Next time you and I have to worry about an asteroid hurtling through space toward our precious Earth, it may be NASA's fault. (Or China's.)
A new study indicates that sending robots out into space instead of humans might actually be the best way forward, after all.
You won't get much thrust out of an ion thruster: compared to a chemical rocket engine, they're not all that impressive. What makes ion thrusters so great is their ability to put out small amounts of thrust very efficiently and for a very long time, and NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster has now been operating for 43,000 hours. That's nearly five years straight.
A few months ago we showed you the next generation spacesuit NASA has been working on called the Z-1. Back then, we only had a peek at the prototype suit, but new photos have now emerged that make it clear that someone at NASA has a sense of humor, because this suit is definitely inspired by Toy Story.
Everything from big budget science fiction films to very real ancient texts have primed us for any number of doomsday scenarios promising to bring an end to civilization as we know it. But none have gained more traction in recent years than the Mayan calendar end-of-days prophecy. To address these concerns, NASA has released a new video in which the agency seeks to debunk any fears of a cosmic catastrophe.
It's tough to sleep in space. You're stuck in a noisy machine all the time, the sun comes up every 90 minutes, and everything is lit with a garish sci-fi fluorescence. About half of all astronauts have to resort to drugging themselves at some point to fall asleep, and NASA wants to make things easier with the help of color-changing LED lights.
For the past year, two spacecraft the size of washing machines have been orbiting the Moon in formation, mapping out gravitational anomalies by precisely measuring the distance between them. Now they're all done, and to celebrate, NASA is about to slam 'em both into a lunar mountain at a couple thousand miles an hour.
Fifty years ago today NASA launched Relay 1 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
While we'll never really be happy about the retirement of the space shuttle, NASA is completely over it and looking towards the future of space transportation, which is going to be commercial. The agency announced today its selection of three companies which it hopes to certify to take its astronauts up to the ISS and back within the next five years.
Yesterday we posted a newly released satellite image of the United States from NASA, but there are even more dizzyingly gorgeous photos from the same nighttime series that you don't want to miss.