Tech Weekly: Out of This World
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Space: the coolest frontier. We all want to go—to boldly follow in the footsteps of legends like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and the other ones. While consumer space flight may still be a few years off, that's not going to stop some intrepid creators from shooting for the moon. Our Technology category is brimming with space-age modern marvels like the ones you see below.
According to the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, "The next logical step in human civilization is not only to explore, but to evolve into a spacefaring civilization." SEDS is a group of undergraduate students at the Universtiy of California, San Diego, and their project is called Vulcan 1. The mission is to design, print, and test a fully 3D-printed rocket engine. If all goes well, they'll launch the Vulcan I in June, and take the record for highest flight of a rocket powered by a 3D-printed engine.
If you've ever used a 3D printer, you're probably familiar with the slightly imperfect finished product. MoonRay is a huge step forward for consumer 3D printers, delivering on both quality and affordability. The UV projector inside of MoonRay, used for curing the resin, allows for pin-point accuracy when creating your project, delivering ultra-high resolution prints.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to fly a drone, but it took a team of them to develop the C-mi. The C-mi is a stowable, all-weather drone with an integrated camera and flight controller. It's modular, has GPS tracking, an app for control, and a 1080p HD camera on a high-precision gimbal in a protective case. The idea came from the frustration of having to choose either a rugged drone or a portable one. And since the engineers behind the C-mi have worked on missions to both Mars and Venus, you know you're getting the best of both worlds.
What if you could add brand new features to your phone instantly? Now, with Nexpaq, on the spot upgrades are totally possible. Nexpaq supports interchangeable modules that add all sorts of features — an SD card reader, a laser pointer, an enhanced battery, or an air quality sensor, just to name a few. Best of all, the modules are cross-compatible between Android and Apple devices. That means if you get a new phone, all you need is the appropriate case, and your modules will still work. It might not be the Star Trek communicator, but it's the next best thing.
The first manned private space flight was completed by the SpaceShipOne in 2004. It was carried to its launch altitude by its mothership, White Knight. Now you can reenact history in your own front yard, with the RutanRC SpaceShipOne. These models are incredibly detailed, and are functionally identical to the originals, so you can practice piloting a spaceship with your feet safely on planet Earth. Every astronaut has to start somewhere.