A project to develop diffractive solar sails has advanced to the third and final phase of NASA’s advanced concepts program. The team behind the project now has two years to further develop this unconventional means of space propulsion. Read...

I Hate Recycling

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I have a confession to make: I am a horrible recycler. Even though my job is to think about and chronicle the fate of our polluted planet, I still often can’t be asked to rinse out my plastic containers or find a recycling can on the street when I’m done with my Coke. My even darker...

This week’s question—could the world ever run entirely on renewable energy?—is shadowed by a much larger one: Namely, will politicians and powerful forces of delay like Big Oil ever allow the world to run entirely on renewable energy? For the most part, we have put that larger question aside...

Last summer, powerful winds from a derecho took Iowa’s only nuclear power plant out of commission. Because it was already slated for closure just two months later, the facility’s owners decided not to bring it back online, and it’s been sitting idle since last August. But there’s a plan to...

Last summer, powerful winds from a derecho took Iowa’s only nuclear power plant out of commission. Because it was already slated for closure just two months later, the facility’s owners decided not to bring it back online, and it’s been sitting idle since last August. But there’s a plan to...

Last summer, powerful winds from a derecho took Iowa’s only nuclear power plant out of commission. Because it was already slated for closure just two months later, the facility’s owners decided not to bring it back online, and it’s been sitting idle since last August. But there’s a plan to...