Uncategorized

NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to Earth

After many tense months, it seems that thanks to a gaggle of brilliant engineering talent and a lucky break the Voyager 1 spacecraft is once more back in action. Confirmation came on April 20th, when Voyager 1 transmitted its first data since it fell silent on November 14 2023. As previously suspected, the issue was a defective memory chip in the flight data system (FDS), which among other things is responsible for preparing the data it receives from other systems before it is transmitted back to Earth. As at this point in time Voyager 1 is at an approximate 24 billion kilometers distance, this made for a few tense days for those involved.
The firmware patch that got sent over on April 18th contained an initial test to validate the theory, moving the code responsible for the engineering data packaging to a new spot in the FDS memory. If the theory was correct, this should mean that this time the correct data should be sent back from Voyager. Twice a 22.5 hour trip and change through Deep Space and back later on April 20th the team was ecstatic to see what they had hoped for.
With this initial test successful, the team can now move on to moving the remaining code away from the faulty memory after which regular science operations should resume, and giving the plucky spacecraft a new lease on life at the still tender age of 46. […]

Uncategorized

The Rimfire Report: Lapua Super Long Range .22 – Initial Impressions

Welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about rimfire firearms, ammunition, and appreciation of all the “small things” we have to be thankful for on the range.  Today’s edition is a guest post by yours truly, Rusty S. If you asked my grandfather, super long range for a .22 would be a squirrel on a tree limb at 75 yards. That being said, advances in ammunition consistency and overall quality of .22LR platforms have allowed contemporary shooters to push .22LR to further and further distances.
The Rimfire Report @ TFB:

I regularly do varmint control at distances of 100-200y with a Tikka T1x, and as such, I’m always on the lookout for consistently accurate .22LR ammunition.  As speedy as CCI Minimags and Stingers are, consistent accuracy is what I’m after when I’m looking to headshot a critter poking its head out of a hole. Furthermore, when it comes to rodents top to the size of a woodchuck, a well-placed subsonic .22 seems to do the job just as well as a high-velocity copper jacketed hollow point.
Initial test platform for Lapua Super Long Range .22LR ammunition
Previously, my go-to .22 ammo for that purpose was Lapua Polar Biathlon for its temperature-agnostic velocities.  However, my interest was piqued at last year’s announcement of Lapua’s eponymous dedicated long range and super long range .22 loads.  Lapua ammo ain’t cheap, but neither is rodent damage on a ranch.  And it’s hard to put a price on the hilarity of long range .22LR success.
Lapua Super Long Range Specs:
Lapua quality has been around for 100 years, and we celebrate by presenting the very best new new rimfire cartridges designed for ranges at 100 m/yds and beyond: The Lapua Super Long Range .22lr cartridge.
The result of extensive product development combined with the world’s finest rimfire production process, the Lapua Super Long Range is made and designed for those who are looking for the best of the best in extreme long distance shooting with .22 caliber ammunition. The Lapua Super Long Range rimfire round shows excellent performance on targets at 100 m/yds and beyond and has a muzzle velocity of 337 m/s or 1106 fps. It is the perfect option for disciplines such as Long Range, PRS, rimfire benchrest and Field Target shooting. With a flat trajectory and improved wind performance, Lapua Super Long Range provides the very best accuracy for any top .22LR shooter looking to beat the competition at longer distances.
Ballistic coefficients are calculated by Quick Target Unlimited Lapua Edition from V0 to V75 BC G1 for all rimfire .22 LR bullets = 0.172
Lapua Super Long Range .22
Lapua Super Long Range specs. Table credit: Lapua
Initial Impressions:
Checking zero on my T1x at 50 yards, Lapua Super Long Range printed consistent cloverleafs.  I have not had my chronograph in good working order lately, but other testers have confirmed that the SD of velocity is well under 10fps.  Super Long Range can be summed up as a faster version of X-ACT, at 1106 fps vs 1073 fps with the same level of consistency and quality control.  The fps of 1106 is of note, as it’s just under the speed of sound at 1125fps.  This is barely subsonic ammunition, and as such will not experience transonic ballistic conditions.
Lapua Super Long Range .22LR
Shooting the two loads side by side, there is a barely perceptible increase in recoil impulse with Lapua Super Long Range ammo (we’re talking a suppressed .22LR rifle so you really have to search for it).  It still is whisper quiet coming out of the T1x’s 20″ barrel with a CGS Hydra can on it, allowing for dispatching multiple varmints with them being none the wiser as to the source of their demise.  At 100 yards, this load nicely corresponds with my primary drop stadia in my scope, and I have successfully taken critters out to 200 yards away with it so far.
Lapua Super Long Range .22
This round has enough oomph to reliably cycle semiautomatic rifle actions as well, easily running in multiple semiautomatic receivers. I had very good accuracy results out of a number of my other rifles as well, but overall my T1x is the top performer for longer-range varminting (I do keep a Green Dot on my Volqaurtsen Summit for rapid short-range varminting around the haystack, and I’ve gone 10/10 on scrambling rats with this ammo as well).
Lapua Super Long Range .22
In the future, I plan on seeing how Lapua Super Long Range performs out of semiautomatic pistols with longer barrels, and also plan on pushing the envelope on this load out to 400 yards on steel and paper.
Thanks as always for reading the Rimfire Report!
Lapua Super Long Range .22 […]

Uncategorized

FEMA Announces $117 Million for Emergency Food and Shelter Program to Fight Hunger, Homelessness

WASHINGTON — Today, FEMA awarded $117 million to help fight hunger and homelessness in America, which will improve community responses by providing funding to numerous local organizations across the country to lift people out of dire conditions.Congress appropriated $117 million through the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2024 to FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). By law, FEMA must award the full $117 million to the program’s National Board. The National Board then allocates the funds to local organizations dedicated to feeding, sheltering and providing critical resources to people with economic emergencies. The funds are used to provide shelter, food and supportive services to individuals and families who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, hunger or homelessness. The program’s National Board allocates funds to local boards in qualifying jurisdictions using the most recent national population, unemployment and poverty data. Local boards then advertise the availability of grant funding in their communities, review applications and award grants to organizations that provide services to those in need. Services can include: Food, in the form of served meals or groceries.Lodging in a mass shelter or hotel.Rental or mortgage assistance to prevent evictions.Utility payment to prevent service cut-offs.Transportation costs associated with the provision of food or shelter.Supplies and equipment necessary to feed or shelter people.The National Board is chaired by FEMA, with representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide. United Way Worldwide, the National Board’s Secretariat and Fiscal Agent, are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the program. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program has helped make our nation more resilient by distributing more than $4.4 billion to over 14,000 human service agencies in more than 2,500 communities across the country. This collaborative effort between the private and public sectors has helped provide food, shelter and other critical support to hundreds of thousands of people during some of the most challenging periods in their lives.This program is separate from the former EFSP-Humanitarian program, which assisted migrants encountered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the southern border. Migrant assistance is now provided through the Shelter and Services Program.For more information, including how funds are made available by the EFSP National Board to local service providers, visit the EFSP Website (unitedway.org). […]