China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, is expected to do an uncontrolled re-entry on April 1st, +/- 4 days, though the error bars vary depending on the source. And no, it’s not the grandest of all April fools jokes. Tiangong means “heavenly palace”, and this portion of the palace is just one step of a larger, permanent installation.
But before detailing just who’ll have to duck when the time comes, as well as how to find it in the night sky while you still can, let’s catch up on China’s space station program and Tiangong-1 in particular.
Continue reading “It’s Raining Chinese Space Stations: Tiangong-1”
A while ago when he was working in China, [Phillip Torrone] started learning Mandarin Chinese in order to help him communicate more efficiently with his peers. Unfortunately, once he returned to the US, he slowly started forgetting most of what he had learned. He recently wrote a piece over at Make: explaining why he’s attempting to learn Mandarin once again, and why you as a maker should consider doing the same.
He starts off citing the economic trends which indicate that China’s global GDP share will likely bypass that of the US in a few short years. While the stats might be a bit boring he says, the rise of a new global superpower is nothing to shrug off.
Economic changes aside, he has found that through his workings at Adafruit and other tech companies, he is frequently being exposed to more and more Chinese on a daily basis. Between emails with suppliers, data sheets, and schematics, he says that learning Chinese is a must for makers.
What do you think? Do any of you full-time makers and hackers see the same trend in your jobs? Let us know in the comments.
[Wu Yulu] is a Chinese farmer with no formal mechanical training. He’s been building various contraptions over the years and even accidentally burned down his house at one point. Pictured above is a walking, talking rickshaw pulling robot he built to haul himself around town. You can see a video of the mechanical man on Reuters.
The design reminds us of [Bob Schneeveis]’ Schwarzenegger towed solar chariot we saw at Maker Faire.
[via DVICE thanks cnelson]