ICYMI! Here’s a roundup of the week’s top stories in manufacturing, engineering, and aerospace to take you into the weekend.
The Labor Department Goofed the Jobs Numbers
The New York Times reported that employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously announced. The Labor Department made preliminary revisions to previous data which suggests that while 2018 saw healthy growth in employment, it wasn’t quite as strong as first estimated.
Manufacturing Ends An Epic Run
All good things must come to an end. US manufacturing shrank in August for the first time after a marathon ten-year run of monthly expansions. The contraction adds to growing evidence that the American industrial sector is losing momentum amid tepid global economies and uncertainty about trade policy.
Boeing Mounts a Challenge to the Russians and SpaceX
NASA has been relying on Russian rockets for years to make trips to the International Space Station, but Boeing is developing its Starliner spacecraft as a domestic alternative. A crew of veteran US astronauts is training to travel to the ISS aboard the Starliner at the end of 2020 and hoping rival SpaceX doesn’t get there first.
Elon Loves Mars so Much He Wants to Nuke It
Sounding very much the eccentric billionaire that he is, Elon Musk chatted with his Twitter followers about detonating nukes on Mars in order to terraform the Red Planet for human colonization. Space reports that establishing a colony on Mars has been Elon’s lifelong goal and that he founded SpaceX in hopes of achieving it.
Send Your Name To Mars… If You Dare
Hate to break it to you but unlike Mr. Musk, you’ll probably never set foot on Mars. But NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover is 100% going and you can get your name etched on one of its microchips so aliens know exactly who to vaporize. If you don’t live in fear of their wrath, submit your name on NASA’s site.