Interplanetary SpacecraftVehicles that travel between planets, including Mars spacecraft
What draws me to Titan is the mystery. After 50 years of robotic exploration most other objects in the solar system have given up their secrets, at least to a first order.
October 07, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Over the years, spacecraft have seen plenty of dried-up riverbeds on Mars, along with rocks that formed in watery environments eons ago. No question about it, the Red Planet used to be wet. NASA can stop sending press announcements about water in the Martian past. We got it. Now scientists are reporting something much more [...]
August 04, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
After four years of spiraling out from Earth, the Dawn spacecraft closes in on its first target.
July 2011 | By Tom Jones
How do you pack a $2.5 billion Mars rover for shipment? Here’s how. This time-lapse video, covering a period of five days, shows the Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory being prepared for shipment from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to its launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The journey, scheduled for later this month, will be partly [...]
June 22, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Last night NASA made one last attempt to contact the Spirit Mars rover, which got stuck in the sand two years ago and hadn’t been heard from since March 22. Nobody expected a response after 1200 previous unanswered messages, and sure enough, there was no answer from Mars. So, with the chances of success “practically [...]
May 25, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Who can forget billionaire ex-spaceman Jeff Tracy and his five sons (Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon, and John), each named after a Mercury astronaut? Remember how they—through their organization (International Rescue)—um...rescued people...internationally? Ok, so they were puppets. Deal with it, peop...
May 05, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Each year, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) organize an art contest meant to encourage young people to become familiar with (and participate in) aeronautics, engineering, and science."The quality of the art we see is unbeliev...
April 25, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
"Those who have never seen a living Martian can scarcely imagine the strange horror of its appearance.... Even at this first encounter, this first glimpse, I was overcome with disgust and dread." —H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds, 1898.Wells wasn't alone in thinking Red Planet Dwellers would be a comp...
February 10, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
The first close-up photos of Comet Hartley 2 came in this morning from NASA's Epoxi spacecraft. Dramatic!
November 04, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Now this is a charming idea, and maybe a handy one too – fleets of solar sails delivering pictures of distant worlds back to the home planet.Data is a valuable commodity in the Information Age, just as spices and silk were in centuries past. So Joel Poncy and his team at Thales Alenia Space have im...
October 28, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
In the wake of several misleading news headlines, researchers at Cranfield University in the U.K. have had to set the record straight: No, they're not looking for aliens in Earth's atmosphere.But they are looking for microbes floating around in the stratosphere, at altitudes up to 22 miles. The...
October 06, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
A band of space scientists and engineers take their fight for privacy all the way to the Supreme Court.
September 24, 2010 | By Mark Betancourt
We’ve been to the moon. Mars is easy. But landing on Venus? That’s tough.
September 2010 | By Sam Kean
September 2010 | By Paul Hoversten
What changes the speed of spacecraft flying by Earth?
September 2010 | By Sam Kean
The Curiosity rover, scheduled for launch to Mars next year, took its first test drive last week.
July 30, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
While the U.S. space program is mired in political arguments over how to reach Earth orbit (something we've known how to do for 50 years), Japan's space agency JAXA, with far less money, is about to take a small but noteworthy step into the future.An HII-A launcher is scheduled to lift off from the...
May 14, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
“Well I can’t say that this thing hasn’t been filled with excitement,” said astronaut Jim Lovell as Apollo 13's crew crowded into the Command Module Odyssey—following the explosion of an onboard tank in the Service Module—and headed back to Earth. CapCom immediately joked, "Well, James, if you can'...
April 15, 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel
Avatar’s creator hopes to direct the first movies shot on Mars.
March 23, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Given all the angst recently about NASA astronauts needing a new destination, it's good to step back and review the options. There aren't many. There's the moon, of course, and Mars. A near-Earth asteroid. And one more possibility, often forgotten—the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos.Tomorrow at 3:5...
March 02, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt