Tag Archives: science

World’s first orbital-class rocket launch from a private launch site

Rocket Lab

On Thursday, shortly after midnight on the US East Coast, a New Zealand-based rocket company launched an orbital-class rocket from a private launch site for the first time. While relatively small, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle stands at the vanguard of a new class of launchers designed to place increasingly tiny satellites into space. Among competitors such as Virgin Orbit and Vector Space Systems, which are late in the development stage, it is the first small satellite launch company to put a full-size rocket into space.

“We’re one of a few companies to ever develop a rocket from scratch and we did it in under four years,” said Peter Beck, chief executive and founder of Rocket Lab. “We’ve worked tirelessly to get to

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These people want you to know climate change isn’t just for liberals

Enlarge (credit: Aurich / Thinkstock)

Note: This piece is from our US colleagues. Please adjust your internal decoding of the words “conservative” and “liberal” for the next few thousand words.

He doesn’t start with an apocalyptic description of future impacts when he talks to people about climate change, but, for some audiences, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Environmental Studies Calvin DeWitt does turn to the book of Revelations. “I’ll have a white-out pen in my pocket, and I’ll have them read Revelation chapter 11, verse 18. It’s a description of the sounding of the last trumpet, as you hear in Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ and the end verse says, ‘The time has come for destroying those who destroy the Earth,’” DeWitt told me. “And

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Why Did The Biggest Whales Get So Big?

Five years ago, on a boat off the southern coast of Sri Lanka, I met the largest animal that exists or has ever existed.

The blue whale grows up to 110 feet in length. Its heart is the size of a small car. Its major artery is big enough that you could wedge a small child into it (although you probably shouldn’t). It’s an avatar of hugeness. And its size is evident if you ever get to see one up close. From the surface, I couldn’t make out the entire animal—just the top of its head as it exposed its blowhole and took a breath. But then, it dove. As its head tilted downwards, its arching back broke the surface of the water in a graceful … Read the rest

Once an astronaut, now Mike Massimino can’t wait to be a space tourist

Ars interviews an astronaut! (video link)

NEW ORLEANS—Mike Massimino wanted to be an astronaut ever since Neil Armstrong inspired the former six-year-old. He obsessed over space so much, in fact, his mom once converted an elephant costume from Massimino’s first-grade play into his official flight suit.

“She cut the tail off and made it an astronaut,” he said while sharing a vintage Polaroid on stage at this year’s Collision Conference. “I didn’t have any friends apparently, so Snoopy was my copilot.”

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