As Virgin Galactic continues its quest to "open" space flight, it completed its first powered test flight since the 2014 crash that killed one of its pilots. Now we have video of the new SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, separating from its carry vehicle and… Engadget RSS Feed
As Virgin Galactic gears up for commercial spaceflights and science research, the company has partnered up with Microsoft and its Edge browser to create a new website that's both mobile-friendly and WebVR optimized. The new site shows off Virgin's ef… Engadget RSS Feed
The Sprint MVNO has announced that it will begin offering certified pre-owned iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets at $ 350 for a 32GB iPhone 7 or $ 350 for an iPhone 7 Plus, also with 32GB of storage. By comparison, a new iPhone 7 goes for $ 550 and a new iPhone 7 Plus starts at $ 670. These go on sale starting next month. Virgin Mobile already offers pre-owned iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, so the addition of iPhone 7 devices offers a water-resistant iPhone with stereo speakers for a lot less. Those go start at $ 230 and $ 280, respectively. Virign’s Certified Pre-loved iPhones come…
The SpaceShipTwo was publicly unveiled in 2009 and has since been in development and testing. Each of the air-launched, suborbital planes can carry a total of six passengers and two pilots, and Virgin Galactic hopes to have a fleet of five for their private passenger service.
While this SpaceShipTwo test flight puts Virgin Galactic one step closer to their lofty goal of creating the world’s first commercial spaceline, they aren’t there yet. The SpaceShipTwo will require more testing, and even once Virgin Galactic is happy with the craft’s performance, space tourism is uncharted territory that will likely require significant regulatory review.
At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the recently renamed Virgin Hyperloop One unveiled two products that show just how far the concept has come since its inception. The most notable reveal was a detailed look at the first generation design of the pod that will be used to ferry people and cargo. Officially called the Virgin Hyperloop One XP-1 pod, it reached speeds of 387 kilometers per hour (240 mph) during the company’s third phase of testing.
Virgin Hyperloop One intends to begin construction on a hyperloop route in 2019, with full-scale production tests to follow in 2021. However, we still know very little about how passengers will book their trips once the pods become operational. Will people be able to buy tickets online, or would they have to go to a hyperloop location?
A potential answer to the second question may be in the second product Virgin Hyperloop One revealed at CES 2018: a mobile app that’s meant to “simplify and customize hyperloop trip planning.” The app, set to release later this year, enables people to schedule and pay for their hyperloop trips ahead of time, as well as other forms of transportation such as public, private, and ride-sharing services. They can also tailor the app to show them only the fastest, cheapest, or greenest transportation options.
“We’re giving the public a taste of what a Virgin Hyperloop One experience will be like by publicly unveiling our pod and demonstrating how passengers will experience booking a hyperloop trip from their pocket,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, in a statement. “Every hardware and software milestone brings us closer to commercializing hyperloop.”
Its capabilities don’t end there: since Virgin Hyperloop One collaborated with HERE Technologies and used their Mobile Software Development Kit for Business to develop the app, it can also provide advanced location, mapping, and navigation capabilities for 136 countries. As if that wasn’t enough, there will also be public transit information for nearly 1,300 cities, plus 3D indoor and venue maps.
As Matt Jones, Virgin Hyperloop One’s SVP of Software Engineering puts it, “We see hyperloop as the high-speed backbone for mass transit networks, [it’s] far from just a pod in a tube. It’s a means to provide a seamless routing experience across multiple transportation modes.”
User manual for a new LG Tribute series smartphone has surfaced. Dubbed Tribute Dynasty, the device carries a model number of LG-SP200. A device with the same model number has already been certified by the FCC. Nothing much is known about the device at the moment, except that it will be available in the US through Sprint, Boost, and Virgin mobile. It’s already end of the year, so it’s reasonable to assume the phone will be made official sometime early next year (CES 2018, perhaps). Via
On December 18, Virgin Hyperloop One announced the completion of third phase testing on the DevLoop, the world’s first full-scale hyperloop test site. During these tests, the system clocked a lightning-fast speed of nearly 387 kmh (240 mph), breaking the 355 kmh (220 mph) hyperloop speed record set by Elon Musk’s hyperloop in August.
During this phase of testing, the company experimented with using a new airlock that helps test pods transition between atmospheric and vacuum conditions.
By combining magnetic levitation, extremely low aerodynamic drag, and the level of air pressure experienced at 200,000 feet above sea level, the system proved that it is capable of reaching airline speeds over long distances.
“The recent phase three testing continues to prove the incredible persistence and determination of our DevLoop team — the close to 200 engineers, machinists, welders, and fabricators who collaborated to make hyperloop a reality today,” Josh Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop One’s co-founder and chief technology officer, stated in a press release announcing the new hyperloop speed record.
Alongside breaking previous speed records, Virgin Hyperloop One also announced that they’d raised an additional $ 50 million ahead of their Series C round of funding. “The continued support from our existing investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World highlight their adamant belief in our ability to execute,” said Giegel.
The company also named Richard Branson their non-executive chairman. “I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new Chairman,” said Branson in the press release.
These positive developments and others confirm that the future of hyperloop transportation is bright. As the repercussions of climate change are realized, many are looking toward the advancement of public transportation to replace personal vehicles.
If proposed hyperloop routes come to fruition, you may soon be able to travel at the speed of a plane but with the convenience of hopping on a train — all with the added bonus of a decreased environmental impact.
The chief executive of Virgin Hyperloop One, Rob Lloyd, has confirmed that the company expects to start building before 2020. “Somewhere in the world we are very confident that we would begin construction in 2019 with initial testing at production level in 2021,” said Lloyd, speaking to The National.
However, there are still questions about where this project will commence. There is considerable interest from transport authorities in the US, with Colorado emerging as a prominent option, but it’s just as likely that a location elsewhere in the world might get the nod.
One proposal outlined a route that would link Mexico City with Guadalajara, but there’s also interest in a Hyperloop connecting northern Europe, as well as the possibility of a track in the United Arab Emirates.
Lloyd also addressed how expensive Hyperloop travel might be. Detractors of the system have theorized that the cost of implementing a network might make this form of transport accessible only to very wealthy people.
However, Lloyd argued that Hyperloop will be “inclusive” and that people won’t be priced out. He stated that costs would only be two-thirds as high as high-speed rail, and he projected that a trip between two cities 50-60 kilometers apart could cost as little as $ 5.
Three space-related companies apparently aren't enough for Richard Branson. Today, TechCrunch reported that Virgin Orbit, which was spun out from Virgin Galactic, has created a subsidiary called Vox Space. It's intended to focus exclusively on govern… Engadget RSS Feed
Sprint’s prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile have announced availability details for the Apple iPhone X. Pre-orders at Virgin begin November 3, with shipments beginning November 10 onwards. Boost, on the other hand, will start accepting iPhone X orders November 10. Both non-contract carriers are yet to reveal pricing details though. Officially, the iPhone X comes in either Silver or Space Gray and starts at $ 999/1,149/£999. The device’s official release is set for November 3 next week, and pre-orders have already begun. For the complete list of countries that will get…