Every day we wake up, drink a cup of coffee, and get ready for work. Following are a handful of stories from around the tech world condensed to fit into one single cup of coffee. These are the things you need to know before you step foot out of your door (or in front of a webcam) and into the real world this morning.
So sit back, grab a cup, and start your morning off right with a few “Quick Bytes” from Innovation & Tech Today.
The World’s First Electric Wingsuit is Officially Here
Peter Salzmann is the first human to take to the skies in an electric wingsuit.
The Austrian daredevil and professional BASE jumper reached a maximum speed of 186 mph as he flew over the Three Brother’s Peaks in Austria.
Designed by BMWi, the propulsion system for the suit is made up of two fully electric carbon fiber impellers powered by 50-volt lithium batteries.
Salzmann began the flight by jumping out of a helicopter, the same way a traditional jump starts, and turned the impellers on mid-flight allowing him to acquire more altitude and speed. The electric chest piece attached to Salzmann allowed him to soar over the third and final peak of the mountain range in a single bound.
“The rotors themselves are reported to provide up to five minutes of additional thrust and can be turned on and off with a simple squeeze of Salzmann’s left fingers,” a reporter from IGN said.
Hubble 2.0: NASA’s New Telescope Could Give New Insights into Dark Energy, Exoplanets
The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, set to launch in May 2027, could beam the first images of exoplanets back to Earth.
The telescope’s large, wide-field optics could even be capable of gathering data on elusive dark energy.
Named for the astronomer often referred to as “the mother of Hubble,” the telescope’s optical reach will expand farther into deep space than Hubble’s Ultra Deep Field Image. It will also give new insight into the early universe, again advancing knowledge gained from Hubble.
“Roman has the unique ability to image very large areas of the sky, which allows us to see the environments around galaxies in the early universe,” said Nicole Drakos, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Santa Cruz, who led the study.
With the James Webb telescope already up and running, and the addition of the Roman Telescope underway, we could be entering a new era of understanding of life, the universe, and everything.
SpaceX Loses 40 Satellites to Geomagnetic Storm
SpaceX lost almost all of the 49 satellites it launched last week due to a geomagnetic storm.
Musk’s aerospace company launched the satellites Feb. 3 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of its Starlink program, an initiative to bring broadband internet to populations with little or no connectivity.
The geomagnetic storm, caused by a solar flare produced “rapid magnetic field variation,” resulting in the loss of 40 of the 49 satellites launched on a Falcon 9 rocket. The extraterrestrial tempest hit a day after the launch, causing the satellites to plummet back toward Earth.
Geomagnetic storms create a drag effect on objects in low Earth orbit, in addition to the drag already created by air. The added friction the satellites encountered caused them to heat up by 50%, resulting in irreparable damage to most of them.
Despite the resources lost during the most recent launch, the incident seems to be an isolated one. SpaceX has already launched 2000 satellites this year, and will no doubt be gearing up for the next one soon.
Cycling Innovator SRAM Acquires Hammerhead
It’s the marriage made in cycling heaven. Chicago-based SRAM has been an American-made innovator in the cycling industry, from components to wheels and now even more bike tech. SRAM announced the acquisition of Hammerhead (click here for our Hammerhead review).
The Hammerhead Karoo 2 bike computer has broken away from the Peloton and is taking a comfortable lead in the world of cycling information gathering… and sharing.
Together, it means SRAM and Hammerhead can continue to improve the cycling experience by connecting cycling technology in a way that neither company could have done independently.
For riders, it can only mean innovative cycling technology platforms that will hopefully seamlessly integrate with a wide variety of existing hardware and software products and services including both Shimano and SRAM electronic shifting.