space

  • The Case For ‘Curiosity': Why You Should Stay Up And Watch The Mars Rover Landing

    The Case For ‘Curiosity': Why You Should Stay Up And Watch The Mars Rover Landing

    As I write this, NASA’s Curiosity rover is hurtling through space as it has been for the past eight months, but that all changes tonight. With any luck (scratch that — with a staggering amount of luck), that Mini Cooper-sized envoy will survive its tricky seven minute atmospheric entry, after which it will roam the Martian surface conducting a slew of science experiments for nearly… Read More

  • Paul Allen And Burt Rutan Launch Stratolaunch Systems, Plan To Build World’s Largest Aircraft

    Paul Allen And Burt Rutan Launch Stratolaunch Systems, Plan To Build World’s Largest Aircraft

    Having conquered the terrestrial realm, today’s big money is looking to the skies for new regions to subjugate. And what was a lark ten years ago now appears to be a common hobby among a certain ambitious type of mogul not given to the habit of collecting megayachts. Their millions have produced results, however, and while the shuttles have been retiring, the private space ships have… Read More

  • NASA To Invite 150 Of Its Twitter Followers To Mars Rover Launch

    NASA To Invite 150 Of Its Twitter Followers To Mars Rover Launch

    While giveaways and “follow us and win!” contests aren’t always worth calling out, this promotion from @NASA is too great to pass up. They’re planning on inviting 150 of their followers to watch the Curiosity Mars Rover launch. Yes, the actual launch, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Read More

  • Watch Out! International Space Station To Crash Into The Pacific After 2020 Retirement

    Watch Out! International Space Station To Crash Into The Pacific After 2020 Retirement

    Better lay your millions on the table now and reserve your spot on the ISS now. Russia, NASA, and the rest of the ISS’ partners announced today that they are going to allow the ISS to crash into the atmosphere after it’s decommissioned in 2020. The reason? Space doesn’t need more junk. The first ISS component launched in 1998 and has slowly grown into a large space station… Read More

  • The Space Debris Threat And How To Handle It

    Yesterday marked a momentous day in U.S. history as NASA launched its final space shuttle, ending a 30-year era. Four astronauts—commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus—are leading the 12-day Atlantis mission, the 135th and final flight of the storied space shuttle program. After Atlantis returns to Earth, NASA will… Read More

  • Meet Saturn's Great White Spot That Really Isn't A Spot Anymore


    Think Arizona’s dust storm was huge? Check out the Great White Spot on Saturn. What first started as a small but bright dot last December, has grown to a massive storm that is currently encompassing a vast part of the planet’s upper half. The Cassini spacecraft first picked it up on December 5, 2010 and then astronomers then noticed the bright dot. Cassini then observed… Read More

  • Europe Launching Gigapixel Probe To Map Milky Way

    We’ve come to love the fantastic and sublime images of space taken from such satellites as the Hubble, but the truth is that the technology that created those images is incredibly out of date. And while you can’t argue with the results, it has gotten to the point where the sensitivity, angle of view, and data collection rate just need to be moved up to 21st-century standards. Read More

  • NASA Cheekily Restores Pluto As A Planet

    This might be a bit of inside baseball but NASA has added Pluto to its roster of planets, at least indirectly.
    The Register found an image on NASA’s home page showing the tiny “dwarf planet” wending its merry orbit out at the edge of our solar system, oblivious to its demotion to “big space rock.” Read More

  • Lacking Funding, SETI Puts $50 Million Radio Array On Hiatus

    Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence has always been a slightly controversial topic, not because we don’t want it to happen, but because it requires sophisticated and expensive equipment. Can millions really be spent on scanning the heavens when here on earth, there’s a very real shortage of funding for things like education and social services? It’s a loaded question… Read More

  • NASA Will Start Flying Coach With "Commercial Crews"


    After the retirement of the Shuttle program, NASA will begin flying along with – and funding – multiple “commercial crews” including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin group and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. NASA is paying out $270 million to SpaceX, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada (not the beer) and Boeing. This program, begun in 2009 and is now vitally important as it pairs… Read More

  • Working With Nasa, Russia To Propose Nuclear Spacecraft

    Get ready for a nuclear-powered spacecraft—maybe! The Russian Federal Space Agency says that it will hold talks with Nasa and a number of countries on April 15 to see if they can’t get started on creating a “nuclear engine” by 2012. Such an engine, it’s believed, would only cost around $600m to develop. Read More

  • End Of The Road For Spirit Mars Rover?


    Although the Mars rovers have gone way, way beyond the call of duty (the original mission was for 90 days; Opportunity is still active after more than six years), the dream has to end sometime — and evidence is mounting that for Spirit, the first of the two rovers to touch down, may be down for the count. After a year of being trapped in sand, its last big hope was a big solar boost… Read More

  • Brits Believe They'll Soon Be On The Moon

    One in ten Englishmen and Women believe that one day Brits will routinely vacation on the moon, bringing their Carling beers and jolly demeanors to the verdant plains of that satellites’ firmament by at least 2020. 40% of them believe, also, that there will be a tunnel between the US and the UK. And they say that ecstasy doesn’t damage the brain. Read More

  • Iran Sends First "Life Capsule" Into Near Orbit

    Iran has just sent a small “Life Capsule” capable of carrying a monkey into space on the Kavoshgar-4 (Explorer-4) rocket, a step forward for the country’s burgeoning space program. The AP is reporting that the capsule flew 75 miles up into orbit and follows launches of communications satellites as well as a capsule containing “a mouse, turtle and worms.” Read More

  • 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

  • U.S. Air Force Prepares For Second X-37B Launch

    What is the U.S. Air Force doing up there? The mysterious X-37B spacecraft will begin its second voyage on Friday, provided the weather cooperates. It’s not the same exact spacecraft that went up last April, but it’s the same model. The Air Force has classified the activities of the spacecraft, so unless we have another Wikileaks we’ll have no idea what it’s doing up there. Read More

  • Celebrate The Twilight Of The Space Age With This Russian Gear


    With the Space Shuttle decommed and pretty much all funding to NASA cut and instead sent to abstinence education, it’s nice to think back on the magical days of yore when a beeping salad bowl could enthrall the world. Sotheby’s is letting us try for a piece of that history thanks to an auction they’re holding of some exciting space gear including this orbiter that once held… Read More

  • How To Watch The Space Shuttle's Last Flight

    Repost: This post got buried after going live yesterday and since it’s more important than silly new Macs, it desevers a bit more time on the front page. Tomorrow Today¬†will be the last time the space shuttle Discovery launches into orbit. And, we’ve got the places for you to watch it all go down live. 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

  • Mars 500 Simulation Hits Halfway Point Today


    Today marks the halfway point for the crew of the simulated mission to Mars. Mars 500, as it’s called, is a study that mocks the conditions of space travel inorder to study the effects on astronauts. The 18-month study has volunteers from Italy and Russia placed in a sort of Biodome structure where they can’t leave, eat only space food, and shower once per week. Read More