Where we’re going, we’ll need roads. But before long-term settlers arrive on Mars or the moon, one engineer is working under a NASA grant to make sure that the proper infrastructure is already in place.
A new visualization from NASA illustrates a rare piece of good news about our environment’s health: air pollution levels in major U.S. cities have significantly decreased from 2005 to 2011.
Why We Can’t Stop Obsessing Over Flying Saucers
Will the test vehicle get the altitude and velocity it needs to prove we can fly in the Martian atmosphere?
The new Z-series suit is designed for walking on Mars, not simply floating around in space as astronauts have in the past. The space agency now wants your help to pick the final look.
If you happened to be falling into a black hole, the last thing on your mind will likely be how pretty the view is. Read more
Meet Valkyrie, NASA’s 6’2” humanoid robot that will rescue you from buildings and explore the surface of Mars.
Welcome to the moon garden. The next spacecraft that goes to the moon will carry a project from NASA: Experiments in figuring out how to grow plants on the lunar surface.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, armed with specialized wide- and narrow-field lenses, has taken the best images to date of a unique jet stream in Saturn’s atmosphere.
NASA engineer Jerry Budd has an idea so audacious that it might just work—he wants to use unmanned, autonomous gliders to send small, low-cost satellites into orbit.
The Towed Glider Air-Launch is an experimental project (still awaiting government approval) that would fire air-launching rocket boosters from a drone glider. In Budd’s modest words, the proposal offers “affordable, flexible access to space.” A glider would be towed into high altitudes by military transport aircraft on planned flights and would be released by the plane—the glider would then fire a rocket booster (with a satellite enclosed) into orbit. Afterward, pilots located in remote NASA facilities safely guide the glider home.
The space gliders would be used to launch cubesats into orbit. Cubesats are small, low-cost satellites that weigh under 200 pounds and can be built and sent into orbit for low cost. Right now, it costs about $50,000 to build a cubesat and $100,000 to put one in orbit. Budd’s proposal would sharply reduce the cost of sending cubesats into space by allowing specialized drones to handle much of the hard work. Instead of sending cubesats into orbit on Russian rockets, NASA could build a new revenue stream by shipping these small satellites into orbit for other entities—effectively meaning the agency would provide space logistics services.
“By now, the upper part of the helmet is full of water and I can’t even be sure that the next time I breathe I will fill my lungs with air and not liquid.”
The Curiosity rover has been on Mars for almost a year. This time-lapse video shows what, exactly, it’s been up to. Here’s more.