Water Bears Crash Onto the Moon, Cloudflare Ditches 8Chan, and More News

A crashed lunar lander left dehydrated water bears stuck on the moon, Cloudflare has ditched 8chan following this weekend's shootings, and electric cars enter the used car market. Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here! Today's Headlines The crashed Israeli lunar lander spilled tardigrades on the moon Tardigrades, or water bears, are known for being basically indestructible. These tiny creatures can survive boiling and freezing temperatures, human-killing levels of radiation, and can go without food and water for years. But can they survive in space? After a lunar lander crashed into the moon on April 11, thousands of dehydrated water bears …

A Rocket-Launching Plane, Nintendo’s New Switch, and More News

Virgin Orbit is dropping rockets out of a Boeing 747, Nintendo is switching up the Switch, and a new design could make the middle plane seat tolerable. Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here! Today's Headlines Virgin Orbit just dropped a rocket from a Boeing 747 Why launch rockets from the ground, when you could launch them with a head start from a plane? That's the thinking behind Virgin Orbit's plan to reduce the cost of getting into space by starting the rocket launch from 35,000 feet. Today's test focused on the rocket's free fall when released from a gutted Boeing …

Apollo 11: Mission Out of Control

For the next three minutes, the cratered lunar landscape grew closer, until, at around 46,000 feet, Armstrong rotated the vehicle, pointing the landing radar toward the surface while the astronauts turned to face Earth. The moon’s gravity is irregular, and to account for this, the astronauts had to take new measurements. With the void outside his window, Aldrin punched in a request to compare the lander’s calculated position with the reading from the radar. He was answered by a klaxon ringing in his earpiece. Aldrin hurriedly keyed in the two-digit code 5-9-Enter, which translated, roughly, as “display alarm.” The console responded with error code “1202.” Despite his months of simulations, Aldrin didn’t know what this one meant; Armstrong, equally baffled, …

A Rocket Built by Students Reached Space for the First Time

In the early morning of April 21, 10 students from the University of Southern California’s Rocket Propulsion Lab piled into the back of a pickup truck with a 13-foot rocket wedged between them and drove down a dusty dirt road to a launchpad near Spaceport America, in southern New Mexico. When they arrived, their teammates helped them lift the 300-pound rocket onto a launch rail. Dennis Smalling, the rocket lab’s chief engineer, began the countdown at 7:30 am. When he reached zero, Traveler IV shot up off its launchpad, exhaust and flames pouring from its tail. The USC team is one of several groups of college students across the United States and Europe that have been racing to send a …