From today's featured article
Project Rover was a nuclear thermal rocket project that ran from 1955 to 1973. Beginning as a United States Air Force project to develop a nuclear-powered upper stage for an intercontinental ballistic missile, it was transferred to NASA in 1958 after the Sputnik crisis triggered the Space Race. Nuclear reactors for Project Rover were built and tested at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory at very low power and then shipped to Area 25 (known as Jackass Flats) at the Nevada Test Site. Project Rover produced two large reactors, Kiwi (pictured) and Phoebus, and a smaller reactor, Pewee, conforming to the smaller budget available after 1968. The reactors were fueled by highly enriched uranium, with liquid hydrogen used as both a rocket propellant and reactor coolant. Their efficiency was roughly double that of chemical rockets. Project Rover was canceled in 1973, and none of the reactors developed ever flew. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Chrysomya putoria (genus member pictured) and other flies that feed on decomposing flesh are used as important tools in forensic entomology to establish the post-mortem interval?
- ... that Virginia Kirkus reviewed 16,000 books for her bookshop service between the 1930s and 1960s?
- ... that Dixit Maria, a motet in Latin by Hans Leo Hassler, sets to music the narrative of Mary's consent to the Annunciation?
- ... that Chinese doctor Kang Laiyi spent more than 30 years researching the epidemiology of HIV?
- ... that Brooklyn's 13th, 14th, and 23rd Regiment Armories, all built significantly over budget, were later converted to homeless shelters?
- ... that Ben Kimura was among the first gay artists in Japan to achieve crossover success with a female audience in yaoi publications?
- ... that future U.S. senator Howard Baker campaigned for president of the University of Tennessee student body on a platform to establish a campus radio station?
- ... that Myname's record label was forced to destroy 20,000 CDs of the group's second single album after accidentally including Psy's "Gangnam Style" as its sixth track?
In the news
- In India, the four suspects in the Hyderabad gang rape case are shot dead by the police.
- The wreck of the cruiser SMS Scharnhorst (pictured), which sank during the Battle of the Falkland Islands in December 1914, is discovered.
- The Power of Siberia pipeline begins operations, delivering Russian natural gas to China.
- In Iraq, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi resigns amidst ongoing protests.
On this day
- 1813 – Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 (audio featured) premiered in Vienna, conducted by the composer himself.
- 1854 – In his apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was conceived free of original sin.
- 1941 – The Holocaust: The Chełmno extermination camp in occupied Poland, the first such Nazi camp to kill Jews, began operating.
- 1972 – During an aborted landing and go-around while approaching Chicago's Midway International Airport, United Airlines Flight 553 crashed into a residential neighborhood, destroying five houses and killing forty-five people.
- 2009 – Bombings in Baghdad carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq killed at least 127 people and injured at least 448 others.