This is the 22nd in an exclusive series of 50 articles, one published each day until July 20, exploring the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Moon landing. You can check out 50 Days to the Moon here every day.
The Curiosity mission’s scientists picked up the signal this week, and are seeking additional readings from the red planet. Mars, it appears, is belching a large amount of a gas that could be a sign of microbes living on the planet today.
In recent years, small drones have made their way onto battlefields where they’ve been used to surveil US forces or drop bombs on them, prompting the US military to develop new ways to take them down.
Seven years after scientists caught the elusive deep-sea cephalopod on video, they saw another. Then lightning struck a third time. Edie Widder was eating lunch in the mess hall of the Research Vessel Point Sur on Tuesday when her colleague Nathan J. Robinson dashed in.
What is the best way of wrecking a city? Pour cars into it. Heavy traffic, 50 years of research shows, breaks up communities, disrupts social life and crushes local cultures. Noise drowns out conversation and drives people indoors. Pollution makes streets inhospitable.
This is Part 3 of a four-part series on Elon Musk’s companies. For an explanation of why this series is happening and how Musk is involved, start with Part 1. Pre-Post Note: I started working on this post ten weeks ago. When I started, I never intended for it to become such an ordeal.
People are mistaken when they think that technology just automatically improves. It does not automatically improve. It only improves if a lot of people work very hard to make it better, and actually it will, I think, by itself degrade, actually.
February 1, 2016: One of the most tragic events in the history of space exploration is the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and all seven of its crew on February 1, 2003—a tragedy made worse because it didn’t have to happen.
This is my lunar acre. There are many like it, billions, but this one is mine. At least, it could be for a modest fee: a steal at $19.95 through Cosmic Registry, $19.99 through Lunar Embassy, or ‘prices to fit any budget’ through Lunar Registry, depending on the quality of the neighbourhood.
Watch the story here on ESPN+. The last time Lorna Onizuka spoke to her husband, she mentioned milk. She and their two daughters, Janelle and Darien, wouldn't be able to have cereal the next morning because she'd left the milk on the porch and it was frozen solid.
There’s a terrible power to the iconic pictures of the space shuttle Challenger exploding — the orange-white fireball in the Florida sky, with the twin contrails of the solid rocket boosters briefly continuing on their journey to nowhere. It’s been 30 years since that awful morning on Jan.
You never see it in those lovely NASA pictures of Earth, but the space surrounding our pale blue dot is a cosmic junkyard. Debris abounds, moving at ludicrous speeds and presenting plenty of hassles for satellite operators who do business in orbit.
They bunked in a double-wide trailer, cramming inside on cots and sleeping bags, as many as a dozen at a time. In the mornings, they feasted on steaming plates of scrambled eggs.
Scott Kelly inside a Soyuz simulator ahead of his mission. This capsule would be his escape pod in case of a disaster. "That's the first time I've seen you stumble," Mark says. "You're doing pretty good." A former astronaut, Mark knows from personal experience what it's like to come back to Earth.
Luxembourg has shown how far a tiny country can go by serving the needs of global capitalism. Now it has set its sights on outer space
One of the big questions surrounding the first launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft was how the Russians would react.
On December 13, 2011, Paul Allen, the reclusive billionaire and cofounder of Microsoft, stood in front of a group of reporters in Seattle and told them about his wild new plan.
The young Tesla engineer was excited. Ecstatic, in fact. It was a Saturday in October 2017, and he was working at the Gigafactory, Tesla’s enormous battery manufacturing plant in Nevada. Over the previous year, he had been living out of a suitcase, putting in 13-hour days, seven days a week.
On October 19, 2017, astronomers at the University of Hawaii spotted a strange object travelling through our solar system, which they later described as “a red and extremely elongated asteroid.
The Liberian flag is easy to mistake for the U.S. flag. There’s the red, white and blue. There’s the stripes. The only difference is that the Liberian flag features one star in the upper left corner, instead of 50 — a legacy of the coastal West African country’s origins as a U.S. colony.
Ernst Stuhlinger wrote this letter on May 6, 1970, to Sister Mary Jucunda, a nun who worked among the starving children of Kabwe, Zambia, in Africa, who questioned the value of space exploration. At the time Dr.
There’s no way to anticipate the emotional impact of leaving your home planet. You look down at Earth and realize: You're not on it. It's breathtaking. It's surreal. It's a “we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto” kind of feeling.
In 2005, astronaut John Phillips took a break from his work on the International Space Station and looked out the window at Earth. He was about halfway through a mission that had begun in April and would end in October. When he gazed down at the planet, Earth was blurry.
At 9,200 feet, there is 20 percent less oxygen than at sea level, enough to take all the air from my lungs after just three steps. But it didn’t stop Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin from hastily shuffling into the lobby of Hale Pōhaku to check the weather forecast.
