The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Self Driving Cars and Dragons Carrying Humans

Google has a prototype of their self driving car out and about, giving test drives to some very happy people. The car has an innocent, slightly goofy looking face about it. There is no steering wheel inside. You just buckle up, tell the car where you need to go, and relax while the computer takes you there. There is no windshield wiper on the front window for you. That feature is up above your head where the camera mounted above you needs to take in the view to navigate. This car, if it makes it to production ... given the automobile industries hatred of newcomers to the field that is problematic at best, will be a boon to those who have lost their ability to drive as they age and eyesight deteriorates and for the blind. For the rest of us, it will be a chance to catch up on other things while the car gets us where we're going. Being a Google product, I suppose it will have its own Wifi hotspot built in so you can Google everything as you ride. To see more, go to:

Leaving solid ground now, Elon Musk, on May 29, unveils the Dragon Mk. 2, the human rated version of the current cargo carrier that he hopes will be the Space Taxi for NASA as of 2017 ... perhaps sooner given the shaky relations with Russia. SpaceX also hopes to begin experiments soon with the Dragonfly, the version that will eventually land on rocket motors rather than parachutes. That version will touchdown gently on dry land, settling down on landing legs so that it may be refurbished and reused, cutting down on the cost of getting to space. The Dragon Mk. 2 will be designed to carry cargo and up to seven astronauts into space. More tomorrow when the human flight rated Dragon is unveiled by Elon Musk for all to see. For more on the unveiling to come, see the article by my friends at Universe Today, at:

For more on the Dragonfly concept, see this blog post:

For another article on spaceflight, see how our New Horizons spacecraft is closing in on Pluto:

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