SpaceX has seventh successful launch and booster retrieval

What is it about space that intrigues the corporate moguls of the day? Richard Branson has his Virgin Galactic, while Amazon’s Jeff Bezos counts Blue Origin as part of his portfolio. Perhaps they all grew up on Star Trek — it’s that final frontier thing.

And here we have Tesla CEO Elon Musk in the news once again with his SpaceX program. The aerospace designer and manufacturer had a successful Saturday, launching the “Iridium-1” mission: A Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg AFB in California. The rocket carried 10 satellites into space for Iridium, a voice/data company. Not only did the satellites make it into space, but the first stage rocket booster successfully returned, landing on a floating platform known as a drone ship. CNN points out that due to the usual one-and-done use of typical rockets (and the cost), sticking the return landing is the key concept in making these efforts more affordable, as the boosters can be used again. Saturday marked SpaceX’s seventh successful landing.

News of the successful launch is sure to give SpaceX a shot in the confidence arm. Back in the fall, it lost a rocket plus payload in a fiery explosion during pre-launch testing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. AP says “SpaceX announced this month that investigators concluded the accident involved a failure of one of three helium tanks inside the rocket’s second-stage liquid oxygen tank.”

SpaceX reportedly has a busy schedule, too — it has 70 launches on the books, worth $10 billion. Besides the commercial payload launches, SpaceX hauls supplies up to the International Space Station and is working on a capsule that will transport astronauts to the station as well.

The sheer vastness of space and the limitless possibilities are compelling reasons to shoot for the stars. Human history is replete with those that have sought to push — and break — boundaries in all their forms. “To boldly go … ” and all that. And with $10 billion in launches on the docket, space is also a tidy cash machine for SpaceX, too.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Wearables

Carbon fiber is making Casio’s new connected G-Shock watches even tougher

Casio, a master of tough watches, has introduced carbon fiber to the construction of several G-Shock models, making them stronger and lighter, and allowing for some interesting design changes too.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.
Computing

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Emerging Tech

Asteroid Ryugu is porous, shaped like a spinning top, and is formed of rubble

The Japanese Space Agency has been exploring a distant asteroid named Ryugu with its probe, Hayabusa 2. Now the first results from study of the asteroid are in, with three new papers published.
Emerging Tech

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a super-speedy pulsar

A super-speedy pulsar has been spotted dashing across the sky, discovered using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Very Large Array. The pulsar is traveling at a breathtaking 2.5 million miles an hour.
Emerging Tech

Chilean telescope uncovers one of the oldest star clusters in the galaxy

An ultra-high definition image captured by the Gemini South telescope in Chile has uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way. The cluster, called HP 1, could give clues to how our galaxy was formed billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover giant chimneys spewing energy from the center of the galaxy

Astronomers have discovered two exhaust channels which are funneling matter and energy away from the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy and out towards the edges of the galaxy, dubbed galactic center chimneys.
Emerging Tech

A milestone in the history of particle physics: Why does matter exist?

If matter and antimatter were both produced in equal amounts by the Big Bang, why is there so much matter around us and so little antimatter? A new experiment from CERN may hold the answer to this decades-long puzzle.
Emerging Tech

Dublin Airport has a novel idea for tackling rogue drones

There are a growing number of technology-based solutions for dealing with rogue drones flying near airports, but officials at Dublin Airport have come up with another idea for keeping the skies safe.
Emerging Tech

This sleek new exoskeleton makes walking easier, fits under your clothes

A new ankle exoskeleton that is designed to be worn under clothes can help people to walk without fatiguing — and without restricting natural motion or drawing attention to itself.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s latest breakthrough could make DNA-based data centers possible

Could tomorrow's data centers possibly store information in the form of synthetic DNA? Researchers from Microsoft have successfully encoded the word "hello" into DNA and then back again.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards