Adventure Quickies: SpaceX Crew Dragon Simulator, REI Reopens, and Much More

Every Friday I post a rundown of the stories I didn’t have the time or space to share elsewhere over the past week. These “Adventure Quickies” are meant to share interesting and unique stories that I think the outdoor adventure and travel community might enjoy. So, with out further ado, here are a few things you might hav missed this past week.

  • SpaceX Releases Crew Dragon Simulator: Think you’ve got what it takes to safely pilot the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station? Want to prove it? This week, Elon Musk’s other company released a simulator for the spacecraft, giving regular folks like you and me the chance to see how easy or difficult it is to complete such a mission. Spoiler Alert: It isn’t all that easy!
  • REI Begins Reopening Stores: American outdoor gear retailer REI was amongst the first big chain stores to close its doors amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Starting today, those stores are starting to reopen, although with a plan to limit customer access and offer curbside deliver of orders. The idea is to take tentative, cautious steps, towards returning to regular business, although that may take some time to happen.
  • 10 Things To Avoid on a Desert Expedition: If you’re thinking about conducting an expedition across a desert in the future, you’ll want to have a look at this article from ExWeb.  It offers up 10 handy tips that you should keep in mind when travel through such an environment, such as don’t underestimate the water you’ll need and traveling too fast in the hot and dry conditions. Good, common sense, advice for aspiring explorers for sure.
  • Gravesite of Elephant-Sized Sloths Found in Ecuador: A baffling mystery surround a paleontological dig in Ecuador, where the gravesite of giant ground sloths has been discovered. The creatures, which were the size of elephants, perished in large numbers at this one spot, with at least 22 bodies found so far. What caused their mass death is unknown, although researchers have a theory.
  • Kahtoola Virtual Run Raises $25k for Havasupai Tribe: In an effort to support the Havasupai Tribe near the Grand Canyon, Kahtoola—a company that makes traction devices—organized a virtual running event. The event saw 258 participants from 23 states take part, raising $25,000 for the Havasupai Tribe COVID-19 relief fund. Like everyone else, the tribe has been hit hard by the coronavirus, but Kahtoola managed to give back, blowing past its $10,000 goal.
  • Ancient Life in Africa Immortalized by Fossilized Footprints: Hundreds of fossilized human footprints have been uncovered in Tanzania, providing a glimpse of what life was like for early human civilizations as they emerged 10,000-12,000 year ago. Researchers analyzing the prints were actually able to identify certain individuals, with a surprising amount of detail on their lives.
  • Underwater Drone Locates Historic U.S. Battleship: A sophisticated underwater drone has assisted a team of researchers in locating the USS Nevada off the coast of Hawaii. The ship, which survived two world wars and two atomic bomb blasts at the Bikini Atoll, was deliberately sunk in 1948 when it was decommissioned. The find is of historic significance considering everything the vessel wen through.
  • Walmart Begins Selling Camping Gear: This week Walmart launched its own line of outdoor gear under the Lithic brand. It includes tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, camp stoves, and other items. In sticking with the Walmart brand, the gear is priced very competitively. But is it any good? Outside takes a look.

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend!

Kraig Becker