Dropping a falcon feather and hammer on the moon

On the moon in 1971, Commander David Scott dropped a hammer and a falcon feather to validate Galileo’s theory that without air resistance, objects fall at the same rate due to gravity regardless of mass. Given the negligible lunar atmosphere, there was no drag on the feather, both experienced the same acceleration, and both hit the ground at the same time. NASA did this because they wanted a memorable popular science experiment to do on the Moon, for kids. Very cool to watch.

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The Feynman Technique

The Feynman Technique is the best way to learn anything quickly. Devised by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, it uses the power of teaching for better learning.

There are four steps to the Feynman Learning Technique:

  1. Pretend to teach a concept you want to learn about to a student in the sixth grade.
  2. Identify gaps in your explanation. Go back to the source material to better understand it.
  3. Organize and simplify.
  4. Transmit (optional).
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How we’ll get to Mars

We’re fortunate to live in a time when we have two new launch rockets intended to enable crewed launches to Mars.

The two rockets on the left have flown already. The Falcon Heavy flew in 2018 and is currently 32M miles from home traveling at 58K mph. The Saturn V launched the Apollo Missions between 1967-1973.

The two rockets on the right haven’t flown yet. Boeing’s Space Launch System is more expensive and also is not reusable, so it has larger expected price (green bar graph) and $ per kilogram (blue bar graph) characteristics.

Super Heavy Lift Launcher Capabilities Falcon Heavy vs Saturn V vs SLS vs Starship
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68 bits of unsolicited advice from a 68 year old co-founder of Wired

My favorite part is that Kevin teaches most readers a new word, with the last word on his list –– “Pronoia” is a neologism coined to describe a state of mind that is the opposite of paranoia..

Here are 3 of of my favs from his list:

1- Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.

2- Don’t be the best. Be the only.

3- Promptness is a sign of respect.

This list reminded me of the sunscreen song, which is also good.

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