Google tools for your church website

Churches have come to embrace the new ways of communicating with their followers. News updates, sermons and activities are shared online, with pamphlets given to those ‘old school’ and prefer a hard copy. Church websites and sites, in general, have become easy to set up; there’s no reason why anyone should be left behind.

  1. Google has so far been king when it comes to the internet. It’s no wonder ‘googling’ or ‘google’ have replaced making a search on the net. They provide tools that help anyone owning a website generate traffic. No, we aren’t talking about physical traffic that requires you to fill a form for mileage reimbursement form.

Here, we list the three you should be using to give your church an edge and increase traffic. You don’t have to be a church for these neat tricks to apply.

Google Analytics

It’s quite easy to get a brain freeze on this one especially if math and statistics are not your strong suit. Not to worry; Google presents the data in a way that anyone can understand and use to make necessary changes on your website. This free tool enables you to monitor, review and analyze traffic to the site. Some of the information it shows is the demographic, technology used to access the site, conversions, and your audience’s behavior like how long they spend on the platform.

The data is many presented in graphs and tables that are easy to understand. Setting up the account is straightforward and requires you to install a JavaScript code on the pages on your site. You’ll be able to tell what information are particularly interested in or come up with ways to make the site more user-friendly. This tool simply helps you analyze audience behavior, not draw them to you.

Google AdWords

This tool does cost money and therefore works for churches with an advertising or media budget. What it does is it makes your church website stand at the top of other relevant Google searches. What makes it a good advertising tool is that you only pay for results. It does take quite a bit of practice to get the most out of this platform but is definitely worth it.

If you’re running activities such as a fundraiser, concert, conference and the likes, then using this platform works well to give you the results you require. How it works is that relevant ads are placed into a bidding system where ads by the highest bidder show first and so on. You can get quick wins by using ‘churches in [your area]’ or other terms relevant to your ministry. Be sure to specify your demographic and geography.

Google My Business

Most don’t view their church as a business but this last tool helps your church show up on Google Maps. When anyone searches for your church they get to see the geographic results. The best part is that it’s free. You’re able to add content information, upload photos among other pertinent information. Users can also review your church. However, don’t forget to make necessary updates in case of any changes.

Google tools for your church website

Churches have come to embrace the new ways of communicating with their followers. News updates, sermons and activities are shared online, with pamphlets given to those ‘old school’ and prefer a hard copy. Church websites and sites, in general, have become easy to set up; there’s no reason why anyone should be left behind.

Google has so far been king when it comes to the internet. It’s no wonder ‘googling’ or ‘google’ have replaced making a search on the net. They provide tools that help anyone owning a website generate traffic. No, we aren’t talking about physical traffic that requires you to fill a form for mileage reimbursement form.

Here, we list the three you should be using to give your church an edge and increase traffic. You don’t have to be a church for these neat tricks to apply.

Google Analytics

It’s quite easy to get a brain freeze on this one especially if math and statistics are not your strong suit. Not to worry; Google presents the data in a way that anyone can understand and use to make necessary changes on your website. This free tool enables you to monitor, review and analyze traffic to the site. Some of the information it shows is the demographic, technology used to access the site, conversions, and your audience’s behavior like how long they spend on the platform.

The data is many presented in graphs and tables that are easy to understand. Setting up the account is straightforward and requires you to install a JavaScript code on the pages on your site. You’ll be able to tell what information are particularly interested in or come up with ways to make the site more user-friendly. This tool simply helps you analyze audience behavior, not draw them to you.

Google AdWords

This tool does cost money and therefore works for churches with an advertising or media budget. What it does is it makes your church website stand at the top of other relevant Google searches. What makes it a good advertising tool is that you only pay for results. It does take quite a bit of practice to get the most out of this platform but is definitely worth it.

If you’re running activities such as a fundraiser, concert, conference and the likes, then using this platform works well to give you the results you require. How it works is that relevant ads are placed into a bidding system where ads by the highest bidder show first and so on. You can get quick wins by using ‘churches in [your area]’ or other terms relevant to your ministry. Be sure to specify your demographic and geography.

Google My Business

Most don’t view their church as a business but this last tool helps your church show up on Google Maps. When anyone searches for your church they get to see the geographic results. The best part is that it’s free. You’re able to add content information, upload photos among other pertinent information. Users can also review your church. However, don’t forget to make necessary updates in case of any changes.

Schiaparelli Lander Reaches Mars Surface but Final Fate Uncertain

Schiaparelli Lander Reaches Mars Surface but Final Fate Uncertain
A European space lander reached Mars on Wednesday in what scientists hope will mark a major milestone in exploration of the Red Planet, but whether it touched down on the surface in good working condition was far from certain.

Older European and US spacecraft already in orbit relayed data of the lander’s six-minute descent. Then the transmission stopped, leaving questions over what state the disc-shaped 577kg (1,272lb) Schiaparelli probe was in.

(Also see: Europe Heads to Mars in Search of Life)

“It is clear that these are not good signs,” said Paolo Ferri, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) head of mission operations.

However, the primary part of the mission, bringing the lander’s mothership into orbit around Mars to search for signs of life, was a success, the agency said.

“To fly to Mars is a very big challenge. To fly and be in safe orbit is a very big challenge,” ESA Director General Jan Woerner said at ESA’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

Schiaparelli, which is testing technologies for a rover due to follow in 2020, represents only the second European attempt to land a craft on the Red Planet.

A Schiaparelli crash could impact plans for the 2020 rover, though that mission is now using a different type of landing system, ESA scientist Olivier Witasse said during a webcast press conference at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Pasadena, California.

“The design of the system has changed over the last few years … We will not reuse all the technology from Schiaparelli, so it will impact, but not dramatically, if there is a failure with Schiaparelli,” Witasse said.

ESA said more information about Schiaparelli should be available on Thursday, when scientists have had a chance to analyse data from the orbiting craft.

“Cross your fingers, we still have hope,” Woerner said.

Landing on Mars, currently some 35 million miles (56 million km) away from its nearest planetary neighbour Earth, is a notoriously difficult task that has thwarted a single previous effort by Europe, most of Russia’s probes and given US space agency Nasa trouble as well.
The planet’s hostile environment has not detracted from its allure, with US President Barack Obama recently highlighting his pledge to send people to the surface by the 2030s.

“With this mission we’re laying the foundation for going there,” astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is set to become the first German commander of the International Space Station in 2018, told Reuters TV.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is developing a massive rocket and capsule to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars with the ultimate goal of colonising the planet, and the US. entrepreneur has said he would like to launch the first crew as early as 2024.

Sign of life?
The primary goal of ExoMars, the European-Russian programme that launched Schiaparelli, is to find out whether life has ever existed on Mars.

The spacecraft on which the lander travelled, Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), carries an atmospheric probe to study trace gases such as methane around the planet.

Scientists believe that methane, a chemical that on Earth is strongly tied to life, could stem from micro-organisms that either became extinct millions of years ago and left gas frozen below the planet’s surface, or that some methane-producing organisms still survive.

“If there is life in our solar system beyond Earth, then Mars is the most interesting planet,” ESA’s Woerner told Reuters TV.

The second part of the ExoMars mission, delayed to 2020 from 2018, will deliver a European rover to Mars. It will be the first with the ability to both move across the planet’s surface and drill into the ground to collect and analyse samples.

The ExoMars 2016 mission is led by the European Space Agency (ESA), with Russia’s Roscosmos supplying the launcher and two of the four scientific instruments on the trace gas orbiter. The prime contractor is Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales TCFP.PA and Finmeccanica SIFI.MI.

The cost of the ExoMars mission to ESA, including the second part due in 2020, is expected to be about EUR 1.3 billion ($1.4 billion or roughly Rs. 9,344 crores). Russia’s contribution comes on top of that.

Obama Shakes Mind-Controlled Robot Hand Wired to Sense Touch

Obama Shakes Mind-Controlled Robot Hand Wired to Sense Touch

A paralysed man shared a handshake with President Barack Obama on Thursday by using a mind-controlled robotic arm that, in a first for medical research, is helping to restore his sense of touch.

Obama fist-bumped Nathan Copeland’s robotic hand, and tiny chips implanted in Copeland’s brain let him use his thoughts to move the Star Trek-looking metal arm attached to his wheelchair – and also let him feel subtle pressure in his own fingers when the artificial ones were touched.

