On a Tuesday afternoon in Paris in 2000, an aeronautical marvel returned to earth in flames. A tire burst on the Concorde, the world’s first and only commercially viable supersonic transport (SST) jet, and started a fire that spread through the plane’s fuel tanks immediately after takeoff from Charles De Gaulle Airport. The crash killed all 100 passengers, nine crew members, and four people on the ground. Nearly two decades later, the Concorde remains an icon, revered by the British and French in much the same way Americans admire the Space Shuttle. It represented speed, power, and progress. In just fifteen years, engineers sculpted an almost unfathomable idea into the shape of a sleek, mechanical swan. The Concorde never really caught on in America. For one thing, tickets were prohibitively expensive. At the time of the crash, a one-way trip from Paris to New York cost just under $10,000. And in 1973, the United States banned civil supersonic flights over the continental … [Read more...] about What Killed the Concorde? And Will Passenger Planes Ever Again Reach Supersonic Speeds?
Previous Next 1 of 7 We cover crowdfunding projects all the time at Digital Trends. They’ve given us outstanding products like the Formlabs 3D printer, Biolite campstove, and Onewheel electric skateboard thing. But there’s no shortage of failed campaigns and outright scams that stem from platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Triton Gills, a device that would supposedly allow users to breathe underwater, raised (and later returned) nearly $900,000 when backers realized it wouldn’t work as advertised. And then there was the bizarre campaign for Kobe beef jerky that raised a jaw-dropping $120,000 despite providing about as much product information as you’d find on the back of a Slim Jim. Luckily, Kickstarter itself stepped in to shut the campaign down. With that in mind, a campaign for a wearable called the Instadreamer recently caught our attention. Like many tech products that emerge on crowdfunding platforms, Instadreamer is at … [Read more...] about Can a bracelet really let you control your dreams?
NASA’s exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS is fully operational and has begun scanning the skies for distant planets, NASA reported on Friday — and maybe, just maybe, spying signs of life outside of our galaxy. “I’m thrilled that our new planet hunter mission is ready to start scouring our solar system’s neighborhood for new worlds,” said Paul Hertz, NASA Astrophysics division director at Headquarters, Washington. “Now that we know there are more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the strange, fantastic worlds we’re bound to discover.” The space agency launched its TESS satellite on April 16, with an aim of replacing the aging Kepler space telescope. It will spend the next two years rocketing through the cold reaches of space, training an array of cameras and monitors on the darkness — and looking for the periodic dips in light that suggest the presence of planets against the fiery brightness of the stars they … [Read more...] about TESS, NASA’s planet-hunting space satellite, begins science operations