Tag Archives: station

Tesla announces network of free charging stations powered by solar energy

The biggest problem with driving an electric vehicle (EV) is not driving from home to work. It’s the long trips and vacations that scare people – beyond the EV’s range of 75-150 miles per charge. They need a network of charging stations, like gas stations, placed along highway routes for all the popular destinations.

And while the major car manufacturers are content to let governments and utility companies build these – Tesla has announced they will build their own. The company has six in operation in California and plans for twelve by next year. After that, if sales continue to grow, building 100s of them nationwide – allowing you to drive an EV from Los Angeles to New York.

And like all things Elon Musk does – these will be sleek, high technology, sustainable devices. Powered by solar technology, giving a 150 mile charge in 30 minutes, and free for Tesla drivers – while giving energy back to the grid.

For comparison, the standard models on the market offer 16-31 miles for a 30 minute charge.

 

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A brochure from the Olympics – the map from the London Tube

 

I’ve got two maps for you. The first is the slippy map above from London Town:

I like the…hand-drawn feel of the map. Venues are shown in indicative locations rather than being geographically correct, as the details of London between the venues are missed out. This makes it a very poor map for navigating around London between the venues, but a good graphic illustrating just how many venues in London there are, and how they relate geographically to the major London landmarks. – Mapping London

 

Second, is the one you would pick up in the London Tube if you were going to the games. Created for the Olympics, the “London Summer 2012″ map looks like a pretty cool brochure/souvenir for the games:

The maps feature key landmarks, the locations of Olympics related events (such as London Live) and shops, a selection of interesting museums and also more practical information such as public amenities, police stations and NHS walk in centres. The maps also include 6 discovery trails (round trips) to help explore different areas (such as the City; Spitalfields and Brick Lane; Regent’s Park; and the West End).

Two screenshots of it below – more at – Mapping London

 

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San Onofre Nuclear Plant shut down for the summer – does Southern California still need it?

This summer may be just a test run for operating Southern California’s electrical grid without a nuclear plant.

The latest report on the outage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shows the replacement of four massive steam generators was accompanied by serious design flaws, with no clear solution in sight.

Both stakeholders in San Onofre and critics of nuclear power say the start of a summer without the twin-reactor plant has forced a new accounting for its costs and benefits.

The utility industry and the state’s main grid operator are “considering a range of existing and new alternatives for mitigating the impacts of a long-term or permanent shutdown at San Onofre,” said Stephanie McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the California Independent System Operator.

At full tilt, San Onofre can produce enough electricity to power 1.4 million homes.

Yet the grid operator foresees only the remote chance of rolling outages during hot weather in the next three months — when San Onofre is needed the most.

 

Keep readingSan Onofre: Do we really need it?

 

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Los Angeles updates zoning in Hollywood – moving towards metro-centric city

A plan that could dramatically remake the Hollywood skyline and form the blueprint for denser development around the city’s growing rail network has won unanimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council.

Revised zoning guidelines for Sunset Boulevard and surrounding streets will make it easier for developers to build bigger and taller buildings, especially around subway stations and along bus routes. Supporters say the plan is a visionary change that will allow Hollywood to complete a 20-year-transformation from a seedy haven for drug dealing and prostitution into a more vibrant, cosmopolitan center of residential towers, jobs, entertainment and public transportation.

“If we’re going to spend billions of dollars to build a rapid-transit system, it only makes sense to put development there,” he said.

Learn more – L.A. council OKs plan to concentrate growth in Hollywood

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A rare opportunity – NASA opens Launch Control Center to visitors

For the first time in more than 30 years, NASA is allowing Kennedy Space Center visitors inside the Launch Control Center – where NASA directors and engineers supervised all of the 152 launches including the space shuttle and Apollo programs.

The KSC Up-Close: Launch Control Center (LCC) Tour, the second in Kennedy Space Center’s special 50th anniversary series of rare-access tours, takes visitors inside Firing Room 4, one of the LCC’s four firing rooms and the one from which all 21 shuttle launches since 2006 were controlled.

Inside Firing Room 4, visitors will pass by the computer consoles at which engineers monitored the computerized launch control system’s thousands of system checks every minute leading up to launch. They’ll see the main launch countdown clock and many large video monitors on the walls, and enter the “bubble room,” with its wall of interior windows through which the Kennedy Space Center management team viewed all of the proceedings below.

A Rare Opportunity

As with the Vehicle Assembly Building, visitors have not had access to the LCC since the late 1970s, during the period after the Apollo and Skylab programs ended and before the first space shuttle launch in 1981.

The LCC will continue to operate in guiding the next generation of rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center for NASA and potentially for commercial space programs. Future launches of SpaceX, whose recent launch from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station resulted in the first mission by a commercial company to travel to and dock with the International Space Station, could take place from Kennedy Space Center beginning in 2013.

The LCC Tour is led by a trained space expert, giving visitors an insider’s view of the space program from launch preparation to liftoff. The tour also includes drive-by views of Launch Pad 39 and culminates at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where visitors can resume the regular tour.

 

Learn more and buy ticketsKSC Up-Close: The Launch Control Center Tour

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China launches it’s first female ‘taikonaut’ into space

Saturday’s launch of a piloted space capsule known as Shenzhou-9 marks China’s breakthrough into the exclusive club once made up only of the United States and Russia.

One of the three astronauts in the capsule is a woman, 33-year-old Liu Yang, the first Chinese woman in space.

