Elon Musk is sending his Tesla Roadster to Mars in SpaceX rocket

December 4, 2017 by  
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If you were a billionaire running multiple groundbreaking companies, why wouldn’t you send your personal car to space? That seems to be Elon Musk’s latest plan. In a recent tweet, Musk said when SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket launches from Cape Canaveral next month, the payload will include his own Tesla Roadster playing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat – because why not? Musk is having way too much fun with his companies. SpaceX is slated to launch the Falcon Heavy for the first time next month, a rocket newsworthy in its own right for being “the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” according to SpaceX . As opposed to the Falcon 9’s nine Merlin engines, the Falcon Heavy is equipped with 27. Musk’s first tweet about the launch guaranteed excitement “one way or another.” Related: SpaceX to launch reused rocket in a historic first for NASA Falcon Heavy to launch next month from Apollo 11 pad at the Cape. Will have double thrust of next largest rocket. Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2017 Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2017 Around five minutes later on Twitter , Musk said he’s sending own midnight cherry Tesla Roadster to Mars . A red car for a red planet, Musk said – and it “will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.” Naturally people wondered if the billionaire known for his sense of humor was joking – but Bloomberg reported earlier this morning a “person familiar with the launch plan at SpaceX” confirmed Musk’s tweet. So Musk may not be joking after all, but he’s sure having a grand time envisioning his Roadster among the stars. A Twitter user named d00d asked Musk why he wants to send his car to space, and he responded , “I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.” Don’t we all. Via Bloomberg Images via Wikimedia Commons and Brian Solis on Flickr

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Elon Musk is sending his Tesla Roadster to Mars in SpaceX rocket

NASA communicates with spacecraft 13 billion miles from Earth

December 4, 2017 by  
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For the first time in 37 years, NASA has communicated with Voyager 1 – which is 13 billion miles away from Earth. The space agency made contact with the spacecraft to reorient it and activate its back-up thrusters to better send information back to Earth. Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 is the only known spacecraft cruising beyond our solar system. Prior to leaving, Voyager 1 and its sister ship Voyager 2 gathered, then transmitted to Earth, the first detailed data from Jupiter , Saturn and Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. NASA’s most recent communication with the spacecraft has made adjustments to its alignment, which should extend its usable life by two to three years as it continues its flight into new interstellar territory. Voyager 1 still communicates with scientists on Earth through the Deep Space Network, a communications system designed in the 1970s that allowed the most recent adjustments to Voyager 1’s trajectory to occur. Voyager 1 has primarily used its main thrusters, which periodically make adjustments to the spacecraft’s flight path to ensure optimum functionality. However, over the years, the main thrusters have become worn down, requiring the earthbound team to turn to Voyager 1’s back-up thrusters, which had not been used since 1980.  “The Voyager flight team dug up decades-old data and examined the software that was coded in an outdated assembler language, to make sure we could safely test the thrusters,” said Chris Jones, chief engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Related: SpaceX to launch reused rocket in a historic first for NASA Despite its long hibernation, Voyager 1’s back-up thruster system returned to duty without major incident. “The Voyager team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test,” said Todd Barber, propulsion engineer at JPL. The mood was one of relief, joy and incredulity after witnessing these well-rested thrusters pick up the baton as if no time had passed at all.” The team intends to conduct the same operation with Voyager 2, which is expected to leave the solar system within the next few years. Via Science Alert Images via Kevin Gill/Flickr   (1) and NASA

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Elon Musk wins $50 million bet by installing world’s largest lithium-ion battery in under 100 days