He had “pretty impressive precision,” Obama said. “When I’m moving the hand, it is also sending signals to Nathan so he is feeling me touching or moving his arm.”

The president congratulated the University of Pittsburgh researchers who are developing the technology, saying, “what a story.”

The research is part of a quest to make artificial limbs that can feel. On Thursday, the Pittsburgh team reported important early findings: When they blindfolded Copeland, he could correctly identify which robotic finger they touched 84 percent of the time.

“The majority of them, it felt like a pressure or a tingling” in his own corresponding finger, said Copeland, 30, of Dunbar, Pennsylvania, who was left paralysed after a car accident. When a researcher touched two fingers at the same time, “I just laughed and I said, ‘Are you trying to be tricky or something?”

Preparing to show the president how the cutting-edge research worked, Copeland said he was “circling between excited and nervous every half-hour.”

Harnessing brain waves to power prosthetics is a hot field, with a goal of giving the disabled more independence and improving artificial limbs for amputees as well. Headlines in recent years have reported experiments that let paralysed people move a robotic arm to touch a loved one or take a drink simply by imagining the motion. Their thoughts activate brain implants that relay electrical signals needed to command movement. The signals are transmitted through a computer to the robotic limb.

What’s new is recreating sensation using this brain-controlled technology. After all, proper motion depends on more than muscle movement. Reach for something and that sense of touch helps you naturally grasp with just enough force to hang on while not either dropping something or crushing it.

“It’s not only that emotional connection we get,” said Robert Gaunt, a Pittsburgh assistant professor of rehabilitation who led the new study. “People have an incredibly difficult time interacting with objects, picking objects up, manipulating them, doing fairly basic things with the hand if they don’t have a very basic sense of touch.”

Step one is placing sensors in prosthetics. The next hurdle is how to allow feedback to and from those sensors. For amputees, some scientists are attempting to wire nerves left in the remaining part of the person’s natural limb directly to the robotic arm.

That’s not possible if a spinal cord injury has interrupted the messages that normally flash between the hand and the brain. But previous monkey research had suggested brain implants could bridge that gap. So surgeons at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center implanted electrodes in the part of Copeland’s brain that controls what his hands feel.

Electrically stimulating those cells worked even though the car wreck that left Copeland mostly paralysed happened over a decade ago, Gaunt noted.

“This shows you can get natural sensation” through the brain implant, added Pittsburgh neurobiologist Andrew Schwartz.

Thursday’s report in Science Translational Medicine details the first six months of experiments after Copeland received the brain implants in March 2015. The ongoing research is becoming more sophisticated, as he picks up objects while the electrodes stimulate different amounts of force, Copeland said in a phone interview.

While the work is in just one patient, it’s a step toward creating touch capability, said Richard Andersen, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology whose team also studies mind-controlled prosthetics and is about to begin a similar experiment.

“It still needs to be determined if this tactile feedback will improve performance” in using the robotic arm, Andersen cautioned.

Copeland doesn’t get to take the robotic arm home but is proud of helping to advance the science.

“Technically when it’s over, I will have netted nothing except having done some cool stuff with some cool people,” Copeland said. “It’s cheesy, but Luke Skywalker loses his hand and then basically the next day he’s got a robot one and it’s working fine. We have to get to that point, and to do that, someone has to start it.”

 

Samsung Testing Its Smartwatches to Work With iPhone

Samsung Testing Its Smartwatches to Work With iPhoneSamsung Electronics is gearing up to enable its watches to work with rival Apple’s mobile devices in a bid to reach a wider audience for its wearable accessories beyond its own phone users, an executive said on Wednesday.

Richard Knight, Samsung’s head of global product management, confirmed media reports in South Korea which said the company is running beta tests of the latest Samsung smartwatches to ensure compatibility with Apple iPhones.

“We have a beta trial now in Korea,” the Samsung executive told Reuters following the introduction of new smartwatches in Berlin. “It is completely open. It involves about 2,000 people. So we are making some real progress there.”

Knight offered no timeframe for when compatible products might be announced but said it was very much in the works.

