Science & Energy
A program within the Department of Energy, called ARPA-E, has opened up $125 million to fund various technology and science projects that are “transformational” for energy, whether that’s for clean energy generation, lower emissions vehicles, or energy efficient tech for buildings. The ARPA-E program funds early-stage, high-risk, but high-impact, projects out of university labs, young startups and big companies alike, and this type of open funding announcement is meant to make sure they’re not excluding technologies outside of their already established funding verticals. Apply here by February 20.
A Tuesday test of SpaceX’s reusable launch system was aborted at the last minute due to a problem with the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage. Multistage rockets shed stages as they climb, to lighten the load by detaching segments whose fuel has burned out, and to clear the way for different types of motors that are suited to various atmospheric conditions. The SpaceX system’s stages are being designed to find their way back down to Earth’s surface for reuse as soon as a few hours later, which could drastically reduce the cost of space travel. Tuesday’s would have been the first test for bringing down the first stage on a solid surface. It may now be conducted as soon as Friday.