A Spinning Rocket Slinger, a Bionic Jellyfish, and More News

Rocket ships are spinning and jellyfish are winning, but first: a cartoon about Instagram art. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

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Today’s News

Inside Spinlaunch, the space industry’s best-kept secret

A company called Spinlaunch is giving life to a decades-old idea for how to get rockets into space: spin them here on Earth and hurl them into the cosmos. The secretive space company is building a massive centrifuge that will whip a rocket around in circles for roughly an hour, ramping up its speed to more than 5,000 miles per hour. Once at launch speed, the centrifuge will release the rocket and send it screaming into the stratosphere where it will fire its engine for a final nudge into orbit. Spinlaunch hopes to complete its first suborbital launches later this year.

A bionic jellyfish swims with manic speed

Roboticists around the world spend a lot of time trying to get machines to do things animals can already do. But researchers from Caltech and Stanford are taking a different approach: applying machines to give animals powers they’ve never had. These researchers have equipped jellyfish with microchips and electrodes to turbocharge their swimming pace, from a leisurely 2 centimeters per second to a less leisurely 6. The technology could, say, be used to build a sort of floating sensor network to sample water quality in the oceans.

Fast Fact: 71 Percent

That’s how much traffic congestion has increased drive times in Bengalaru, India, the world’s most traffic-choked city in 2019. The next four cities on the list of the world’s worst traffic are Manila, Bogotá, Mumbai, and Pune.

WIRED Recommends: Gaming Desktop PCs

Some computers are built to work hard—but what if you want to play hard? Set up any one of these awesome gaming PCs and turn your desktop into a battlestation.

News You Can Use

Here’s how to get the most out of your smartphone’s encryption.

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