Space Launch System

The Space Launch System (SLS) is the next step in NASA’s space exploration programme. The retirement of the Space Shuttle in July 2011 has left America without a means to take their own astronauts to orbit for the first time since 1981, but such a step was necessary in order to transition from missions into low Earth orbit (LEO) to deep space missions.

LEO is being left to the realm of private space companies, with NASA now focusing its exploration efforts almost solely on deep space. The SLS is the rocket that will enable humans to reach new destinations such

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Space kitchen ISS

The many challenges of preparing and eating food on board a space station

The environment of space, and particularly its lack of Earth-like gravity, provides its own peculiar set of challenges and hazards for any otherwise-normal terrestrial activity. Cooking and eating in space is no exception. Whether it’s catering for the effect that microgravity has on human taste buds or stopping any stray crumbs from shorting out sensitive electronics, space agencies have evolved culinary techniques and protocols over the decades, with a little help from the astronauts.

Space food has certainly come a long way since Yuri Gagarin squeezed meat

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Space farming

Written by Jonathan O’Callaghan

Future astronauts will need to grow their own plants in artificial environments if they are to survive missions far from Earth.

For future human missions beyond Earth orbit, out of reach of cargo spacecraft, it will likely be necessary for astronauts to grow their own food in order to survive. To achieve such self-sustainability they will need to grow food on their spacecraft, and perhaps even a future lunar base or other such habitat will utilise space farming to ensure the survival of astronauts.

If you think space farming is something from the distant future, however,

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Space factories

3D printing Moon bases, rockets, and… food?

The prime challenge of living in space — besides the inherent danger — is figuring out how to bring enough with you to survive. Equipment, oxygen, food and water all need to be hauled there: or could there be an alternative solution?

Every kilogram that must be hauled into space for human crew requirements represents one kilogram less that can be used for science experiments, for example. More capable rockets is one solution to this problem. But what about actually making the components and food you need on site?

The idea actually isn’t

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Souvenir Logs.

From time to time log homes have come or been brought to public attention. First and foremost was as a political symbol in the 1844 presidential election, when log cabins won the vote for William Henry Harrison. They persist as an attribute of Abraham Lincoln, both man and myth. Pictures of log buildings also found fame early in the 20th century — on postcards.

Today, a profusion of these «postals» awaits collectors who are fascinated by log homes, not to mention log hotels, log post offices, log train depots, log jails, log gas stations, log churches and practically anything else

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South African anniversaries

AS THE SOUTH AFRICAN Air Force Museum celebrated its opening to the public at Swartkop on May 15, special markings were the order of the day with two SAAF types attending. A full-blown airshow included demonstrations by a Cheetah E from Louis Trichardt and the only flying Mirage IIICZ on SAAF inventory, 809 — presumably from the Flight Test and Development Centre at Bredasdorp. A rarely seen Boeing 707 tanker from 60 Sqn at Waterkloof made a fly-by ‘towing’ three Mirage F.1AZs from Hoeaspruit. The event also marked the ‘official’ return to flying status of the SAAF Museum’s Historic Flight

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Soul to SOLE

Bella Pollen recounts how an extraordinary collection of shoes took her on an equally unusual journey, from Monaco to Kabul

Imagine you were the kind of woman in whose wardrobe hung only couture; suits by Schiaparelli and Molyneux, swing coats by Dior, a rack of slithering bias-cut gowns stitched by Vionnet’s tireless seamstresses. Imagine, too, that you were in possession of a pair of shoes to match every one of these outfits — and by match I’m not suggesting “go reasonably well with”, I mean match: the same colour, cut from the same bolt of material. And lastly, imagine those

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Sound Simplicity



Bosc Lifestyle V-Class Home Entertainment Systems aren’t just designed for superior audio performance, but enhances user experience by solving the clutter of modern home theater setups. This is achieved through the new Bose Unify Intelligent Integration System. With this intuitive Unify technology, the Lifestyle V-35 supports up to six HD video and music sources, helps optimize the setup process with easy on-screen guides, intelligently assisting in the selection A/V sources, and can even detect if connections are made properly. The Unify system will also help program its

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Sonys Cutting-Edge Lens Now Used on a Phone

When first put up images of the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lens, it was ridiculed. But it did not take long for the rumour to gain momentum and turn into a probability.

The two lenses meant to be magnetically attached to your smartphone or tablet features a built-in sensor, a Bionz processor, a Wifi/NFC wireless connection and an SD card slot. However, since they do not possess any camera controls, they will have to be managed using WiFi on the smartphone or tablet device.

Of the two lenses, the DSC-QX 10 will have a 1-inch 20.2MP sensor, similar to the

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Guitar wireless system



Sony’s new wireless system is optimised for guitar and bass players, offering high-quality 24-bit/48KHz linear PCM digital transmission, an eight-position ‘cable tone generator’ plus 9V, 12V and battery power options. Audio outputs include two unbalanced jacks for amp and tuner plus for balanced connection to mixers. Six channels operate in wide and narrow RF modes.

Frequency range is quoted as 10Hz-22kHz using Sony’s own RF technology and codec; the DWZ-B30GB is said to deliver reliable and secure transmission even in the vicinity of wi-fi and wireless microphones. The 2.4GHz frequency band is used

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