Today in grandiose space ambitions that would make even Newt Gingrich balk: a $60 billion, 1,000-mile long, 12-mile high, 20,000-miles-per-hour maglev train that starts on the ground and arrives in low Earth orbit. The minds behind the Startram project think it could reduce the cost per kilo (that’s like 2.2 pounds American) for cargo from roughly $10,000 to just $50.
It makes my day when new technology promises to make life’s most tedious tasks more interesting. Take laundry, for example. I would loathe it so much less if I had a friendly robot to help me fold my socks. Or perhaps if I had this waterless washing machine, which would levitate my clothes and scrub them clean with dry ice in a matter of minutes.
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.