Our friend Dianna Cowern (aka Physics Girl) stops by the Tested studio to show us a fun science demonstration! Using a bit of copper wire, some magnets, and a small battery, Dianna and Simone make a simple electric train. Of course, Simone has to bring power tools to help with the experiement!
Last summer, Tested joined Astronaut Chris Hadfield and a team of photographers, filmmakers, and writers on a two-week expedition into the Canadian high Arctic. Tested Producer Joey Fameli brings you along our journey and recounts the incredible sights, encounters, and emotions felt on this trip to one of the most remote places on Earth. Written, shot, and edited by Joey Fameli
Boeing recently unveiled the suit that astronauts will be wearing when they ride their upcoming Starliner capsule to the International Space Station (ISS). Officially called the Starliner Ascent and Entry Suit, it also answers to "Starliner spacesuit". Aside from its bold "Boeing blue" color, the Starliner spacesuit has numerous features worth noting. It is quite different in several ways from any suit that astronauts have ever worn before. These differences reflect an emphasis on mobility and comfort, efforts to blend the suit with its host spacecraft, and the specific emergency scenarios that the suit is designed for.
The most important thing to understand about the Starliner spacesuit is its role an "ascent and entry" suit. As such, it is only designed to be worn during launch and landing of the spacecraft. You won't see astronauts spacewalking in this suit (at least not for long!). The primary function of an ascent and entry suit is to keep the occupant alive if there is a problem inside the crew compartment during launch or landing. The scenarios with the highest probability (though still relatively unlikely) are loss of cabin pressurization or an internal fire.
Before getting to the specifics of the Starliner spacesuit, let's discuss the attributes of ascent/entry suits in generic terms. Previous generations of these suits have been derived from the pressure garments worn by pilots of high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft like the U-2 and SR-71. In some cases, the differences were negligible. Whether worn in an airplane or a spacecraft, the job such a suit is to provide its occupant with a tolerable atmospheric pressure, even when the outside pressure conditions are lethal.
With the help of a super capacitor and the LED lights he loves so much, Adam Savage shows how GE scientists were able to capture lightning and harness its energy in order to start a car! (Watch more here!)
Is something that's "like talking to a wall" REALLY that bad? Maybe not. Using accelerometer technology, Adam Savage shows how GE engineers were able to detect and travel sound through several feet of concrete. Watch more here.
Could a snowball have a fighting chance in hell? Using a FLIR thermal imaging camera, Adam Savage shows how GE, using a mysterious material called Alloy X, saved a snowball from melting away after being submerged in molten metal. Watch more!
As it turns out, you CAN unring a bell. Adam Savage demonstrates how GE's scientists, using the same scientific principles behind noise-canceling headphones, were able to prevent the sound of a ringing 20-ton bell from waking a nearby baby. Watch more here!
Adam gives a tour of his Apollo A7L spacesuit replica, made by industrious suit builder Ryan Nagata. The attention to detail and fabrication techniques make this suit one of Adam's favorites in his collection. You may have seen Adam wear this spacesuit in the final season of Mythbusters!
Our science lead Kishore shares his favorite things of 2016! Unsurprisingly, his list is filled with some science-themed recommendations, but Kishore also has a few book picks and one piece of technology that's changed his home life.
Since Battlefield 1 came out, we've been in awe of some of the amazing stunts pilots are able to achieve in-game. To see if these manuevers would actually be possible and learn more about how World War 1-era biplanes worked, we jump into a biplane ourselves for a thrilling lesson in stunt aeronautics! (A huge thanks to Hoagy de la Plante for taking us up in his biplane!)
After taking part in Tom Sachs' Space Program: Europa mission (in charge of Special Effects, natch), Adam takes us through the exhibit currently on display at San Francisco's YBCA. Here are photos of some of the pieces in the exhibit, featuring Tom's signature build style and obsession with NASA's missions and operating procedures.
Adam takes you on a tour of Tom Sachs' Space Program: Europa exhibit, currently on display at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The massive gallery is filled with Tom's plywood creations, including the mission control and LEM replicas used for his Europa mission.
Simone returns to the Tested office after a few weeks of travel to find this awesome mailbag package from a fan. Its contents combine some of Simone's favorite things. Plus, her first tasting of Astronaut ice cream! Thanks so much to Carley Hansen-Prince for sending this mailbag!
Tonight is the premiere of MARS, a new weekly television series on the National Geographic Channel about our neighboring planet. In a departure from the documentaries that we've come to expect from Nat Geo, this series is part documentary and part dramatization. The scripted element follows an international crew during its Mars mission in the year 2033.
The show's producers claim that the storyline is based on our best guess at what a Martian mission would look like. Many elements seen on the screen, whether it's the vehicles, spacesuits, habitats, mission objectives, and even our motivation for travelling to another planet, are reflections of the ideas of the current-day Mars exploration advocates who were consulted for the show. Sound bites from these advisors make up the documentary elements of MARS. Many of the faces will be familiar to you, such as Elon Musk, Scott, Kelly, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jim Lovell, and Andy Weir.
I've watched the first two episodes of MARS and found them enjoyable. I'm easy to please when it comes to documentaries, so that aspect was a slam dunk. At the same time, I'm a harsh critic of space-based dramas. Although I thought the pace of the storyline was a bit slow, it avoided my usual gripe about these types of stories: too much suspension of disbelief. I don't recall many instances where I pointed at the screen yelling "No way! That's not how it works!" The producers did their homework.
While the dramatic and real-life aspects of the show complement each other, I think that either could stand on its own as well. I won't offer any spoilers here, as I'm sure many of you already have plans to watch tonight's episode. However, I thought it would be interesting to delve into the unique thinking within the book (and TED talk) that inspired the show, Stephen Petranek's How We'll Live on Mars.
Get up close with Adam's replica A7L spacesuit, made by Ryan Nagata and featured in this week's One Day Build!
Adam dons his replica Apollo-era spacesuit, made by replica spacesuit builder Ryan Nagata. As part of their ongoing collaboration, today's One Day Build entails milling parts for the spacesuit, including a radiation dosimeter and aluminum knobs. But all doesn't go right as Adam has to overcome a maker's slump.
Tested's science editor Kishore Hari teams up with Stanford engineers to launch a weather balloon to photograph Earth from the edge of space. Adam helps Kishore design a balloon payload that pays tribute to space capsules, and the team utilizes the Honda Ridgeline to set up their midnight launch and thrilling retrieval. #sponsored #featuresnotstandard #HondaRidgeline