NASA's Orion Spacecraft Launches Unmanned Test Flight

This analysis suggests the Soviet Union’s surprise Sputnik launch led to the creation of DARPA and ultimately the most technically advanced military in the world. Some of those technologies spilled over into civilian life and are now ubiquitous. Could the US military pioneer climate-change mitigating energy advancements? Perhaps not without a “Sputnik moment.” [Weekly Wonk]

High-quality data is critical to analyzing energy market trends, but conflicting oil production data from some of the largest US shale deposits have emerged. “Most analysts are also predicting that production will keep climbing in the Eagle Ford, though not at the same breakneck speed of the past few years. But Reuters reported this week that production in the Eagle Ford and the Bakken field in North Dakota and Montana already dipped in November.” [Fuel Fix]

Greentech Media just named “solar plus storage” one of the cleantech buzzwords of 2014. Indeed, it appears adding energy storage to solar installations is a trend poised for rapid growth in the next few years, but barriers remain. “The Future of Solar-Plus-Storage in the US identifies key drivers of the growth as the falling costs of solar power, the falling costs of batteries, changes to net metering policies in certain states, California’s energy storage mandate and other state incentives, Tesla’s coming Gigafactory, and the need for greater grid resiliency.” [Solar Love via Cleantechnica]