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Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz covers state, business and society for Quartz.
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The Latest Disruptive Space Technology Is a Battery-Powered Rocket Engine

April 17, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The next technology that could upend the space business might be batteries. Rocket Lab, a US and New Zealand-based defense research company, has exploited the increasing power packed by small batteries to develop a new rocket it’s calling the Electron. It says it will cost $4.9 million to launch small ...

A Coverage Dispute Between Uber, Lyft and Insurers Leaves Drivers Exposed

March 23, 2015 If a US driver gets in an accident while a friend is in the car, the driver’s insurance will usually cover the costs. But if the driver gets in an accident while shuttling a passenger paying for the ride through a car-service app such as Uber or Lyft, things get ...

SpaceX's Biggest Military Advantage Isn't Just Cheap Rockets

March 18, 2015 Is SpaceX so successful that it is jeopardizing the US government’s ability to access space? That’s the case its chief competitor in national security rocket launches made yesterday, while asking for permission to purchase more rocket engines from the Russian government. Tory Bruno, the new CEO of United Launch Alliance, ...

The Space Suit You Could Be Wearing In a Few Years Is Being Designed in a Small Workshop in Brooklyn

March 17, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While you can always find next season’s most cutting-edge looks in Manhattan’s Garment District, the most futuristic outerwear in New York City wasn’t on the runways during the recent Fashion Week. Rather, it’s to be found in a small studio in Brooklyn, where an émigré Russian engineer and a US-born ...

ISIS May Be Using Bitcoin and This is Worrying Treasury Department Regulators

February 13, 2015 Bitcoin fans may not enjoy the government’s attention, but they should be flattered: It means the technology they are developing is powerful stuff. At a recent forum that brought together government officials and bitcoin entrepreneurs to discuss the future of the cryptocurrency, paeans to the protocol’s efficiency mingled with law ...

Terrorism Finance Trackers Worry ISIS Already Using Bitcoin

February 13, 2015 Bitcoin fans may not enjoy the government’s attention, but they should be flattered: It means the technology they are developing is powerful stuff. At a recent forum that brought together government officials and bitcoin entrepreneurs to discuss the future of the cryptocurrency, paeans to the protocol’s efficiency mingled with law ...

US Government Is Getting Ready for the Commercialization of the Moon

February 3, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Let’s say you want to build a hotel on the moon. Would you buy the land? Claim it? With private companies racing to make space access cheaper, this question is becoming far less of a joke and far more of a real concern. And it’s led the U.S. Federal Aviation ...

The Federal Government is Getting Ready For the Commercialization of the Moon

February 3, 2015 Let’s say you want to build a hotel on the moon. Would you buy the land? Claim it? With private companies racing to make space access cheaper, this question is becoming far less of a joke and far more of a real concern. And it’s led the US Federal Aviation ...

SpaceX Ends Lawsuit, Settles With Air Force for Future Launch Bids

January 26, 2015 In the end, it took John Ashcroft to get the US Air Force and Elon Musk to play nice together. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, announced a settlement with the Air Force, ending a lawsuit that accused the military of unfairly awarding an $11 billion launch contract to United Launch ...

SpaceX Settles With the Air Force, Smoothing the Way for Competition in Spy-satellite Missions

January 26, 2015 In the end, it took John Ashcroft to get the Air Force and Elon Musk to play nice together. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, announced a settlement with the Air Force, ending a lawsuit that accused the military of unfairly awarding an $11 billion launch contract to United Launch Alliance, ...