Fly Me to the Moon
For the first time since 1972, a US spacecraft has touched down on the moon.
What’s it doing there?
The unmanned lunar lander named Odysseus, aka “Odie,” is delivering cargo for NASA. Also onboard: Jeff Koons' “Moon Phases” — a set of 125 miniature moon sculptures. NASA paid Intuitive Machines, the company that built Odie, $118 million to carry the scientific instruments to the moon. It comes as NASA prepares for its Artemis missions, which are slated to start next year in efforts to establish the first long-term lunar presence. Now, after a landing that had many in suspense, Intuitive Machines says Odie has started to send data.
Odie will help explore the moon’s south polar region, where frozen water has been detected in the craters there. It’s unclear how much water there could be, but if there’s enough to fill up a Stanley Cup, then it could be a game changer. Astronauts could use the water for drinking and rocket fuel. The layers of ice in the craters could also give more insight into the history of the solar system. Intuitive Machines, which is now the first private company to have a successful moon landing, reportedly has two other lunar lander missions planned this year.
Odie’s moon landing is one large step for private companies. Depending on its success, this could mark a new chapter for commercial lunar missions.
What's dialing down concerns...
AT&T. The company said an initial review found an error, not a cyberattack, led to yesterday's widespread outage. More than 70,000 wireless customers lost access to AT&T’s network across the country, prompting some federal regulators to wonder if a cyberattack was to blame. Many customers panicked, even though people could use their phones if they were connected to WiFi. Elsewhere the effects were more serious, with disrupted 911 services in several cities like San Francisco. AT&T said it was trying to expand its network when the error happened. Still, the Federal Communications Commission is looking into the incident.
Who’s not done standing up for their hairstyle…
A Texas teen. Yesterday, the family of 18-year-old Darryl George said they will appeal a judge’s ruling siding with a Texas school district. Last year, the Barbers Hill Independent School District suspended George, saying the length of his hair violated the school’s dress code. That's despite George pinning and braiding his dreadlocks to the top of his head. The district asked a court to decide if its dress code violated the CROWN Act, which bans race-based hair discrimination. Now, a judge has ruled the district didn’t do anything wrong, since the act doesn’t mention hair length.
Who’s hitting the pause button…
Google. Yesterday, the tech giant said it’s temporarily stopping the image generator feature in its AI model Gemini. It comes after backlash on social media, with users saying prompts led Gemini to create historically inaccurate images. One user, who asked Gemini to generate an image of a 1943 German soldier, shared the image generator’s results: people of color as Nazi-era soldiers. Now, some say Google may be over-correcting for racial bias risk in its model. It comes as Google tries to catch up in the AI development space. Google said it will re-release an updated version of Gemini “soon.”
Who people are wishing well…
Wendy Williams. Yesterday, the former talk show host’s team said she was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and aphasia last year. Both conditions can lead to difficulties with language. Her team says she's receiving treatment and can still “do many things for herself.” The news comes after the abrupt ending of her show in 2022.
Who has the "Bravoverse" talking...
Who's suiting up…
What didn’t make the cut…
Tomorrow is the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, where Nikki Haley, former UN ambassador and former South Carolina governor, is trailing former President Donald Trump in the polls. Ahead of the contest, theSkimm’s co-founders and co-CEOs, Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, spoke to Governor Haley about her positions on reproductive rights, the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling on IVF embryos, the housing market, and more. Listen to the conversation here.
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