Welcome to What the Future, your destination for all those stories that make you say WTF.
Now we've got a lot to cover this week, so let's get right to it.
The commercial space industry just got a lot heavier.
SpaceX reached another milestone this week with it's first commercial launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.
You remember the Falcon Heavy, it first launched last year.
And delivered Elon Musks Tesla Roadster in space, along with a dummy named Starman.
This week's launch was the first for the Heavy since then.
This time, it delivered a Saudi telecommunications satellite into orbit.
But maybe more significant than the payload was the landing.
This time, all three boosters successfully hit their marks during landing.
The core booster, hitting the drone ship floating in the Atlantic, While the two rocket boosters returned to Cape [UNKNOWN].
Yes, the camera on the drone ship did lose signal right before the core landed, so conspiracy theorists comment away.
Last night, the core booster missed a drone ship and splashed into the ocean
The boosters on this week's launch, by the way, were an upgrade for Falcon Heavy.
SpaceX equipped the rocket with the new Block Five Falcon 9 Rocket Boosters, giving it a 10% boost in maximum thrust over last year's launch.
We seem to have a problem with our main engine
Israel's moonshot didn't quite hit its mark.
Private space company, SPACEIL, was hoping to make Israel just the fourth country to land a mission on the moon.
Sadly, its Beresheet lunar lander crashed during its attempted landing.
The main engine cut out unexpectedly That prevented the [UNKNOWN] from slowing down in time to soften the landing, though it did manage to send back this selfie during the approach.
Now even though [UNKNOWN] won't be exploring the dark side of the moon anytime soon, give them a word for looking at the bright side.
We are the seventh country to orbit the moon and the fourth to reach the moon's surface.
To be clear Beresheet wasn't headed for the so called dark side, it was supposed to land in the sea of serenity, that is a giant lava plain about 4 billion years old.
If it had been successful SpaceIL would have been the first private group to set a lander on the moon.
This is the part of the show where the science I tell you about reminds of a Hollywood blockbuster.
And we all start envisioning a dystopian future.
In this case, it's a society where monkeys rule the world and experiment on humans in cages.
Chinese scientists say they made Macaque monkeys smarter by breeding them with extra copies of a human gene that's believed to play a key role in shaping our intelligence.
The monkeys did better on memory test involving colors and pictures.
This of course raises a ton of ethical questions.
Starting with the concern for the welfare of the animals.
Now even a US based geneticist who collaborated on the effort called the experiments reckless.
Saying it is a classic slippery slope issue and one that we can expect to recur as this type of research is pursued.
Now the lead scientist on the project dismissed any ethical concerns.
He essentially said introducing just a few human genes in monkeys doesn't fundamentally change them.
All right somebody get this robot to the New York Knicks.
Stat, meet the Q3.
This three point shooting machine comes to us from Toyota.
Using sensors built into it's torso, the robot creates a 3D image of the basket.
Then it adjusts motors inside it's arms and knees to generate the right angle and propulsion for that sweet, sweet swish.
During this demonstration, Q3 nailed five out of eight shots.
But it must have had the game day jitters because engineers actually say that's a sub-par performance for this bot.
You may have seen its predecessor, the Q2.
That robot could only make free throws.
And in case you're wondering if the Q4 will be able to dribble and dunk Not likely, scientists say that is about 20 years away.
[SOUND] That's gonna do it for this week.
I'm Andy Altman, I'll see you in the future.