“It is absolutely our goal to make it compatible with iOS as well”, he said, referring to Apple’s operating system software for phones and tablets. “We don’t want people who have an iOS device having a bad experience with our own devices.”
Samsung is the world’s largest maker of mobile phones which run on Google Android software. Samsung’s line of Gear smartwatches run on in-house-developed software known as Tinzen.

The company held 22.8 percent of the mobile handset market in the second quarter, twice the share of Apple, the world’s No.2 maker, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Factors to consider before buying a laptop

Being able to work on the go has become essential. The convenience of a laptop is something that cannot be emphasised enough. However, it is important that you buy the right kind of laptop that best suit your needs or you could be stuck with either an under performer or an overpriced buy. Listed below are a few factors that one must take into account before actually purchasing one:

  1. Screen size

If you’re looking for a laptop to replace your desktop, then opt for a huge laptop with a 17″ screen. If ultra portability is the key factor, then a 12″ screen is what you need to look at.

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  1. Brand and pricing

If you want a durable laptop, ensure that you opt for a renowned brand such as Lenovo. Such brands offer decent warranty or guarantee and necessary tech support when needed. Check out the Lenovo Laptop Price to know which one best suits your budget and buy accordingly.

  1. Processor and RAM

You obviously want a laptop that is fast enough and helps you with multitasking. The new age Intel processors like the i3, i5, and i7 are great choices when it comes to seamless multitasking. The amount of RAM is important if you want fluid app switching. Most laptops today come with at least 2GB RAM. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop, then make sure the laptop has, at least, 8GB RAM.

  1. Quality of the screen

You obviously wouldn’t want to be left with a display resolution of a few hundred pixels when instead you wish to watch a sci-fi film with full HD clarity! Opt for an IPS display as they offer wide viewing angles which allow multiple people to view the content on the screen without having to crane their necks! If you are a fan of touch screens, then know that such screens tend to retain smudges which make the screen look dirty.

  1. Keyboard type and features

One of the most overlooked aspects when buying a laptop is the keyboard that makes up your user experience. If you are more of a night owl who prefers working when the lights are off, then ensure you have a backlit keyboard incorporated in your laptop.

  1. Connectivity features

Ensure that the laptop supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet as you don’t want to be caught on the wrong foot trying to send a file to a colleague and realize you can’t! Also, make sure there are at least two USB 3.0 ports on the laptop to connect to external devices with ease.

  1. Internal storage

Hard drives are passe, thanks to the increasing demand for lightweight and ultra-thin laptops. The new rage is the Solid State Drive (SSD) which not only ensures that you can access your files with super speed, but is also noiseless. The only catch here is that they are available in only 128GB or 256GB.

  1. Battery life

Look for a laptop with at least 4-5 hours of battery life or you will forever be stuck sitting with a portable charger!

Now that you know what to look for in a laptop, go buy one!

 

TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio sport watch

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED

£199 inc VAT

TOMTOM MULTI-SPORT CARDIO SPORT WATCH REVIEW

The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is a GPS sports watch that measures your activity as you train. Here is our TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio review. Also see: Best smartwatches 2015.

TOMTOM MULTI-SPORT CARDIO SPORT WATCH REVIEW: WHAT IT IS

The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is a watch with a built-in heart-rate monitor. This sits neatly in the base of the watch in order to accurately measure your heart rate from your wrist, meaning you don’t need one of those weird chest-strap things. A built-in GPS receiver provides real-time speed and distance information, so you can track distance, time, pace, speed and calories burnt as you run, cycle, walk or even swim. Then you can store activities on your watch, or share them via TomTom’s own desktop software.

TOMTOM MULTI-SPORT CARDIO SPORT WATCH REVIEW: PRICE AND VALUE

The RRP of the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is £199.99. But this is one of those happy occasions in which the RRP is merely a guide. A quick look online shows that the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is available from John Lewis for just £149.99.

Hop over to Amazon and you will pay only £179.99 too.

This puts the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio in the upper echelons of fitness wearables. Creeping toward smartwatch pricing, without being quite there. Which is important, because this is a fitness gadget, and not a smartphone extension. The Microsoft Band retails for around £145, for instance, and offers some smartwatch features such as email notifications. But it isn’t waterproof, and can’t be used for swimming as can the TomTom.

