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Cybertruck Circa 1966

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 13, 2019

In 1966, Ford designed a concept truck they called the Ranger II:

Ford Ranger II

Ford Ranger II

From Ford’s press release:

Ford Division’s Ranger II is an ultra-modern pickup truck with a custom designed passenger compartment. Seen as a two-seater vehicle in the above photo, the Ranger II converts into a four-passenger pickup (below) at the flick of a finger. The rear portion of the cab moves 18-inches into the bed of the truck while a roof section moves up into position and two additional bucket seats fall into place. The Ranger II’s ultra-streamlined windshield is made of specially tempered plastic-type glass. It also features high intensity headlights of rectangular design, extruded aluminum grille and walnut flooring in the cargo bed.

There is more than a passing resemblance to Tesla’s Cybertruck, down to the “specially tempered glass” and “high intensity headlights of rectangular design”:

Cybertruck

Watch the Falcon Heavy launch live at 2:20pm ET today

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 06, 2018

SpaceX is scheduled to launch their massive new rocket for the first time today. You can catch a live stream of the launch here:

When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb) — a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel — Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9.

As part of the launch, the three engine cores will land back on Earth, as they have been doing for years now with their other rockets. You can watch an animation of how they hope the launch will go:

The payload for this rocket test is SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster. No, really. If all goes as planned, the Roadster and its passenger (a dummy wearing a SpaceX suit) will be put into an orbit around the Sun somewhere in the vicinity of Mars, driving around the solar system for a billion years. SpaceX isn’t saying exactly where the Roadster might end up, but engineer Max Fagin has a guess about its eventual orbit:

You can read more about the launch from Phil Plait and on PBS NewsHour.

Update: The new time for the launch is 2:20pm ET. The launch window lasts until 4pm ET.