In 1918, the steam-powered SS Mesaba sank in the Irish Sea after being hit by a torpedo from a German submarine during World War I. The ship might have been forgotten, except that it had ties to the infamous Titanic disaster of 1912. On Tuesday, Bangor University announced that the shipwreck of the Mesaba has been located.
Mesaba was a merchant vessel traveling in the same waters as the Titanic. According to the Encyclopedia Titanica, a repository of Titanic research, the Mesaba sent the large passenger ship a radio message cautioning of heavy pack ice and a great number of large icebergs. The message, however, was never relayed to the Titanic’s bridge. The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank later that evening, in a disaster that claimed more than 1,500 lives.
The research team found the Mesaba among 273 shipwrecks scattered across 7,500 square miles (19,400 square kilometers) of the sea. The researchers used an advanced seafloor mapping technology called multibeam sonar and combined the results with historical records and maritime archives to identify the merchant ship’s final resting place. A dramatic sonar image shows the Mesaba split into two main parts.
Nautical archaeologist Innes McCartney released Echoes From the Deep, a book about taking inventory of shipwrecks in the Irish Sea, this year. Seabed mapping specialist Michael Roberts led the sonar surveys from the Prince Madog research vessel. The researchers were able to give names to many previously unidentified and misidentified wrecks.
“The Prince Madog’s unique sonar capabilities has enabled us to develop a relatively low-cost means of examining the wrecks,” McCartney said in the announcement. “We can connect this back to the historical information without costly physical interaction with each site.”
The Titanic’s fate and location are well known. A different research team recently released the first 8K video of the wreck. The Mesaba had a small role in that devastating drama, even though it wasn’t able to save the Titanic.
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Author: Ashley Biancuzzo, Associate Editor
Ashley is a professional writer and editor with a strong background in tech and pop culture. She has written for high traffic websites such as Polygon, Kotaku, StarWars.com, and Nerdist. In her off time, she enjoys playing video games, reading science fiction novels, and hanging out with her rescue greyhound.
Tesla finally delivers its first production Semi
Five years after CEO Elon Musk officially unveiled his Semi, Tesla’s electrified tractor trailer, the company delivered its first official production vehicle to Pepsi on Thursday during its “Semi Delivery Event” held at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory. The beverage maker has ordered 100 of the vehicles in total.
First shown off in 2017, the Tesla Semi originally was set to retail for $150,000 and $180,000 for the 300- and 500-mile versions, respectively. Those prices are significantly higher than the $60k a standard diesel cab runs but Tesla estimates that its vehicles can operate 20 percent more efficiently (2kWh per mile, Musk revealed Thursday), and save up to $250,000 over the million-mile life of the Semi.
Each rig is “designed like a bullet,” Musk said at the vehicle’s unveiling, and would come equipped with a massive 1MW battery pack. This reportedly offers a 20-second 0-60, which is impressive given that these vehicles are towing up to 80,000 pounds at a time, and a spent-to-80 percent charge time of just 30 minutes. The Semis are also outfitted with Enhanced Autopilot capabilities, as well as jackknife-mitigation systems, blind-spot sensors and data-logging for fleet management.
As reservations opened in 2017, Musk said at the time, deliveries would begin two short years later, in 2019. By April 2020, Tesla had officially pushed that delivery date back to 2021, citing production delays and supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just two months after that, in May of 2020, Musk sent a company-wide email reading, “It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design,” as seen by CNBC. In the same email he confirmed that production would take place in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.
Cut to July, 2021, and the new delivery date has been pushed again, this time to 2022, citing both the ongoing global processor shortage and its own pandemic-limited battery production capability for the new 4680 style cells as contributing factors.
“We believe we remain on track to build our first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin in 2021,” Musk said during the company’s Q2, 2021 investor call. “The pace of the respective production ramps will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new product and manufacturing technologies, ongoing supply-chain-related challenges and regional permitting.”
“To better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have shifted the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022,” he continued. Beginning in May of this year, Tesla started actively taking reservations again for a $20,000 deposit. “And first deliveries are now,” Musk said on Thursday before welcoming Kirk Tanner, CEO PepsiCo Beverages North America, and Steven Williams, CEO PepsiCo Foods North America, on stage for high fives and handshakes.
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