We commonly think of space tech as cutting edge -- but the computers inside usually aren't. This is both because the missions have long lead times and because old parts have physically larger transistors that better resist radiation. The just-launched NASA/ESA Solar Orbiter's CPU is an ESA-designed chip based on a design from the late 1980s.

It's often observed that there's more computing power on your phone than on Apollo 11. It's worse than that: there's more computing power *in your USB-C charger* than on Apollo 11. :-O :-O :-O

"The panel has a larger concern with the rigor of Boeing's verification processes" is impressively diplomatic. I'd be more blunt: between this and the 737 MAX, do not trust Boeing for life-critical software.

Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is already a decade late to launch. And now they're almost certain to miss their next launch deadline as well. :-|

(Reminds me of Douglas Adams: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.")

There is exactly one correct name for JPL's 2020 Mars rover: "Vision." And you can vote for that name, here: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/partici

I never interned at NASA, but if I had, I don't imagine I'd have discovered a planet in my first week. Congrats, Mr. Cukier!

It's just lovely of The New York Times to include Opportunity in their year-end "The Lives They Lived." Thanks for thinking of our beloved girl, y'all. That was classy.

Nifty-looking Mars clock uses Mars 24 time. Of course, if you want to know what time it is for each rover (+ InSight), you can use my Android app (play.google.com/store/apps/det).

Great, now there's food FUD. Look, the Impossible Burger tastes about as good as the real thing (I say as a confirmed carnivore) and is better for the planet -- and here the meat industry is tacitly admitting as much, or else they'd quietly let it fail. arstechnica.com/science/2019/1

Now I can never make another recipe that hasn't been rapped, because I've seen
Dolio the Sleuth's sweet potato pie recipe: youtu.be/5ZUEFnas43Y

In Scotland, Orbex is 3D-printing rockets that use carbon emission-reducing bio-propane fuel. Do you want a sustainable rocket program? Because this is how you get a sustainable rocket program. techcrunch.com/2019/11/19/here

At last, something we all have in common: there is broad bipartisan support for NASA, even though different sides have different reasons.

Here's a fun illustration of a surprising fact: Mercury (not Venus or Mars) is the closest planet to Earth, most of the time -- and Mercury is also the closest planet to *every other planet*, most of the time. blog.adafruit.com/2019/11/10/w

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