NASA really is trying everything in its quest to build better robotic craft. Wasn't too long ago that the space agency tried bean bag wheels. Now, it's duct-taped skateboards to a lander's legs to allow it to ollie across the surface of distant planets (or, in this case, help test it here on Earth).
This gorgeous infrared image of Zeta Ophiuchi was taken with NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Although interstellar dust makes Zeta Ophiuchi appear red, this supergiant is actually blue — and moving fast. Astronomers believe it was once part of...
It sounds crazy, but 233 days ago a team of six scientists entered a sealed simulator in Russia. Their mission? Recreate the conditions of a 520-day round trip to and from Mars, realistically cutoff from the rest of the world. Come February they'll finally reach the Red Planet, but the hardest part of the journey will still be ahead.
A mysterious green blob of gas known as Hanny's Voorwerp (that's Hanny's Object in Dutch) was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. What we can see is all that remains of a 300,000-light-year-long streamer of gas floating near neighboring galaxy, IC 2947. Hanny's Voorwerp was made visible by a quasar, which may have turned off as long as 200,000 years ago.
That tiny speck in front of the moon is the International Space Station, which is traveling nearly five miles a second relative to us Earthlings. That means French photographer Thierry Legault only had 0.55 seconds to make the shot. He got it — and got one with the sun, too (during an eclipse, no less).
Looking south from the Tibetan Plateau, this view of Earth's highest mountain range shows breathtaking views of Makalu (left; 27,765 feet) and Everest (right; 29,035 feet) from the International Space Station.
Remember that balloon-like robot hand that could pick up everything even without fingers? Engineers in Canada are taking a similar approach in redesigning the wheels for rovers headed to other planets, using a beanbag-like form that would be able to tackle all kinds of terrain.
One of the spacecraft orbiting Mars has snapped some pictures of what could be the entrances to huge caves. You may be looking at the future site of our first Mars colony.
The entire sun experienced a series of violent explosions back in August. And thanks to a new sun-observing satellite, NASA captured the whole thing. Not only are the images amazing, but they also helped researchers determine that solar activity occurring simultaneously may not always be a coincidence.
Take a Space Shuttle and cut it into a fourth. What do you now have? Duh, a mini space plane. Orbital Sciences Corp.'s wants these little shuttles to transport crews to and from the International Space Station.