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Stories by Lee Billings

Elon Musk Does It Again

His Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off on the first try, puts a Tesla auto into orbit—and maybe changes the business of space commerce and exploration forever

February 6, 2018 — Lee Billings

A New Recipe for Hunting Alien Life

For most life in the universe, oxygen might be a deadly poison. Surprisingly, that might make such creatures easier for astrobiologists to find

January 24, 2018 — Lee Billings

Air Force Tracks Final Frontier

General Jay Raymond, Commander of Air Force Space Command, talks about keeping watch over space and cyber. 

January 3, 2018 — Lee Billings and Steve Mirsky

Inflating the Universe with Prize-Winning Cosmologist David Spergel

This year’s Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to the team behind NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, or WMAP, a space telescope that launched in 2001 to map the cosmic microwave background—the earliest, oldest light we can detect from the universe’s infancy. The WMAP team will split the $3 million award, with its leaders receiving the largest shares. One of those leaders, WMAP’s chief theorist David Spergel, sat down to speak with Scientific American about WMAP’s science and its legacy. 

December 3, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Michael D. Lemonick and Lee Billings

Neutron Star Collisions Create Gold

Astrophysicists searching for gravitational waves have finally learned what happens when you crash two neutron stars together--and it's very, very shiny.

October 17, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Lee Billings and Michael D. Lemonick

Gravitational Wave Astronomers Hit Mother Lode

Spacetime ripples from a stellar cataclysm in a distant galaxy help explain the cosmic origins of gold, and chart the course for a new age of “multi-messenger” astronomy

October 16, 2017 — Lee Billings
Stories by Lee Billings

Of Shamrocks and Science

Happy St. Patrick’s Day