Tag Archives: science

How to Land a House on Mars: My new feature for Air & Space / Smithsonian

A crew recovers the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator test vehicle from the Pacific after LDSD's second atmospheric test, June 2015.

I’ve got a big feature in the March 2016 issue of Air & Space / Smithsonian, where I work, about the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator, which is the two-stage technology NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena is working on that will one day allow NASA to deposit heavier objects on the surface of Mars intact than they have up ’til now — a problem they need to solve before any potential crewed mission could happen. Sounds pretty dry and technical, maybe, but why not show a little confidence in my ability to tell a story? My pal and editor Heather Goss already made me take all the acronyms out, upping the likelihood you’ll read this, we both hope.

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What Fresh Hell! Mad Max: Fury Road, reviewed.

Tom Hardy & Charlize Theron are the dual protagonists of George Miller's Melting clocks would not look out of place in the surreal and vibrant post-apocalyptic world George Miller has created in Mad Max: Fury Road, the long-delayed fourth installment in the series that launched his eclectic career 36 years ago. (Four Max Maxes now, but also two Babes and two Happy Feet.) Among its other substantial achievements, the film elevates Charlize Theron into the Sigourney Weaver-Linda Hamilton-Carrie Anne Moss Action Heroine Hall of Fame. Last year was an unusually strong one for blockbusters, but Fury Road is still the baddest to burn rubber and spit fire in many nuclear winters. My NPR review is here.