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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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald