I mean seriously what do these engineers & scientists at NASA are made of ? I know they’re made of atoms but still.. I mean how do they come up with such awesome cool stuff every time ! This time, it’s something you would not have even thought of. Yea… we are talking about NASA’s Starshade mission! (watch the video below) more “NASA’s Starshade to help find another Earth !”
Designing a car & making it is not as easy as sitting & watching a movie on a couch. Making a car doesn’t just mean to join the parts we bought; it needs to have deep knowledge of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, dynamics & must also be able to do calculations which fits the rules & which doesn’t damage the car. One cannot do this being a book worm; it requires lot of creativity, ‘engineering expertise and motor racing skills. Team Ashwa has proved that they have all these qualities.
While the students in BCom colleges in Bangalore were having fun, some engineering students – the Ashwa team of RV college of Engineering; were working hard to make their super car.
Ashwa Racing is India’s premier Formula SAE (FSAE) team. The FSAE (Formula Society of Engineers) event is one in which SAE student members conceive, design, fabricate and compete with other similar formula-style student racing cars in a race organized by SAEin a different country every year.
R S Kulkarni who advises the team says:
The team is the number one formula racing university team in the country. It competes with teams from US and Europe who have vast financial and other resources at their disposal. We have to work with what we can afford. They are also competing against teams which have more than two decades experience in automotive racing. Yet the team has bagged the best Asian team award and is in the top rankings
The body of the car is made from glass fibre. Also the engine is taken from an crashed bike to reduce the expenses. They say that the engine capacity is 600 cc & can hit a top speed of 100 km/hr or a few more. It cost them around 15 lakh Rs to make it. Total 7 prototypes were made; the last one made in 2011.
Kulkarni says that this amount may seem high at first, but when compared to foreign teams who spend around whooping Rs 2 crore to design and build their own cars. “One thing we have been appreciated for is the cost-effectiveness of our car and yet its very good performance.”
The car model name was earlier RVIANZ, to commemorate student life at RVCE. Later, it was shortened to RZ.
Ashwa team has been participating in the competitions of FSAE since 2005. This is because they completed their first prototype(out of 7, as I mentioned earlier) in 2005. They participated in the competition in 2005 & 2006 in Australia followed by 2007 & 2008 in Germany & 2009-10 in Italy.
The team’s last prototype, RZ X, successfully completed the Formula ATA Italy event in 2010 winning The Best Asian Team award.
If anyone is wondering – why the word Ashwa ? what does it mean ? Well, I should tell you that Sanskrit is most ancient & philosophical language of India. According to Sanskrit, Ashwa means Stallion. Hence, the name was chosen for the team.
After an overwhelming success of Mars rover mission 2012, NASA’s next nuclear powered Mars rover is planned to launch in 2020. Scientists say that – it is gonna be way more smarter & efficient than Curiosity, which is currently exploring the red planet.
Curiosity had an awesome design, heck lot of instruments, also its launch & entry into atmosphere of Mars & its landing – all went perfect as planned.
The rover 2020 mission is planned to explore a selected site which is geologically diverse & gives signs of having a past life.
This rover will collect samples of soil & rock and drop them at a selected point. Later those samples will be scooped up another mission to deliver the specimens collected back to Earth. The development of this mission is a combination of the “old” and the “new,” said Gentry Lee, chief engineer for Solar System Exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. Mission engineers said that the rover is going to get a new refined design.
Curiosity has been battling wear & tear on its wheels.
The 2020 rover wheels are going to become more heavy along with the rover’s body becoming a little longer. That may change the rover’s mobility system.
We are really looking at ways to make this largely heritage, built-to-print rover drive faster and do more science on the surface of Mars
said Jennifer Trosper, JPL’s mission manager on Mars 2020.
The future rover would have machines which will increase the speed of it even on rough terrains, Trosper said.
The mechanical design & additional instruments would make mission efficiency jump from Curiosity’s roughly 55% to 80% !! Eagerly waiting for _______ !
The Mars Space Laboratory mission rover names – 1st was SOJOURNER; 2nd was OPPORTUNITY & it’s twin SPIRIT; 3rd was CURIOSITY; all giving a positive inspirational, motivational feeling !
What do you think would be 2020 rover’s name ? Share with us in the comment section below…
NASA has performed a nearly 9 minute long test of the engine called RS-25 which will be used for next generation mega-rockets which will take the astronauts to Mars & other deep space missions.
The agency successfully tested an RS-25 engine at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. A total of four RS-25 engines will be used to power the SLS rocket (Space Launch System).
