NASA’s Orion spacecraft takes another parachute test, intentionally fails (video)

NASA's Orion spacecraft takes another parachute test, intentionally fails video

Ideally, Astronauts want to return to Earth in fully functional space capsules, but sometimes things can go awry. That’s why NASA is making a point of testing the Orion spacecraft’s parachute deployment system for failures. The team’s latest parachute test saw a test capsule falling from 25,000 feet with two of three drogue chutes rigged to fail and for one of two main parachutes to skip its inflation stage — despite the handicap, the empty craft landed safely. “Parachute deployment is inherently chaotic and not easily predictable,” Explains the Orion’s landing and recovery system manager, Stu McClung. “The end result can be very unforgiving. That’s why we test. If we have problems with the system, we want to know about them now.” NASA plans to perform additional parachute tests at higher altitudes in July to help balance and reduce risk for Orion’s crew. Check out NASA’s official press release and a brief video of the test after the break.

Filed under:

Comments

‘El Dentista’ Charged With Pulling Teeth In His Chevrolet

Alright, this is going to be one of the nastier things you read this week. I promise.

Sante Fe, New Mexico police arrested a man known as “El Dentista” who was practicing dental work (without a license, obvi) out of his car, complete with portable drill and other dental equipment.

That is totally, really gross. Most cars I know of have three-day old coffee cups and maybe their kids’ crumbs all over the back seat. Add blood, spit, painkillers, stuff that comes flying out of people’s mouths… you know what, I’ll just let the police themselves tell it, via local news station KRQE:

“Leftover residual materials, just disgusting conditions,” says Celina Westervelt, a spokesperson for the Santa Fe Police Department.

It is a grimy toolkit with teeth molds you probably would not want anywhere near your mouth, more molds on the seat of a car and prescription drugs.

Disgusting. Exactly.

Now I don’t mean to knock the dental industry in general, as it provides a useful, necessary, and healthful service. That being said, I always hated the dentist. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anybody who actually liked the dentist. The high-pitch whirring of all the pieces of equipment, the plastic things they stick in your face to take an X-Ray, the nice lady who claimed to be cleaning my teeth but instead it just seemed like she was trying to make my gums bleed- all of it for that delayed gratification (the worst kind of gratification) of having teeth when I’m an Old.

Try to imagine all that in the back of some guy’s car. Oh, and he’d been doing it for at least the past five years. I get the lengths people go to when they don’t have insurance, but at least if you went down an alleyway looking for a root canal you can rest assured that the alleyway will remain stable at all times.

Understandably, police are looking for his victims.

H/T to Creative Accidents!

Photos credit Santa Fe Police Department

The Touching Story Behind That Horrifying Monster Energy Mazda 626

Remember that horrific "custom" Monster Energy-themed Mazda 626 that popped up on Craigslist a few weeks ago? Of course you do. You can’t un-see stuff like that. We were quick to dogpile on that car because of its hideous looks, but it turns out there’s kind of a sad and touching story there.

This 20-minute (yes, it’s 20 minutes long) video popped up on YouTube this week, and it goes into some of the details behind the construction of the car. The builder says that a lot of "blood, sweat and tears — literally" have gone into putting this car together. That’s because his friend began building it and then passed away suddenly, and now he is apparently trying to carry on his work.

Well, buddy, I applaud you trying to make someone else’s dream come true after they’ve gone to the other side. The original Craigslist ad from late April has since been deleted, and from what he says in the video, it sounds like the seller has decided to keep it and finish it.

I can’t say I like the way this car looks. I can’t vouch for its mechanical integrity. And I can’t, in good conscience, advise you to watch all 20 minutes of the video or listen to the synth- and sax-heavy porn music in the back.

But I appreciate the builder’s desire to complete the project and honor his pal. We should all be so lucky to have friends like that. Maybe the car will turn out awesome in the end.

Hat tip to SPEN!

Eyes-on: University of Pennsylvania’s TitanArm exoskeleton (video)

Eyes-on: University of Pennsylvania's TitanArm exoskeleton (video)

TitanArm already took home silver in a competition for senior projects at the University of Pennsylvania, and now the team behind it is visiting Orlando to compete in the Intel-sponsored Cornell Cup for embedded design. We stopped by the showroom and snagged a few minutes with the crew to take a look at their creation: an 18-pound, untethered, self-powered exoskeleton arm constructed for less than $2,000.

To wield the contraption, users attach the cable-driven mechanical appendage to themselves with straps from a military-grade hiking backpack, and guide it with a thumbstick on a nunchuck-like controller. If a load needs to be held in place, the wearer can jab a button on the hand-held control to apply a brake. A Beagle Bone drives the logic for the setup, and it can stream data such as range of motion wirelessly to a computer. As for battery-life, they group says the upper-body suit has previously squeezed out over 24 hours of use without having to recharge.

Gallery: TitanArm

Filed under: ,

Comments

The Mustang Mach 1 Has A Sports Roof

When this video first started up, it wasn’t exactly clear what I was hearing. Is that a boat? Maybe it’s an unusually deep-throated lawnmower? No.. it can’t be…

Yes, it was. A 1969 Mustang Mach 1, but with the tach stuck on 4000 for some reason. No matter, it’s still gorgeous. And there’s the announcer to remind me:

Mustang. Mach one… Special sports performance. Sports roof. Mustang.

Yeah, that’s right. Sports roof. Mustang. Yeah. Mustang.

