May 11, 2018

Axios PM

Happy Friday. We're going to cap the week with a fun big thing.

1 big thing: Elon's latest rocket

GIF: SpaceX launch

SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon-9 rocket carrying the Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh's first-ever high-orbit communications satellite, and safely landed the rocket on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

  • The company delayed the launch one day due to an undisclosed issue that triggered an automatic abort under one minute from its scheduled takeoff.

The details:

  • SpaceX launched the satellite on the last and most powerful iteration of the company's Falcon-9 rocket, Axios Science Editor Andrew Freedman writes.
  • The Block 5 Falcon-9 rocket is more powerful than its older siblings, and is designed to be easier to reuse, with the potential to be launched to space, land on Earth, and be launched again up to 10 times.
  • Such ambitious rocket reuse goals are central to SpaceX's business plans of dramatically cutting the cost of access to space.

Go deeper: Watch the launch and re-entry

P.S. NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars, the agency announced in a press release:

  • "The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020..."
  • The problem facing NASA engineers: How to overcome Mars’ relatively thin atmosphere, which would doom any conventional craft. Proving this concept could help with future human exploration of the planet.
2. What you missed

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib wears socks with skulls to an announcement by President Trump about drug prices in the Rose Garden at the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  1. In a matter of days, the Michael Cohen-AT&T affair has disrupted one of the most sprawling influence operations in Washington. More.
  2. Barak Ravid scoop: Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania, in coordination with Israel, today blocked a joint EU statement criticizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Go deeper.
  3. Relations between Israel and the Gulf states have grown warmer and deeper over the past year. Part of this is the Trump administration's efforts to promote a Middle East peace deal and get the Sunni states and Israel to work together. Dive in.
  4. The Trump administration's plan for lowering prescription drug costs does not include many new steps to bring down the actual price of drugs. It sent pharma stocks soaring. Details.
  5. "Tim Armstrong, the former AOL chief executive, is among those being considered to succeed Martin Sorrell and run WPP, the marketing and communications group, according to people with knowledge of the search process." — FT's Matthew Garahan
3. 1 fun thing

Emma leads the girls' list of top baby names for the fourth year in a row, while Liam overtook Noah for first place in boys names.

  • Top 10 girls names: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Mia, Charlotte, Amelia, Evelyn, Abigail.
  • Top 10 boys names: Liam, Noah, William, James, Logan, Benjamin, Mason, Elijah, Oliver, Jacob.