You will pay the same of more for the Fitbit Surge, which is the equivalent FitBit fitness device. So the TomTom is well priced, but only for fitness enthusiasts. See all smartwatch reviews.

TOMTOM MULTI-SPORT CARDIO SPORT WATCH REVIEW: BEFORE YOU START

Setting up an using the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is not a seemless and slick experience. Far from it. You are warned on the box, and in the instructions, to always connect your TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio to a computer before you start exercising, using the desk dock provided. The desk dock is a slightly clunky plastic nugget to attach, which then connects to your PC via USB. You then visit the TomTom Get Started web page at www.tomtom.com/123 and download the MySports Connect desktop software, and it in turn updates your watch.

This is important, because if – like me – you decide to find out what happens when you don’t update the watch, you will find yourself pounding the streets running 6.45s and being told by your stupid useless watch that you are crawling along at nine minutes a mile. Pah.

A little irritating that you have to go through this rigmarole. I mean, it isn’t 2003 and this isn’t an iPod. But it wouldn’t be a reason not to buy the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio.

In line with the slightly old-school nature of requiring a physical connection to desktop software in order to upload and download to the web, it is from the desktop software that you can update stats for your activities. You can also, however, install the MySports mobile app and pair your phone direct with your watch via Bluetooth.

TOMTOM MULTI-SPORT CARDIO SPORT WATCH REVIEW: DESIGN AND BUILD

TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio sport watch review

Robust and waterproof up to 50m, the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is designed to be used when out and about, and it is built to last. It’s also lightweight and comfortable to wear, and despite being rubbery and plastic, the design is sufficiently holey to allow sweat to simply drift away.

We shoved it in water to know obvious negative outcome, and for more than a month it has been either in a rucksack or in use, without coming to any ill effect. Also see: Best activity trackers 2015.

The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio turns heads. It is, it is fair to say, an aquired taste. It is also unlikely to sit on your wrist at the Lord Mayor’s banquet. A bright plastic strap with wholes punched out of it, the wrist band element of the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is more than 3cm wide at its thinnest point. (Compare that to your watch, it’s wide.) This is a device that screams out to be noticed, which is fine when you are running or cycling, less so in civilian life.

The clasp itself works well, which is important. You don’t want your watch slipping around as you, well, slip around. Those wristband holes allow you to affix the strap at multiple levels of tightness, too. Overall TomTom has done a good job of building a watch around a clunky, sensor-heavy device.

There is no touchscreen. Instead you navigate the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio using a four-button pad that sits below the display. It is perfectly intuitive, if a little clunky at times.

The charging and connecting cradle is mildly awkward to connect and disconnect. We have been using the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio for over a month, and I have still never managed to get it off- or on without a sweary struggle. Perhaps I am just clumsy.

TOMTOM MULTI-SPORT CARDIO SPORT WATCH REVIEW: DISPLAY

A 1.5in backlit greyscale display (22x25mm technically), the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio’s screen has a resolution of 144×168 pixels, which makes for a pixel density of around 148ppi. This is pretty decent on a watch face.

When on the move the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is clear and easy to read even when bouncing around in front of a face full of sweat. It isn’t a touchscreen, but we can forgive that. See all wearable tech reviews.

TOMTOM MULTI-SPORT CARDIO SPORT WATCH REVIEW: IN USE

After our failure to update false start, we have been impressed by the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio. The GPS locks on quickly, and is very accurate. Moreover, we like the viewing options: even on the same run it is good to be able to view, at different times, speed, average speed, distance travelled, and heartrate. Throughout you can see time taken, distance travelled and heartrate on every screen. You simply choose the big figure in the middle.

We like that you can store a certain number of previous activities. We did find stopping an activity a little counter-intuitive (you have to hit back, which does have a pause sign in place), but accept that was likely our stupidity.

Battery life has been good. We usually charge it once a week, and use it several times in that period. Although it is worth checking: on more than one occasion the battery has run out whilst we were on the hoof.

We can’t comment on the accuracy of the heartrate monitor, but when in use it is always on and always giving us a number.

