This came on the heels of similarly dreamy exclamations by another space billionaire, Richard Branson, who also portrayed his own self-financed suborbital jaunt as something beyond human language. “I’m never going to be able to do justice to it,” he said at his own press conference. “It’s indescribably beautiful.” A
Whatever the reasons, Bezos’ announcement was surprising. Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith defended the plan in a preflight briefing, saying that the two most recent test flights proved that all systems were ready, and since everything controlling the spacecraft runs autonomously, there was no need for human practice. “We didn’t
Yet something important is happening here, and it’s all about Bezos. To me, his self-directed inclusion on the passenger manifest of New Shepard’s first human flight is kind of bonkers, and it demands our attention. He’s not only the world’s richest human, but probably one of the smartest. Whether you
Venus is often called Earth’s sister planet, a neighboring twin of similar density and size. But the resemblance stops there. As the hottest planet in our solar system, the choking Venusian atmosphere is full of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and clouds thick with sulfuric acid that shroud its dry, volcanic terrain.
In the search for extraterrestrial life, we’re usually the ones doing the snooping. But Lisa Kaltenegger, an astronomer at Cornell University, wanted to know who out there might be watching us. “For whom would we be the aliens?” she asks. So Kaltenegger enlisted the help of Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist
The sky over the Spaceport American in Las Cruces, New Mexico, was afire with lightning last night. The storm was sufficiently fierce to postpone Virgin Galactic’s planned rollout of its twin airships, mothership Eve and a space vehicle called VSS Unity, from their hangar. The delay meant that lift-off for