Second Jet & Shuttle Pair Grace the Skies
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Sort of … it’s a … plane toting a shuttle on its back! New Yorkers looking to the skies Friday morning were treated to a puzzling sight as the Enterprise rode the massive breadth of a modified 747 jet. Manhattanites took to their rooftops for a better view as the crew performed flyovers of landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and Long Island.
The pair was headed to Manhattan’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, the second of a group of four retired shuttles from NASA’s arsenal in need of new homes. Landing safely at its temporary home, John F. Kennedy International Airport, NASA happily tweeted “Touchdown at JFK!” as an air traffic controller told the crew, “Welcome to New York, and thanks for the show.”
Enterprise will be the “the largest and most significant space artifact in the entire Northeast,” Susan Marenoff-Zausner, Intrepid’s president, told the Washington Post.
Space Shuttle Enterprise Flies Over New York
A week earlier the legendary fleet leader, Discovery, was successfully delivered using the same method of transportation to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
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Though the humble prototype never made it into orbit, Enterprise played a key role in the fleet as it performed successful approach and landing tests throughout the late ‘70s. Holding a prestigious spot at the Smithsonian since 1985, Enterprise is being forced to find a new home to make way for the Discovery.
The space agency’s youngest shuttle, Endeavour, will be moved next in September, followed by the Atlantis.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany