Inverse Daily

How SpaceX is working with the chaos in Texas

Neither rain nor sleet nor extreme chill can stop the rocket company.

The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images

In today's lead story, we're looking at how one Texas company is dealing with the devastating winter and infrastructure problems hitting the state: SpaceX. But first, it's time to say, “Hello Dolly.”

Today in 1997, scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland shocked the world. They announced that a year prior, in July, they had successfully cloned a sheep which they named Dolly. With cells taken from a mammary gland, Dolly received international attention as the first animal cloned from adult cells.

Named after Dolly Parton, she kicked off a sudden trend of animal cloning. Deer, horses, and bulls were all cloned in Dolly's wake. Dolly passed away in 2003 but has left a long scientific legacy, especially in the use of stem cells.

Our new question of the week is about a video game series that Inverse holds close to the heart. We're about to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Zelda. Which Zelda game is your favorite? We've got a poll for you to vote on in our Google Form. And at the bottom we've compiled answers to last week's question!

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for February 22, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

Success — Mars 2020 rover landing: NASA images show expectations vs. reality

All the work paid off. The Perseverance rover landed without incident on Mars on February 18, 2021 — the end of a journey to the Red Planet that began seven months earlier. NASA has been hyping up the mission for years, and with good reason. It will likely change the nature of how humanity understands the fourth planet from the Sun.

Here's how all the years of showing how Perseverance would work compared with what actually happened.

What they're saying: “Mission team members have mapped in advance the safest areas of the landing zone. If Perseverance can tell that it’s headed for more hazardous terrain, it picks the safest spot it can reach and gets ready for the next dramatic step.” —NASA, speaking on the Jezero Crater.

See what NASA is really doing up there

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Mars calling — Mars Perseverance rover: 9 thrilling moments from NASA

If you can't tell, we are seriously psyched about Perseverance here at Inverse. The list of things that had to go right for this mission to be a success is a very, very long one. Among the challenges: The rover (and NASA ground control) endured “7 minutes of terror” as it entered the Martian atmosphere before autonomously touching down on the surface of the Red Planet.

If you missed the landing as it happened, check out the highlights of a day that went extremely well.

What they're saying:Touchdown confirmed!” —the call that went out at NASA as the rover completed a crucial part of its mission.

The highlights of NASA's big day

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Dogtown — Are dogs self-aware? New study reveals what canines think

People know more about dogs than ever these days thanks to a major boom in canine behavioral studies.

But dog researchers are just getting started. A study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports suggests dogs — much like humans — experience an important manifestation of self-representation: body awareness. It's self-awareness, but not just how we typically think of the idea. Are dogs aware of how their body conforms to their current physical space?

What they're saying: “Self-awareness is a rather poorly investigated area of dog cognition.” —Péter Pongrácz, Eötvöz Loránd University in Hungary, to Inverse.

What man's best friends really think about their bodies

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Coming soon ...

If you haven't already, you should check out Inverse's other newsletter, Musk Reads. It's a deep dive into the hows and whys of Elon Musk's various companies. How they're changing the consumer experience, how they work in the first place, and how the competition is reacting. Coming up this week, Musk Reads author Mike Brown sits down with a little-known figure who could play a huge role in the future of Tesla and other companies pursuing self-driving cars. From Mike:

Self-driving cars could be a regulatory nightmare. One California state senator wants to act before it’s too late. Ben Allen has a plan to help legislators deal with the coming cars. His new bill would establish a Council on the Future of Transportation, tasked with answering tough questions, like how autonomous vehicles might co-exist with non-autonomous cars and how the state can prepare for changes in traffic.

In an Inverse interview, Allen says the government is “woefully underprepared” for what’s to come — a dramatic shift that could rival the introduction of automobiles in terms of scale. Don’t miss the full interview, only in Musk Reads+.

Pure fantasy — Why do people have lucid dreams? Study questions the limits of consciousness

For Inverse managing editor Claire Cameron, lucid dreaming has been a part of her life for years. After a series of repetitive nightmares, Cameron’s brain —for reason she cannot explain — was able to train itself to recognize when she was dreaming.

She’s not the only one. Lucid dreaming is mentioned in ancient Hindu and Greek writing, but the phenomena is still poorly understood. But now, a new study offers to shed light on the age-old practice by looking at the possibilities of two-way communication through lucid dreaming.

You’ll want to check out this fascinating mixture of personal essay and groundbreaking scientific research.

What they're saying: “Basically, we study a memory. And the memory can be distorted.” —Delphine Oudiette, an Inserm researcher at the Paris Brain Institute and co-author on the study, to Inverse.

There are deep layers within your dreams

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Neither rain nor snow — SpaceX Starship: Video shows incredible SN10 ship ahead of next major test

SpaceX has been through a lot over the years. But like many others, the recent challenges in Texas are pushing the company to its limits.

SpaceX is gearing up for its next major test launch, and video footage shows the impressive SN10 prototype ahead of an expected test fire, possibly next week.

On Friday, NASASpaceflight shared footage via its YouTube channel of SpaceX making progress at its Boca Chica facility in Texas, which broke ground in 2014 and now serves as the Starship development site. SpaceX is using the facility to build prototypes of the Starship, its heavy lift rocket designed to send humans to Mars and beyond.

Road closures suggest the prototype could undergo a static test fire as early as Monday, February 22 — a step normally taken before a full-scale launch.

What they're saying: “Success on landing probability is ~60% this time.” —Elon Musk, tweeting about SN10.

How SpaceX is working amidst chaos in Texas

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And now, the answers to last week's question about the one item you would bring to Mars.

“A deck of cards.” —David Cowan

“A physical photo album. There is something very special about touching objects instead of just looking at them.” —Matthew Ewoldt

“My husband, he is somewhat of a genius and would probably help make life better and easier for all. :)” —Chris

“I would take my guitar so I could write a song about the Red Planet. Many songs were written about the Moon but never about Mars while on Mars!” —Tom Myers

“A copy of Wikipedia.” —Laurent Martens

“My trusted Swiss Army knife!” —Alex McLean

“Nail clipper.” —David Geist

“I would bring a piece of sedimentary rock from Earth full of fossils (sterilized of course). It seems only fair Mars gets one of our rocks if we get Martian rocks. :)” —Peter Hall

“Sodium percarbonate, aka OxiClean.” —David Jackson

“A room-sized vacuum filtration system (the Mars mudroom).” —Ezekiel Royer

“Portable oxygen in the form of mothballs that dissolve and create my own atmosphere!” — Raychill Royer

My lovie “Wolfie” because he’s the best! — Zachariah Royer

“An inflatable bubble to roll around in...much better to travel around in than walking! — Izzabelle Royer (Thank you to the Royers for the wonderful answers!)

And that's it for the Daily! If you're looking for more, make sure to check out our rec for the best sci-fi apocalypse movie on Amazon Prime.

Thank you for reading! Follow me on Twitter if you want, where I tweet too much.

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