• Scientific Community Torn Over Extraterrestrial Bacteria Claims

    Few things are quite as exciting as a good old fashioned feud between distinguished scientists. You’ll recall that a scientist, Nasa’s Richard Hoover, published an article last week in The Journal of Cosmology that claimed to have discovered a form of extraterrestrial bacteria on a meteorite. Life, in other words. But hold on! In the days that have since passed a number of… Read More

  • Live Video: Watch The Space Shuttle Discovery's Last Landing

    The Space Shuttle Discovery is currently en route to Kennedy Space Center’s three-mile runway and expected to land for the last time at 11:57 am EST. Click through for the live feed provided by Ustream. There’s just one more shuttle flight planned so you may want to spend a few minutes watching this historic event. Update: Touchdown! USA! USA! USA! Gallery of the highlights after… Read More

  • $424 Million NASA Rocket Fails To Make Orbit, Crashes Into Sea

    NASA has a hard time getting funding these days, and this incident doesn’t look like it will help the cause. A nine-story rocket, named Glory, carrying an Earth-observation satellite failed to reach orbit and fell back to earth. Read More

  • Nasa To Bother Temple 1 Comet Again, See How Things Have Gone For It Lately

    Where will you be tomorrow morning at 0437 GMT? If you’re a Nasa engineer odds are you’ll be glued to your many monitors, keeping a watchful on your Stardust spaceshipas it approaches the Tempel 1 comet. The Nasa spaceship will be approaching the comet in part in order to take a look at the impact crater created by a previous spaceship’s probe back in 2005. Read More

  • This Is Our Sun

    Fun fact: This is the first complete image of our life-giving friend in the sky. Like, first ever in the history of mankind. NASA’s STEREO mission — Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory — installed two nearly identical satellites on either side of the sun making the 3D eyecandy possible. The goal here is to track sunspots, solar storms and the like on the other side of… Read More

  • Space Shuttle Atlantis To Make Its Final Launch In June

    NASA is putting a cap on the long-running Space Shuttle program with STS-135, the final flight by Space Shuttle Atlantis, just recently announced to be taking place on June 28th. There are no more missions planned after this, and the 30-year old shuttle program will finally give way to its successor. This will presumably the Constellation Program, aimed at creating unified architecture for… Read More

  • Happy Holidays From The International Space Station

    Astronaut Pro Tip: Shave your head before entering zero gravity environments. You’ll feel like Captain Picard (because you’re on a spaceship) combined with the nearly mind-over-body control of Professor Xavier. Plus, you won’t look like a fool on the annual Christmas card. Read More

  • 'New Life' Scientists Defend Study, Say More Information Is Forthcoming

    One of the authors of the scientific paper that described an arsenic-using microbe has asked everyone to calm down for a moment, and said that everything will be cleared up in the days ahead. Felisa Wolfe-Simon, the scientist whose paper (co-written with several others) genuinely ignited America’s interest in science for a day or two (a gigantic achievement in and of itself) had come… Read More

  • Maybe There is Hope for Silicon Valley (and the World) After All

    Living in Silicon Valley, one gets used to meeting people who are optimistic and who talk about changing the world. But as I lamented in this piece about the Valley’s obsession with Facebook and Twitter apps, most of its entrepreneurs either think too small or are focused on the wrong things. So, even though I am enthusiastic about its ability to take risks and innovate, I’ve… Read More

  • Nasa's Mars Odyssey Orbiter To Break Service Record: 3,340 Days Up There

    Good news for Nasa, which could probably use some right now. On December 15 its Odyssey Orbiter will become the single longest serving Mars surface spacecraft in history. (Unless there’s some sort of Protean ship on there we’re not aware of yet!) Once December 15 hits Odyssey will have served its 3,340th day up there, surpassing the previous record holder, the Mars Global Surveyor. Read More

  • SpaceX Becomes First Commerical Space Program To Orbit Earth, Return Safely

    Space X: great success! Yes, the Dragon spacecraft successfully made its orbits around good ol’ Planet Earth and has safely crashed into the Pacific Ocean. It marks the first time a commercial spacecraft has done so. Read More

  • Did Junk Science Motivate Nasa's ‘New Life’ Announcement?

