N & S America


The world’s first space sports car is cruising toward the asteroid belt, well beyond Mars. SpaceX chief Elon Musk confirmed the new, more distant route for his rocketing Tesla Roadster. The red electric convertible was the unorthodox cargo aboard his company’s brand new Falcon Heavy rocket during a test flight on Tuesday.

With the successful launch, the Heavy became the most powerful rocket flying today. Continue reading


The maiden flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy booster, slated to launch tomorrow (Feb. 6), comes factory-equipped with a Tesla Roadster as a part of the payload/ballast, and is meant to be hurled toward a solar orbit that could take it as far out as the orbit of Mars.

But what’s the point of sending a car into space? Is it bound to become just more space junk? We asked spaceflight experts to weigh in. Continue reading



It sounds like the stuff from a Cold War novel: A Russian intercontinental nuclear-armed torpedo that can travel thousands of miles and strike U.S. coastal cities with minimal warning. But that weapon isn’t just a work of fiction. It’s actually being developed in Russia, according to a new Defense Department report that assesses the arms advancements being made in other countries.

Such weapons research is a wake-up call for the U.S. to strengthen its own arsenal, the Defense Department’s Nuclear Posture Review said Friday. The report calls for the U.S. to develop two new additional nuclear weapons to keep other world powers at bay.  Continue reading


The Pentagon has outlined how it wants to revamp the US nuclear arsenal, and develop new low-yield bombs, largely in response to the threat from Russia. Reality Check looks into where the world’s nuclear weapons are located and who owns them.

While the global stockpile of nuclear weapons has shrunk significantly since the Cold War, there are hundreds of warheads that could be launched at short notice, and experts say every nuclear-armed nation is modernising its arsenal or has plans to do so. Continue reading


Sustainment costs on the F-35 are poised to become unaffordable, and that’s a big challenge for Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s newly christened undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. As a result, Lord is focused on testing new business and data processes on the fifth-generation stealth fighter, including leveraging big data analytics for sustainment purposes.

“Right now, we can’t afford the sustainment costs we have on the F-35. And we’re committed to changing that,” Lord told reporters at a Jan. 31 roundtable, adding that the plane is the “most significant” program in the Department of Defense.

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