John Hunter wants to shoot stuff into space with a 3,600-foot gun. And he’s dead serious—he’s done the math. Making deliveries to an orbital outpost on a rocket costs $5,000 per pound, but using a space gun would cost just $250 per pound.
Building colossal guns has been Hunter’s pet project since 1992, when, while a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he first fired a 425-foot gun he built to test-launch hypersonic engines. Its methane-driven piston compressed hydrogen gas, which then expanded up the barrel to shoot a projectile. Mechanical firing can fail, however, so when Hunter’s company, Quicklaunch, released its plans last fall, it swapped the piston for a combustor that burns natural gas. Heat the hydrogen in a confined space and it should build up enough pressure to send a half-ton payload into the sky at 13,000 mph.
Hunter wants to operate the gun, the “Quicklauncher,” in the ocean near the equator, where the Earth’s fast rotation will help slingshot objects into space. A floating cannon—dipping 1,600 feet below sea level and steadied by a ballast system—would let operators swivel it for different orbits. Next month, Hunter will test a functional, 10-foot prototype in a water tank. He says a full-size launcher could be ready in seven years, provided the company can round up the $500 million. Despite the upfront cost, Hunter says he has drawn interest from investors because his reusable gun saves so much cash in the long haul. Just don’t ever expect a ride in the thing: The gun produces 5,000 Gs, so it’s only for fuel tanks and ruggedized satellites. “A person shot out of it would probably get compressed to half their size,” Hunter says. “It’d be over real quick.”
How to Shoot Stuff into Space
STEP 1: HEAT IT
The gun combusts natural gas in a heat exchanger within a
chamber of hydrogen gas, heating the hydrogen to 2,600˚F and causing a 500 percent increase in pressure.
STEP 2: LET THE HYDROGEN LOOSE
Operators open the valve, and the hot, pressurized hydrogen quickly expands down the tube, pushing the payload forward.
STEP 3: TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
After speeding down the 3,300-foot-long barrel, the projectile shoots out of the gun at 13,000 mph. An iris at the end of the gun closes, capturing the hydrogen gas to use again.
via popular science
Residance O is the refurbishment project designed by Italy-based Andrea Tognon Architecture, the new square floor plane was completed by filling the missing corner to the old L shape plan, it looks clean.
from Andrea Tognon Architecture:
The building we were call to refurbish was built in the 70’s as imitation of vernacular architecture of the Veneto countryside area. Was looking pretty fake. The floor plan was a square were a corner was missing (so was an L shape). The roof was a concrete slab juting out in a very inelegant and bad proportionated way. So we decide to add the corner that was missing to complete the square floor plane. Because the total redefinition of the insulation parameter we reshape the profile of the building cutting the old roof edge and redesign the junction between roof and perimetrical walls. The entire interior layout was redesign, all the walls and roof insulated, the eating system switched to solar energy.
from the designers:
The design of the house is a dual response to the particular topography of the site and to the rural domestication techniques that in the past shaped the raw ‘Cycladic island’ landscape. In the past, dry-rubble stone walls domesticated the land for agricultural purposes and were the most prominent man-made interventions in the landscape. The walls retained earth and transformed a steep topography into a series of arable plateaus. Today, the Cycladic islands are being reshaped by a very different force: the demand for holiday homes. The design uses the precedent of earth-retaining stone walls to create an artificial landscape that is both rural and domestic in use. The site is a natural saddle where two slopes meet. In the North-South axis the slope rises between two hills while in the East-West axis the slope drops, opening to the sea views. Two long stone walls bridge the hills allowing the house to nestle in the space within while maintaining the continuity of the landscape which flows over it. This simple strategy blurs the edges of the house and makes its mass imperceptible within the broader skyline of the island.
Some photos of the construction of zeppelins (above = USS Macon / below = USS Akron / far below = Hindenberg on a visit to NJ) and the ridiculous ladders that it took to get there.
In the first half of the twentieth century, there were great airships that sailed the skies, quite majestically. They were used both for transportation, and also in war in world war I and II. The German Zeppelin Airship company built the Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg for transcontinental and transatlantic travel. They were the cruise ships of the sky.
In the early days the Zeppelins were inflated with hydrogen gas for bouancy which worked very well, but was also very dangerous. Later the Americans found a way to effectively produce helium gas, so we had much safer airships. Although hydrogen has better bouyancy, it is highly explosive. In times of war, we would not share our safer helium with the Germans.
The German Zeppelin Airship LZ-126 “Hindenburg” had it’s famous flaming crash at the Lakehurst National Airport in New Jersy in the USA.
Last week, F.A.T. introduced the Graffiti Markup Language (GML), a new XML file type specifically designed for archiving graffiti tags. Of course it doesn’t make sense to only archive those tags, you should also be able to reproduce them. And that’s exactly what Golan Levin and Jeremy Ficca did. They wrote a small tool to translate the .GML files from 000000book.com into instructions for their industrial ABB IRB-4400 robot arm. If they now could place his robot on a truck like Evan Roth suggested …
Here you can find some more details about the Robotagger.
from the artist:
Tel-Aviv is celebrating it’s 100th year in existence. not too shabby.
As is the case with these things, someone came up with the idea of making a documentary about it. A little love/hate song for the city that never sleeps.
Then someone thought it’d be cool if they asked me to do the opening titles. I said yeah sure why not.
Small gesture to the city I love!
Because the documentary sort of dealt with the making-of the city, the decision was to parallel this by creating a
title sequence which will itself use “making-of” aesthetics. The kind usually shown along finished installations.
In this case the installation was to be a scaled down, abstract architectural model of Tel-Aviv. Including landmarks that had significant historic and cultural value, especially ones that would capture the spirit of the time they were built in.
A pair of base jumpers set the world record for leaping off the Burj Khalifa on opening day. From the 160th floor, the plummeted 2,205 feet to Earth.
Please view in fullscreen. And probably better to watch before reading description below.
The Third & The Seventh by Alex Roman has basically proven to us that Alex Roman clearly knows what he is doing when is comes to computer generated graphics, being as this short feature is completely CG. While there are definitely some over the top moments in the video, the overall aesthetic of the piece is quite beautiful, and the mastery of the technical is nearly perfect. Towards the end of the video, it clearly reveals itself as a computer generated work, and goes to great lengths before that to be as video-realistic as possible. Unfortunately, there are a few spots where the illusion starts to breakdown before the revelation, but overall, the technical and the aesthetic are quite amazing.