Explosive bolts | Hackaday
Amateur radio operators have a saying: when all else fails, there is amateur radio. And that’s true, at least to some extent – shut off the power, destroy the phone lines, and burn all the satellites in orbit, and there will always be radio amateurs talking politics 40 yards away. The point is, as long as the laws of physics don’t change, radio amateurs will find a way to send and receive messages. In honor of this fact, the police in the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India, make it a point to exchange messages with their headquarters using Morse code once a week. The idea is to maintain a backup system, in case they cannot receive a message in some other way. That’s a good idea, especially since they run all of their radio operators during the Sunday morning ritual. However, we cannot imagine that most emergency service dispatchers would be delighted to learn Walrus.
Just because you’re a billionaire with a space company doesn’t mean you’re an astronaut. At least that’s the advice of the United States Federal Aviation Administration, which issued guidance roughly as Jeff Bezos and his merry band of cohorts floated above the 100 km-high Kármán Line in a Blue Origin “New Shepard” rocket. FAA guidelines make it clear that those making the trip must have actually done something to qualify as an astronaut, by “demonstrating activities during the flight that were essential to public safety or that contributed to safety. manned space flights “. This is good news for the “Old Shepard”, who clearly controlled “Freedom 7” during the Mercury program. But the Bezos brothers, teenager Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk, one of the women in the “Mercury 13” group who trained to be NASA astronauts but never got to fly, were really there for the ride. because the whole flight was automated. That doesn’t take away from the fact that they went to space and you didn’t, of course, but they can’t officially call themselves astronauts. This shows that even billionaires can also be ballast.
Good news, everyone – if you had something that was carried aboard the Ever Given, your things are almost there. The container ship obstructing the Suez Canal finally reached its original destination in Rotterdam, about four months later than expected. After blocking the vital waterway for six days last March, the ship, its cargo, and its crew were held up in Egypt’s Great Bitter Lake, perhaps the coolest body of water in the world next to the Dead Sea. Legal wrangling ensued at this point, rendering anything in the 20,000 or so containers on board the ship virtually useless. We imagine that even with continuous feed, everything in the refrigerated containers must be quite dirty by now, so there is probably still a lot of logistics and cleaning to deal with.
I have to admit I have a weird love for explosive bolts. I don’t know what it is, but the idea of fasteners designed to predictably fail under the influence of pyrotechnics tickles me something. I mean, I even wrote an entire article on the subject once. So when I came across this video explaining how space shuttles are held on the launch pad, I really had to watch it. Surprisingly, the most interesting part of this story wasn’t the explosive aspect, but the engineering issue of supporting the massive vehicle on the launch pad. Because as graceful as the shuttles seemed once in orbit, they were truly unsightly beasts, especially attached to the external fuel tank and booster. The scale of the eight snap nuts used to secure the boosters to the pad is breathtaking. We also liked the idea that NASA decided to collect the debris from the explosions in a container filled with sand.