What to see: Bezos in Space and Bridge on a 3D printer

In a new selection of RBC Trends: the head of Amazon went into space after Richard Branson, a swarm of drones was taught to look for gas leaks, and in Malaysia they went through a skating rink on a thousand mining devices

Jeff Bezos leads the space race

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took an 11-minute flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. Also on board were his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, and 18-year-old Oliver Daymen, son of the founder of Dutch company Somerset Capital Partners.

The rocket was launched from a private site in Texas. Three minutes later, the capsule with the crew separated and climbed to a height of 107 km, after which it landed near the launch pad using special parachutes. The maximum speed during the flight was 3,595 km/h. The rocket itself also landed on a special platform.

Thus, Bezos crossed the Karman Line and went into space. Another billionaire and his rival Richard Branson a week earlier climbed to a height of 86 km. This is outer space only from the point of view of NASA, while other countries count space from 100 km.

Blue Origin, which is also owned by Bezos, plans to make two more flights with passengers before the end of the year. The company has already received $100 million worth of private flight orders, Bezos said.

The world’s first 3D printed steel bridge

The world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge has opened in Amsterdam. It was installed over the Oudesates Achterburgwal instead of the usual one – however, only for two years.

The project started back in 2015. It was developed by MX3D. In 2018, one span of the bridge was assembled to test the technology, but the original did not start printing until 2021. Four robots were used for printing, which welded steel wire from stainless steel according to a 3D layout. In total, it took 4.5 tons of steel and six months to print the 12-meter bridge. In the two years that the bridge will replace the conventional one, the developers want to study the features of the technology in more detail in order to apply it to larger and more permanent structures.

What the first 3D printed steel bridge looks like

3D printing is actively used in construction and interior design to create furniture, individual structures, and even entire houses. The world’s first 3D printed bridge appeared in Madrid in 2016 – it was made of cement. In 2019, the longest printed plastic bridge opened in Shanghai, taking 35 days to complete.

Biologists filmed a transparent octopus in the ocean

During an expedition to the Phoenix Islands in the Pacific Ocean, scientists from California’s Schmidt Institute of Oceanology managed to capture a glass octopus on video.

This almost transparent mollusk lives at a depth of more than 200 m, where it is not so easy for an ordinary person to go down. Therefore, the researchers sent an underwater robot equipped with a high-definition video camera there. The SuBastian made 21 dives for a total of 182 hours. He captured an octopus, and with it a whale shark, and other unusual creatures. Some of the underwater inhabitants may belong to species that have not yet been studied.

Glass octopuses have a small body – only 45 cm, and it is completely transparent – except for the eyes and digestive tract. Although they were discovered back in 1918, due to the depth of their habitat, scientists still do not know much about them. According to the expedition members, the records obtained are the highest quality images of the species ever obtained. They will become a source of new information and, possibly, scientific discoveries.

More than 1,000 mining devices crushed under roller in Malaysia

The police of the city of Miri in Malaysia carried out a “demonstrative massacre” with illegal cryptocurrencies. They destroyed more than 1,000 ASIC miners  – specialized systems for generating cryptocurrency.

All this equipment was seized during six raids on illegal mining farms from February to April 2021. Its total cost is 5.3 million Malaysian ringgits (about ₽93 million).

For illegal activities, 6 miners face fines of up to 8,000 ringgit (₽140,000) and up to eight months in jail. Due to their activities, the local energy company Sarawak Energy Berhad suffered a loss of 8.4 million ringgit (about ₽147 million), and residents of the city often suffered from power outages.

A swarm of drones localized a gas leak

Engineers from the Netherlands, Spain and the US have created a group of small drones that can find indoor gas leaks .

All of them are based on the CrazyFlie research microdrone, which was equipped with a gas capture sensor. Drones use laser rangefinders and algorithms similar to those birds use to search for food to find leaks. This method is also known as a particle swarm : when each unit in the swarm observes a certain parameter in the environment and transmits information to the others. The swarm immediately rearranges itself and changes direction.

For people, such work is very risky: combustible gas in combination with oxygen can easily ignite and lead to an explosion, and non-flammable gas can lead to asphyxiation.

Leave a Comment