August 15, 2012

Sea     Photo: Teddy Sipaseuth/Flickr

Hypersonic Space Flight Ends in Crash

Test was supposed to ring in faster travel

The unmanned test run for a hypersonic jet that promised futuristic air travel between New York and London in under 45 minutes has ended in failure. The U.S. Air Force said the aircraft dropped as planned from a B-52 Bomber off the coast of Southern California only to lose control and crash into the Pacific Ocean. The X-51 was airborne for around 15 seconds before it fell out of the sky. It is still unclear what malfunctioned, but the X-51 WaveRider was supposed to be powered by a solid-rocket booster before igniting a scramjet engine and traveling six times the speed of sound. "All our data showed we had created the right conditions for engine ignition and we were very hopeful to meet our test objectives," Charlie Brink of the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, said in a statement.

Via BBC

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Skiing the underrated Ruby Range     Photo: Joe Royer

Controversial SkiLink Route Released

Would connect Canyons Resort and Solitude Mountain

Canyons Resort has revealed the proposed route of a controversial 11,000-foot gondola linking Canyons and Solitude Mountain Resorts in Utah's Wasatch range. Construction of the SkiLink gondola would require a 70-foot-wide tree-free corridor and 25 towers. The plan proposes that each hole be dug by hand, with the towers flown in by helicopter, to try to minimalize the gondola's footprint. While the plan's backers say the project could add 500 jobs to the region, opponents point to the dangers of building within the city’s watershed and the potential environmental impact of the project, including the need for a maintenance road. Currently, the U.S. Forest Service owns a portion of the property the gondola would traverse and does not permit ski-resort expansion in the area. Representative Rob Bishop and other Republican members of Utah’s congressional delegation are sponsoring a bill requiring the Forest Service to sell the land. If the land-sale goes through, county and city governments would still have to approve the project.

Via The Salt Lake Tribune

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Three kangaroos.     Photo: cogdogblog/Flickr

Boar, Fox Help Kangaroos Escape Zoo

Ultimately tackled by German policewoman

What does it take for three kangaroos to escape from a German zoo? A fox and a wild boar, apparently. Three kangaroos—Jack, Mick, and Skippy—escaped from Rheinböllen Wildlife Park in western Germany last weekend. After a fox dug a hole under the surrounding fence, the kangaroos fled their enclosure. Two of them then escaped through the park’s larger surrounding fence through a hole made by a wild boar. The kangaroos made it about nine miles before they were caught and brought back to the park. "A very fit policewoman hurled herself onto the kangaroo,” said Michael Hoffman, the zoo’s deputy manager. “We've got them all back now." The final kangaroo, Mick, was caught late Monday. "It would cost too much to put a stronger fence up,” said Hoffman, unable to rule out further animals absconding.

Via Spiegel Online

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Bode Miller     Photo: Kevin Pedraja/Flickr

Spyder Put Up for Sale

Ski clothing company could net $150 million

Ski apparel manufacturer Spyder may change hands for the second time in eight years after the private-equity group that owns it put it up for sale. Apax Partners, which bought Spyder in 2004 for $100 million, has attempted, unsucessfully, to sell the company at least once before. They are now attempting to collect around $150 million for the company, but the final sale price will likely be lower, due to a dismal 2012 ski season. Bidders for the brand, which sponsors athletes Julia Mancuso and Bode Miller, are said to include Columbia Sportswear and The North Face's parent company, VF Corp.

Via New York Post

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A lightning strike.     Photo: Lyoha123/Wikimedia Commons

National Guard Soldiers Struck by Lightning

Tent proved to be poor protection in storm

Ten soldiers in the New Jersey National Guard were struck by lightning Tuesday as they strategized in a tent on a Fort Drum range near Fargo, New York. Six of the soldiers returned to active duty after getting checked by medical staff, but four others are still under medical care, though they are expected to resume their duties. A spokesperson said the incident will be investigated by a safety inspection team. Fort Drum is home to the 10th Mountain Division, known for their ability to fight in harsh terrain and severe weather.

Via Watertown Daily Times

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