November 24, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk has done it again. In March, the inventor and mastermind behind Tesla , SpaceX and other world-changing ventures made a bet on Twitter with Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes that he could help solve South Australia’s vexing blackouts with a massive Powerpack within 100 days — or provide the $50 million service for free. And he has now officially won. Not only will Tesla receive payment for the 100 megawatt energy storage project , but residents no longer have to sit in the dark during periods of high energy demand. The largest lithium-ion battery in the world, according to Business Insider , Tesla’s 100 megawatt Powerpack supports Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm nearly 150 miles north of Adelaide, the capital of Australia. State premier Jay Weatherill announced on Thursday that testing would begin within days, ahead of the 1 December deadline. Although Musk signed off on the South Australia project in September, the government officially awarded his company the contract in July. Business Insider reports that the massive battery is capable of providing power for 8,000 homes for a 24-hour period, or 30,000 homes for an hour during a blackout. Related: Elon Musk says he’ll fix South Australia’s energy woes in 100 days — or it’s free Last September, all of South Australia lost power when a storm damaged the state’s electricity transmission infrastructure . In response, the government announced a $550 million plan to buttress against future blackouts, which includes the Powerpack and a 250 megawatt gas-fired generator expected to cost $360 million. Weatherill says testing will ensure the plant meets all regulatory requirements, and praised all parties involved with its rapid execution. “It sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader in renewable energy with battery storage,” he said. “An enormous amount of work has gone into delivering this project in such a short time, and I look forward to visiting Jamestown next week to personally thank those who have worked on this project.” Via Business Insider Images via Tesla

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The Monade Capsule is a private hideaway that hangs from city rooftops

November 24, 2017 by  
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Have you ever wished for a hidden oasis where you can go to relax? Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Alice Bleton has created an amazing rooftop hideaway that provides stressed city dwellers with the ultimate place to disconnect. The Monade Capsule is built with an L-shaped cut-out that allows the pod to hang on the edge of any building. Bleton’s Monade Capsule is made from 21 pieces of fiberglass with transparent sections that provide clear views and let natural light into the interior. The load-bearing base anchors it tightly to the rooftop and facade. Whether hanging off a skyscraper or a rugged mountain cliff, the off-grid capsule can support up to five people inside. Related: London Eye capsule transformed into rainforest-inspired tiny home The capsule’s design was inspired by shelters that can withstand extreme conditions – like emergency bunkers, submarines, and mountain huts , “At the top of the mountain, and in the hardest reachable places, people created cabins and refuges to spend the night. These temporary shelters offer minimal comfort to the hikers. It’s a shared space where people gather to protect themselves from the outside climate.” + Alice Bleton Via Dezeen Images via Alice Bleton

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The Monade Capsule is a private hideaway that hangs from city rooftops

All electric UTV from Nikola Motor is a beast with more energy capacity than a Tesla

November 24, 2017 by  
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While Tesla currently leads the EV segment, no one is likely to take their Model S or Model X off-roading. That’s where the Nikola Zero electric UTV comes in. It has room for four passengers and an insane 555 horsepower that’s enough power to tackle even the toughest terrain — and according to electrek , it is surprisingly comfortable. The Nikola Zero is an electric UTV that has some impressive specs. It not only has more horsepower than most sports cars, but it also has an impressive 4,900 lb-ft. of torque. Four independent electric motors power the UTV. The Nikola Zero can reach 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds and has a driving range up to 200 miles. Its battery pack also beats the current Tesla Model S P100D with its 125 kWh of energy capacity. Related: Bollinger Motors unveils new 4-door electric sport utility truck 32-inch tires and beadlock wheels are ready to jump over any rocks in your way, while its electric powertrain is completely waterproof, just in case you decide to cross a river. Inside there’s not only room for four passengers, but a 10-inch infotainment screen that looks like it came straight out of a Model S. Pricing for the Nikola Zero starts at $35,000 and there will be three different battery options to choose from: 75kWh, 100kWh and 125kWh. Production is expected to start in 2018 and you can reserve one now for only $750. + Nikola Motor All images ©Nikola Motor Company

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All electric UTV from Nikola Motor is a beast with more energy capacity than a Tesla

