Robotic recreation of the Kangaroo form put together by Festo to demonstrate energy-efficient movement (this was initially announced on April the 1st, but turns out to be real) - video embedded below:
With the BionicKangaroo, Festo has technologically reproduced the unique way a kangaroo moves. Like its natural model, it can recover the energy when jumping, store it and efficiently use it for the next jump.
On the artificial kangaroo, Festo intelligently combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology to produce a highly dynamic system. The stable jump kinematics plus the precise control technology ensure stability when jumping and landing. The consistent lightweight construction facilitates the unique jumping behaviour. The system is controlled by gestures.
Gemini 5 (officially Gemini V) was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA’s Gemini program. It was the third manned Gemini flight, the 11th manned American flight and the 19th spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi)). It was also the first time an American manned space mission held the world record for duration, set on August 26, 1965, by breaking the Soviet Union’s previous record set by Vostok 5 in 1963.
Gemini 5 doubled the U.S space-flight record of the Gemini 4 mission to eight days. This flight was crucial because the length of time it took to fly to the moon, land and return would take eight days. This was possible due to new fuel cells that generated enough electricity to power longer missions, a pivotal innovation for future Apollo flights.
Mercury veteran Gordon Cooper was the first person to travel on orbital missions twice. He and Conrad took high-resolution photographs for the Defense Department, but problems with the fuel cells and maneuvering system forced the cancellation of several other experiments.
This was the first mission to have an insignia patch. After Gemini 3, NASA barred astronauts from naming their spacecraft. Cooper, having realized he had never been in a military organization without one, suggested a mission patch to symbolize the flight. NASA agreed, and the patches got the generic name of “Cooper patch.”
Image credit: NASA
Meet Mary Sherman Morgan, rocket scientist, munitions and chemical engineer and one of the most instrumental players in the launch of America’s first satellite, Explorer I (shown above). According to her colleagues she “single-handedly saved America’s space programme”.
Mary started out life as a poor farm girl in North Dakota, her parents chose not to educate her by choice so that she could work on the farm. Eventually, she managed to graduate high school and then ran away from home to go to college and study chemical engineering.
During her studies, WWII broke out and there was a shortage of chemists in the country. Mary was offered a “Top Secret” job at a factory and had to accept without being told what the factory made or what her job would be. It turned out it was a munitions factory – Mary was put in charge of the manufacture of 3 different types of explosive. In her tenure the factory produced over 1 billion pounds of ordnance for WWII.
With the war behind her and after graduating her degree she started working for Rocketdyne under Dr Silverman. In the 1950’s the US was in a race to launch its first satellite into space. American rockets were just not successful, they either couldn’t accelerate to the necessary speed or would blow up on the launch pad. Out of dozens of other engineers Dr Silverman put Mary in charge of solving this problem. She invented Hydyne, a brand new and powerful liquid fuel. In 1958 Explorer I was successfully launched into space using Jupiter-C rockets powered by Hydyne fuel.
Shortly after this success, Mary left the world of work to become a stay at home mum. Much of her work was top secret and she was a very private person - she actively avoided the press. Barely anyone knew about what she did for the space programme. It was only at her funeral did her colleagues begin to share her story. “Mary single-handedly saved America’s space programme” he said “and nobody knows but a handful of old men”
Giant liposomes of pulmonary surfactant (40x)
(via Giant liposomes of pulmonary surfactant | 2-photon | Nikon Small World)