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SpaceX’s Grasshopper Rocket Scares The Cow Pie Out Of Some Cattle

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The recent remarkable test flight of SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket didn’t impress everyone — in fact, it scared the living shit out of these cows. Cows might have four stomachs and be sacred in some religions, and Walter Bishop may have wanted one to keep him company in the lab, but apparently they’re not jazzed about spaceflight.

The video above raises an interesting question: who or what else observes our rocket launches? What do the birds think? Has anyone checked in with the rabbits?

Most launches happen in places a bit more removed from nature — in fact, the closest bystanders can get to a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral is four miles. Then again, the Grasshopper isn’t just any rocket.

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Tiny Submarines To Limit Cow Farts For the Environment

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You know what’s a good thing? Hallucinogenic mushrooms, which come from cow dung. You know what’s bad? Methane and other greenhouse gases that come from cows passing gas from both ends. The cow, which gives us such wonderful things as different kinds of meat to enjoy in frequent moderation, is an animal whose burp is worse than its poop. Well, it probably does fart during…But I digest. Digress.

Chris McSweeny works with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship in Brisbane, Australia. He and his research team tasked themselves with figuring out how to monitor, and eventually modify, a cow’s gaseous emissions from the inside. I’m assuming they watched Fantastic Voyage and Inner Space during their brainstorming, because their solution is incredibly similar, and far more realistic.

They developed a miniature, gas-sniffing submarine to insert into the cow’s stomach, coated with a special membrane to stave off the bile and other damaging conditions inside. A pair of wings pops out and keeps the submarine contained in the rumen, the chamber in a cow or sheep’s stomach where the bulk of the gas is produced. Planning for a weeks-long stay in there, the device will scan and measure the the gas concentration using infrared sensors.