Is our world evolved to this point only by manual labor? This is clearly impossible! We need various machines to accomplish tasks such as production, excavation, and transportation, among others. Some machines can fit in the palm of your hand, while others are nearly the size of a human or even as large as a house. So, have you ever wondered: just how massive can a single machine be? Is it as large as a building or even a mountain? The answer might exceed your imagination! Let’s explore some of the largest machines currently in use around the world!
No.10 LSST Digital Camera
A digital camera? How big could that be?
The answer is as large as a car!
The main body of the LSST (Legacy Survey of Space and Time) camera is approximately 4 meters long, with a lens diameter of 1.57 meters. Capable of capturing photos with a staggering 3.2 billion pixels, it rightfully holds multiple Guinness World Records, solidifying its status as the world’s largest camera. With this colossal digital camera, it can capture scenes within a radius of 20 kilometers, leaving no detail unnoticed, not even an ant.
Of course, this isn’t your average consumer digital camera; it’s an astronomical camera specializing in wide-field sky surveys. While its operational principles share similarities with consumer cameras, some of its sensors need to perform at their peak in temperatures as low as minus 100 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the camera is equipped with a low-temperature constant temperature system.
No.9 Super Motorcycle
For adrenaline junkies, their enthusiasm for armored vehicles and tanks rivals their affection for the opposite sex. However, this passion is not easily fulfilled. Enter the super motorcycle, designed to satisfy all your adventurous cravings.
With a body length comparable to that of a large truck and a weight rivaling that of a fighter jet, this motorcycle is equipped with a four-cylinder diesel engine designed for trucks. Its two oversized tires were even dismantled from a mining loader. Beyond its attention-grabbing appearance, what truly astounds is its destructive power, on par with that of a tank. Hence, its owner has given it a quite sensational name: “Monster Motorbike from Hell.”
Presenting the largest rocket in human history—the Starship by Musk, towering at 120 meters with a diameter of 9 meters. Ingeniously composed of a spacecraft and a super-heavy booster, it primarily utilizes stainless steel and is fueled by liquid methane and liquid oxygen. What’s even more astonishing is its ability to be successfully recovered after launch, making it highly cost-effective.
The second launch of the Starship was nothing short of awe-inspiring. The results showed that all 33 engines ignited successfully, the first and second stages separated smoothly, and the rocket and spacecraft successfully navigated through the maximum aerodynamic pressure phase, even smoothly passing through the Karman line and entering space. It can be said that this launch was a resounding success.
No.7 Giant TBM
This is a type of engineering machinery used for excavating underground tunnels. Its working principle is akin to a massive rotating shield, capable of drilling and advancing through the underground soil. This machine is primarily employed in underground projects such as urban subways, transportation tunnels, hydraulic engineering, and pipeline installation.
Currently, the world’s largest TBM measures approximately 100 meters in length, weighs a whopping 7,000 tons, and boasts a diameter of 17.5 meters—roughly as tall as a six-story building. Its head is equipped with over 300 alloy blades, making excavation seem as effortless as slicing through vegetables. Moreover, unlike rigid excavators that only dig, it features an internal laying and conveying system. This allows it to excavate while progressing forward, transport materials and waste, and simultaneously install pipelines. Its working speed can reach an astonishing 3.6 meters per hour!
No.6 Offshore Wind Turbine
This magnificent giant fan—the Superstar H260-18MW, developed by China Offshore Windpower Services Limited, is a colossal wind turbine designed specifically for wind power generation. Its enormous rotor diameter reaches an astounding 260 meters, setting records for individual unit power and rotor diameter.
The power output of this offshore wind turbine reaches 18 megawatts, surpassing the previous record-holder, General Electric’s 14-megawatt model. A single unit can generate 74 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, sufficient to meet the annual power needs of 40,000 households. The massive rotor not only imparts powerful performance but also enables it to withstand the challenges posed by Category 18 super typhoons.
No.5 Bagger 293
Presenting the reigning giant in the world of excavators, the Bagger 293, manufactured by the German company Krupp. With a length of approximately 240 meters and towering at 95 meters, it reaches the height equivalent of more than 30 floors. Its colossal size prevents it from relying on any internal combustion engine in the world to meet its massive power demands, thus requiring external power sources that deliver a formidable 16.5 megawatts.
The Bagger 293 comes with a price tag of around 100 million US dollars, which may seem relatively reasonable given its immense stature. Equipped with 18 gigantic buckets, it can dig to a depth of 10 meters per minute, boasting a daily excavation capacity of a staggering 240,000 cubic meters. This means that, with sufficient mineral deposits, it can recoup your investment in just 7 days!
No.4 Zhenhua 30
On the magnificent stage of the ocean, the colossal aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford is truly eye-catching, but can it be hailed as the largest vessel?
Once, the world’s largest ship, the Seawise Giant, with a modified full load displacement exceeding 800,000 tons, was eight times the size of the Ford. However, its fate took a twist, and it was dismantled in 2010.
Today, the title of the world’s largest ship goes to the Zhenhua 30. Although it doesn’t match the sheer size of the Seawise Giant, its displacement is more than 2.5 times that of the Ford. As a heavy lift ship, the Zhenhua 30 performs exceptionally well, boasting a maximum lifting capacity of 12,000 tons, effortlessly handling a variety of cargo as if picking up a child. Moreover, when fully loaded with oil, the Zhenhua 30 has enough capacity to circumnavigate the Earth one and a half times.
No.3 Chinese Sky Eye
Perhaps you’ve heard some rumors about extraterrestrial discoveries, but TechSparks firmly believes these are baseless speculations. However, if the day comes when extraterrestrial life is genuinely discovered, I believe China would likely be the pioneer, thanks to the presence of the Chinese Sky Eye.
The Chinese Sky Eye is a colossal project that cost $200 million and took five years to complete. It stands as the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, boasting an impressive diameter of 500 meters, surpassing North America’s Arecibo at 350 meters. Comprising 4,450 reflecting panels, each adjustable for direction, the Chinese Sky Eye can dynamically receive radio signals through localized deformation, akin to the phased-array radar technology found on fighter jets. This astronomical behemoth has the capability to capture radio signals from various corners of the universe, including but not limited to pulsars, galaxies, and nebulae.
No.2 Ring Particle Accelerator
This 27-kilometer circular particle accelerator, situated on the border of France and Switzerland, underwent its inaugural testing in 2008, successfully propelling a proton beam to an astounding 99.9998% of the speed of light. However, this remarkable achievement comes hand in hand with substantial energy consumption.
Initially, the accelerator introduces hydrogen gas to generate protons through ionization. Subsequently, the protons undergo incremental acceleration in a series of smaller accelerators, including linear accelerators. Following this, they enter a circular booster comprised of four pipelines. Here, electric fields accelerate the protons, while a powerful magnetic field keeps them confined in curved trajectories. This is a stepwise escalation of the acceleration process. Eventually, these high-energy particle beams are injected into the largest circular track of the collider.
The collider consists of two vacuum tubes and is equipped with two precision injectors for bidirectional proton injection. Consequently, the proton beams collide at the crossroads of the pipelines. Scientists install particle detectors at these collision points to collect data generated during these collisions.
While your personal ranking of the biggest machine might differ, it’s inconsequential. As the era continuously evolves, we anticipate the emergence of even more colossal mechanical marvels, further propelling advancements in human life.
Finally, a thought-provoking question arises: Do you believe scientists have the potential to manufacture a space elevator within our lifetime successfully?
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Explore the fascinating realm of the world’s largest machine! From the astronomical LSST digital camera with billions of pixels to the towering 120-meter Starship spacecraft