Rogue space junk poses a serious threat to both manned and unmanned spacecraft, since it just takes one wayward screw or fleck of paint to potentially punch a hole in some critical system. NASA has considered everything from balloons to sails to help mitigate the problem, and now the agency is thinking about a laser.
NASA's going to be deploying a network of 15 cameras across the United States to boost the coverage of its "All-sky Fireball Network," which is designed to track incoming meteorites, determine their trajectories, and possibly even figure out where they land.
Voyager 1 was launched in 1977, which, if you're counting, is more than 33 years ago. During that time, it's flown past Jupiter and Saturn and nearly made it out of our solar system, but it's still feeling frisky enough to perform a series of acrobatic roll maneuvers. Not bad for a spacecraft that was new at the same time as the Atari 2600.
Late on Friday, the Journal of Cosmology (a free but peer-reviewed scholarly journal) published a paper on their website by NASA astrobiologist Dr. Richard B. Hoover that showcases a variety of microscopic fossilized structures from inside meteorites that are possibly the remains of extraterrestrial bacteria. Aliens, for real.
We near the end of an era with the final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery set to happen at 4:50pm. And you can watch it live online.
Time does not treat paintings well. Old paint tends to become contaminated when exposed to the air for a long time, and it ends up fading the work to the point of being unrecognizable. But NASA looks to have figured out a way to bring these paintings back from the dead.
As usual, the difference between sci-fi and reality is striking, but despite its unsexy appearance, the Nautilus-X is NASA's first take on a manned space exploration vehicle destined for other planets.
For the first time, a team of spacecraft are in position to see two completely different hemispheres of the sun at the same time, together creating an image of the entire surface of our star.
NASA has already promised its space shuttle fleet to museums after their last launch later this year. Instead, a private company has made a proposal to buy up two of the shuttles and keep them flying commercially.
NASA has announced that their planet-hunting spacecraft, Kepler, has discovered 1,235 potential new planets around alien stars. Of these, five of them are about the right size, and in about the right place, to potentially support life.