As satellites grow bigger and more powerful, so must the rockets that carry them into orbit. A new generation is emerging-not only are they more muscular, but they're also efficient and environmentally friendly. In the battle for the world's launchpads, here's how the contenders stack up.
Vehicle: Ariane 5Maker: Arianespace (France)First launch: June 1996First payload: Cluster scientific satellites (destroyed)Capacity (in Chevy Suburbans): 3.8More info: www.arianespace.com
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.