Shenzhou-9 was launched at 6:37 p.m (local time) against a vivid blue sky from the Jiuquan space station at the edge of the Gobi Desert. Televised nationally, the launch prompted a round of applause in the command center as the capsule separated from its carrier rocket and entered orbit.

The trickiest part of the mission will come when the capsule docks with the Tiangong 1 space module, a prototype of a space station about the size of a school bus, which is orbiting about 213 miles above Earth.

Learn more, including how the U.S. Congress has banned China from the International Space Station…so they’re building their own:

L.A. Times: China launches rocket carrying its first female astronaut

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ESPN launches iPhone/iPad app version 4.0 – ESPN Radio

If you’re needing to keep Mike & Mike an arm’s length away at all times, ESPN has refreshed its Radio app to help with just that. Now optimized to the iPad in addition to the iPhone and iPod touch, the software allows you to sort your listening habits by sports, teams and athletes that you follow.

The free version offers access to podcasts, the 20-minute SportCenter cycle, and offline listening for on-demand content.

The premium version — touting custom stations / playlists, live audio pause / rewind, myESPN personalization, alerts / push notifications and a few more gems to keep you well informed on the latest Red Sox debacle. Though, you’ll have to shell out $4.99 for the premium app and its 35 ESPN radio stations.

What about Android and WP7 devices, you ask? The folks in Bristol claim that apps for those platforms will arrive later this summer.

via Engadget

 

ESPN RADIO  V4.0 – in iTunes

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Do galaxies form like snowflakes? Winner of Space Lab competition to find out

I'd love to be an Astrophysicist or specifically a Theoretical Cosmologist.

The Space Lab competition from YouTube invited young scientists to submit an experiment for the chance to have it performed by NASA aboard the International Space Station.

From among thousands of entrants, six regional winners have been chosen. In North America, Emerald Bresnahan of Plainville, Massachusetts, was chosen for her Snowflakes in Space experiment.

Emerald suggests that galaxies might form in a similar way to snowflakes. She wants to test how snowflakes form in the absence of gravity to better understand the link between them and other complex shapes like galaxies. Will these tiny structures give us the answers to some of our biggest questions about the Universe?

You can also view her entry video on YouTube.

SpaceX introduces team to test Dragon for manned space flight

Recently, SpaceX “announced it has assembled a team of independent experts to help the company create a safe spacecraft for NASA astronauts.”

And, one of them, Edward Lu, is on Google+:

“I’m looking forward to peeking under the hood of the SpaceX Dragon, and helping them successfully launch humans into orbit!”

More on the company’s initiatives:

The company is already building its Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon capsules to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and has a $1.6-billion contract to do just that for NASA.

SpaceX plans to send its unmanned Dragon capsule to dock with the International Space Station on April 30 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in a demonstration flight for NASA. If successful, SpaceX would be the first private company to accomplish the feat.

Now that the space shuttle is retired, SpaceX wants in on the potentially multibillion-dollar job of ferrying astronauts to and from the station. To do that, SpaceX needs to make sure its capsule — which is built to fit up to seven people – is safe.

The independent “safety advisory panel” is composed of leading human spaceflight safety experts:

  • Leroy Chiao, former NASA astronaut, former International Space Station commander.
  • G. Scott Hubbard, former director of NASA Ames Research Center, Stanford University professor of aeronautics and astronautics, sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
  • Dr. Richard T. Jennings, former chief of medicine for NASA Johnson Space Center, University of Texas Medical Branch professor at the Aerospace Medicine Center.
  • Capt. Mark Kelly, former NASA astronaut, former Space Shuttle commander, retired Navy captain.
  • Edward Lu, former NASA astronaut.

 

via LA Times

 

More about SpaceX, including their manifesto: “transparency, low prices, and worldwide dominance for the future of space travel.”

 

Test crew included (from top left): NASA Crew Survival Engineering Team Lead Dustin Gohmert, NASA Astronaut Tony Antonelli, NASA Astronaut Lee Archambault, SpaceX Mission Operations Engineer Laura Crabtree, SpaceX Thermal Engineer Brenda Hernandez, NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim, and NASA Astronaut Tim Kopra. Photo: Roger Gilbertson / SpaceX
In 2010, the second flight of Falcon 9 orbits the first operational Dragon spacecraft under the NASA COTS program, and SpaceX becomes the first private company to recover a spacecraft from Earth orbit—a feat previously only accomplished by a few nations.

 

// Photos via SpaceX Updates

California launches a statewide network of charging stations for electric vehicles

Governor Brown joined with the California Public Utilities Commission today to announce a $120 million dollar settlement with NRG Energy Inc. that will fund the construction of a statewide network of charging stations for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including at least 200 public fast-charging stations and another 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across the state. The settlement stems from California’s energy crisis.

The network of charging stations funded by the settlement will be installed in the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County.

“Through the settlement, EVs will become a viable transportation option for many Californians who do not have the option to have a charging station at their residence.”

The Executive Order issued today by the Governor sets the following targets:

  • By 2015, all major cities in California will have adequate infrastructure and be “zero-emission vehicle ready”;
  • By 2020, adequate infrastructure to support 1 million zero-emission vehicles in California;
  • By 2025, there will be 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California; and
  • By 2050, virtually all personal transportation in the State will be based on zero-emission vehicles.

via ca.gov

 

Just one question, not addressed in the announcement, is charging at the stations free?

What will be the cost for a full charge?

 

// photos via NCDOT Comms and gwyst