As NASA promised last week, and only slightly delayed by weather, the GRAIL mission to the moon has launched. The twin probes will arrive just as 2012 dawns, and map the gravitational field and the interior characteristics of our nearest neighbor.
China's new moon rocket design is in the class of the old Saturn V that once launched U.S. Apollo astronauts to the moon. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology says that the proposed rocket would have a thrust of 3,000 metric tons, just shy of the 3,470 metric tons of thrust generated by the Saturn V's first stage, Aviation Week reports.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.