Sunday, December 15th, 2013 | Author: OWC Mason
With a name like Other World Computing, you can bet we’re incredibly interested in space exploration. That’s why we were so excited to read that China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft delivered a six-wheeled rover named Jade Rabbit to the moon on Saturday.
The moment Jade Rabbit touched down, China joined the U.S. and the former Soviet Union as the only nations to have landed an intact spacecraft on the moon. It was also the first robot to land on the moon in nearly 40 years. The Jade Rabbit will have many abilities, such as being able to dig up soil samples to a depth of 30 meters.
National Geographic broke down what will make Jade Rabbit’s mission unique and important: Article Continues…
(Credit: NASA/GSFC/DLR/Arizona State University)
Okay, so we’re definitely space junkies that like to bring you the the word on cool, “out of this world” news outside of our atmosphere. The closest orb of interest? The moon. And we’ve been monitoring everything the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has uncovered since its initial launch and historic mission to answer the many questions we have about Earth’s natural satellite. Due to technological and instrumental limitations, scientists have been unable to properly examine the moon’s many geologic formations, rugged terrain and total surface area – until now.
Yesterday NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team revealed Version 1 of the Wide Angle Camera (WAC) high-resolution topographic map of the moon. This detailed color visualization was produced from a series of images captured by the WAC represents a significant turning point and advancement for lunar researchers. Llunar scientists can now research the geologic terrains to better prepare for future missions. Article Continues…
Well, many of us here at OWC will be getting up pretty early this weekend for some atypical events.
First off, it is well-known that Other World Computing has an affinity towards all things outer space related and tomorrow morning there will be a lunar eclipse visible to most residents of the United States. Here at the corporate headquarters in Woodstock, IL, we should see the start of the eclipse at 5:17 a.m., and it is expected to last about three hours. Our condolences to our New England area friends as the moon will set there just prior to the eclipse starting. Check the above link for visibility in your area.
Then, it’s off to our neighboring town of Crystal Lake where, for the fourth year in a row, Other World Computing will be competing in America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta. This annual event features participants from all over the globe gathering to race across the lake in vessels made entirely from cardboard. Proceeds from the event are donated to several local charities. If you are in the area, feel free to come and cheer us on at Crystal Lake Main Beach in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
For this year’s race, we’ll be entering three separate vessels in hopes of bringing home a few trophies. With the good karma of the lunar eclipse to start the day, we feel there are other worldly forces smiling upon us. And of course, fueling us throughout all these activities is the best tasting coffee in the universe at Java Planet Coffee & Internet Cafe.
UPDATE: The Cardboard Cup Regatta was rescheduled for July 17th due to many beaches in the area being closed due to high E. coli counts.
While not an entirely new concept, we here at the OWC Blog thought it would be both informative and entertaining to do a group review of an App Store app each week. Our reasoning sits somewhere in between, “Hey, the iPhone is insanely popular, so people may be interested” and “Oooh. We get to play games at work!”
Whatever our reasoning, we all agreed it was a great idea to do a “Yea or Nay” theme on these each week. As all of us at least own an iPod Touch, we have narrowed the options down to two main requirements:
- The application being reviewed must function as easily and as well with a first generation iPod Touch as it would with an iPhone 3GS.
- The apps reviewed must be free…that way everyone can try it and benefit from it.
With that in mind, we chose our first app to review: The NASA Lunar Electric Rover Simulator.
Welcome to the NASA Lunar Electric Rover (LER) Simulator. You don’t need a driver’s license, but you still need to buckle up as the LER Simulator gives you a glimpse of what it might be like to support the activities of a functioning Lunar Outpost. Get busy. You never know if your skills here will become a major part of the NASA Astronaut application process in the future.