Leaked from today's 404 episode:
If you happen to be wandering around a certain martian-like landscape next week and see the Curiosity Rover drive by, don't worry about your air supply.
Though you might be in a mindset to think you're on Mars, you're really at Burning Man, the annual countercultural arts festival held each summer in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. But your eyes aren't deceiving you: That is the Curiosity Rover. Well, at least an art car built by a group including members of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory meant to pay homage to the rover that landed on … Read more
Land Rover has made a grand proclamation. It asserts that the new Range Rover is the most luxurious, capable car ever.
Of course, many will then harp on about budgets, reliability, and "capable" being a broad word, but you should care not for their ramblings, because the Range Rover is one of the best cars ever to roll upon this earth. End of story.
You see, at its formal unveiling in London, Gerry McGovern, its designer, made a bold claim: it has to be suitable for the opera or the outback. This means that in theory you can … Read more
MOJAVE DESERT, Calif.--It's hard to imagine a more complete -- and impressive -- collection of aviation facilities and aircraft anywhere on the planet than the one in this vast, arid, wide-open wasteland northeast of Los Angeles.
Thanks to its endless amounts of dry, flat terrain, useless to most people, and the fact that there are only a few ways in -- vital for security -- the Mojave is, and has long been, the beating heart of the aviation world. It's here that Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier. And where Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne ushered in … Read more
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- If you want to know how U.S. Marines stationed deep in the desert of Afghanistan get highly accurate real-time weather reports, you have only to look to this stunning seaside town and some of its leading ocean scientists.
What started as a Marine's random comment about needing better weather forecasting because of the dangers of flying in extreme desert conditions quickly led to the development of a tool that can be set up just about anywhere by a couple of Marines in minutes. … Read more
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.--He might be the most famous airman in the history of the U.S. Air Force, and he's a graduate of the Test Pilot School.
In 1947, Capt. Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier, hitting Mach 1.0 in a Bell X-1 rocket plane 42,000 feet above this Mojave Desert outpost. And today, to commemorate the import of the event that ushered in the supersonic era, the aircraft hangs from the ceiling in the entryway of the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
FORT IRWIN, Calif.--The shoulder-launched rocket-propelled grenade was aimed at several U.S. Army soldiers trying to work their way through the chaos of an Afghan insurgent attack. This was not looking like a good day for the members of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Fortunately for those soldiers, the RPG wasn't real, and they weren't even in Afghanistan -- yet. They will be soon, though. But before deploying to the combat zone, the entire 4th Brigade from Fort Lewis, Wash., spent four weeks in the June heat of the Mojave Desert at the Army's National Training Center … Read more
TUCSON, Ariz.--It's summer in the Southwest, and there may not be a hotter border anywhere in the United States. For one thing, the mercury is easily over a hundred every day. And then there's the steady flow of organized smugglers trying to sneak themselves and their substantial cargo -- of migrants and/or drugs -- across Mexico's long desert frontier with Arizona.
There are nine U.S. Border Patrol sectors stretching across America's southwestern frontier. And back in 2000, the agency was snagging more than 2,000 people a day for crossing illegally into its … Read more
Everyone likes a good paper airplane. But how much do you love a 45-foot paper airplane?
The answer is clear: A lot.
And your love doesn't have to be unrequited, because the good folks at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Ariz., have not only built but also flown a 45-footer, achieving the feat earlier this week. (See video below.)
"It's not every day that a giant paper airplane is released high over the Arizona desert. In fact, it's never been done. But that's exactly what the Pima Air and Space Museum did,&… Read more
JEMEZ PUEBLO, N.M.--American Indian tribes see renewable energy as a way to capitalize on their natural resources.
The Department of Interior last week proposed a rule that would speed up decisions regarding land used for renewable energy projects, many of which have been derailed by bureaucracy. The rule would require decisions within a 60-day limit for business-related leases, such as developing solar and wind projects on Indian land.