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Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz covers state, business and society for Quartz.
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US Space Firms Tell Washington: China Will Take Over the Moon If You’re Not Careful

April 26, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The US space industry is prodding the US government into refreshing its outdated laws on commercial activity beyond Earth: scare it with talk of Chinese galactic domination. At a Senate hearing on the space industry today, companies that build rockets and space habitats and manufacture electronic goods in space spoke...

Could Donald Trump Really Send Astronauts to Mars in the Next Seven Years?

April 25, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Donald Trump got on the phone yesterday to congratulate veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson, who recently arrived at the International Space Station and, having spent 534 days in space including two previous tours on the orbital lab, broke the record for the longest overall time spent in space by an American....

Could Donald Trump Really Send Astronauts to Mars in the Next Seven Years?

April 25, 2017 Donald Trump got on the phone Monday to congratulate veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson, who recently arrived at the International Space Station and, having spent 534 days in space including two previous tours on the orbital lab, broke the record for the longest overall time spent in space by an American....

The Israeli Finalist in Google’s $20 Million Race to the Moon Won’t Make It to the Starting Line

April 21, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Google Lunar XPrize, a contest offering $20 million to the first private team to send a robot to the moon—and explore the lunar surface for the first time since China’s space agency landed a rover in 2014—is now down to four competitors with just over eight months until the...

Elon Musk’s Reusable Rocket Just Changed The Space Game

March 31, 2017 Kennedy Space Center, Florida — Elon Musk, billionaire rocket designer, was nervous watching the first-ever takeoff of a previously flown rocket, a second-time first of sorts. “I did have like two boxes of Xanax, I think that might have helped,” the SpaceX founder joked afterward, adding, “I was nervous that...

Elon Musk has Officially Taken the New Space Race Between SpaceX and Blue Origin into Orbit

March 31, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Kennedy Space Center, Florida—Elon Musk, billionaire rocket designer, was nervous watching the first-ever takeoff of a previously flown rocket, a second-time first of sorts. “I did have like two boxes of Xanax, I think that might have helped,” the SpaceX founder joked afterward, adding, “I was nervous that I wasn’t...

SpaceX Will Fly its First 'Flight-Proven' Rocket Tonight to Make Space History

March 30, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Kennedy Space Center, Florida Even before dawn, workers streamed past security into the U.S. launch complex here, intent on the routine business of the spaceport. But tonight’s launch is out of the ordinary. It’s the next milestone to fulfilling the promise Elon Musk set for his company SpaceX: to dramatically...

The U.S. is Facing a Choice Between the International Space Station and a New Deep Space Rocket

March 29, 2017 In one corner, we have an international, orbital laboratory that cost over $150 billion to build and operate. In the other, a $23 billion and growing program to develop a huge new deep-space rocket and spacecraft to carry humans to the moon and beyond. Now, they will face off in...

Space Tourism Companies Are Going to Write Their Own Safety Rules Because the US Government Can’t

March 20, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Within a year, says Blue Origin, it will begin flying humans to the edge of space. That would grant the company, founded by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, a symbolic victory over competitors like SpaceX, Boeing and Virgin Galactic, who are also pursuing plans to fly paying passengers beyond earth’s atmosphere....

SpaceX’s Self-Landing Rocket is a Flying Robot Great at Math

February 21, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow What you’re seeing in the video below is a 40-meter tall SpaceX rocket booster, weighing more than 20 tons, fly itself back to Earth from space and land precisely on a target at Cape Canaveral. What you may be wondering is, how did it do that? The first thing to...

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