Tech Net News 05-05-2018

Credit: NASA

Calling all hams! The next DARC Radio in the Park event is tomorrow at Custer Park in Richardson!

On the air, we have a few operating opportunities going on: the 10-10 International CW Spring Contest is in progress, as are QSO parties for the 7th call district, Indiana, Delaware, and New England. There’s also a group of special event stations on the air to celebrate Europe Day.

In ham radio news:

Have you tried FT8, the digital mode that was discussed at the last club meeting? The new DXpedition mode was tested again today.

A digital interoperability test between hams and the military went very well last month in Iowa. It took advantage of the fact that the antiquated 300-baud speed limit on HF digital communications doesn’t apply on the 60-meter band. If you’d like to join in a more traditional cross-band communications test, the annual Armed Forces Day exercise is next weekend!

In news from the world of science:

This is the Year of the Bird, and a team led by researchers at Yale has made a very interesting 3-d reconstruction of the earliest bird beak. It’s pretty exciting, and it’s neat how ancient, toothed birds look so much like modern ones—just with teeth. And remember, if you want to help out modern birds, leaving out water for them is a great way to help; just make sure to change the water each week.

NASA’s Insight lander is on it’s way to Mars! This probe should give us some really interesting information about the structure of the 4th planet, and tell us if future astronauts need to plan for marsquakes.

Tomorrow is the 58th anniversary of the day when Alan Shepard went up like a cannonball, and then came down like a cannonball.

Reports of many cases of a rare eye cancer have been baffling researchers, who are trying to figure out if all these incidents are related.

And finally, in less triumphant space news, NASA’s forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope is sometimes referred to as the “telescope that ate astronomy” due to it’s ever-escalating costs and ever-delayed launch date. The whole project sometimes sounds a little crazy, and it looks like it does, in fact, have a few screws loose.