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…Weekend racing is expensive?

GT3 Race Cars

If you dream of spending weekends pounding the pavement in your very own four wheeled speed machine, but don’t have a clue about where to start or what to do, then check out Speed:Sport:Life’s guide to the real costs and stories behind entry-level sedan racing.

From 24 Hours of Lemons and SCCA to NASA and the Speed World Challenge, SSL will show you everything from how to race for less than $1000 per weekend to how to race for $50,000 per weekend and beyond.

It might not be for everyone, but if you’ve got a need, then SSL will show you how to get some speed.

[Speed:Sport:Life – Exploring The Pyramid of Speed — The Real Costs and Stories Behind Entry-Level Sedan Racing]

…Humans are amazing?

I was trying to explain to someone how incredible I think the fact that we landed the Phoenix rover on the surface of Mars is, and was unfortunately coming up short for words.

However, I think this picture does it pretty good justice:

Phoenix Parachute

Not much to see, eh?

Well, think about this: What you’re seeing is a photo of the Phoenix rover as it descends to the surface of Mars under its own parachute. The photo was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera as it circles a planet that is tens to hundreds of millions of miles away. As it circles that planet, it’s tracking and photographing a man made object that is gracefully touching down onto the surface of that planet under the guide of its own parachute. Both objects are acting remotely and robotically, and then sending their data back to earth at the speed of light (and it still takes 15 minutes to get here). In short: We created a remote controlled vehicle, shot it millions of miles into the sky, landed it on a precise location on another planet, and then programmed it to run its own scientific experiments and then report back to us with the results.

See what I mean?

[Image Via: Bad Astronomy Blog]

Also, if you’d like to keep track of the rover, follow it on Twitter:

(What I like most about the Phoenix Twitter is that it’s probably one of the smartest people in the world (a NASA scientist) that has to dumb down what he’s saying and then put it into the third person so that the rest of us can understand what’s going on. Somewhere there’s a guy sitting in a room that’s hating life and wondering when he can leave his Twitter post and get back to playing with the world’s coolest remote control car.)

…MAKE is going into space?

Using a weather balloon and a little creativity, MAKE wants to experience space. They plan to reach an altitude of 100,000 feet (almost 20 miles), taking panoramic pictures along the way using their four on board cameras hooked up to the MAKE: Controller.. At the topmost point, they’ll be high enough to see a black sky and the curvature of the earth.

    It took 16 people working on this, countless cases of mountain dew, lots of take-out food, and a lot of sleepless nights.

Why go into space you ask? “To take pictures and temperature readings of course!” Sounds good to me. They’ll even be using a GPS logger that will allow you to follow their progress on Google maps in real time. It’s no NASA, but an impressive feat nonetheless.

[MAKE: Blog – DIY Space]

…Rockets are powerful?

XCOR Rocket Engine

This is what the test firing of a 7,500 pound thrust rocket engine powered by liquid methane and liquid oxygen looks like. It’s built by XCOR Aerospace, and is probably what’s going to power NASA’s future space missions. I just want to know if they have a way to mount it in the back of a Honda yet.

[XCOR Aerospace]

[Via: Neatorama]

…There might be water on Mars?

Mars Water

New photographs taken by the Mars Global Surveyor before it stopped calling (hate it when that happens) suggest that liquid water flowed on Mars as recently as several years ago. Flowing water would be a strong sign that the red planet is hospitable to life, and gives hope to those wishing to take their vacation somewhere really unique. Sadly, still no big headed green aliens have been found.

[CNN – Water On Mars]