From today's featured article
The Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) was a rocket engine development program intended to establish a technology base for nuclear thermal rocket systems for space missions, as this promised to be more efficient than chemical rockets. NERVA was a joint effort of the Atomic Energy Commission and NASA, and was managed by the Space Nuclear Propulsion Office (SNPO). NERVA was considered a successful program in that it met or exceeded its program goals and demonstrated that nuclear thermal rocket engines were a feasible and reliable tool for space exploration. At the end of 1968 the SNPO deemed that the latest NERVA engine, the XE (pictured), met the requirements for a human mission to Mars. It had strong political support but was canceled by President Richard Nixon in 1973. Although NERVA engines were built and tested largely with flight-certified components and were deemed ready for integration into spacecraft, they never flew in space. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Jonathan Allen (pictured) left journalism for politics before quitting 40 days later?
- ... that the Dvorichna settlement hromada has remained divided between Russia and Ukraine since the 2022 Kharkiv counteroffensive?
- ... that Chanig ar Gall joined her husband Charlez ar Gall in Breton-language broadcasting after learning the language itself?
- ... that South Korean band Seventeen partnered with Apple to let fans create remixes of their song "Darl+ing" on GarageBand?
- ... that tickets on secondary markets for the 2023 Leagues Cup final ranged from $484 to $12,000 within a day of release?
- ... that 13 contemporary Dubliners reenacted The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci for a mural installed in their city's "Italian Quarter"?
- ... that Chaimas Kaplanas took part in four hunger strikes during his imprisonment at Kaunas Prison?
- ... that a reviewer for The Sims 2: Nightlife said that a more accurate name would be "The Sims: Slutting About"?
In the news
- The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission returns samples of asteroid Bennu to Earth (return capsule pictured).
- Tigst Assefa breaks the women's world record at the Berlin Marathon.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland is accused of involvement in a cash-for-visa corruption scandal.
- Former Italian president Giorgio Napolitano dies at the age of 98.
On this day
- 235 – Pope Pontian resigned after being exiled to Sardinia, becoming the first pope to relinquish the position; he was reportedly beaten to death with sticks weeks later.
- 1066 – William the Conqueror and his fleet of around 600 ships landed at Pevensey, Sussex, beginning the Norman conquest of England.
- 1901 – Philippine–American War: Filipino guerrillas killed more than forty American soldiers in a surprise attack on the town of Balangiga on the island of Samar.
- 1928 – Scottish biologist and pharmacologist Alexander Fleming (pictured) discovered penicillin when he noticed a bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory.
- 1975 – An attempted robbery of Spaghetti House, a restaurant in Knightsbridge, London, turned into a six-day hostage situation.
Today's featured picture
The Unité d'Habitation of Berlin is a 1958 apartment building located in Berlin, a seminal example of modernist architectural design. The brainchild of Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, it embodies the principles of his concept of unité d'habitation, an innovative response to post–World War II urban-housing challenges. This residential edifice is distinguished by its unwavering commitment to functionalism and efficiency. It encompasses 530 modular residential units, distributed across seventeen floors. The exterior façade, seen here in 2021, is characterized by the employment of rough-cast concrete, with colors designed by Le Corbusier together with the painter Fernand Léger.
Photograph credit: Matthias Süßen