In Utah today, NASA completed a successful test of the world's largest, most powerful solid rocket motor, the DM-2. For two minutes, the motor, designed to provide up to 3.6 million pounds of thrust, roaringly fired a column of flame, while some 760 instruments monitored its every aspect. Best to turn down your speakers before the countdown in this video hits zero.
Before the motor was fired, the engineers chilled it to 40 degrees below zero, for additional stress testing. It reportedly passed every test. The motor is intended to be used in the heavy-lift rocket segment of the Constellation program that NASA has slated for 2015.
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.