This series of spectacular planetary posters is the work of artist Stephen Di Donato. They're styled after artwork from the 1960s, and include all eight planets but no icy dwarfs (I'm looking at you, Pluto). The "Beyond Earth" series was funded (way over-funded, in fact) on Kickstarter, but luckily for you, you can still buy digital copies of all of these images in formats ranging from iPhone all the way up to monstrous desktop (2650x1440). You get 88 (!) different images in total, including multiple formats for each poster, for a mere $10. That may have been a bunch of money in 1960, but nowdays, it's chump change, so improve your life and buy yourself a set.
Here on Earth, we make it very obvious that a (mostly) intelligent species lives here. We broadcast signals on nearly every wavelength imaginable, and one of those is visible light: every night, we inform the universe of our presence through our rampant light pollution, and extraterrestrials may be doing the same thing.
For NASA, asking boffins to develop one laser-based tractor beam must not be difficult enough, because they've thrown down $100,000 for three entirely different flavors of the technology, which apparently does in fact exist.
If NASA can put a man on the moon, rest confidently they can plan an elaborate sting to nab a moon rock thief. NASA recently managed to outwit the 74 year-old grandmother who was attempting to sell a piece of Apollo-era moon rock about the size of a grain of rice for approximately $1.7 million dollars.
The United Nations picked today to be the day where the Earth officially holds seven billion human beings (give or take 56 million).
Last time a Google Nexus S smartphone and a Panasonic 3D video camera were sent up to the ISS along with the Atlantis' final journey, but this time, two iPads and a red Angry Bird plush toy are making the journey into outer space. Why?
Launching satellites into space is really, really expensive. We're talking upwards of $10,000 per pound to geosynchronous orbit. DARPA is looking to make the deployment of new satellites much cheaper, by simply recycling the satellites that are up there already using an unmanned platform that can harvest them for parts.
NASA is planning to test out the feasibility of space travel via solar sails by putting the largest one ever constructed into space.
Want proof that we're living in the future? How about this: as of yesterday, there's now a commercial spaceport with a fancy new passenger terminal open for business in New Mexico that'll give anyone who can afford it rides into space.
In the terrifying event that astronauts finds themselves floating away from their space station, there's not a lot they can do. But some scientists are hoping to develop tractor beams, that old sci-fi mainstay, as a way to make sure they can make it back.