SPECS

First Nasa TV Channel to Reveal Space in UHD

nasa_ap_3.jpg

The US space agency has partnered with Harmonic, a worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure, to launch Nasa TV UHD the first ever non-commercial consumer ultra-high definition (UHD) channel in North America.

Nasa TV UHD video will be sourced from high-resolution images and video generated on the International Space Station (ISS) and other current Nasa missions, as well as re-mastered footage from historical missions.

The new UHD channel is expected to launch on November 1 after preliminary tests.

The partnership is the result of a Space Act Agreement between Harmonic and the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, Nasa announced on Friday.

Using an end-to-end UHD video delivery system from Harmonic, Nasa Television will have the capability to deliver “linear 2160p60” video content, allowing viewers to enjoy footage on a wide range of television and internet-connected devices.

“Partnering with Harmonic gives Nasa an outlet for its UHD content, which has four times the resolution of HD and is the next iteration of digital television,” explained Robert Jacobs, deputy associate administrator at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

Leveraging the eight-megapixel resolution of UHD, the channel will showcase the breathtaking beauty and grandeur of space.

The channel will also stream on the Internet.

“As Nasa reaches new heights and reveals the unknown, the Nasa TV UHD channel can bring that journey to life in every home. And as organisations at the forefront of innovation, together we are leading the adoption of this exciting technology,” added Peter Alexander, chief marketing officer at Harmonic.

Nasa Dawn Probe Reveals Bright Spots on Dwarf Planet Ceres

Nasa’s Dawn spacecraft has shown the brightest spots on the dwarf planet Ceres that are gleaming with mystery.

The closest-yet view of Occator crater, with a resolution of 450 feet per pixel, on its surface gives scientists a deeper perspective on these very unusual features.

The new up-close view reveals better-defined shapes of the brightest, central spot and features on the crater floor.

“Dawn has transformed what was so recently a few bright dots into a complex and beautiful, gleaming landscape,” said Marc Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer and mission director from Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Dawn is the first mission to visit a dwarf planet, and the first to orbit two distinct solar system targets.

“Soon, the scientific analysis will reveal the geological and chemical nature of this mysterious and mesmerising extraterrestrial scenery,” he said in a statement.

Because these spots are so much brighter than the rest of Ceres’ surface, the Dawn team combined two different images into a single composite view – one properly exposed for the bright spots, and one for the surrounding surface.

Scientists also have produced animations that provide a virtual fly-around of the crater, including a colourful topographic map.

Dawn scientists note the rim of Occator crater is almost vertical in some places, where it rises steeply for nearly two km.

The spacecraft has already completed two 11-day cycles of mapping the surface of Ceres from its current altitude.

Dawn will map all of Ceres six times over the next two months.

Nasa Assembles First Pieces for Orion Deep Space Mission

In a small yet significant to send astronauts to Mars, Nasa engineers have welded together the first two segments of the Orion crew module that will fly atop Nasa’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on a mission beyond the far side of the moon.

The primary structure of Orion’s crew module is made of seven large aluminium pieces that must be welded together in detailed fashion at Nasa’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

“Every day, teams around the country are moving at full speed to get ready for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) when we’ll flight test Orion and SLS together in the proving ground of space, far away from the safety of Earth,” said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development at Nasa Headquarters in Washington, DC.

“We are progressing toward eventually sending astronauts deep into space,” he said in a statement.

The first weld connects the tunnel to the forward bulkhead, which is at the top of the spacecraft and houses many of Orion’s critical systems, such as the parachutes that deploy during re-entry.

Orion’s tunnel, with a docking hatch, will allow crews to move between the crew module and other spacecraft.

“Each of Orion’s systems and subsystems is assembled or integrated onto the primary structure, so starting to weld the underlying elements together is a critical first manufacturing step,” added Mark Geyer, Orion programme manager.

During the coming months, engineers will inspect and evaluate them to ensure they meet precise design requirements before welding.

Once complete, the structure will be shipped to Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida where it will be assembled with the other elements of the spacecraft, integrated with SLS and processed before launch.

SLS is one of the most experienced large rocket engines in the world, with more than a million seconds of ground test and flight operations time.

When completed, SLS will enable astronauts to begin their journey to explore destinations far into the solar system.