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SpaceX Made History Again by Landing a Rocket on a Droneship

Last Friday, a SpaceX rocket stuck a spectacular landing on a platform floating in the Atlantic Ocean. Like a pencil balancing on a flaming eraser, the rocket remained perpendicular as it touched down near dead center of its target on a droneship named Of Course I Still Love You. That's right: We’re finally starting to get good at this.

The rocket, a Falcon 9 first-stage booster, represents more than just another first for SpaceX. (In December 2015 a Falcon 9 nailed the landing on a return to Earth—the first time that's been done, too.) The vessel will be towed to Port Canaveral, Florida, where its creators intend to test it and potentially put it right back to work. Speaking to the press after the landing, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk emphasized the importance of reusability. “In order for us to really open up access to space, we've got to achieve full and rapid reusability," he said. "And being able to do that for the primary rocket booster is going to have a huge impact on cost." 

A Falcon 9 costs about $61.2 million out of the box, making reuse a green choice for more than one reason. The company hopes to get 10 to 20 launches out of each rocket, although, Musk added, with "minor refurbishment you could get to 100." 

Musk described the exhilarating success as "another step toward the stars." It was surely also a welcome development after several failed missions in the last few years, including this explosive tip over in January when a Falcon 9 attempted to land on a droneship called Just Read the Instructions.   

Elon Musk’s mother, legendary model Maye Musk, took to Instagram to beam about her son’s success.

Huge smile for successful @spacex launch and Falcon 9 landing. #stillsmiling #sohappy #editorial

A photo posted by Maye Musk (@mayemusk) on

[h/t The Los Angeles Times]

Header image from YouTube // SpaceX

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© 2017 USPS
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Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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