Elon Musk’s Boring Company asks LA to start digging a tunnel within city limits

November 22, 2017 by  
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Will The Boring Company get the green light from Los Angeles to start digging a traffic-killing tunnel ? Elon Musk’s venture recently filed an application with officials for approval to commence digging within city limits. A Boring Company spokesperson said the tunnel could stretch from Hawthorne – where Musk’s other company SpaceX is located – “along the 405 to Westwood, with a number of stops along the way.” According to Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering spokesperson Mary Nemick The Boring Company filed their application, although she and a spokesperson for the mayor said they wouldn’t immediately release the documents. The Los Angeles Times said lawmakers will now face questions about whether or not the city should back a privatized transportation system with new technology , and what type of environmental review there might be. Related: Elon Musk shows first glimpse of the Boring Company tunnel beneath LA Picture of The Boring Company LA tunnel taken yesterday pic.twitter.com/TfdVKyXFsJ — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2017 The tunnel could ultimately link the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with the San Fernando Valley. A Boring Company spokesperson said this week the tunnel could transport passengers on electric platforms traveling at speeds as fast as 130 miles per hour. Pedestrians and bicyclists could board a capsule able to carry eight to 16 people. The tunnel’s diameter would be around 12 feet, and it would be funded “entirely with private money,” according to a spokesperson. In an April TED talk, Musk suggested the trip between LAX and Westwood would take a mere six minutes. Musk also seems ambitious about the time it could take to complete the tunnel: a year or so to stretch along “the whole 405 N-S corridor from LAX to the 101,” he said in a tweet . The Los Angeles Times noted digging is typically the quickest portion of a tunnel project; environmental reviews and permits can take years. Councilman Mike Bonin invited Boring Company representatives to talk with the City Council next year about the effort, and requested a report on potential policy and regulatory questions. He said in an interview, “So far, in the public imagination, this idea has been at the level of blog posts and cocktail party conversation. We need to flesh it out more.” Via The Los Angeles Times Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all

November 22, 2017 by  
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This neglected old barn in Norway will soon host visitors from all around the world, thanks to a recent makeover helmed by architecture studio OPA Form . The renovated structure now features a modern sleeping module that can fit a family of four and offers stunning views of the picturesque valley Myrkdalen on the west-coast of Norway. The architects infused the original wooden building with new life by adding a module that’s practically invisible from the outside. The exterior looks as quaint and rustic as when it was built, 50 years ago. A sculptural window stretches out of the old cladding, offering views of the surroundings. Related: Architects transform 150-year-old Slovenian hay barn into a stunning contemporary home Inside, authentic rough surfaces still exist, except for a new addition that attaches to main room that once served as a cattle stable. The addition, a module clad in bright aspen with a circular entrance, was built with the utmost precision and with great respect for the history of the place. Completely self-sufficient, the addition doesn’t disrupt the original structure and has a part that stretches up in-between the low beams. The renovation project is part of firm’s strategy called “the barns they are a-changing”, which relates to the efforts in repurposing derelict buildings scattered across the Norwegian west coast. + OPA FORM Via Archdaily Lead Photo by Virre Dahl

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The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all

Revolutionary Tesla Semi Truck arrives with a whopping 500 mile driving range

November 17, 2017 by  
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It’s here: the semi truck that we’ve all been waiting for.  Tesla just unveiled its new electric 500-mile-range Semi Truck, which could revolutionize the transportation world. Semi trailer trucks move goods all over the country, and without them we’d never get our stuff as fast as we do now, but they come with one big disadvantage – emissions. Today’s trucks are powered by dirty diesel engines that emit a large portion of the harmful pollutants in our air, but that could soon change. Not only does the Tesla Semi have a driving range of 500 miles, but it can also reach 60 mph in five seconds without a trailer, which is a fraction of the time that it takes for a comparable diesel truck . With an 80,000 pound load, Tesla estimates that the truck will reach 60 mph in 20 seconds, which normally takes a diesel truck about a minute. The Tesla Semi requires no shifting or clutching for smooth acceleration and deceleration, and its regenerative braking recovers 98% of kinetic energy to the battery, giving it a basically infinite brake life. Even with a 500 mile driving range, drivers will need to find a place to recharge their Tesla Semi, so Tesla has announced new Megachargers that will add about 400 miles in 30 minutes. Inside the Tesla Semi’s cabin is designed specifically around the driver, with full standing room inside, and a centered driver position for better visibility. The driver also has two touchscreen displays positioned symmetrically on both sides that provide access to navigation, blind spot monitoring and electronic data logging. The Tesla Semi can also travel in a convoy, where one or several Semi trucks will be able to autonomously follow a lead Semi, making it even easier for the driver to travel long distances. Related: Cummins beats Tesla with a fully-electric semi truck The truck is also much safer than traditional semi trucks. According to Elon Musk, jackknifing is impossible thanks to independent motors on each will that can adjust torque as needed, and the roll risk is greatly reduced. It can even function of two of the motors fail for some reason. They are also more reliable, because Tesla guarantees them for a million miles, and the brake pads don’t need replacing. There is also no transmission to worry about. Best of all, according to Musk, is his favorite feature: thermonuclear explosion-proof glass. Tesla changed the auto industry when it debuted the Model S, but can it do the same thing with its Semi Truck? When the Model S debuted, Tesla didn’t really have any big rivals, but the Tesla Semi Truck already has a growing list of competitors, including Bosch, Cummins , and Daimler. There are even a few start ups that are trying to get into the segment. At the event, Musk also revealed that Tesla is releasing an updated Roadster. It will be the fastest production car ever made and will have a top speed of 250 miles per hour with a range of 620 miles. You can reserve the Tesla Semi for $5,000 and production is expected to start in 2019. Images @Tesla + Tesla

