The European space effort is moving into another phase, with the launch of the first Vega rocket scheduled for late next year. When it lifts off from French Guyana, on-ground safety will be handled by Vitrociset S.p.A., an Italian company that includes NI controllers in its hardware.
The Vega Control Center manages the countdown and handles all electrical operations on the launcher. In the event of problems, it addresses the many facets of safety that can occur in a complex mission like a rocket launch.
“If there’s a problem, we have to figure out what it is and what the best technique for handling it is. We have double and triple redundancy,” says Marco Bordin, senior engineering manager. The hardware is PXI based, and programming is handled by LabVIEW.
A larger version of this model may lift off late next year
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
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