Tag: Tesla

Science Stories You’ll Be Hearing About In 2019

2018 was a big year for science and technology, and 2019 is shaping up to be more of the same. Here’s some of the big science stories we’ll be following in the coming year.

On May 20th of this year, the scientific community will be redefining four metric units of measurement, the kilogram, the Kelvin, the mole, and the ampere.

The Event Horizon telescope is an attempt to image the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, known as Sagittarius A. The telescopes actually did the imaging last year, and the team is in the process of collecting the data and analyzing it, but the expectation is that this year we should get, for the first time, an actual image of a black hole

in the first half of the year, Tesla will finally unveil their long-awaited $35,000 baseline Model 3, but it’s also expected sometime this year that Tesla will unveil the Model Y, their crossover model based on the Model 3 platform. and a lot of people are also speculating that at the Model Y reveal, Elon may do a “one more thing” thing and introduce the Tesla pickup.

Other EVs that will be released in 2019 include the Audi e-Tron, the Mercedes EQC, an update for BMW’s i3 with a larger battery, the Jaguar iPace, the Volvo XC40, the Porche Taycan, the Kia e-Niro, The Kia Soul EV, the Hyundai Ioniq, and the Mini Electric.

New Horizons, the probe that sent us those amazing pictures of Pluto back in 2015, is now flying through the Kuiper belt, and just passed the asteroid Ultima Thule, which we’ll be getting detailed images from this year

Hayabusa2 from JAXA will collect soil samples from the asteroid Ryugu this year.

Similarly the Osiris Rex mission from NASA arrived at the asteroid Bennu just about a month ago on December 3rd and will spend 2019 scanning and imaging Bennu.

The Parker Solar Probe will make 2 flybys of the sun this year, one in April and one in September.

There’s also a slew of moon landings coming this year that are worth following.

ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization plans to land on the moon with Chandrayaan-2 which they expected to launch last year but it’s been pushed back to January 31st.

But before that, the Chinese National Space Administration landed Change’4, which actually launched in December, on the far side of the moon.

SpaceX plans to start performing hopper tests this year for their Starship, previously known as BFR,

But perhaps no piece of news or space related event this year can come close to the first tests of the SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule that will finally return the US to manned missions to space.

At the same time, the Boeing Starliner capsule will see space for the first time in March with an uncrewed demo mission, followed by a scheduled manned mission in August of 2019.

Tesla Can Change So Much With Over-The-Air Updates

When Consumer Reports recently found that the braking distance on the Tesla Model 3 was worse than that of a Ford F-150, CEO Elon Musk took the criticism and found a solution.

Days later, Tesla shipped an over-the-air update that, according to CR’s testing, improved the braking distance by 19 feet.

It’s a wild idea: your car automatically downloads some code, and it’s instantly safer. It also wasn’t possible even a few years ago, and some have held it up as an ideal example of how futuristic technologies can make our lives better. Analysts said it was “unheard of.”

Jake Fisher, CR’s director of auto testing (and the person who originally flagged the issue), said he’d “never seen a car that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update.”

Others, like Navigant Research’s Sam Abuelsamid, looked at the recent Model 3 braking distance issue as a sign of a larger problem with Tesla’s quality control.

He wrote this week that the fact there was that much room for improvement on the braking capabilities of the car shows there’s something “fundamentally broken in what they were doing” with the Model 3.




Shouldn’t Tesla, which by now has made and sold over 300,000 cars around the globe, have caught this problem before CR did?

We don’t yet know why the Model 3’s braking was underperforming, and we may never know. That matters less than what the update actually signaled.

Tesla has shipped OTA updates to its cars for years now that have changed everything from its Autopilot driver assistance system to the layout and look of its touchscreen interfaces.

At one point last year, it even used an update to extend the range of some cars to help customers evacuate the path of Hurricane Irma.

This week was different, though, because it showed just how far the company can go with those updates. With a swift change in the software, the company showed it can reach as deep as the systems that control the brakes.

It creates the feeling that you could get out of your car one night, and by the time you get back in the next morning, the car could do some things — maybe everything — in a totally different way.

Tesla is ahead of other carmakers when it comes OTA updates — just look at the recent mini FCA fiasco.

But being on the frontline of a new technology means that you have to deal with problems that no one else has encountered, and find answers to questions that people are asking for the first time.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

My Tesla Model 3 Delivery!

After 2 1/2 years of waiting, my Tesla Model 3 is finally here!
Today’s video is a little bit different, more of a vlog-style where I document the delivery and my first impressions of the Tesla Model 3.

Jaguar Unveils Its First All-Electric Vehicle, Designed To Take On Tesla Model X

Jaguar revealed its first battery electric vehicle Thursday, and it appears to be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle.

During the reveal Thursday, Jaguar even staged races between the two vehicles.