To see additional images from NASA Ames, click the icon on the image at the top of this page. NASA Ames is filled with the exotic technologies of a future that didn’t quite come to pass. Ancient computers still operate equipment in the machine shop.
An exploration of life aboard the International Space Station, and the surprising reasons the mission is still worthwhile When humans move to space, we are the aliens, the extraterrestrials. And so, living in space, the oddness never quite goes away. Consider something as elemental as sleep.
This story has been corrected. The Space Exploration Technology rocket factory is a large, white hangar-like building near Los Angeles international airport, with a parking lot filled with late-model motorcycles and Tesla electric cars.
If, on a certain evening about sixty-six million years ago, you had stood somewhere in North America and looked up at the sky, you would have soon made out what appeared to be a star. If you watched for an hour or two, the star would have seemed to grow in brightness, although it barely moved.
Chile's Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is famous for its giant monumental statues, called moai, built by early inhabitants some 800 years ago. The islanders likely chose the statues' locations based on the availability of fresh water sources, according to a recent paper in PLOS One.
Barack Obama is President of the United States. (CNN)One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandfather's shoulders, waving a flag as our astronauts returned to Hawaii. This was years before we'd set foot on the moon. Decades before we'd land a rover on Mars.
When NPR reported Bob Ebeling's story on the 30th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, hundreds of listeners and readers expressed distress and sympathy in letters and emails. On Jan.
In January, the China National Space Administration landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon, the side we can’t see from Earth. Chang’e-4 was named for a goddess in Chinese mythology, who lives on the moon for reasons connected to her husband’s problematic immortality drink.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — From Launch Complex 17 here at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, many of NASA’s robotic planetary missions blasted off. Soon, the two massive towers that once cradled Delta 2 rockets will be torn down.
On January 28, 1986, America watched on television as the space shuttle Challenger—carrying six astronauts and one schoolteacher—disappeared in a twisting cloud of smoke, nine miles above the launch pad it had just left. To a stunned nation, it appeared that seven lives had instantly been lost.
In his 2014 book, Our Mathematical Universe, physicist Max Tegmark boldly claims that “protons, atoms, molecules, cells and stars” are all redundant “baggage.” Only the mathematical apparatus used to describe the behavior of matter is supposedly real, not matter itself.
In the year 2514, some future scientist will arrive at the University of Edinburgh (assuming the university still exists), open a wooden box (assuming the box has not been lost), and break apart a set of glass vials in order to grow the 500-year-old dried bacteria inside.
Pablo Jarillo-Herrero is channeling some of his copious energy into a morning run, dodging startled pedestrians as he zips along, gradually disappearing into the distance.
In the debate over whether human beings should set off to other worlds beyond Earth, one of the most compelling cons is this: Our bodies don’t like it. Few people know this better than Scott Kelly, the NASA astronaut who spent nearly a year on the International Space Station from 2015 to 2016.
I am in a Tesla Model X, behind a storefront Elon Musk plans to use to sell bricks. The bricks will come from dirt excavated from tunnels like the one I am about to enter. This is O’Leary Station.
Elon Musk laid out his plan to colonize Mars at a conference on Tuesday, but it was during the Q&A session that a woman asked one of the key questions: who will be chosen to embark on a risky trip to colonize a harsh planet? The SpaceX CEO had two answers to this line of questioning.
The hummingbirds were dying. Cockroaches were everywhere. And then Steve Bannon showed up. Mr. Zimmer is a science columnist for The New York Times.
In 1994, a mathematician at AT&T Research named Peter Shor brought instant fame to “quantum computers” when he discovered that these hypothetical devices could quickly factor large numbers — and thus break much of modern cryptography.
The following story happened in 1985 but subsequently vanished into obscurity. Over the years, many details have been twisted, others created. Even the original storytellers got some things just plain wrong.
The Soviet Union's Buran space shuttle program stands as one of the saddest episodes in aerospace history. After NASA began working on its space shuttle program in the early 1970s, the Soviet Union conceived of its own orbiter program, the eerily similar looking Buran shuttle.
The writer Stewart Brand once wrote that “science is the only news.” While news headlines are dominated by politics, the economy, and gossip, it’s science and technology that underpin much of the advance of human welfare and the long-term progress of our civilization.
Neil deGrasse Tyson has said he loses "sleep at night wondering whether we are intelligent enough to figure out the universe." It's a valid concern. We've put a man on the moon, landed on a comet and roved around on Mars, but it's really only the tip of the iceberg.
Humanity began in Africa. But we didn’t stay there, not all of us—over thousands of years our ancestors walked all over the continent, then out of it. And when they came to the sea, they built boats and sailed tremendous distances to islands they could not have known were there. Why?
