Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

NASA Heads Back to the Moon, This Time With Robots and Laser-Powered Space Internet

NASA LADEEElon Musk wants us to go to Mars, which sounds cool and scary. Meantime, NASA is headed back to the moon.

Last night, the U.S. space agency sent up its excellently named Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, via its also-excellently named Wallops Flight Facility launch pad in Virginia.

LADEE is orbiting the Earth right now, but in a month it will be circling the moon, where it will conduct a series of experiments, without the aid of onboard astronauts.

Perhaps most interesting to someone reading this site will be a Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration, which sounds like it will make your high-speed broadband look like a string-and-tin-can operation.

The Washington Post has a nicely written FAQ about the mission. And here’s what the launch looked like last night:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work