Space Launch System
NASA’s deep space rocket approved, set for 2017 launch
NASA is gunning to send astronauts to near-Earth asteroids and Mars, and now it finally has an approved way to get them there: the unimaginatively named Space Launch System, which passed a critical design review last week with primary contractor Boeing.
Dubbed the most powerful rocket ever sent into production, the Space Launch System is the first deep space rocket given the thumbs-up by NASA since the Saturn V in the 1970s. One version of the SLS is set to carry up to 154,000 pounds of cargo and crew, while a much more robust version can handle 286,000 pounds.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the initial test flight—with an empty Orion capsule-like vessel—is scheduled for 2017. Assuming that goes as intended, the first crew of astronauts will go up in the Orion in 2021, and NASA plans to land on an asteroid about a decade from now.
Rampant reselling kills Oculus Rift sales in China
Oculus Rift DK2
Oculus is about to ship out tens of thousands of the Development Kit 2 for its Rift VR headset, but there won’t be any more units sold to China following the existing batch—at least not through the normal channels. A representative for the company confirmed late last week that “extreme reseller purchases” made the company opt to block further DK2 sales to the country.
We suppose that’s the downside to making development kits for a hot commodity so easy to obtain: units were being bought and resold to consumers—very much not the target audience for this still-in-development hardware—making it harder for legitimate devs to get them in a timely manner. Luckily, Oculus says it’s looking into other options for getting kits into the hands of real Chinese creators.
The playable Tetris T-shirt is real and glorious
In honor of last month’s 30th anniversary of arguably the greatest puzzle video game ever, a fan named Marc Kerger decided to create an unofficial Tetris port to the most intriguing new platform in gaming: a white cotton T-shirt.
Using an Arduino Uno microcontroller board, 128 LED bulbs, and 4 AA batteries, Kerger created a fully playable version of the game, complete with directional and spin buttons on his belly. Just hope that the wearer doesn’t get an itch while playing and accidentally botch a move.
READ MORE: Every Tetris block — reviewed