Space

Explore the vast reaches of space and mankind’s continuing efforts to conquer the stars, including theories such as the Big Bang, the International Space Station, plus what the future holds for space travel and exploration.


Air-breathing rockets have the potential to dramatically lower launch costs and may make space lots more accessible to normal people. See how it will work!

In its nearly 30-year history, the space shuttle program has seen exhilarating highs and devastating lows. Learn all about the space shuttle program.

I would like to know how an astronaut, who is in a space suit for hours, can eat, drink and eliminate fluid- and solid-waste byproducts? What "mechanics" are built into the suit and how do they operate?

Have you heard about the new astronauts in town? They're dexterous, sensitive and don't mind doing dull and repetitive tasks in space a whit. They're robots. And one of them is shacking up at the International Space Station right now.

How long can a human survive in outer space? In science fiction movies, this seems to be an area of much creative license, with some people exploding instantly, and others surviving for nearly a minute without long-term ill effect. I read once that one's blood would boil, but I read elsewhere that this isn't true. So what is it?

Like a firefighter or a rock star, an astronaut is one of those jobs kids say they want to have when they grow up. If you're still serious, we can tell you what it takes.

We are seeing a lot more space suits now that the international space station is occupied. Learn how space suits work and why they cost $12 million each!

Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has ranked as one of man's greatest achievements in space or otherwise. What does the future hold for the great observatory, and will its space telescope successor measure up to Hubble?

Antimatter has the ability to store incredible amounts of energy in a very small space. See how it will work.

Imagine waking up in the morning, looking out your window and seeing the planet Earth below you. What would it be like to live in space? Find out all about the International Space Station.

On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari, a telecommunications entrepreneur, became the first female space tourist and the fourth space tourist overall. Could you be next? Find out what's in the works to get you to space.

Asteroid mines could become an incredible source of building supplies for a colony on the moon. Learn how they will work!

Since the 1960s, we've been captivated by our planetary neighbor. How different is the planet next door, and what have we learned about it so far, compliments of the Phoenix Mars Lander and other spacecraft?

The thought of terraforming Mars is one of those ideas so outrageous that it just might work! Learn how it will work!

Space planes are likely to be the replacement for the space shuttle. Learn how they will work!

Inflatable spacecraft will revolutionize satellites and space habitats. Learn how they will work!

The sun warms our planet every day, provides the light by which we see and is necessary for life on Earth. But what is it exactly, and what will happen when it burns itself out?

Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon than when it is high up in the sky? This question has been pondered for hundreds if not thousands of years, and is commonly referred to as the moon illusion.

What is a solar sail? How can you use sunlight to move a spacecraft in outer space? In this article, HowStuffWorks will show you how solar sail technology works, take an in-depth look at the Cosmos-1 mission and find out what solar-sails mean for future space travel.

Where I live it is pretty common to see "shooting stars" -- streaks of light in the sky at night. How big is a shooting star? Do they land on earth or do they burn up? Do they land on the ground as meteorites?

A space shuttle launch is expensive -- about $10,000 per pound. The LiftPort Group is developing a new system that could cut the cost down to about $400 per pound. Find out how a space elevator might be your ticket into orbit.

The Chandler wobble is the change in the spin of the earth on its axis. Think of the wobble you see in a toy top when it first starts spinning or slows down. Its "poles" do not spin in a perfectly straight line.

If I was on the moon and the earth was black (no lights were on) and a flashlight was turned on facing the moon, would I see the light? If I couldn't, would there be any way to detect any residual matter that came from the light on Earth or does light die after a certain distance?

The Voyager spacecraft use 23-watt radios. This is higher than the 3 watts a typical cell phone uses, but in the grand scheme of things it is still a low-power transmitter. The key to receiving the signals is therefore not the power of the radio, but a combination of three other things.

Until its fiery landing in the Pacific Ocean in Mach 2001, the MIR space station was one of the largest objects orbiting the planet, so large that it was especially easy to see -- if you knew what you were looking for.