For having the guts to launch an iPhone attached to a weather balloon 100,000 feet into the atmosphere, Luke and Max Geissbuhler, I salute you.
Put away the mothballs! President Obama has signed the bi-partisan NASA reauthorization bill into law, charting a new direction for the space agency over the next few years. In addition to setting long-term goals for human exploration of both Mars and asteriods, the new plan extends the life of the Space Shuttle by at least one flight.
This is Space Habitat Adams, named after science fiction author Douglas Adams (of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fame). Designer Hillel Cooperman put so much love and detail in it, it's almost as good as a real space station.
New stars are born all the time. But, in the R2 region of the Monoceros, or unicorn constellation, star birth is wildly unchecked and we just can't get enough.
Up until now, NASA's only sent slow-moving rovers and stationery landers to the surface of Mars. So here's the new plan: a rocket-powered, robotic plane that would soar a mile over the Martian landscape at 450 miles per hour, exposing hundreds of miles of unexplored country.
There's only one Space Shuttle launch left, which lends significance to nearly every part of the process of getting it ready. Including lifting up the external tank that contains all of the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that powers the three main space shuttle engines during liftoff.
Exploring distant worlds is a slow, tricky business. Right now, rovers and landers are our best bet, but both suffer from the same shortfall: low mobility. A new class of exploratory craft that hops could accomplish in a few days what it's taken rovers years.
Advanced technology can demand some advanced materials, commonly referred to as rare earth elements. The problem is right in the name: they're rare. America may not be in a lurch just yet, but these elements won't last forever. Turns out there's another place to find them: the Moon.
I know you all have been wondering what it would look like if Jupiter and the sun, uh, got it on. Fortunately, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) anticipated you and captured exactly that.
The conditions required for a world to be inhabitable like our own make finding one nearly impossible. It has to be a certain distance from the sun, there's the atmosphere to consider, air quality, number of moons — well, you get the idea. Amazingly, we may have just found one.