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NASA’s Orion crew capsule is officially complete and ready to prep for its first Moon mission – TechCrunch

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NASA’s 50th anniversary celebrations weren’t limited to just remembrances of past achievements – the space agency also marked the day by confirming that the Orion crew capsule that will bring astronauts back to the Moon for the first time since the end of the Apollo program is ready for its first trip to lunar orbit, currently set for sometime after June 2020.

Orion won’t be carrying anyone for its first Moon mission – instead, as part of Artemis 1, it’ll fly uncrewed propelled by the new Space Launch System, spend a total of three weeks in space including six days orbiting the Moon, and then return back to Earth. Once back, it’ll perform a crucial test of high speed re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, to demonstrate the efficacy of the Orion capsule’s thermal shielding prior to carrying actual crew for Artemis 2 in 2022, and ultimately delivering astronauts back to the lunar surface with Artemis 3 in 2024.

This isn’t Orion’s first trip to space, however – that happened back in 2014 with Exploration Flight Test 1, another uncrewed mission in which Orion spent just four-hours in space, orbiting the Earth twice and then returning to ground. This mission used a Delta IV rocket instead of the new SLS, and was meant to test key systems prior to Artemis.

On the anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, the Lockheed Martin-built Orion capsule for the Artemis 1 mission to the Moon is declared finished.

NASA contractor Lockheed Martin, which is responsible for the Orion spacecraft’s construction, also noting that the combined crew module and service module are currently being properly integrated, and then will undergo a series of tests before returning to Kennedy Space Center in Florida by the end of the year to begin the final preparations before launch.

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Today’s Wordle Answer #413 – August 6, 2022 Solution And Hints

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The answer to today’s Wordle puzzle (#413 – August 6, 2022) is alien, which means to be strange or exotic, or to come from a foreign land (via Merriam-Webster). Unlike yesterday’s word, alien has a rich etymology. It comes from Latin “aliēnus”, which means not one’s own, foreign, or strange. It’s also derivative of “alius”, which also means “other”. It also has roots in Middle English “alienen”, which means to transfer or surrender property rights, or to exclude.

Here’s a fun fact: Scottish church minister and science teacher, Thomas Dick, set out in 1848 to calculate the number of aliens living inside the Solar System. According to his predictions, if the population density of outer space matched that of England, with 280 people per square mile, then the Solar System might be home to 22 trillion inhabitants (via BBC). Now that’s a very chilling thought.

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Domestic Car Sales Have Gone Through A Steep Decline Since COVID

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Sales statistics compiled by DataHerald for SlashGear show a strong decline in the number of vehicle sales over the last few years. Some sales traditions, like a January dip followed by a strong spring sales period as tax returns hit people’s bank accounts, are apparent in the data we received. An interesting thing to note is how the annual January drop seemed to be more severe in 2021. January 2020 saw a drop of around 60,000 sales when compared to the previous month, and sales declined by roughly the same number between December 2020 and January 2021. However, due to the lower sales volume overall, the dip appears to be more severe on the chart and is drastically larger if you look at it as a percentage of sales instead of raw sales numbers.

As you may expect, the biggest dip in sales occurred at the height of the April 2020 lockdown. During this period, sales figures dipped below 125,000. This is likely because many showrooms and dealerships were closed, which meant there were fewer locations where you could actually purchase a car. Unfortunately, despite a brief recovery throughout the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, sales numbers never got back to pre-pandemic figures. Since May 2021 we’ve witnessed a steep decline that threatens to drop sales figures as low as they were at the height of the pandemic. In May 2022, sales were below 180,000 again, with no signs of the downward trend reversing.

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Tesla Is Finally Adding This Common Feature To Its Steering Wheels

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“All cars made since November also have push center for horn – just waiting on firmware update,” Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter about the horn placement issue. This was after a Twitter user asked if it was possible to “remap the horn on the steering yoke.” In other words, if you drive a Tesla car with a steering yoke, you can use a regular horn after a software update. In addition, the update will allow you to activate the horn if you press your palm against the right side of the steering yoke. 

Another user on Reddit spotted a Tesla Model S with a sticker on the steering yoke that says “Airbag horn enabled in SW-352573.” The photo suggests that Tesla is testing a different type of steering yoke that features a regular horn on the airbag location.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has made a U-turn after it tried to re-write the rules of the traditional horn –- it was forced to recall about 500,000 vehicles that made fart noises and bleating goat sounds instead of the usual beeping horn sound, thanks to a feature Tesla called Boombox (according to CNN).

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