    Oh, Nasa. If only you could invent a time machine and go back to when you actually had a budget. The agency’s claim last week that it had found a new type of life in a lake in California is now under fire from all sides. Encirclement! One Slate article quotes several skeptical scientists who question the veracity of Nasa’s claims. One even said perhaps the most damming thing… Read More

  • SpaceX Program One Step Close To Great Success On Eve Of Orbit Attempt

    We’re one step closer to the commercializing of space flight. (We wouldn’t have to rely on such commercialization if Nasa could get more than 75 cents per year in funding, but that’s another story altogether.) Space X’s lifter’s engine ran successfully at the weekend, which means that the capsule, named Dragon, can be launched tomorrow from Cape Canaveral. Elon… Read More

  • Yup: Nasa Discovers Arsenic-Using Microbobe In California Lake

    Yes~! Nasa has revealed that it did, in fact, find a microbe (GFAJ-1, to be exact) in Mono Lake, in California, that’s able to substitute arsenic for phosphorus. Nasa just comes right out and says it: “The definition of life has just expanded. As we pursue our efforts to seek signs of life in the solar system, we have to think more broadly, more diversely and consider life as we do… Read More

  • Has Nasa Found A New Type Of Life Right Here On Earth?

    There’s several big announcements coming up later today. The biggest is probably the World Cup bids, and the tension is evident. (More on that later.) Then we’ve got UFC‘s Chael Sonnen appearing before the California State Athletic Commission to explain his elevated testosterone levels during his fight with Anderson Silva back in August. Last, Nasa. Yes, somehow Nasa has… Read More

  • Nasa To Develop Hypersonic Jet: New York To Sydney In 2.5 Hours (Down From 21!)

    Wait a minute, Nasa, developing something great? Did we wake up in the 1960s, back when Nasa actually had a budget to, you know, do things? Either way, this is great news. So, Nasa plans to develop a new type of hypersonic jet that would reduce the flight time from New York to Sydney, which currently takes 21 hours, to two-and-a-half hours. Two-and-a-half! You can’t even drive from New… Read More

  • Space Shuttle Discovery Makes Final Preparations For Last Flight Ever

    Well this stinks. Space Shuttle Discovery is in the closing stages of preparation for its final flight ever. After that I guess American astronauts will have to hitchhike their way into orbit, which is pretty lame, I think you’ll agree. The launch is scheduled for November 1. Read More

  • NASA Now Featured On Flickr Commons

    Ready to kill your lunch break? Head over to the brand new NASA section on Flickr Commons where you’ll find 180 historic photographs. These pics range from pre-NASA days, to Goddard’s works, to NASA prototypes, and enough liftoff pics to fill a History Channel special. The best part you’ve probably never seen most of these as they’re right from NASA’s collection… Read More

  • Self-Cleaning Solar Panels Could Boost Efficiency

    The $24 billion solar panel market could use a good dusting. The benefits of solar energy are well-known, but what’s rarely mentioned is its nemesis: dust. Even a little bit—one-seventh of an ounce per square yard—can weaken a panel’s power conversion by 40%. To tackle the problem, scientists looked to Mars, where similar technology was developed for space missions to… Read More

  • Package Contents: One (1) Robonaut

    Remember the Robonaut? It’s (he’s?) a joint project between NASA and GM aimed at creating a robot that can perform many of the tasks humans do in space. The funny thing is, though, he’s being sent into space as if he’s a crate of eggs. If this guy is going to stand up to heat, vacuum, and micrometeorites, shouldn’t he be able to handle a rocket launch? When they… Read More

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