Why the First Launch of a 3D-Printed Rocket Wasn’t a Total Failure


Screenshot: Relativity Space

In addition to passing Max-Q, the mission managed to complete main engine cut-off (MECO), stage separation, and the ignition of the lone second-stage Aeon vacuum engine. Roughly three minutes into the flight, however, the second stage engine appeared to sputter and then completely shut off, effectively ending the mission. The upper stage got no higher than around 81 miles (130 kilometers) above the surface and traveled no faster than about 4,600 miles per hour (7,400 km/hr), according to on-screen data provided during the webcast. Debris from the spent upper stage presumably fell down onto the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of miles from the Florida coast. No customer payload was included for this mission, which proved to be a smart decision.

via Gizmodo https://gizmodo.com

March 23, 2023 at 12:39PM

Relativity Space launched its 3D-printed rocket, but failed to reach orbit


Relativity Space has finally launched its 3D-printed rocket after multiple scrubbed attempts, but the results are decidedly mixed. The startup’s Terran 1 vehicle successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral late Wednesday, but it failed to reach orbit after the second stage engine ignited only momentarily. It’s not clear what led to the failure, but Relativity is promising updates in the "coming days."

The company still characterizes the mission as an accomplishment. Terran 1 endured Max-Q (maximum dynamic pressure), the moment expected to place the most stress on the 3D-printed design. The rocket wasn’t carrying a customer payload. Instead, it carried the first metal produced from Relativity’s 3D printing system.

As CNNexplains, the two previous launch attempts were plagued with problems. Relatively had trouble cooling propellant in time for the first liftoff, while the second was hampered by both a wayward boat and a software flaw that prompted an automatic engine cutoff shortly after ignition.

Relativity is using the expendable Terran 1 to demonstrate the viability of its 3D printing technique ahead of the reusable Terran R rocket’s planned 2024 launch. The manufacturing process theoretically provides simpler, more reliable rockets that are cheaper to make and can be ready within weeks. That, in turn, could lower the costs of delivering satellites and experiments into orbit.

While this launch represents progress, there’s mounting pressure to complete testing. Relativity already has contracts that include launching OneWeb satellites and Impulse Space’s commercial Mars mission. There’s also the simple matter of competition: rivals like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Rocket Lab aren’t standing still, and any setbacks limit Relativity’s chances to win business.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://ift.tt/0Haw9xJ

via Engadget http://www.engadget.com

March 23, 2023 at 10:46AM

The Best ChatGPT Alternatives Worth Checking Out


Photo: GaudiLab (Shutterstock)

Ever since a chatbot called ChatGPT launched last November, artificial intelligence has become the most powerful force in the tech industry.

ChatGPT wasn’t just any old chatbot but a hefty, data-trained program, able to engage with users conversationally and spit out immense amounts of knowledge at the drop of a hat. Its creator, the artificial intelligence lab OpenAI, heralded the new technology as a transformative tool that could spur society-wide changes. Now, big companies—from Google to Microsoft to Meta—are rushing to compete and have begun to launch their own AI products and integrations. It’s a moment of intense commercial enthusiasm for this particular field, one that has alternately been dubbed the “AI revolution” or the “AI arms race.”

According to Sam Altman, the pasty-faced CEO of OpenAI, the future of artificial intelligence looks quite bright: “This will be the greatest technology humanity has yet developed,” Altman recently told an ABC interviewer. “What I hope…is that we successively develop more and more powerful systems that we can all use in different ways that integrate it into our daily lives, into the economy, and become an amplifier of human will.”

You may believe that or, like myself, you may quietly suspect we’re all being buttered up so that, when the robopocalypse happens and the human race is forcibly installed into metaverse eggsacks a la The Matrix, we won’t complain quite so much. Nevertheless, even if you do share those concerns, you’re probably still kinda curious about these chatbots, the likes of which have weirdly become some of the web’s most sought-after programs. For that, take a look at the following…

via Gizmodo https://gizmodo.com

March 23, 2023 at 05:23AM

iPhones Will Soon Have Voice Isolation in Calls


iPhone users who still use their phone as an actual—you know—phone will soon have the ability to filter out background noise to make those calls clearer, with the coming advent of iOS 16.4 and new implementations for Voice Isolation.

Apple quietly implemented a Voice Isolation feature in FaceTime calls last year, which helped filter out background noise, making voices sound clearer. To activate it, users had to select the feature from a menu in the app’s Control Center. While previously restricted to VOIP (voice over IP) calls, it’s now coming to cellular calls as well.

iOS 16.4 is scheduled for a full release sometime in the next week or so, to coincide with the upcoming Apple Music Classical app. The latest 16.4 RC (release candidate) version was released Tuesday to developers and some select users whose devices are listed as beta testers. Accessing Voice Isolation in calls works similar to how you do it on FaceTime. During a call, users can access the Control Center, tap on the Mic Mode, then choose Voice Isolation from the list of three options. The other option, called “Wide Spectrum,” actually makes listeners hear even more of the background.

Otherwise, iOS is bringing a few more minor improvements, bug fixes, and—perhaps most important for texters—21 new emojis with Unicode 15. Though these were shown off in last year’s emoji slate, this latest release onto Apple devices includes multiple new animals like a moose, a goose, a jellyfish and a donkey.

As for additional features, 16.4 will update phones to include notifications for web apps on the Home Screen and an accessibility setting that automatically dims video when it detects flashes or strobes of light. Photos will also now detect duplicate photos and videos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library.

G/O Media may get a commission

There’s a few bug fixes as well, including crash detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and 14 Pro devices. The company also said it would fix an issue where Matter-compatible thermostats become unresponsive when paired to an Apple Home device.

Want more of Gizmodo’s consumer electronics picks? Check out our guides to the best phones, best laptops, best cameras, best televisions, and best tablets and eReaders. And if you want to learn about the next big thing, see our guide to everything we know about the iPhone 15.

via Gizmodo https://gizmodo.com

March 22, 2023 at 04:16PM