Things We Saw Today: Lin-Manuel Miranda Gathers Jennifer Lopez, Rita Moreno, Gina Rodriguez and Others In a Song for Puerto Rico
Today's biggest news has basically been hot garbage. Thankfully (and pretty much as usual), Lin-Manuel Miranda is here to provide us with a little bit of hope through music.Read More
Adam Ruins Everything Reminds Us Why Trump Withdrawing From the Paris Agreement Hurts Climate Change Efforts
With the U.S. withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, Adam Conover reminds us why it was such an important first step against climate change.Read More
Getting to Mars isn't terribly difficult, but scale is the problem. If we're going to set up a colony there, which is Elon Musk and SpaceX's goal, we're going to need to send a lot of people and very heavy equipment out into space, which means we're going to need a much more powerful spacecraft than anything ever launched before. That's going to take some doing, and Musk just revealed how they plan to make it happen.Read More
Getting to Mars is only part of the problem of putting humans on the Red Planet. We're already pretty good at that part, with plenty of robots roaming around up there right now. The tough part is putting a permanent presence in place so that it actually makes sense to go there, and Elon Musk's SpaceX is making progress towards overcoming that difficulty.Read More
Aside from the fact that Mars is a harsh, inhospitable environment that we'd have to drastically terraform—or pretty much just never go outside—to live in, the logistical implications of actually getting people there in the first place provide a pretty sizable obstacle. Luckily, SpaceX is about ready to blow that obstacle away with an impressively powerful rocket, and they're about ready to start testing it on their path to real missions to Mars.Read More
By now, SpaceX has sent a few of its Falcon 9 rockets out of the Earth's atmosphere and then successfully landed them back on Earth—even when the degree of difficulty was incredibly high. Landing rockets is hard enough, but the entire point is to be able to use them again, which means they need to be thoroughly tested to avoid any mishaps. (SpaceX has had a few even with brand new rockets.)Read More
It might make butlers extinct, though.
Elon Musk may want to build a robot that'll do your housework for you, but Boston Dynamics appears to be ahead of him on that front. They just posted a video of their new SpotMini robot that shows how it can use its giraffe-like neck for a variety of tasks—and also for being incredibly creepy as it demonstrates its ability to keep its head eerily still while its body moves around.Read More
When can we expect the auto jacks?
Tesla Motors' electric cars already sport some pretty impressive officially supported features, but sometimes, the most interesting uses of technology are kind of ... off-label. That's the case with recent confirmation that the Model S can, in fact, double as a boat under the right circumstances. It's not quite Speed Racer's submarine mode, but it'll do for now.Read More
Well, you can't win 'em all. SpaceX has been celebrating a lot of successful test landings lately, but this morning, the streak ended when their Falcon 9 rocket did not operate according to plan.Read More
Elon Musk is 100% aware of all the jokes everyone's been making that he's actually Iron Man, and he's also completely willing to play along. The multi-billionaire SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO recently had a hush-hush meeting at the Pentagon—in that no one really knows what it was about—and was more than happy to provide fuel for rampant speculation.Read More
Do you want to go? OK, now how about if you can't come back?
If the Martians are planning to make good on any War of the Worlds-type scenarios, they'd better do it soon. SpaceX's Elon Musk has already said they're going to send a test flight to Mars in 2018, and he's now mentioned that he's confident they can put human beings on Mars in 2024. Hey, at least we already know Mars' environment will kill us. That should give us a leg up on our invasion—in addition to the fact that no one lives on Mars.Read More
"This is the part where we blow up!" "Not today!"
SpaceX's second, most recent rocket landing was an impressive feat that even founder and CEO Elon Musk wasn't expecting, after the rocket propelled a communications satellite into geostationary orbit about 22,000 miles above the Earth. However, increased landing difficulty isn't the only problem with reaching the necessary speeds for that mission—damage to the rocket may prevent even a successful landing from being worth it.Read More
Back in 2013, Musk posited that magnetic levitation technology could be used to make a high-speed train with the capacity to travel even faster than an airplane. Today, the world got a glimpse of what this technology looks like in action, thanks to the efforts of Hyperloop One.Read More
SpaceX's planned exploration of Mars will happen very soon. Is 2018 soon enough for you? In two years' time, the private space exploration company plans to put an uncrewed spacecraft called the "Red Dragon" to the Red Planet.Read More
"I'm a boat captain!"
On Friday, SpaceX made history (again) by landing one of its Falcon 9 rockets on a robotically controlled ship in the middle of the ocean. With the private spaceflight company, along with Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, landing rockets previously, let's take a few minutes to remember what's so special about this one—aside from the sheer "because we can" of a robot ship playing catch with a space rocket.Read More
A very real "shut up and take my money" scenario.
Tesla's big on high performance electric cars, but they've generally been priced out of range of most of the population. The Model 3, unveiled last night, aims to change that, and despite its price being still a bit high, starting at $35,000, and its fall 2017 shipping window, they've already sold a whole lot of them.Read More
Actual rocket science.
SpaceX has just taken another important step in the race for reusable space rockets. Last night, for the first time, a rocket delivered its payload to orbit and then made a landing back where it came from without falling into the ocean or exploding.Read More
We make plenty of jokes about how Musk might sound like a bit of a supervillain, but he just might have a point on this one.Read More
Elon Musk's SpaceX has made several attempts to shoot a rocket into space and land it back on Earth—or on a drone barge in the ocean, anyway. Now, Blue Origin, founded by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, has managed to actually do it, though there's an important difference in what the companies are trying to achieve.Read More
This is why we can't have nice things.
Self-driving cars are closer to a reality than you might realize as you manually drive your analog car down the street, concentrating very hard on not hitting anything while you text. (Yes, we know what you've been doing. Stop it. Pull over if you need to. Geez.) But on the way to that impressive technology, we'll have to be very careful about understanding its current limitations—or Elon Musk will take away our toys.Read More