Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz covers state, business and society for Quartz.
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Nailed It: SpaceX's Reusable Rocket Makes Historic Landing

April 10, 2016 After four failed attempts, SpaceX has successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a sea-going platform. The landing is a critical success in founder Elon Musk’s mission to disrupt the space access business, cutting the costs of a launch by reusing the first stage of the...

Are Voters Getting Tired of Trump?

April 1, 2016 Donald Trump’s shtick may be getting old. In Wisconsin, host of the next big Republican primary, a new poll shows Texas senator Ted Cruz ahead by 10 percentage points in what should be prime Trump country: a state with a high percentage of non-college educated white, Republican voters. But even...

Border Agents Seized Goods Tied To Forced Labor For The First Time Since 2001

March 30, 2016 Border agents seized a shipment of soda ash from China today, alleging that it was produced by forced prison labor. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol issued an order to seize any material produced by the Tangshan Sanyou Group, a Chinese corporation. The agency said it had information “indicating that the...

This Rocket Exec Angered Everyone in Space and Lost his Job

March 17, 2016 Students at the University of Colorado got an unexpected lesson about the speed of business transformation recently, when a recording of their guest’s candid remarks was posted to the internet, and led to his resignation the next day. Brett Tobey, an aerospace industry veteran who worked at Lockheed Martin for...

This Painfully Honest Look at the Space Industry Just Got an Executive Fired

March 17, 2016 Students at the University of Colorado got an unexpected lesson about the speed of business transformation recently, when a recording of their guest’s candid remarks was posted to the internet, and led to his resignation the next day. Brett Tobey, an aerospace industry veteran who worked at Lockheed Martin for...

The Reason SpaceX Keeps Aborting Launches

February 29, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last night, SpaceX aborted its third attempt in four days to launch the SES-9 satellite, which bodes ill for a company hoping to demonstrate a speedy and predictable pace of rocket launches this year. After bad weather on the first attempt, the last two failures to launch were linked to...

Hillary Clinton Re-Embraces the Public Option for Health Care

February 23, 2016 When the Democrats spar over health care, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton likes to remind the audience that after the Obama administration’s health care reforms, “we are at 90% coverage. We have to get the remaining 10.” The question is how to do it, and Clinton doesn’t have a...

Why a US Army Vet Cast a Muslim-American Woman to Lead His Afghan War Movie

February 15, 2016 More than one Academy Award-winner has been accused of demonizing Muslims, but “Day One,” the Oscar-nominated short film set against the US war in Afghanistan, makes a Muslim-American woman its hero. Writer and director Henry Hughes served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade (paywall) for five years, including two deployments in...

Three Private Firms Just Landed Huge NASA Contracts to Haul Cargo to Space

January 15, 2016 NASA picked three companies today (Jan. 14) to operate an orbital mule train, hauling supplies and experiments to and from the International Space Station from 2017 through 2024, the end of the laboratory’sexpected lifespan. The three companies are OrbitalATK and SpaceX, which currently hold contracts bringing cargo to the space...

Massive Voter Database Left Unsecured

December 30, 2015 An un­se­cured data­base con­tain­ing in­form­a­tion on more than 190 mil­lion U.S. voters has been float­ing around the in­ter­net, and nobody seems to know how it got there. That’s a troub­ling sign as polit­ic­al cam­paigns be­come in­creas­ingly de­pend­ent on col­lect­ing, ana­lyz­ing, and util­iz­ing per­son­al voter in­form­a­tion. In­ter­net re­search­er Chris Vick­ery found...

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