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
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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