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Related ArticlesSkip carousel
- Oct 24 20161 minute
Obama Says NASA Will Put a Human on Mars ‘by the 2030s.’ Can It?
JEFFREY KLUGER FEW THINGS MAKE A POST-1950S PRESIDENT APPEAR AS visionary as talking about going to Mars. At one point or another, almost all Presidents seem to do it. On Oct. 11, Obama joined the chorus, promising a public-private partnership to se
- Feb 7 20178 minutes
The Sentimental Sadist
George Saunders’s new novel—his first, after four collections of short stories and a novella—takes place in the afterlife. Or rather, it takes place in the “bardo,” a term that Saunders has borrowed from Buddhism for what might be called the “justaft
- Jan 2 20171 minute
John Glenn National Hero
JEFFREY KLUGER IF YOU WERE AROUND IN 1959, odds are that the first time you saw John Glenn, you felt better. Glenn, who died on Dec. 8 at 95, was one of seven astronauts selected by NASA to both calm and thrill a frightened country at nuclear dagger
- Jan 23 20177 minutes
China’s Growing Ambitions in Space
While Trump works to set out a new policy for NASA, China is set to conduct a record number of launches this year.
- Feb 15 20171 minute
Here Are The Winners Of NASA's Space Poop Challenge
NASA Space suits and flush toilets are not compatible Poopin' ain't easy in space—especially if you're stuck in a space suit for extended periods of time. Today's astronauts wear diapers when they need to don a space suit, but on future Martian getaw
- Mar 6 20172 minutes
Limbo Of The Patriarch
NATE HOPPER GEORGE SAUNDERS, THE COMIC empath, introduces President Abraham Lincoln as he unwittingly enters a bardo—a Buddhist limbo, here populated by ghosts he cannot sense. These specters travel around the cemetery where Lincoln’s son Willie has
- Oct 3 20161 minute
How Incentive Prizes Can Spark Innovation
IN 1927 CHARLES LINDBERGH BECAME the first solo pilot to fly nonstop across the Atlantic. The flight not only made Lindbergh famous; it also created the perception that flying was safe and available to the common man. And it was all sparked by a rewa
- Feb 5 20154 minutes
For Preventing Disease, Data Are the New Drugs: Is giving up your biological secrets too bitter a pill?
A light drizzle greeted Charles Lindbergh as he arrived at Roosevelt Field on May 20, 1927, at a little before three in the morning. Weeks of rain had ensured that the runway at the Long Island airport was in poor condition, soft and strewn with pudd
- Feb 27 20171 minute
Elon Musk’s Moon Mission Would Vault SpaceX Past NASA
The company plans to take two people—not astronauts, but private citizens—on a trip around the moon next year.
- Feb 9 20174 minutes
Trump's Advisers Want to Return Humans to the Moon in Three Years
The plan could dramatically shift the mission of the space agency, prioritizing low-Earth orbit activity over distant exploration.
- Dec 26 20162 minutes
John Glenn | 1921-2016 An American Hero
As the first NASA astronaut to orbit the Earth, he embodied daring and courage—and inspired a generation
- Feb 28 20172 minutes
Will Elon Musk Send the First Woman to the Moon?
To make a triumphant return to the moon with two dudes on board would be, well, less triumphant.
- Mar 22 20174 minutes
What It's Like to Watch Your Life's Work Blow Up on a Rocket
On a balmy night in late October 2014, Rachel Lindbergh and dozens of others stood on the grass at the end of Arbuckle Neck Road in Virginia, staring across the bay. Their eyes were trained on a spot on Wallops Island less than two miles away, where
- Sep 26 20165 minutes
There were two things on Mars that seemed to be working hard to kill me: the lava tube and the omelette. I couldn’t decide which was worse. I encountered the lava tube at the end of a 10-minute walk from my simulated Martian habitat, when I crested
- Mar 10 20174 minutes
Why Women Weren't Allowed to Be Astronauts
Critics had plenty of reasons for wanting to disqualify women from spaceflight in its early stages—but none of them stuck.
- Feb 19 20172 minutes
SpaceX Rocket Lifts Off From Historic Apollo 11 Launchpad
Screengrab by author The Falcon 9's first stage rocket booster returns for a smooth landing on a repurposed launch pad. A Dragon capsule full of supplies is on its way to the International Space Station, after a successful liftoff of the Falcon 9 roc
- Aug 1 20143 minutes
99 Problems, and a Wild Gecko Space Orgy Is Just One
On July 19, Russia launched a satellite designed to study the effects of microgravity on, among other living beings, geckos. The purpose was to observe the geckos—four females and one lucky male—mating, then study how fertilization in microgravity af
- Feb 25 20174 minutes
Why Did the House Science Committee Overlook NASA's Former Chief Scientist?
Ellen Stofan was the only woman to testify at a congressional hearing about the future of space exploration—and the only person left out of the official tweets about the event.
- Mar 10 20172 minutes
Parachute Practice, A CT Scanned Pigeon, And Other Amazing Images Of The Week
Scott Echols, Scarlet Imaging and the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project The Art Of Anatomy This mildly terrifying CT scan of a pigeon is a candidate in this year’s Welcome Images contest for best scientific and medical images. And guess what? You can vote
- Feb 15 20171 minute
NASA Wants To Put Astronauts On The Very First Launch Of Its New Mega-rocket
NASA/MSFC An artistic rendering of NASA's Space Launch System Rumors are circulating on Twitter that NASA is shaking up its schedule for the Space Launch System. According to the scuttlebutt, the rocket's maiden launch may carry astronauts onboard. P
- Dec 8 20163 minutes
Remembering John Glenn
John Glenn, the lifelong pilot, decorated war veteran, and former senator who became the first American to orbit the Earth during the height of the space race, has died. He was 95. Glenn died Thursday in his home state of Ohio, a day after news of hi
- Jan 14 20171 minute
SpaceX Sticks the Landing in Triumphant Return
After a four-month launch hiatus, the company’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully sent a communications satellite into orbit and returned its first stage to a floating robotic barge.
- Jan 14 20161 minute
The Space Shuttle’s Last Launch: A portrait of the NASA program’s last days.
The infrastructure behind NASA’s shuttle program was unimaginably vast. At $1 billion each, the launches were so audacious that they seemed to risk collapsing under the weight of their own hubris. And yet, for 30 years the orbiters came and went, act
- Dec 5 20135 minutes
The Harshest Return: Living in Antarctica is hard; coming home can be harder.
When I returned to England, I knew that Antarctica had distorted my personality. The rolling green hills of Derbyshire, near where I grew up, looked different than I recalled. At a reunion, I found it difficult to connect to my friends and relatives.
- Mar 8 20173 minutes
Personal Shopper Is an Unusual Postmodern Ghost Story
Olivier Assayas’s new film stars Kristen Stewart as a grief-stricken Parisian fashionista who moonlights as a medium.
- Mar 3 20172 minutes
Life Before The EPA, A Rocket In The Aurora Borealis, And More Amazing Images Of The Week
NAOJ/HSC Project Our Aging Universe Light does more than just illuminate. It can also help chart the history of the universe. Astronomers in Hawaii captured this image—made with a combination of wide, deep, and ultra-deep imaging—to study light in th
- Feb 19 20172 minutes
SpaceX Goes Two-for-Two on Launches This Year
The company has launched a Falcon 9 rocket from a historic launchpad at Cape Canaveral and landed its first stage upright on solid ground.
- Feb 17 20173 minutes
NASA's Next Frontier Is Washington
The space agency is in limbo as it waits for direction from Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress.