Lexus unveiled its first yacht Thursday. No, not a land yacht. This is the 885-horsepower sea-going Lexus Sport Yacht.

Lexus is Toyota’s luxury car division and the Lexus Sport Yacht is the product of the Toyota Marine Department.

The Sport Yacht is powered by two high-output Lexus V8s based on those used in the Lexus high performance RC F and GS F cars.

The 42-foot long boat can carry up to eight people at a top speed of 49 miles per hour, or 43 knots, according to Lexus.

The boat’s hull and other structures are made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic, a material frequently used in high-performance exotic cars.

Because of the difficulty of working with this sort of material, Toyota Marine contracted out the construction of the Lexus boat to Marquis-Carver Yacht Group of Wisconsin, a company experienced in working on large composite structures, according to Toyota.

The Lexus Sport Yacht doesn’t have sleeping quarters but it does have a shower and a kitchen, or galley, with a stove and refrigerator.

The Sport Yacht unveiled in Miami is a concept boat that is not for sale, although Toyota is trying to determine if there is a market for its its yachts in the United States. Also, Lexus is trying to expand its name as an overall lifestyle brand, Lexus spokeswoman Prue Hyman said.

Toyota’s Marine Business Department was founded in 1990, producing its first yacht in 1997. It’s now the top seller of luxury yachts in Japan, according to Toyota, but it does not export its boats. The 26- to 35-foot Toyota Ponam yachts are all sold in Japan.

This is Toyota’s first yacht project intended for the global market. That global market is heavily centered in the United States, a Toyota spokeswoman said, which is why the Lexus Sport Yacht was unveiled in Miami.

Most Toyota Ponam yachts are powered by Land Cruiser diesel engines, she said.

Clayton Kelly Gross is a man with many stories to tell about his aerial battles during World War II. Gross has so many stories about his time flying a P-51 Mustang that he even wrote a book about them. Now after 65 years this heroic pilot is reunited with the plane that changed his life.

t is a truly heartwarming sight to see a veteran pilot back with his plane after such a long time. Clayton Gross managed to score 8.5 kills in his P-51 Mustang and was one of the first pilots to shoot down a Messerschmitt Me 262. His Mustang with the nickname Live Bait came from a mission where his wingmen told him to fly low and visible to draw out enemies while the rest of them remained high in the clouds.

Clayton and Live Bait saw a fair share of action during the war, enough for his book which is also named Live Bait. It’s great to see the joy on his face from the reunion and even better that he still has a sense of humor about his experiences.

“I told the pilot on the plane that flew me here, I said. I’m on board if you need help. I’ve never flown a jet but I shot one down it shouldn’t be too hard.”

– Clayton Kelly Gross

Clayton and his war tales with Live Bait are too good to be missed, check them out in this clip

One could argue that automakers are responsible for making roads more dangerous during the winter. By putting their vast marketing budgets behind the promotion of all-wheel drive as a safety feature, they’re hiding the one thing that actually makes it safer to drive on snow and ice, and even on dry roads, in cold temperatures: a good set of winter tires. It’s tires, not which wheels on your car are driven, that matter this winter. 

I“No doubt, an AWD vehicle on decent all-season tires will get moving pretty well,” explains Woody Rogers. He’s the head of Tire Rack’s testing team, so he has evaluated virtually every tire there is, in a variety of conditions. “But with AWD, you can get moving easily enough that you can overestimate your ability to stop and turn. Every vehicle uses the same four contact patches to stop and turn. AWD is not a benefit there.”

The all-season tires that come standard on most vehicles (including all-wheel drives) should, despite their name, be thought of only as a compromised three-season option, at best. They may be adequate in mild temperatures, but their ability to provide any grip at all falls off as temperatures drop, and they’re not equipped to provide grip on snow and ice. What follows is a broad explanation of how winter tires differ from "all-season" ones. 

Modern Winter Tires Were First Developed in Japan, in the Early ‘90s“The air quality in Japan was falling off during winter months due to studded tires chipping away at bare pavement, creating airborne dust,” says Rogers. 

Studded tires are primarily designed to boost traction on ice, where the sharp steel studs dig into the surface to find grip. Studs don’t really help on snow and can actually reduce traction in slush or rain, and damage bare pavement. Drivers can’t dictate the surfaces they drive on, they just need a tire that works across all the hazardous conditions they face in winter months. 

“So, Bridgestone [a Japanese tire maker] set about developing a studless winter tire,” continues Rogers. “They wanted to create a tire that wouldn’t just work in the snow, but on ice, too.” 

They're Made from a Specialized Rubber Compound“You can think of an all-season tire like a candy bar,” says Rogers. “At room temperature, it’s nice and gooey and tastes great. But, put it in the freezer for an hour and you can shatter the thing. The rubber in your tires will do the same thing at extreme temperatures.”

“Flexibility determines your tire’s traction,” he continues. “Somewhere in the 40- to 45-degree range is where we begin to see all-season tires lose traction. The rubber becomes very stiff; it can’t conform to the texture of the pavement, and stops providing traction.”

Winter tires are made from a different rubber compound than all-season tires. Where an all-season works optimally from about 45 degrees, up to 100 or so, a winter tire is made from a compound designed to work best below that 45-degree point. (They actually grip fine in warmer temperatures, they just wear out very quickly.) By remaining flexible at low temperatures, a winter tire is able to provide safe levels of grip, even on dry pavement. 

Like a Merino Baselayer, Winter Tires Wick Moisture“A big mechanical problem with tire traction on ice is that, as your vehicle rolls across it, the weight and friction in your contact patch melts a very thin film of water in the moment that it’s underneath the tire,” describes Rogers. “You have a lubricant over an already slippery surface, so your tire isn't even completely in contact with the ice.”

Conditions also change rapidly during the winter. Snow can turn to slush, or ice in an instant. And even what looks like dry pavement can be covered with patches of invisible black ice. It’s the winter tire’s job to provide drivers with predictability and grip throughout all that. 

How? “Bridgestone’s big innovation was that they developed something called a multi-cell rubber compound that’s actually slightly porous," says Rogers. "It works a lot like the technical fabrics in your outdoors gear, wicking moisture away from the surface. The multi-cell compound has empty, void space at a slightly-larger-than-molecular level. It gives the moisture somewhere to go temporarily, putting the rubber in contact with the texture of the ice surface.”

By allowing the tire to interact with the ice directly, it’s able to achieve grip. Other tire brands have adopted the technology as well, and it’s a big part of what makes the studless winter tire such great performers. 

Their Tread Grips Much Better Looking at a winter tire next to an all-season, it’s immediately obvious that the former has a much deeper, more open tread pattern that’s covered in small squiggly grooves. These add additional edges to help the tire find more traction. “These additional edges are called sipes,” explains Rogers. “They’re biting edges that provide the traction once the tire is in contact with the surface.” 

The zig-zag pattern of the sipes makes them multi-directional. They add bite both front-and-rear, and side-to-side. Because they’re smaller and more flexible than the main tread pattern, they’re able to mechanically key with smaller imperfections in the surface you’re driving across. Think rough ice, or the grittiness in a paved surface. 

Of course, the larger, deeper tread provides mechanical traction too, while also better clearing water and slush. “That way you take big bites out of the snow, rather than just nibbling at it,” says Rogers. 

Winter Tires Can Actually Save You MoneyA set of winter tires is going to cost you $500 to $800, or more, depending on your vehicle. You’ll also need to pay a shop to fit and remove them every November and April or invest in a second set of wheels to permanently mount them to. Sound expensive? In all likelihood, they’ll actually save you money. 

“Most insurance deductibles are $500,” say Rogers. “If they save you just one little bump in traffic, you’ve paid for most of your winter tires.”

They’ll also extend the life of the tires you run the rest of the year. “Statistics say you’ll own your vehicle about six years," says Rogers. "And, in that time, you’ll go through two sets of tires. By buying winter tires, you move forward the cost of that replacement. You can easily stretch six years and five winters out of that combination, with no significant additional expense.” 

But where do you store those tires that aren’t on your vehicle? “If you stack them up in a corner, they’re less than 30 by 30 inches,” explains Rogers. “That’s smaller than a couple boxes of my stuff from high school.”

And because you’ve now learned that it’s tires, not AWD that you need to drive safely in winter weather, you can also now save money by buying a cheaper car. On models where AWD is offered as an option, it typically comes at a $1,000 to $1,500 premium. Spend that on tires instead, and you’ll have a car that stops and turns as well as it accelerates. 

Which Winter Tires Are Right for You?The short answer: Any of them. “Even an average winter tire is going to be better on snow and ice than the best all-season tire can ever hope to be,” says Rogers. Literally any studless winter tire will improve your ability to drive in the winter. 

He’s frank about what a challenge it is to convince people they need to invest in winter tires. You can explain that all-seasons stop working below 40 degrees. You can explain that you need winter tires in order to stop and turn on snow and ice. Countless web videos demonstrate that, on snow and ice, an AWD car on all-seasons can’t out-accelerate a rear-wheel drive car on winter tires. But until people try them, they just don’t understand what a night and day difference we’re really talking about here. Rogers also notes one other finding from his decades of experience: “We know once a customer tries winter tires in real winter conditions, they’re never going to go back.”

“We’re all better off if we have good traction,” Rogers concludes. “As I drive around on appropriate tires, I don’t have to worry about what I can drive through, I have to worry about the people around me. The people behind me who can’t stop; the people who can’t steer to avoid a hazard. Please, Mr. and Mrs. Reader, do the rest of us a favor and be on winter tires.”

tags: breed of speed , rally , tires , snow , drifto , nathan finneman , bos , breedofspeed , winter driving
Tesla Motors came under renewed questioning about the safety of its Autopilot technology after news emerged on Wednesday of a fatal crash in China that may have occurred while the automated driver-assist system was operating.

The crash took place on Jan. 20 and killed Gao Yaning, 23, when the Tesla Model S he was driving slammed into a road sweeper on a highway near Handan, a city about 300 miles south of Beijing, according to a report broadcast on Wednesday by the Chinese government news channel CCTV.

The report includes in-car video looking through the windshield as the car travels in the left lane at highway speed just before ramming into a parked or slow-moving orange truck. The video, apparently shot by a camera mounted on the rearview mirror, recorded no images, sounds or jolts that would suggest the driver or the car hit the brakes before impact. At that point, the in-car video ends.

“When it was approaching the road sweeper, the car didn’t put on the brake or avoid it,” a police officer said in the CCTV report. “Instead, it crashed right into it.”

In an emailed statement, Tesla said on Wednesday that it had not been able to determine whether Autopilot was active at the time of the Handan accident. The company declined to say when it learned of the fatality in China, or whether it had reported the crash to United States safety officials, who are investigating a fatal accident in Florida on May 7 in which Autopilot was engaged.

T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, owned a 1929 Brough Superior SS-100 motorbike, nicknamed George VI. It was one of 10 motorbikes on display in Clouds Hill, Bovington to commemorate 100 years since Lawrence’s involvement in the Arab Revolt of World War I.

It was customized to fit Lawrence’s height, with the top of the fuel tank cut away to allow for the lower saddle. That motorbike is still locally owned and ridden.

Lawrence owned seven of the bikes manufactured by hand by George Brough of Nottingham. They were expensive machines, costing £100 to £185 – the equivalent of a year’s wages or the price of a small house in the 1920s

Lawrence came to Clouds Hill after enlisting in the Tank Corps in 1923. George VI was a gift from George Bernard Shaw and his wife Charlotte in 1929, after Lawrence returned from his duties in India. He was uncomfortable with such generosity, though, and insisted on paying for the bike himself.One of Lawrence’s first trips on George VI would have been to Clouds Hill; he often traveled between Plymouth and London as well. He could make the 235 mile trip in under 5 hours while traveling in excess of 90mph. Lady Nancy Astor was also seen riding pillion through Plymouth, where she was an MP. This was a source of bemusement to the locals.

While riding George VII, Lawrence was fatally wounded on May 13, 1935, just a few hundred yards from his Clouds Hill home.

tags: breed of speed , nathan finneman , bos , breedofspeed , 

That’s right, you’re looking at a 2575cc liquid cooled DOHC V8 monster that produces an insane 417 horsepower. Is it Australian? It’s a V8, so of course it is…While it’s certainly not the first V8 powered motorcycle that we’ve seen from ‘Straya, it’s definitely well worth having a closer look at. Designed and engineered by former Australia superbike and sidecar racer, Vincent Messina, and streamlined by Tim Cameron, the Hellfire OZ26 dubs it’s arrival as “the dawn of the ultrabike,” and with figures that boast 417 horsepower and 235 lb – ft worth of torque, perhaps the term “ultrabike” isn’t too far off…

The Aurora Hellfire OZ26 sports a Hossack style front end, and an Ohlin’s mono unit at the rear complete with a multi-link setup. We’ll talk about the engine in a second but first, it’s worth mentioning that the Hellfire comes with loads of on board goodies including ride-by-wire, special traction control and four preset riding modes (sport, touring, wet and a fully custom channel). The awesome five speed gearbox can be operated by foot controls or handlebar mounted buttons. The brakes are from Brembo, specifically GP4RX four piston calipers with carbon ceramic discs.The engine itself is nothing short of a beast, boasting a full 2,575cc of liquid cooled fun, with the V8 also sporting 4 valves per cylinder. Horsepower? 417 at 9,500 rpm. Torque? 235 lb –ft at 7000 rpm. Top speed? Somewhere north of 211 mph (that’s all we know at the moment). Acceleration? Again, we’re still in the dark about that one but since the bikes dry weight it only 585 lb, we’d imagine it’s pretty rapid.

At the moment, Vincent Messina is on the lookout for funds to build a limited run of these bad boys. If you’re looking for something truly unique to rip around on, you might want to give him a call. My advice though? Make sure he sorts out the back of the seat, it jars the ol’ eyes in my opinion. Apart from that, it’s a stunner!

Here are a couple of videos to get you in the mood. Mute the first one though, unless you want to hear 80s style montage music, but turn the second one up. They’ve got the Hellfire on the dyno, and it sounds superb.

me of the rarest supercars on the planet were seized from the son of a notorious African dictator in a police raid in Geneva on Wednesday, according to authorities and social media accounts.

The cars belong to Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, vice-president of Equatorial Guinea, a Swiss prosecutor told LeDauphine.com. The vehicles were reportedly seized at the Geneva airport.

Among the 11 cars confiscated in the raid were one of the seven Koenigsegg One:1s on Earth, as well as one of the nine Lamborghini Veneno Roadsters built, according to an Instagram video posted online of the cars being hauled away on flatbeds. A Bugatti Veyron—possibly the one-off Bleu Centenaire edition—can also be seen being hauled off in the clip.

In addition, a Ferrari F12tdf and Ferrari Enzo were also seized by authorities, according to Australian automotive website Wheels. A Porsche 918 Spyder and a McLaren P1 were taken as well, according to LeDauphine.com. An Aston Martin One-77 and a Ferrari LaFerrari also appear to be visible in pictures of the confiscated collection.

As French website L’hebdo pointed out, Mangue may have been trying to smuggle the fleet of ultra-rare supercars out of Switzerland in advance of a recently reopened investigation against him by Swiss authorities. Mangue is also scheduled to go on trial early next year in Paris over his “ill-gotten gains,” Le Dauphine reports.

The raid comes almost exactly five years after Mangue’s previous fleet of supercars, including a Porsche Carrera GT, a pair of Veyrons, a Ferrari Enzo, were seized in a police raid in Paris. The cars confiscated there were sold at auction for $4.1 million...which, let's face it, is kind of a deal.

Mangue is the son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has served as president of Equatorial Guinea since seizing power from his uncle in a 1979 military coup. Since then, Teodoro has faced extensive criticism from authorities and humanitarian groups for reputedly using the country’s treasury and natural resources as his family’s piggybank, funding a lavish lifestyle while the populace suffers in poverty.

tags : breed of speed , super car sieze , impounded super car , drifto , nathan finneman 

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co., following months of withering criticism from President-elect Donald Trump for expanding operations in Mexico, said today it will cancel its $1.6 billion assembly plant in the early stages of construction in Mexico, instead investing $700 million in Michigan to bring to market autonomous and electrified vehicles.

Ford planned to build its slow-selling Focus sedan in the new plant following 2018, but will instead build it at an existing Mexico plant in Hermosillo. The $700 million investment will help transform Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, which currently builds the Mustang and Lincoln Continental, into a high-tech hub capable of building a yet-to-be-determined autonomous hybrid and fully electric SUV with a 300-mile electric range.

Those new vehicles are among seven new electrified vehicles Ford detailed today, including hybrid versions of its F-150 and Mustang. 

The stunning reversal -- which came less than a year after Ford announced construction of the new plant -- was hailed by lawmakers Tuesday, while Mexican officials expressed disappointment and vowed to make Ford pay back any money spent on the now-canceled plant site.

Ford CEO Mark Fields called the decision a “vote of confidence” in Trump and his pro-growth policies, although he told CNBC “the main reason for not building and canceling the plant is just due to market demand.”

“We’ve made this decision independently on what’s right for Ford, but we look at all the factors,” Fields told reporters at the announcement. “Our view, we see a more positive U.S. manufacturing business environment under President-elect Trump and the pro-growth policies and proposals he’s talking about.”

Ford in December 2015 announced plans to invest $4.5 billion in electric car research and add 13 electrified vehicles to its lineup by 2020. Today it announced details about seven of the 13.

The new fully electric small SUV will be coming by 2020 and will be built south of Detroit in Flat Rock, Mich. It, alongside a high-volume autonomous hybrid and the hybrid version of the Mustang, will be built in Flat Rock. A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid, available in 2019, will be built in Europe; and two new pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles will be built in Chicago.

To support this, Ford plans to invest $700 million and add 700 direct new jobs in Flat Rock over the next four years. Part of that money will go to create a new Manufacturing Innovation Center in Flat Rock. Fields said the plant will become “one of the world’s most flexible and high-tech manufacturing centers."

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, in a statement, cited the state’s push to become a national leader in mobility. He thanked Ford for its “continued confidence in our state and our people.”

UAW-Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles said he cried tears of joy when he found out about the announcement, roughly a week ago. He called the investment “the equivalent of a new assembly plant.”

Settles said that an unspecified number of UAW workers will move from temporary status to full-time. He expects Ford to add a third shift to Flat Rock.

"It’s very significant," Settles said. "I’ve seen a lot, many peaks and valleys. This is at the top, because I know what it will mean for people at this plant and also in America."

Settles said Ford chose to make its investments in Flat Rock for a combination of reasons.

“It’s had very successful launches of the Mustang and Continental, and they have acreage here and they’re not at full capacity,” he said. 

Hiring for the 700 new jobs will begin in 2018, Fields said.

'Pro-growth policies' 

Fields said Ford was “encouraged” by “pro-growth policies” Trump and the new Republican Congress are likely to pursue, citing them as one of several factors in the company’s decision to invest in the U.S. and cancel the Mexico plant.

“We believe that these tax and regulatory reforms are critically important to boost U.S. competitiveness and of course drive a resurgence in American manufacturing and high-tech innovation,” Fields said.

Fields cited changing market demands and slower sales of small cars as the decision to keep the Focus in Mexico.

Trump has threatened to slap Ford with a 35 percent tariff on any vehicles it imports from Mexico, as well as renegotiate or pull out of the North America Free Trade Agreement. This morning, Trump also targeted GM in a tweet, threatening to impose a "big border tax" for making its Chevy Cruze model in Mexico. In response, GM reiterated that Cruzes built there will mostly go to the domestic market and that it will continue to build the compact in the U.S.

Fields said Executive Chairman Bill Ford called Trump and he called Vice President-elect Mike Pence to tell them of the news this morning. A Ford spokeswoman said the calls came after Trump’s tweet about GM, and the two were unrelated.

Ford’s electrified-vehicle announcement comes the same day Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to reveal an all-electric minivan concept, called the Chrysler Portal, that gets 250 miles of range. The automaker recently began selling a hybrid version of its Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

General Motors is also making headlines for its Bolt EV, which went on sale in California last month and boasts 238 miles of range. It comes out a year before the planned release of Tesla’s much-hyped Model 3, the California automaker’s own 200-plus range EV.

Fields in May confirmed Ford was developing an electric vehicle with range comparable to the Bolt, Model 3 and next-generation Nissan Leaf.

Ford said it is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes.

Fields said he informed officials in Mexico about the plans to cancel the plant.

“Obviously, there was some disappointment,” Fields said. “But we’ve been in Mexico over 90 years, and we’re moving our Focus down to Hermosillo, so we’ll be safeguarding the 2,900 jobs that are there, plus we’ll probably add about 200 jobs when we add Focus there.”

Mexico’s Economy Ministry said it regretted Ford’s decision to pull its investment from San Luis Potosi. The federal government has guaranteed that the automaker will reimburse the state government for its expenses on the project, the ministry said in a statement. It made no mention of Trump.

“The growth of Ford Motor Company in North America, and particularly in Mexico, has been the result of a strategy of competitiveness based on global value chains in which North America competes with other regions of the world,” the ministry said. “The jobs generated in Mexico have contributed to maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States that otherwise would have disappeared due to Asian competition.”

The now-canceled plant was supposed to employ about 2,800 workers, Ford said when it announced the news. Fields said ground-clearing at the site began around May, but a spokeswoman said no actual construction had taken place.

“Where we’re at in the construction of the plant, any assets -- and there aren’t many -- can be redeployed throughout the Ford system,” Fields said.

It’s unclear how much Ford is investing in Hermosillo to add the 200 workers to build the Focus.

Here is something you don’t see every day, an ultra-mega yacht that has an insane price tag of, (are you sitting down? You should be!) $ 60 million.

This thing is so extravagant that it actually features its own floodable garage for your speed boat so you won’t have to tow it behind you, you can just park it inside and sail off towards wherever it is billionaires sail off to.
Yes we now that for this kind of money you can probably buy an island or build half a city but what is that compared to the luxury of this insane 5 room, one master sweet, 4 guest cabin vessel. It will need a crew of 13 people just to keep it running, but who cares, you can afford it if you had 60 million dollars to buy it right.
The hull of this beautiful 60 meter (hey exactly 1 million per meter) CRN 125 superyacht Jade is constructed of mainly steel and aluminum and the twin MTU 12V 4000 M63 engines are strong enough to propel it to the top speed of 16 knots if you are chasing a villain or just cruise at 14 knots if you are chasing the next big gambling game in Monte Carlo.

tags: breed of speed , drifto , nathan finneman , colorado , jade super yacht , amazing , 

An American satellite abandoned in 1967, now assumed to simply be space junk, has started transmitting again after 46 years.

This was one of the satellites designed and built by Lincoln Laboratory at MIT between 1965 and 1976, for testing techniques for satellite communication.

They made the series of satellites easy to recognize by naming them LES1 through to LES9. LES1-LES4 suffered different launch issues. LES1 and LES2 were supposed to be delivered to the same 2800 x 15000 km orbit, but a failure of a boost stage left LES1 in a 2800 km circular orbit.

LES3-LES4 were supposed to land in geostationary orbit, but didn’t make it due to a launch problem which left them in transfer orbit. Even though the first four satellites in the series ended up in the wrong orbits, they all produced remarkable results. LES 5, 6, 8, and 9 all ended up where they were supposed to. LES7 never made it anywhere due to the funding drying up and the program being canceled.

In 2013 in North Cornwall, UK, an Amateur Radio Astronomer picked up a signal which he determined to be the LES1 that was built by MIT in 1965. The satellite never made it to its intended orbit and had been spinning out of control ever since.

Phil Williams, the amateur radio astronomer from near Bude, picked out the odd signal which was transmitting due to it tumbling end over end every four seconds as the solar panels became shadowed by the engine. “This gives the signal a particularly ghostly sound as the voltage from the solar panels fluctuates,” Williams said.

It’s more than likely the onboard batteries have disintegrated, and something else caused its 237Mhz transmission to resume when it was in sunlight.

The LES1 is about the size of a small automobile and should not cause any issues more than any other piece of space junk in orbit.

This proves electronics built around 50 years ago, 12 years before Voyager 1, and far before microprocessors and integrated circuits are still capable of working in the hostile environs of space. Phil refers to his hobby as “Radio-Archaeology”.

LES1 and LES2 were almost identical experimental communication satellites. They both had a single X-band transponder and an 8-horn electronically switched antenna. Altitude control and sensing experiments were conducted on these twin satellites.

Their first project initiative was to build, launch, and field a system to show  off practical military satellite communications. Project West Ford’s availability for the advanced super-high-frequency (SHF) technology (at seven-to-eight gigahertz) contributed to the decision to design the system for that band.

The concurrent procurement of a series of satellites and terminals for the Department of Defense that commenced with the Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program (IDCSP) meant lessons were learned from the experiments would find an additional application.

On February 11, 1965, LES1 was launched from Cape Canaveral but only accomplished a few of its objectives. It seems miswiring of the satellite circuitry was what caused it to never leave the circular orbit and it stopped transmitting in 1967. LES2, the twin of LES1, did much better; it made its planned final orbit on May 6, 1965.

tags: breed of speed , nathan finneman , bos , colorado , nasa , space