I don’t know, maybe the Ford ad team hadn’t gotten the hang of sentences, grammar, and syntax yet, but thank the Lord they’d gotten the hang of cars. The Mustang Mach 1 did (and still does) rumble down the highway, and when you see it, you just know it’s a classic.

Actually, the "Sportsroof" model was just the nomenclature that replaced "fastback," but it was available with a 7.0 liter (or 428 cu. in.) motor, which was named the Super Cobra Jet. They really knew how to name things, didn’t they?

With that shaker scoop sticking up out of the hood, you know this thing definitely had some power, too. And yeah, it had a roof as well.

They wanted us to know that.

NASA PhoneSat returns photos from orbit, reminds us of streaming circa 1998

NASA PhoneSat returns photos, reminds us of broadband circa 1998

The launch of NASA’s PhoneSat mission last year was loaded with promise: finally, proof that mobile technology could power nanosatellites and stick it to The Man. The photos have returned, and… well, Lockheed won’t be scrapping its big satellites just yet. While we’re impressed that the Nexus Ones onboard the three PhoneSats delivered images from orbit through amateur radio waves, the transmission artifacts are more like those from 15-year-old online videos than what we see on the ground today. Don’t think that the effort was in vain, however — far from it. While the inaugural PhoneSats have burned up in reentry, as expected, future iterations should build on the experience and make a better case for small-scale spacecraft.

Filed under: , ,

Comments

Via: The Verge

Source: NASA (1), (2), PhoneSat

Ford to break its yearly hybrid sales record in the US, seven months early

Ford Fusion Energi hands-on

When Ford’s hybrid lineup has been rapidly expanding over the past year, it stands to reason that the company’s sales in the category would take off like an eco-friendly rocket. They have, and faster than you’d expect: the automaker now says it should break its yearly record for US hybrid sales sometime in May, with just under 6,000 cars standing between its current 2013 figures and an all-time high of 35,496 hybrids in 2010. The company has also more clearly established itself as number two, climbing from an estimated three percent of the US hybrid market share last April to 18 percent this year. While Toyota is still the clear frontrunner at 58 percent, Ford is ahead of its Detroit-based rivals — and when Prius sales are soft, the Japanese firm just might be nervous.

Filed under:

Comments

Source: Bloomberg

Weekend Motorsports Roundup: May 4-5, 2013

Welcome to the Jalopnik Weekend Motorsports Roundup, where we let you know what’s going on in the world of racing, where you can see it, and talk about it all in one convenient place. Where else would you want to spend your weekend?

Take a break from all that Formula One that’s been filling your head, and sit down for some racing with less complicated engines and less twisty roads. We’ve got NASCAR at the world famous Talladega track, drag racing (no not that drag racing). For those who insist on curvy bits in exotic locales, Indy in Brazil, DTM in Germany and WEC in Belgium should keep you covered.
Don’t have a TV or don’t live in Europe? Not to worry at all, as DTM streams live, for free, on Youtube, and you can catch all the WEC excitement here. And lucky for us, both DTM and WEC have a spotter’s guide.

And of course, Wes Siler, there’s something for you, too, with MotoGP in Spain.
Please use our new-ish (and still fancy-ish) image annotation tool on the map above to show us races we might have missed, where they’re being held, and where we can livestream them. Get it while it’s good.
All times Eastern.

Weekend Motorsports Roundup: May 4-5, 2013

Welcome to the Jalopnik Weekend Motorsports Roundup, where we let you know what’s going on in the world of racing, where you can see it, and talk about it all in one convenient place. Where else would you want to spend your weekend?

Take a break from all that Formula One that’s been filling your head, and sit down for some racing with less complicated engines and less twisty roads. We’ve got NASCAR at the world famous Talladega track, drag racing (no not that drag racing). For those who insist on curvy bits in exotic locales, Indy in Brazil, DTM in Germany and WEC in Belgium should keep you covered.
Don’t have a TV or don’t live in Europe? Not to worry at all, as DTM streams live, for free, on Youtube, and you can catch all the WEC excitement here. And lucky for us, both DTM and WEC have a spotter’s guide.

And of course, Wes Siler, there’s something for you, too, with MotoGP in Spain.
Please use our new-ish (and still fancy-ish) image annotation tool on the map above to show us races we might have missed, where they’re being held, and where we can livestream them. Get it while it’s good.
All times Eastern.

Weekend Motorsports Roundup: May 4-5, 2013

Welcome to the Jalopnik Weekend Motorsports Roundup, where we let you know what’s going on in the world of racing, where you can see it, and talk about it all in one convenient place. Where else would you want to spend your weekend?

Take a break from all that Formula One that’s been filling your head, and sit down for some racing with less complicated engines and less twisty roads. We’ve got NASCAR at the world famous Talladega track, drag racing (no not that drag racing). For those who insist on curvy bits in exotic locales, Indy in Brazil, DTM in Germany and WEC in Belgium should keep you covered.
Don’t have a TV or don’t live in Europe? Not to worry at all, as DTM streams live, for free, on Youtube, and you can catch all the WEC excitement here. And lucky for us, both DTM and WEC have a spotter’s guide.

And of course, Wes Siler, there’s something for you, too, with MotoGP in Spain.
Please use our new-ish (and still fancy-ish) image annotation tool on the map above to show us races we might have missed, where they’re being held, and where we can livestream them. Get it while it’s good.
All times Eastern.