The engine was tested for 535 seconds, which is the same amount of time the engines will fire uring actual SLS launch.
The test was the sixth of seven planned hot-fire trials for the RS-25, which also served as the main engine for NASA’s now-retired space shuttle fleet, ‘Space.com’ reported. The seven-test series is “designed to put the upgraded former space shuttle main engines through the rigorous temperature and pressure conditions they will experience during a launch,” NASA officials said.
“The tests also support the development of a new controller, or ‘brain,’for the engine, which monitors engine status and communicates between the vehicle and the engine, relaying commands to the engine and transmitting data back to the vehicle,” the officials added.
Watch the miraculous masterpiece of mechanical, thermal & cryogenic engineering in action ! The raging RS-25 – (must watch; feel the power)
Engineers at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) are working on a new class of robotic probe designed to stay aloft for a long time without wings or hot-air balloons in atmospheres of giant planets.
There is no shortage of
something different, challenging & cool things
at NASA & we know that very well. One of them is this- WINDBOTS, the new class of robots.
Unlike moon & Mars which are already been explored by the robotic rovers, the giant gas planets like Jupiter & Saturn have no solid surface on which the rovers can land on. Hence there was a need to think about the probes which can stay aloft for long period of time. In 1995, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft dropped off an atmospheric probe that descended into Jupiter under a parachute. The battery-powered probe survived only about an hour due to high heat and pressure as it fell into the planet’s deep atmosphere.
INSPIRATION – Every masterpiece of Engineering is been inspired by one or the another form, directly or indirectly from Nature. Here, the team is inspired by the dandelion seed.
A dandelion seed is great at staying airborne. It rotates as it falls, creating lift, which allows it to stay afloat for long time, carried by the wind. We’ll be exploring this effect on windbot designs.
says Adrian Stoica, principal investigator for the Windbots study at JPL.
POWER SOURCE – The Windbot must be able to use the energy resources available there. Solar would not be a good option as the probe would find itself on the planet’s night period for an extended period. The team thinks it might generate power by the same way some wristwatches make, by shaking. During the study, the team suspects that to harvest energy, turbulence can be used because in a dynamic, turbulent environment there are gradients – differences in energy from high to low – that can be used.
Windbots would also prove helpful to scientists to study turbulent weather on earth like tornados & hurricanes by transmitting data all the while.
The team has recently begun studying their question, thanks to a one-year, $100,000 study, funded by NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program.
Get ready, for this highly UNREALISTIC jet engine… Boeing has received a patent, US 9068562, which combines inertial confinement fusion, fission, and a turbine that generates electricity. Currently this kind of engine is completely unrealistic given our mastery of fusion.
But perhaps in future this might be an excellent idea.
Lets imagine our standard jet engine of commercial jetliners.Somewhere in the middle of the engine lies a fusion chamber.A very strong number of lasers are focused on a single point.The hohlraum or pellet, which is a mixture of deuterium & tritium(isotopes of hydrogen) is kept at this point.When all the lasers are turned on at the same time, it creates massive pressure.This causes the hydrogen isotopes to fuse.Now according to the patent, the hot gases produced by the fusion are pushed out of the nozzle creating very high thrust.
Also, one of the by-products of the fusion reaction is lots of fast neutrons.The patent explains that there is a shield around the fusion chamber.The shield is made of fissionable material(for eg:-Uranium-235).The neutrons moving at high speed collide with this material resulting in production of high amount of heat.This heat is then transferred to drive the turbine which generates electricity.
Finally we are done with this fusion-fission jet engine thing.
”Suidobashi, you have a giant robot, we have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen”
says MegaBots – U.S.-based robotics company! MegaBots issued the challenge last month after giving a final touch to its Mark 2- America’s first fully-functional, giant piloted robot. Mark 2 weighs 6 tons & can be controlled by 2 pilots, shoots 1.5 kilo paint cannonballs at the speed of over 160 km/hr.
The co-founders Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti, challenges the only other company in the world Suidobashi Heavy Industry. Suidobashi have created the giant – Kuratas, a single pilot robot which is already available commercially.
Challenge Accepted… :-
Suidobashi CEO Kogoro Kurata, responded after a week saying,
“I’ll fight. Absolutely.”
The Kuratas – named after its designer, was launched in 2012. It weighs 4.5 tons, 25% less than the Mark 2, featuring Gatling guns controlled with an advanced targeting system & heads up display(HUD).
Both the companies have one year to do the necessary preparations & modifications to win this epic robowar while no venue or date for this has been fixed.
All the sci-fi fans are eagerly waiting for this to happen; especially me 😉