Father of NASA’s design Program x Anicorn launched a NFT that offers an actual limited edition Space Watch!

In early April of 2020, NASA announced the comeback of their iconic red-worm logo, designed by Richard Danne, the ‘father of the NASA design program.’ The logo is recognized across the globe and came to be NASA’s official logo only a few years after Apollo 11 landed on the moon back in 1969. Today, NASA has teamed up with watchmaker Anicorn to release a NASA-branded NFT (non-fungible token) that can be used to redeem a physical “secret timepiece,” designed by Richard Danne.

NFTs originally were unique tokens that could be bought to certify digital artwork, but they’ve since turned into digital pieces of actual artwork. Essentially, NFTs convert digital artwork into unique, coded investments that can be traded on the blockchain. On Rarible, a digital marketplace for selling and buying NFT collectibles, Richard Danne’s NFT-backed digital artwork was sold for £30,000. The digital artwork showcases a vacuum-sealed, spinning object that’s shaped like a coin and coated with a reflective chrome finish, placed in front of a jet-black background.

Once purchased for £30,000, the NFT grants its buyer access to a limited edition, Danne-designed Space Watch. Unlike bitcoin, NFTs are unique and one-of-a-kind, so they work somewhat like certificates of authenticity. In a truly unique twist, this NFT acts like a redeemable token – a “Collector’s Gacha” if you will, which entitles the owner to the actual physical Space Watch (which makes this NFT one of the most interesting mergers of digital design going physical). The buyers will also receive a high-resolution video and sound clip that reveal the timepiece’s production blueprint along with audio of Richard Danne’s design statement.

While actual images of Space Watch still hover somewhere in the digital world of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, it has been described by NASA and Anicorn as donning a sapphire watch face finished with anti-reflective coating and engraved with the code SB 001/150 on the Space Watch’s case back. Smooth Miyota 9015 automatic movement keeps the watch running for over 42 hours, while deep-water resistance of 50-meters braces Space Watch and keeps it afloat. The watch face is then held together with a black leather strap, matte-black buckle, and stainless steel bracelet.

Designers: NASA x Anicorn x Richard Danne

The digital artwork for the NASA-branded NFT features a vacuum-sealed disc encased in chrome foil against a black background.

In collaboration with NASA and Anicorn, Richard Danne designed the first NASA-branded Space Watch.

Screw Together Your Own NASA Space Shuttle

You ever catch yourself staring at the sun and daydreaming about building your own rocket ship? Well, how about this NASA Space Rocket Deluxe Construction Kit? The 134-piece kit includes a bunch of plastic and metal bits that, when assembled correctly, resemble the Space Shuttle atop its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters. To infinity and beyond!

Available from Firebox for $43, the kit comes with a medium difficulty rating, so it isn’t for people who can’t tell the difference between a hex key and their house keys. Everyone else should be fine though.

I just built one, and if there’s any proof NASA should pick me to be the first person to send to Mars, I think this is it. I mean, sure, it’s missing a wing and I have a bunch of other bits and pieces left over, but I also didn’t follow the directions. And I’m exactly what NASA is going to need if we’re going to survive on the red planet: an outside-the-box thinker.

Bike tires that last a lifetime without any puncture or degradation are inspired by NASA’s rover technology

Just when you thought tubeless bike tires are the best thing on the road for your bicycle, the next revolution has arrived. The very technology that NASA uses in its Mars rover and lunar mission, has now made it through to the consumer-oriented arena in the form of METL tire developed by the startup Smart Tire Company, who’ve licensed the technology to bring to the bicycle lanes in the near future. The airless METL bike tires are crafted out of the Shape Memory Alloy Radial Technology (SMART) – made from strong (like titanium), lightweight yet ultra-elastic material (like rubber) known as NiTinol+. This magic material according to Smart Tire Company, “rearranges its molecular structure when you bend it, but instantly goes back to its original shape, perfectly.”

In fact, these tires are so good, they can last your bicycle’s lifetime – meaning you don’t ever need to bother about flat, tires, or ones with the tread wearing – needing to change to a new one. They are basically, shape-memory tires that have almost 30 times the recoverable strain limit of the steel, thereby making them ideal for any kind of rough terrain. The metal of these tires will not come in contact with the tarmac as they will be coated with a new kind of rubber-like material called Polyurethanium, which’s crafted for all king of weather conditions and has a long-lasting tread and grip for superior handling.

Since the tires are going to be targeted towards next-gen buyers, the design is as important as function. Therefore, Smart Tire Company has made it a point to embellish them in white, gold, silver, and metallic blue colorways. They plan to bring the METL tires to the consumer market in early 2022, but there is no word about the cost of these tires yet. As per Earl Cole, CEO of The Smart Tire Company, “The unique combination of these advanced materials, coupled with a next-generation, eco-friendly design make for a revolutionary product.” This shape memory alloy technology looks promising and will make it beyond just the bicycle tires for sure.

As Santo Padula, a materials science engineer at NASA pointed out, “Shape memory alloys look extremely promising in revolutionizing the entire terrestrial tire industry.” In fact, that’s just a starting point and these could make it to the four-wheelers and commercial vehicles – changing the landscape of commuting to another dimension. After all, who doesn’t want to fit their bicycle, car, or truck with wheels that will never go flat or need to be changed in a lifetime!

Designer: Smart Tire Company

This Tesla Cybertruck-inspired moonracer is designed for exploration + fun on Tweel wheels!

While Mars remains the ultimate inhabitable destination for mankind, the moon’s surface is still unexplored. Rover missions to Mars have uncovered the secrets of the red planet, and to scout the moon’s jagged terrain, a designer envisions the Moonracer. An exploration vehicle that looks so much inspired by the Tesla Cybertruck with its sharp lines and the signature front and rear design. Of course to tread the toughest unknown terrain and hostile environment in case we humans dig for signs of life on still unexplored planets and their moons.

The tires on the NASA exploration vehicle by product design student Robin Mazánek are going to be the most vital, as they need to be ready for any adventure. Tweel airless tires developed by Michelin are going to be the ideal choice as they never get punctured or burst as the hub of the tire is connected to the rim via flexible polyurethane spokes that also double as shock absorbers for a smooth ride. Since the designer wants to take the Moonracer for more than just scientific exploration spin, the fun element comes in the form of moon bingo races – wherein the objective will be to discover something new. Logically this is still a pipedream until we start living on the moon, and time is on our side for such fun activities!

Robin gives a very light appeal to his rover design that has a very balanced weight distribution, much needed for the unfriendly terrains of foreign planets or moons. It looks made for two passengers on-board, and yes, the Tesla Cybertruck like element gives it that futuristic appeal.

Designer: Robin Mazánek

Amazon’s ‘Good Night Oppy’ will tell the story of NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover

With Perseverance capturing the imagination of people the world over, Amazon plans to tell the story of one of its predecessors. The company’s Amazon Studios division announced today it’s working on a documentary on NASA’s Opportunity rover called Go...