Hundreds of you sent in questions for Skunk Bear's live conversation with three astronauts and NASA's chief scientist on Tuesday. Thanks! The most common question was: "What happens when you get your period in space?" But since people were genuinely curious, I decided to answer it here.
So SpaceX is making a huge rocket out of stainless steel. As far as we know, this marks the first time the material has been used in spacecraft construction since some early, ill-fated attempts during the Atlas program in the late 1950s.
If you had a choice between a better, faster cell phone signal and an accurate weather forecast, which would you pick? That’s the question facing federal officials as they decide whether to auction off more of the wireless spectrum or heed meteorologists who say that such a move could throw US wea
We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the Moon late next year. They have already paid a significant deposit to do a Moon mission.
Kerbal Space Program is, at its core, a rocketry simulation. When it first became available for download it had a limited scope. There was a large hangar full of parts and little green pilots, a launchpad with a button to push and a patch of sky to fall through when it inevitably all went wrong.
The first ever “solid state” plane, with no moving parts in its propulsion system, has successfully flown for a distance of 60 metres, proving that heavier-than-air flight is possible without jets or propellers.
The Apollo moonwalkers marveled at the golden glow of the lunar mountains, at the green rocks, white crystals, orange soil, brown patina—a palette of colors so surprising that the astronauts kept lifting their sun visors to make sure it was real.
This may come as a shock to you, but we’ve never been to Mars. We’ve never dived beneath the icy crust of Jupiter’s moon Europa, strolled beneath the twin suns of Kepler 16b or watched the acrid clouds of Venus float past.
We’d been chatting for the better part of two hours when Chris Kraft’s eyes suddenly brightened. “Hey,” he said, “Here’s a story I’ll bet you never heard.
If you’ve ever wondered what space smells like, think about sparklers on the Fourth of July. “Slightly burned, slightly metallic” is how former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly describes it in his new book Endurance, about his year in space.
In 1981, many of the world’s leading cosmologists gathered at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a vestige of the coupled lineages of science and theology located in an elegant villa in the gardens of the Vatican.
The experience of natural spaces, brimming with greenish light, the smells of soil and the quiet fluttering of leaves in the breeze can calm our frenetic modern lives. It's as though our very cells can exhale when surrounded by nature, relaxing our bodies and minds.
In a ball of paper, scientists discover a landscape of surprising mathematical order. While working on his doctoral thesis at Harvard over the last few years, Omer Gottesman spent a lot of time at his desk crumpling sheets of paper, especially when he was stuck.
An international team of scientists from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is investigating mysterious signal spikes emitting from a 6.3-billion-year-old star in the constellation Hercules—95 light years away from Earth.
While new theories and experiments emerge all the time, nothing new seems to be coming from them.
Chris Hadfield, whom you may recognize from all of the videos he uploaded to YouTube about his life aboard the International Space Station, wanted to be an astronaut ever since he watched the moon landing on television at the age of 9. So, he became one.
WASHINGTON — The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East Coast.
That quantum mechanics is a successful theory is not in dispute. It makes astonishingly accurate predictions about the nature of the world at microscopic scales. What has been in dispute for nearly a century is just what it’s telling us about what exists, what is real.
That was so, at least, this February in Sriharikota, an island off India’s southeast coast, a couple of hours north of Chennai.
In 1961, a college student named David Myers traveled from Washington, DC, to the US Naval School of Aviation Medicine in Florida to take part in a new experiment. “I had a very limited understanding of what I was getting myself into,” Myers told me recently over email.
In Florida, at the Kennedy Space Center, Molly White is cheering with her sister.
Thirty years ago, as the nation mourned the loss of seven astronauts on the space shuttle Challenger, Bob Ebeling was steeped in his own deep grief. The night before the launch, Ebeling and four other engineers at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol had tried to stop the launch.
It’s not easy being human. It never was, really, if William Shakespeare is to be believed. In the 16th century, the playwright noted that “life…is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Neuroscience is increasingly confirming this view.
Russian photographer and urban explorer Ralph Mirebs just published one of the saddest photoseries on space exploration.
It was time for the spent rocket to die. So the 2,000kg Centaur upper stage, about the size of a yellow school bus, detached from its spacecraft and began falling toward the Moon six years ago. Soon lunar gravity took hold, tugging the Centaur ever faster toward the Moon’s inky black South Pole.
Since Steve Jobs’s death, in 2011, Elon Musk has emerged as the leading celebrity of Silicon Valley. Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors, which produces electric cars; the CEO of SpaceX, which makes rockets; and the chairman of SolarCity, which provides solar power systems.
IT MAY turn out to be a bare and barren rock. The fact that liquid water could be flowing across the surface of the planet just discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the sun, does not mean that any actually is—nor for that matter that it has an atmosphere.