Texas

Texas and Alabama are fighting it out for the Artemis lunar lander

Illustration of a lander and astronauts on the moon. Photo: NASA
Illustration of a lander and astronauts on the moon. Photo: NASA

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Friday that the space agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama will take the lead in developing the Artemis lunar lander.

Yes, but: Lawmakers in Texas — the home of Johnson Space Center — aren't happy about it.

Expert Voices

Summer price spikes are a feature of Texas' power market, not a bug

electric transformers next to an office building
Transformers at an electrical substation in Houston. Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

Demand for air conditioning across Texas helped drive wholesale electricity prices to the market cap of $9,000/MWh earlier this week, testing both the grid's capacity and the public's response to price spikes under the state's wholesale electricity market.

The big picture: ERCOT, the grid operator for most of Texas, operates an “energy-only” market that pays power plants only when they produce energy, and not merely for being available to do so. Many ERCOT plants thus rely on high-priced scarcity events to stay profitable in the otherwise low-cost grid, where prices are kept down by cheap natural gas prices and, to a lesser extent, renewables.