Blue Origin’s Space Tourism Capsule Sticks First Landing
Blue Origin, the private spacecraft company owned by newly minted $100-billionaire Jeff Bezos, flew the company's New Shepard for the seventh time in West Texas. For the mission, called M7 (Mission 7), the craft featured a next-generation booster as well as the maiden voyage of the first Crew Capsule 2.0.
If you recall, the Crew Capsule is Blue Origin's answer to the emerging space tourism market. It has large windows, and room for six people to move around and even experience weightlessness with a couple of somersaults — the capsule only has 530 cubic feet to fit six people, so those somersaults have to be tight. The capsule even included an instrumented test dummy they named Mannequin Skywalker.
The New Shephard reached MACH 2.94 (2,255 mph) and the capsule separated when the booster reached about 250,000 ft. The capsule eventually topped out at 322,405 feet above ground.
The booster stuck the landing — which is good since the whole business model revolves around it being reusable and so did the capsule. It does look like the capsule came in hot, but it was actually only going 1 MPH. Now we just need to put some people in there.
Sand Motors May Protect Nation from Rising Sea Levels
The Netherlands is shoring up its coast with an $81 million project that they are calling a "sand motor."
Sand motors, also known as sand engines, are pretty simple. Basically, the country dredged up 756 million cubic feet of sand from sea and placed it along the coast. It's the same process that China is using to create islands and seize control of the South China Sea.
The Netherlands's motivation seems much more earnest. The idea is that, over the next 20 years, waves will crash into the sand, building up the shoreline, and protecting the nation's cities from rising sea levels and erosion. Take note, Florida, might not be a bad idea.
Metal Basketball Hoop Cut from 180-Pound Block of Metal
German company Open Mind Technologies is a developer of CAM software. It’s the company behind hyperMill CAM software, one of the industry’s most advanced software suites.
In an effort to flex the software’s milling might, the company chose an interesting application, they wanted to cut a basketball hoop out of a 180-pound block of aluminum. The video is mesmerizing, and everything you would imagine when you hear the phrase “machining porn.”
The software provided the 5-axis programming for job that was machined on a GROB (gr-oh-b) G350 machining center using conical ball barrel cutters from TX-based OSG.
The GROB used a 12.6 inch (320 mm) length cutting tool to cut that 180-block into a 1 lb. 4 oz. basketball hoop. It was a 99.3% material reduction, and it has some impressive detail.
The application was chosen to show off the software’s ability to help mill deep pockets and finish curved shapes, I’d say that it did the trick.
This is Engineering By Design with David Mantey.