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No Automation, One Shot at Landing: It’s Really Hard to Fly SpaceShipTwo

No Automation, One Shot at Landing: It’s Really Hard to Fly SpaceShipTwo

Friday morning, Virgin Galactic’s spaceship, meant to eventually take wealthy passengers on brief rides into space, crashed during a test flight over southern California. One of the pilots onboard was killed, the other suffered serious injuries and was transported to the hospital. It’s a serious setback for the space tourism effort, but is unlikely to kill the enterprise altogether. The program is quite advanced, and Richard Branson’s employees have put a ton of effort into finding a reliable way to get people into space. Here’s how they plan to do it once they’re back on track.

The post No Automation, One Shot at Landing: It’s Really Hard to Fly SpaceShipTwo appeared first on WIRED.



Science’s Favorite Deep-Sea Explorer Gets High-Tech Upgrades

Science’s Favorite Deep-Sea Explorer Gets High-Tech Upgrades

After 50 years of cutting-edge seafloor exploration, the Alvin submersible—renegade deep-sea explorer for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute—just got a long-deserved makeover. Alvin is the United States’ only deep-diving manned submersible used for science, so its upgrades will have a serious impact on the discoveries we can pull off in the deep. To make a […]

The post Science’s Favorite Deep-Sea Explorer Gets High-Tech Upgrades appeared first on WIRED.



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Absurd Creatures of the Week: Real-Life Animal Zombies That Are Way Cooler Than Your Costume

Absurd Creatures of the Week: Real-Life Animal Zombies That Are Way Cooler Than Your Costume

A staggering number of creatures out there (and even some fungi) have figured out how to mind-control their unfortunate hosts. In Absurd Creature of the Week, I’ve covered quite a few of these. But today I present to you my five favorites: Real-Life Zombies That I’m Sorry to Say Are Cooler Than Your Zombie Halloween Costume That You Really Just Phoned In. First up…

The post Absurd Creatures of the Week: Real-Life Animal Zombies That Are Way Cooler Than Your Costume appeared first on WIRED.



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Hawaii’s Explosive Past and Destructive Future Revealed in This Beautiful Comic

Hawaii’s Explosive Past and Destructive Future Revealed in This Beautiful Comic

You can step through Hawaii’s fascinating and explosive history in this beautiful (nonfiction) comic by Jed McGowan. From the first hint of magma on the ocean floor about 500,000 years ago, through the human settlement of the island and into the future, McGowan illustrates each phase of the island’s growth and eventual death beautifully.

The post Hawaii’s Explosive Past and Destructive Future Revealed in This Beautiful Comic appeared first on WIRED.



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Two Years Later, These Images Show Just How Much Hurricane Sandy Changed Some Neighborhoods

Two Years Later, These Images Show Just How Much Hurricane Sandy Changed Some Neighborhoods

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy two years ago, shocking photos showed the huge extent of the destruction caused by the storm. Only days after the storm struck, before and after satellite images from Google revealed the widespread damage to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey. Last year, before and after photos showed […]

The post Two Years Later, These Images Show Just How Much Hurricane Sandy Changed Some Neighborhoods appeared first on WIRED.



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40 Years of the World’s Best Microscope Photos

40 Years of the World’s Best Microscope Photos

Every year, Nikon selects the most artful, scientifically enlightening and skillfully produced images from thousands of submissions for its Small World microscope photography contest. Tomorrow, another set of impressive winners will be announced for the contest’s 40th year. [HTML1]We’re big fans of the competition here at WIRED, and I even had the honor of being […]

The post 40 Years of the World’s Best Microscope Photos appeared first on WIRED.



Rocket Headed for Space Station Explodes After Liftoff

Rocket Headed for Space Station Explodes After Liftoff

[HTML1] An unmanned Antares rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station exploded just seconds after taking off this evening. The rocket, which launched from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia at 6:22 pm ET, was operated by the Orbital Sciences Corporation. The cause of the “catastrophic anomaly” is not clear, and […]

The post Rocket Headed for Space Station Explodes After Liftoff appeared first on WIRED.



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How Utah’s Bryce Canyon Got Its Bizarre, Beautiful Sandstone Formations

How Utah’s Bryce Canyon Got Its Bizarre, Beautiful Sandstone Formations

Jiri Bruthans created this pillar with simulated salt weathering; in nature (like at Bryce Canyon, below), factors like frost and rain also shape the landscape. Courtesy of Jiri Bruthans Getty Aa the story goes, the iconic spires in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park once were human-animal “legend people,” until an angry coyote god turned them […]

The post How Utah’s Bryce Canyon Got Its Bizarre, Beautiful Sandstone Formations appeared first on WIRED.



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