SpaceX rocket explodes after launch
Yesterday was supposed to mark SpaceX's third attempt to land a reusable Falcon 9 rocket after sending its unmanned Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, but it never got to that point: the rocket detonated just over two minutes after liftoff (it happens at 2:50 in the video above), breaking up in a spectacular explosion above Cape Canaveral, Florida.
It was the first-ever failure for the Falcon 9, after 18 previous successful missions, and the attached Dragon capsule was headed to the ISS to resupply astronauts stationed up there. And it had more than just food and basic supplies: the capsule included two of Microsoft's HoloLens headsets, which astronauts were set to begin testing for NASA.
CEO Elon Musk says initial findings show an "overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank. Data suggests counterintuitive cause." However, a full investigation has already commenced to try and pin down the issue. SpaceX has led the way in private spaceflight and plans to attempt a manned test flight in 2-3 years. Yesterday's setback will be costly, no doubt, but better that problems are discovered before they're sending people up in the crafts.
[Source: The Verge]
Formula E winner crowned
The debut season of the Formula E electric car racing championship concluded with the two-day Visa London ePrix at Battersea Park, and hometown favourite Sam Bird from Virgin Racing pulled out the win at yesterday's final round, finishing some seven seconds ahead of the runner-up.
However, it was Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr. that secured the biggest victory, winning the first Formula E season, while e.dams-Renault was the top team this season. Next year is sure to be even more compelling, as teams can use their own car models and make tweaks as desired, rather than all use the same stock models (as they did this time around). That ought to give the alarmingly quiet races some extra punch.
[Source: Formula E]
First Arkham Knight PC patch
Batman: Arkham Knight released last week, and while it's been well-received on consoles, the PC version is a total mess. How much of a mess? Enough so that Warner Bros. pulled the game off retail and digital store shelves until it's been patched into a decent-enough state. That's bad.
Luckily, Warner Bros. and developer Rocksteady issued the first patch yesterday, which addresses various crashes and bugs, as well as a Steam issue regarding file verification. Small steps, but that's to be expected just a few days after the botched release.
Rocksteady says it's leading the process to fix the game - after Iron Galaxy Studios primarily handled the PC port of Rocksteady's console code - and that bumping the frame rate, offering more graphics options, and enabling better performance are at the top of their to-do list. We'll see how long it takes to get there - and when the game actually goes back on sale.
[Source: WB Games]