A rover that recently landed on the surface of Mars uses the same processor that powered the 1998 iMac. NASA built Perseverance around a chip from decades ago because reliability is more important than being cutting edge when the computer is 130 million miles away.
Best List: Mars Bluetooth floating speaker by Crazybaby
The Mars Bluetooth speaker has a fairly reliable gimmick: the top part — which looks like a little UFO from an old sci-fi flick — floats above the bottom cylinder. It’s a cool visual trick managed by some fairly strong magnets, but it’s just that: a fun gimmick.
What’s surprising, though, is just how great this speaker sounds. It fills my house with deep bass thanks to the subwoofer abilities of that lower section of the speaker, and the UFO attachment flies proud while reproducing the rest of the sonic spectrum with highs and mids that don’t get lost in the bass response, but are also not too brittle.
Turn this floating speaker up and you’ve got a serious powerhouse Bluetooth speaker that just cries out to be admired by everyone at the party.
Foster + Partners is currently making a name for itself by designing Apple’s new spaceship campus and flagship stores, but once it’s done taking over Earth, the London-based architecture firm wants to help NASA create human colonies on Mars.
Norman Foster’s firm revealed its plans for a 93-square meter habitat that would be 3D printed from the loose soil and rocks on the the martian surface. The firm’s designs were shortlisted as a finalist for the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge hosted by NASA and America Makes.
This is the same architecture firm that designed Apple’s spaceship in Cupertino as well as most of the flagship Apple Store. While the structures presented in the Mars plan are vastly different from what Apple uses, it shows the kind of crazy ideas that go into modern architecture, some of which can be implemented in one way or another here on Earth.
Here’s how the firm says it would put 4 astronauts on the red planet:
You can wait until the 2030s when NASA hopes to land astronauts on Mars. Or, if you have four minutes to spare right now, you can see what it is like to stand on the edge of the red planet’s Victoria Crater or catch a Martian sunset.
Erik Wernquist will even throw in a side of rings — Saturn’s that is — for watching his awe-inducing short film, Wanderers, which is embedded below.
“I am always inspired by reading about astronomy, and planetary astronomy in particular,” Wernquist told Cult of Mac. “And when I read about, or see pictures from places, I often fantasize about what it would … feel like to actually be there.”
Are you ready to have your mind blown? Then take a look at this 360-degree panorama of the surface of Mars, complete with cameo appearance by the Curiosity rover. And here’s the (literal) twist: the picture is gyroscope-friendly, so you can scan the surface of the Red Planet by sweeping your iOS device up and down, left and right.
Why does the Curiosity rover only have a 2MP camera, along with just 8GB flash storage? Is it some special NASA trick that pulls more info from low-res sensors? Is it something to do with the kind of space radiation that turned Reed Richards and team into the Fantastic Four? Nope – it turns out that the reason that the Mars Rover is using 8-year-old camera technology is because the camera design was specced eight years ago, way back in the swirling mists of 2004.
This computer, in turn, is based on the IBM PowerPC 750 CPU, which Intel first introduce on November 10, 1997. This CPU was used by Apple in many computers in the late 1990s, including the original iMac.
As one insightful redditor notes: “Curiosity is essentially a 2-CPU Power Macintosh G3 with some nifty peripherals and one HELL of a UPS.”
Did you hear that we touched down on Mars? Again. Late last night NASA’s rover Curiosity successfully carried out a very challenging landing on Mars so that it can explore the red planet and send data back to Earth.
How’d it get there? First there was a bunch of rocket science stuff that we don’t really understand, but the landing sequence was guided and watched by a bunch of NASA brainiacs on their MacBooks Pros. Who says hipsters are the only ones that use a Mac?