Friday, March 24, 2006

Falcon 1 Suffers Critical Failure

Falcon 1 lifted-off from the Kwajalein Atoll with a blast of fire and smoke, only to fail just one minute later.

More information is no doubt coming; Elon Musk has made a habit of keeping everyone informed of his fledgling company's progress. (Which is greatly appreciated, by the way.) But surely they intend to analyze the data and try, try again...

Falcon 1 Launch: Watch It LIVE!

Those of you anxiously awaiting the launch of Falcon 1 can tune in right now to a live Webcast from its Kwajalein launch base in the South Pacific.

They are one hour into an unplanned hold, but still hopefull about a launch just as soon as a window opens.
Picking up the countdown any second now.
So, stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

NASA To Announce Initial Stardust Findings

NASA will hold a news conference at 3pm on Monday, March 13 at Johnson Space Center in Houston to announce initial findings of the Stardust samples. In attendance will be representatives from all four participating NASA departments, and the news conference will be broadcast both on the Web and on NASA's TV channels.

For more information on viewing the public TV feed over the Web, check out the NASA Television schedule and breakdown. You can also take a look at the Stardust main page to get an idea of some of the latests findings.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Flying Cars: Are We Ready For This Future?

You know the age-old question: It's the 21st century, so where are the flying cars?
Well they might not be as far away as you think. There have been numerous "flying cars" conceptualized, designed, end even produced over the years. But the folks at Terrafugia believe they have it right this time.

Terrafugia Folded

Terrafugia Extended
Image Credit:

It is a vison that's been etched into our minds by science fiction for a long time, but technology has reached a point where flying cars could soon become a practial reality. In fact, Terrafugia plan to have working prototypes of their "Transition" PAV (Personal Air Vehicle) within the next couple of years, and there are many others working on similar concept craft.

Apart from the technology becoming real, the FAA's recent adjustment to flight hour requirements for obtaining a Sport Pilot license makes it possible for more people to own and pilot these "flying cars" and similar craft once they become available.

That said, we are obviously still far removed from having a viable infrastructure in place for flying cars and the like. Air traffic control, crash safety, and incident response are just a few of the major issues to address.

Besides, if the questionable automobile piloting behavior I see displayed on the highways and surface roads in my daily commute projects over to the air, the skies of the near future seem like a treacherous place indeed. We might be able to build cars that fly, but until we can build cars that fly themselves, maybe commuting with wheels a while longer doesn't sound so unattractive.