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Comment Re:Premature much? (Score 1) 24

Do you know much about the Copenhagen Suborbitals project? They've launched quite a few test rockets over the past couple of years, each a milestone of its own. They launched these from their mobile launch platform from the Baltic Sea, and streamed all them live over the internet. Quite an achievement in itself, I believe. I do agree with you that it's quite a leap from a not-completed suborbital test program to a (manned?) moon landing. I'm curious to see how detailed the information is we'll get to see on Oct 1st. Will they just be beautiful drawings - Kristian is an awesome artist - or will we get to see technical and financial details?

Comment Re:gets things done, eh? (Score 2) 24

That is not true. All launches so far have been test launches, testing some technology or other. Many flights have not been complete successes, but all have produced valuable data for use further down the line. The two founders leaving CS (and the turmoil leading up to that) have set them back a year or two, but they seem to have regrouped and from the outside it seems as if they're on a much more solid path than before. I've donated $ 25. This weekend they have a (test) launch planned of their Nexø 1 liquid fueled rocket. They'll stream the launch live, from their mobile launch platform from somewhere in the Baltic Sea. That "normal" (I wouldn't call them quite normal, but still...) can just do this shows that we live in fantastic times, I think.

Comment Mildy colourblind under low light levels (Score 2) 267

I am mildly colourblind under low light levels, I find it hard to distinguish between blue and green in that situation. This doesn't impact my life at all, except when playing board games. I always make sure I don't play with either the green or blue tokens because I keep randomly grabbing my (green or blue) opponents' tokens. So, it's just a small handicap :-)

Comment I miss the hardware-keyboards (Score 1) 544

I've come through a long line of hardware-keyboard-enabled phones; Nokia 6820, Nokia E70, Nokia E61i, Nokia E90 and the HTC Desire Z. Of these phones, the E90 had the best keyboard, by far, five rows of large keys. I sometimes dreams about it ;-) After the Desire Z there were really no realistic options on the market so I switched to a touch screen phone. I regret it every day. My HTC One X+ cost à 500 in 2013, which is expensive but worth it (IMO) for a high-end phone. I would actually pay à 50-75 on top of that for a phone with exactly the same specs (except weight and physical size) which has a hardware keyboard. I would think that adding a hardware keyboard should be doable for that amount of money?

Submission + - Ford "solar-powered" car - realistic or greenwashing? ( 1

SustainableJeroen writes: This week, Ford presented a "solar-powered" concept version of its plugin-in hybrid C-Max Energi, the C-Max Energi Solar. The car features a 300 watt solar panel integrated in the roof, but because that's nowhere near enough to fully charge the car's 7,4 kWh battery, it comes with a huge carport that concentrates the solar radiation onto the car's solar panel. As if all this doesn't sound fantastic enough — the car would actually automatically move around under the carport to keep its solar panel in the carport's focal point.

Is this a realistic proposition? Or a pie in the sky? This article analyses the system and discovers that the concept as it's presented here would not produce a practical driving range, especially in moderate climates.

Submission + - World Solar Challenge starts one day from now (

SustainableJeroen writes: On Sunday morning (Australian time), October 6th, 40 solar-powered vehicles from 24 countries will depart from Darwin and make their way south along the 3000km Stuart Highway towards Adelaide in the 2013 World Solar Challenge. About half of the vehicles compete in the Challenger class, the class which features what many people will recognise as typical solar racing cars: flat, UFO-like vehicles, built exclusively for efficiency and speed. For the first time, however, much more practical vehicles will race each other in the new Cruiser class. These vehicles will seat two, three of four people and be road legal.

In both 2009 and 2011, Michigan University Solar Car Team finished third, Nuon Solar Team finished second and Tokai University finished first. The fastest vehicles will be expected to reach Adelaide on Thursday or Friday, depending on the weather.

Submission + - World Solar Challenge to start in less than two weeks (

SustainableJeroen writes: On October 6th, the 2013 World Solar Challenge will start. This year, 43 teams (more than ever before) from 24 countries around the world will compete in this biannual 3000 km road event, which runs from Darwin to Adelaide. In both 2009 and 2011, Tokai University (Japan), Nuon Solar Team (the Netherlands) and University of Michigan Solar Car Team (USA) finished in first, second and third position, respectively. Who will win this year? We'll know for sure on October 13th, the end of the event. Team details (photos, car specifications, links to websites) can be found here.

Comment World Solar Challenge news (Score 1) 9

As there really isn't a central site with up-to-date news in the weeks before the World Solar Challenge, I decided to do it myself. In the weeks and days before the WSC I started collecting all information about all the teams I could find. Some teams have extensive websites, social media accounts, youtube/vimeo accounts while other teams simply had no online presence at all. Very frustrating. I managed to collect detailed information of only eight teams. During the event I took a week off from work, and together with ex-Nuon Solar Team (Nuna2, 2003) member Diederik Kinds I provided near-round-the-clock coverage of the race. It was hectic, intense and very exciting but the large number of compliments we received was worth it. After the top-5 teams finished Friday things have quieted down quite a bit. I'm still waiting for the final timing/distance results of all the teams, it's a bit frustrating that this should have to take so long. All in all, it was an extremely exciting event, with bush fires, a race suspension, more cloudy weather than ever before, more rain than ever before and only seven (!) of the teams made it to the finish line under solar power alone - of 37 that started the race. I hope to be able to do it 'closer to the front' line in 2013.

Submission + - Solar Team speed strategy explained (

SustainableJeroen writes: "In Australia the battle for first place in the 2011 World Solar Challenge is about to reach its conclusion in the coming racing day (local time). The Japanese Tokai University team is currently in first position, but the Dutch Nuon Solar Team is very close behind them. Cloudy weather will slow them both down, but barring any larger mishaps or mistakes it's very likely both teams will make it to the finish line just outside Adelaide, approximately 500 km from their current positions. The University of Michigan team is approximately 130 km back from the Tokai/Nuon duo and doesn't seem to have much of a chance any more of catching up — again barring anything catastrophic happening to the teams in front of them. Whatever happens, it's going to be an extremely exciting racing day, that's for sure. Yesterday, near the end of racing day two, the Tokai team suddenly decided to slow down significantly. Because the team doesn't release much information this led to much speculation. Do they have technical problems? Did they suddenly notice the clouds appearing (Tokai does not have an advance weather car, Nuon does) and decided to cut speed to save energy? Is it a certain tactic? Ex-Nuon Solar Team member Diederik Kinds (@Racer_D on Twitter) wrote an insightful article on how choosing the right racing speed affects a team's chances of performing well."

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