Fed Says US Economy Shows No Warning Signs, Knock on Wood
Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell is of the opinion that the US economy is humming along quite nicely and shows no signs of trouble ahead. He’s encouraged by healthy consumer spending, modest wage growth, and an unemployment rate that is at 50-year lows. The record US expansion is now in its 11th year, and, in Powell’s words, "There is no reason why it can’t last. At the risk of jinxing us.”
Electrification Will Cost Some at Daimler Their Jobs
German automaker Daimler AG is transitioning away from traditional combustion engines in favor of electrification, which is good for the environment, bad for the company’s earnings. The maker of Mercedes-Benz automobiles is dropping its profit margin forecast for the year, and will be cutting 10% of its management positions in order to save an extra 1.3 billion euros. The company plans to rollout more than 20 new plug-in hybrid and fully-electric Mercedes cars by 2022 in order to keep up with environmental regulations and shifting consumer demand.
Oxygen Acting All Weird on Mars, Flummoxing Scientists on Earth
NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012 and ever since it's been using a tunable laser spectrometer to analyze the atmospheric composition of the Red Planet. Data shows that at the surface 95% of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide, 2.6% molecular nitrogen, 1.9% argon, 0.16% oxygen and 0.06% carbon monoxide. During the planet’s seasons its atmospheric pressure changes, and so do those percentages. The weird part is that oxygen actually rose by a peak increase of 30% in the spring and summer which no Earth-bound scientist expected. Right now, the baffled scientists can only wonder where the mysterious, newly created oxygen is coming from and haven't ruled out a biological source.
Rocket Making Machine Makes Rockets in 12 Hours
It used to take months to build a fully-formed rocket, which is too long when you gotta be at your low earth orbit appointment by noon tomorrow. So Rocket Lab engineered a giant CNC milling machine that spits out a launch vehicle in 12 hours flat. The SoCal/New Zealand-based aerospace company named its subtractive manufacturing machine Rosie the Robot, and says that raw materials go in and rockets come out in half a day. In addition, Rocket Lab 3D prints some engine components to speed production, and is devising a crafty rocket recovery system that uses helicopters to catch falling boosters mid-air.
Museum Offers 25 Large for Chunk of St. Louis Meteorite
On Monday, a meteor flashed spectacularly over the skies of St. Louis and the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum hasn’t been able to stop thinking about it since. The museum, which is set to open next month, quickly issued a press release saying it’ll give 25,000 smackeroos to the first person to bring it a one-kilogram chunk of the space rock. No one knows the original size of the asteroid that produced the fireball in the sky, with some experts saying it could’ve been as tiny as rocks or as big as a basketball. With a crash site believed to be somewhere around Wellsville (about 90 minutes northwest of St. Louis) and big money on the line, begun the meteor rush has.
Missed last week's roundup where we talked about robots causing a ruckus down at the LA docks? You're in luck.
End of Line.
A bi-weekly roundup of the latest happenings in industrial tech, hiring and the future of work.