NASA via Tumblr
NASA via Tumblr

These 3D Printable Habitats Were Designed for Life on Mars

NASA via Tumblr
NASA via Tumblr

Last May, NASA announced that they were seeking submissions for designs of possible habitats that could be used during extended missions to Mars. In order to achieve this using as few materials as possible, the one condition they gave was that all concepts be 3D printable. The finalists have been announced, and each design offers a fascinating vision of what life on the red planet might look like.

One structure is composed of a 3D-printed composite lattice that makes the outside resemble a modern art sculpture. Another uses a corkscrew design that bores into Mars’ Equatorial Frozen Sea, providing easy access to water and protection from harsh cosmic radiation. All concepts would be constructed using materials native to the planet, like rocky regolith and high iron content silica sand. That way astronauts could pack relatively light for their long mission to Mars, taking only blueprints and a 3D printer to construct their shelter.

Final contestants have the chance to win $50,000 if their design is chosen. What's more, the two teams with the best strategy for fabricating building materials will be awarded an even more impressive prize of $1.1 million a piece.

Even if these particular habitats never break ground on Mars, the contest is a great way to inspire out-of-the-box thinking about the particular challenges of life on the Red Planet. You can check out some of the final designs below, and visit NASA's 3DP Tumblr page for more details. 

All photos courtesy of NASA via Tumblr

[h/t: Popular Mechanics]

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Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
The Covers of Jack Kerouac's Classic Titles Are Getting a Makeover
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press

Readers have been enjoying classic Jack Kerouac books like The Dharma Bums and On the Road for decades, but starting this August the novels will have a new look. Several abstract covers have been unveiled as part of Penguin’s "Great Kerouac" series, according to design website It’s Nice That.

The vibrant covers, designed by Tom Etherington of Penguin Press, feature the works of abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline. The artwork is intended to capture “the experience of reading Kerouac” rather than illustrating a particular scene or character, Etherington told It’s Nice That. Indeed, abstract styles of artwork seem a fitting match for Kerouac’s “spontaneous prose”—a writing style that was influenced by improvisational jazz music.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of The Dharma Bums, which was published just one year after On the Road. The Great Kerouac series will be available for purchase on August 2.

[h/t It's Nice That]

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Apple
Here's a Preview of the 70 New Emojis Coming to Your iPhone
Apple
Apple

Get ready to add a whole new set of symbols to your emoji vocabulary. As CNN reports, Apple has released a sneak peak of some of the 70 new emojis coming to iOS in late 2018.

In February 2018, the Unicode Consortium announced the latest additions to their official emoji database. Software makers have since been working on customizing the designs for their own operating systems, and now iPhone and iPad users are getting a preview of what the new emojis will look like on their devices.

One of the most highly anticipated new symbols is the redhead emoji, something people have been demanding for a while. A curly haired option, another popular request, will be added to the line-up, as will gray-hair and bald emoji choices. Each of the new hair types can be added to the classic face emoji regardless of gender, but when it comes to specific characters like the bride or the jogger emojis, users will be limited to the same hair options they had before.

If Apple users ever want to express their inner superhero, two new super characters, a man and woman, will let them do so. They will also have new "smiley" symbols to choose from, like a party emoji, a sad eyes emoji, and a frozen emoji.

In the food category you have a head of lettuce and a mango, and for dessert, a cupcake and a mooncake—a festive Chinese pastry. New animals include a peacock, a kangaroo, and a lobster. The lobster emoji stirred some controversy in February when Mainers noticed the Unicode version was missing a set of legs. The design was quickly revised, and Apple's version is also anatomically correct.

These images just show a small sample of the emojis that will be included in an iOS update planned for later in 2018. Users will have to wait to see the final designs for other the symbols on the list.

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

[h/t CNN]

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