Like the Tesla Model X and Model S, the I-PACE is powered by two electric motors. Like a Tesla it has a trunk where the engine would otherwise be.

Notably, the car is available now.

As of this moment, it is available to own,” said presenter Jack Whitehall, at the unveiling event held at the Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.




The car has a single-speed automatic transmission, common in electric vehicles. Jaguar estimates the I-PACE has 240 miles of range on a single charge. It goes 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Jaguar designed the battery to last 10 years, said Ian Callum, director of design.

The car is also loaded with tech inside, like a navigation system that suggests nearby charging stations, and the ability to learn and adjust settings inside the vehicle to match a driver’s preferences.

The I-PACE also has an Amazon skill that works with its affiliated mobile app.

The I-PACE first debuted as a concept vehicle in 2016. Thousands of customers have already expressed interest in the I-PACE, Jaguar said.

The I-PACE’s battery will be capable of reaching an 80 percent charge in just 40 minutes, Jaguar said, and the vehicle has been tested in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to 104 degrees.

The official public debut of I-PACE will be at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. Jaguar Land Rover is a unit of India’s Tata Motors.

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My Tesla Model 3 Test Drive w/Ben Sullins of Teslanomics

Get Brilliant at http://www.brilliant.org/answerswithjoe/
And the first 295 to sign up for a premium account get 20% off every month!

Earlier this month, I travelled to Palm Springs for a YouTube event and hooked up with Ben Sullins from Teslanomics, who brought his Model 3 (which he named Tes), and I finally got a chance to drive it.

Talking Model 3 With Ben Sullins of Teslanomics

I recently traveled to Palm Springs and got a chance to hang out with Ben Sullins, who brought his Model 3 with him – and I got a chance to drive it!

Ben’s channel, Teslanomics, talks about Tesla from a data science standpoint. It’s a great source of Tesla news that cuts through all the hype. Find his channel here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbEbf0-PoSuHD0TgMbxomDg

And see the video on my YouTube channel:

Elon Musk Wants To Create The ‘World’s Largest Virtual Power Plant’ In Australia With Network Of 50,000 Homes Using The Firm’s Solar Panels And Batteries

Some 50,000 homes in South Australia will receive solar panels and Tesla batteries, the state government announced Sunday, in a landmark plan to turn houses into a giant, interconnected power plant.

South Australia is already home to world’s biggest battery in an Elon Musk-driven project to provide electricity for more than 30,000 homes.

The state government has since been looking for more ways — particularly through renewables — to address its energy woes after an ‘unprecedented’ storm caused a state-wide blackout in 2016.

Under a new plan unveiled on Sunday, a network of solar panels linked to rechargeable batteries will be provided free to households and financed by the sale of excess electricity generated by the network, the government said.

“My government has already delivered the world’s biggest battery, now we will deliver the world’s largest virtual power plant,” state Premier Jay Weatherill said in a statement.




“We will use people’s homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefitting with significant savings in their energy bills.”

A trial phase will begin with 1,100 public housing properties, each supplied with a 5kW solar panel system Tesla battery.

Following the trial, the systems will be installed at a further 24,000 public housing properties before the scheme is opened up to other South Australians over the next four years.

The government is also set to look for an energy retailer to deliver the programme to add more competition to the market.

The rollout will be supported by the state government through a Aus$2 million (US$1.6 million) grant and a Aus$30 million loan from a taxpayer renewable technology fund.

Tesla said in a statement to AFP that the virtual power plant would have 250 megawatts of solar energy and 650 megawatt hours of battery storage.

At key moments, the virtual power plant could provide as much capacity as a large gas turbine or coal power plant,” the company added.

Australia is one of the world’s largest producers of coal and gas but the South Australian blackout raised questions about its energy security.

Several ageing coal-fired power plants have closed, while strong demand for gas exports and a rise in onshore gas drilling bans have fuelled concerns of a looming domestic energy shortage in the next few years.

More than 60 percent of electricity generation in Australia is from coal, with 14 percent from renewables, according to government data published in 2016.

If Asteroids Don’t Destroy Elon Musk’s Space Tesla, Radiation Will, Experts Say

Its billion-year mission: To circle the sun, to hopefully not crash into Mars, to boldly go where no car has gone before.

Elon Musk’s old Roadster became the first car in history to be blasted into space on Tuesday, riding the successful test launch of the Falcon Heavy mega rocket to an orbital path that’s projected to send it out to Mars—or maybe even further.

In a tweet, Musk reported that the “third burn” procedure to push the Roadster out of Earth’s orbit worked a little too well, with the trajectory now slated to reach the edge of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

But as Live Science reported, big space rocks aren’t really the most significant threat to the spacefaring sports car.




