reading of books. The Japanese company Terrada Music has developed a special model of this device, whose target customers are musicians.

The device called Gvido is not meant for displaying text, but for notation. In short, it was created for musicians who need to wear their scores with each other, and this is often very tedious, as it must be taken care not to get caught in the rain, not crushed or damaged in any other way.

Gvido has two 13.3 “screens in e-ink technology as well as 8 GB of internal memory that can be magnified with a microSD card. The digital music cards are overturned by a touch panel built into the device’s casing and it is also compatible with Wacom stylus. , So you can apply your own notes.

Car makers count on Trump

The American auto industry is counting on the fact that the new US president will help with their business. Its representatives are counting on easing the burning standards that are due to come into force in 2025.

New United States President Donald Trump has begun his work on controversial decisions that can severely harm the environment. So the American auto industry is counting on the fact that if the president does not care about environmental issues, then the automotive industry can benefit too.

Automobile companies such as Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and VW sent a letter to Trump in which he urged him to abolish the new guidelines on combustion standards introduced by the Obama administration. The guidelines designed to protect our planet assume that by 2025 new cars would burn only 4.32 l / 100 km.

Companies like this do not like it very much. They argue that the need to meet them will significantly increase the cost of production of new cars. In their view they also do not fit into public habits, so they have an apocalyptic vision of losing millions of jobs without explaining why new standards of combustion would lead to such large layoffs.

The self-service store of Amazon has been slipping

Journalists The Wall Street Journal claim that a super modern Amazon store called Amazon Go, will not run on time. The start of the facility was delayed by technical problems.

For several months, Amazon has been working on the Amazon Go self-service project, which looks very different from the retail outlets we currently do shopping for. First of all because there will be no employees there. Every product put into the basket is to be automatically scanned, and at the exit of the customer’s credit card will be charged the appropriate amount.

Amazon has been testing the store for some time with its own employees, but in the near future it wants to launch it for all its customers. However, the future may be a bit distant in time, because, according to the Wall Street Journal journalists, the opening of Amazon Go may be delayed.

The store was supposed to be launched this week but this will not happen. The service system is not ready and its equipment can not handle more than 20 clients at the same time. In case of more people the computer system freezes. The problem is quite serious and requires a solution, and these will certainly not be easy.

SyncPhone is the latest smartphone with Windows 10

Microsoft has long been encouraging other smartphones to produce Windows-based smartphones, and has just managed to get another partner to support it. It has been called Nurve Technologies, which has shown its latest family of mobile devices named SyncPhone.

Under the name SyncPhone there is an entire product line, consisting of three models of varied technical specifications that combine the common denominator, namely the Windows 10 platform. The new product line will include SyncPhone, SyncPhone S and SyncPhone Pro, all of which feature a 5.4 “touch screen, as well as Intel Atom processors, with SyncPhone’s Intel Atom X5 X8300 1.84 GHz, SyncPhone S we have the Intel Atom X5 Z8500 2.24 GHz, while the SyncPhone Pro found the Intel Atom x7 Z8700 2.4 GHz.

Smartphones also differ in the amount of available RAM and flash, which are 2 GB / 32 GB, 4 GB / 64 GB, and 8 GB / 128 GB, respectively, as well as cameras that have 8 Mpix, 12 Mpix 20 Mpix.

However, the most interesting is the issue of the operating system, because in spite of appearances it will not be Windows 10 Mobile, but desktop version of Windows 10. In other words, the SyncPhone family is a pocket PC that offers full home PC functionality.

And they are not expensive devices at the same time. For SyncPhone we pay $ 199, SyncPhone S costs $ 299, while SyncPhone Pro costs $ 499. Products will be available for sale in February next year, and more information will be available at -the-world-s-most-versatile-smartphone # / Indiegogo, where funds are collected for their production.