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Elon Musk shows first glimpse of the Boring Company tunnel beneath LA

November 1, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk just gave us a peek into the future with a new picture of The Boring Company’s tunnel under Los Angeles . He shared the picture snapped recently on social media, and it seems the project started less than a year ago is well underway. In an image that looks straight out of science fiction, Musk shared a glimpse of what The Boring Company has been up to in Los Angeles. They’ve been anything but idle: the startup has built a tunnel for transportation beneath the city notorious for traffic woes. Musk shared the picture of the tunnel on Twitter on October 28, and said it had been taken the day before. Related: Elon Musk’s Boring Company receives green light to dig a two-mile test tunnel Picture of The Boring Company LA tunnel taken yesterday pic.twitter.com/TfdVKyXFsJ — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2017 Musk said on Twitter the tunnel is 500-feet-long right now, and in three to four months, will be two miles long, “and hopefully stretch the whole 405 N-S corridor from LAX to the 101 in a year or so.” Musk provided more detail on his Instagram, according to Twitter user Kilian/0strich, who shared a screenshot of Musk’s Instagram comment saying, “First route will go roughly parallel to the 405 from LAX to the 101, with on/offramps every mile or so. It will work like a fast freeway, where electric skates carrying vehicles and people pods on the main artery travel at up to 150mph, and the skates switch to side tunnels to exit and enter. This is a big difference compared to subways that stop at every stop, whether you’re getting off or not.” The Boring Company explains on their Frequently Asked Questions page that an electric skate is a “fast plate on wheels propelled by an electric motor.” The zero-emissions, autonomous vehicles can transport goods or automobiles – and if a vacuum shell is added, can become a Hyperloop pod. + The Boring Company Images via The Boring Company and Depositphotos

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Elon Musk shows first glimpse of the Boring Company tunnel beneath LA

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is almost ready to launch into outer space

October 11, 2017 by  
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After over a decade in development, Virgin Galactic, a private space travel service founded by billionaire Richard Branson , is almost ready to enter orbit. “We are hopefully about three months before we are in space , maybe six months before I’m in space,” said Branson at the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki, Finland. If accurate, this moment for Virgin Galactic represents a culmination of years of hard work and setbacks, which included a fatal crash, delays, and technical problems. Branson’s Virgin Galactic is one of several companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, in a high-stakes race to establish a private space travel service in the near future. Although Branson is reaching for the stars, he’s declined to reach as far as Mars. That’s Tesla territory. “I’m not as passionate about Mars as Elon [Musk] is,” said Branson. “My love for space is about how much it can do for people back here on earth, and that’s what Virgin Galactic is pushing towards.” As part of his SpaceX program, Musk plans to land rockets on Mars by 2022, in preparation for manned missions to the red planet . “[Getting to Mars] is an incredible challenge, and I suspect Elon [Musk] will get there first,” said Branson. “He’s more interested in big rockets going big distances. We’ve been more interested in taking people to space, and satellites, slightly closer to Earth.” Related: Richard Branson’s new supersonic jet will fly 2X faster than the speed of sound Earlier in 2017, Branson promised that Virgin Galactic would be bringing passengers into outer space by the end of 2018. Tickets to boldly go where few have gone before will not be cheap; each ride is expected to cost $250,000 per traveler. In addition to providing access to the wonder of space travel, the Virgin Galactic service will provide city to city travel across the world. “To get to space we’re going to be flying a craft that’s going 3000 miles per hour,” said Branson. “We are going to be the only people in the world, in a few months, to be flying a craft that’s going 3000 [mph]. Taking that craft and looking at point to point travel is something we are going to be in the best position in the world to do.” Via Business Insider Images via  Roderick Eime (1) and Land Rover

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