No, that would be good ol’ radiation, which has the potential to mostly disintegrate the Tesla Roadster within a year or two, according to William Carroll, an Indiana University chemist and molecular expert.

Without the protection afforded by the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field, the Roadster will be bombarded by radiation that will eventually tear apart anything not made of metal on the car.

All of the organics will be subjected to degradation by the various kinds of radiation that you will run into there,” Carroll said, noting that the term “organics” in this case includes not only fabric and leather but all plastic components as well as the car’s carbon fiber body.

Those organics, in that environment, I wouldn’t give them a year.”

Musk’s cherry-red Tesla already survived a full blast of radiation as it traveled through the planet’s Van Allen belt on its way out of Earth’s orbit, but the extended timeline of its journey creates a much different situation; eventually, the spacefaring Roadster could wind up stripped down to its aluminum chassis.

Any metal parts that do survive probably won’t look exactly the same either; Carroll added that it would be nearly impossible to avoid micrometeoroids that will pockmark exposed surfaces a thousand times over.

Live Science also got in touch with Richard Sachleben, a member of the American Chemical Society’s expert panel, who “largely agreed” with Carroll’s points, though he thought the Tesla might stay intact for a little longer than a year.

A direct impact with an asteroid could always change that timeline, though.

Then again, even if some future human were pluck it out of orbit and haul it home to see if it still works, it wouldn’t run: Musk & Co. reportedly stripped the car’s powertrain entirely before mounting it on the rocket.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

Everything You Need To Know About Today’s Falcon Heavy Launch

The time has finally come for SpaceX to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket. A launch license has been issued for the giant vehicle to take flight this Tuesday.

It’s a mission that many have been waiting for since 2011 when SpaceX CEO Elon Musk first announced plans to develop the vehicle.

Now, after seven years and numerous delays, the launch of the rocket is imminent — and it could be a game-changer for SpaceX.

Here are all the details you need to know about this launch and why it’s such a big deal for both SpaceX and the industry.




What is the Falcon Heavy?

The essence of the rocket is right there in its name: it’s the heavy-lift version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The vehicle consists of three Falcon 9 cores strapped together, giving the rocket an awesome amount of power.

And since each Falcon 9 has nine main rocket engines, there are 27 total engines that will all be used to send this vehicle to space. No other working rocket has ever used so many.

All of this hardware can supposedly create more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

That makes the Falcon Heavy capable of putting around 140,000 pounds of cargo into lower Earth orbit, earning the title of the most powerful rocket in the world.

Where is it launching from?

The Falcon Heavy is taking off from a historic launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, called LC-39A.

The site was used to launch the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon as well as numerous Space Shuttle missions — including the final Shuttle launch.

In 2014, SpaceX signed a 20-year lease with NASA to use the pad at 39A for the company’s flights, and it has since modified the site to accommodate launches of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

 

What is the Falcon Heavy going to do?

For the first Falcon Heavy flight, SpaceX is going to try to launch it to orbit without blowing up. This is a demonstration mission, meant to see if the Falcon Heavy can simply send a payload to orbit.

That’s why the rocket’s cargo is pretty silly: it’s Elon Musk’s Tesla roadster, made even sillier with the possible inclusion of a dummy in the passenger seat, dressed in a brand-new SpaceX suit, naturally.

The Falcon Heavy is supposed to put the car (as well as the passenger, presumably) into an orbit around the Sun known as a Hohmann transfer orbit.

This path will take the car as far out from the Sun as the distance of Mars’ orbit. However, the car won’t be going anywhere near Mars, so there’s no risk of the car contaminating the planet with Earth microbes.

What happens if it’s successful?

Then the Falcon Heavy has some more flights scheduled. The vehicle is booked to a put up a large communications satellite for operator Arabsat of Saudi Arabia sometime in early 2018.

And the Falcon Heavy is also slated to launch a test payload for the US Air Force no earlier than June.

That launch will allow the Air Force to judge whether or not the Falcon Heavy is ready to fly national security payloads, which could become a big market for the vehicle.

The flight will also contain a cluster of secondary satellites, too, including a special test spacecraft from the Planetary Society called LightSail.

The probe is designed to deploy a large, thin sail that uses radiation from the Sun to propel through space.

When is the launch happening?

The launch is currently scheduled to take off on Tuesday, February 6th, sometime during a launch window that spans from 1:30PM to 4PM ET.

However, this is the first flight of the Falcon Heavy — ever — so technological glitches could arise that push the launch back a couple of days.

Weather could also cause a delay, but there’s an 80 percent chance that weather will be favorable, according to Patrick Military Air Force Base at the Cape.

How can I watch the launch?

SpaceX will be live-streaming the mission on YouTube, which will be embedded in this post. Coverage should begin shortly before liftoff, so check back then to watch one of the most anticipated rocket launches in the last decade.

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Pass it on: Popular Science