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.

Topics to Explore

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What if we lived on the moon?

It's safe to assume there won't be a moon colony any time soon. But it's still a tantalizing thought. But wouldn't it be cool to be able to live, vacation and work on the moon?

How Solar Eclipses Work

A total solar eclipse is a rare event that can be an amazing thing to witness. Learn about solar eclipses and how to observe one safely.

Why are space shuttle launches delayed so frequently?

From a distance, a space shuttle looks pretty sturdy. It's enormous and solid, and it can withstand extreme temperatures when it enters the Earth's atmosphere. But in some ways, a space shuttle is delicate.

How did Lockheed win NASA's Orion contract?

How did Lockheed win the Orion contract over the manned-space-experts Grumman and Boeing? Check out some of the expert speculation.

Manmade Universe Coming Soon?

Scientists might be able to create a universe in a laboratory. How is this possible?

Where did the moon come from?

We know it's not made of green cheese, but what are the origins of the moon? Learn astronomers' theories about where the moon came from.

How the EZ-Rocket Works

But can a commercial spacecraft take off on its own from the ground, travel into outer space and land again on a runway? That's the goal of XCOR Aerospace, and it starts with the EZ-Rocket. In this article, we'll learn about the technology behind the EZ-Rocket and see how XCOR plans to expand on this technology in the future.

How the Orion CEV Will Work

NASA needs a vehicle capable of carrying crew and payloads to Earth orbit, the moon and Mars. Learn about the technologies of the new Crew Exploration Vehicle and find out how it will help us explore the moon and beyond.

Our Amazing Solar System

Some of the most interesting objects in our solar system are also the smallest or largest. In addition to the sun, planets, and moons, our solar system has a variety of small objects such as asteroids, comets, stars, meteors, and moons. These have affected what has happened on Earth in many ways.

Jupiter Explained

Jupiter is the largest planet and is fifth from the sun. It is the third-brightest spot in our skies--after the sun and Venus. Jupiter is made up almost entirely of gas, which means it doesn't have a solid surface like Earth does.

Pluto Explained

The smallest and most-distant planet in our solar system is tiny, icy Pluto. It is even smaller than our moon, and wasn't discovered until 1930 — the only planet discovered in the twentieth century.

Mercury Explained

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, and it is the second smallest. It is the fastest-moving planet, so it was named after the Roman god of speed. Like Earth, it is a terrestrial planet, meaning it has a solid surface that you could land on.

The Solar System Explained

Our planet Earth is part of a solar system that consists of nine (and possibly ten) planets orbiting a giant, fiery star we call the sun. For thousands of years, astronomers studying the solar system have noticed that these planets march across the sky in a predictable way.

Neptune Explained

Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun, the fourth largest, and a gas planet. It is named after the Roman god of the sea. Neptune is four times the size of Earth, and its day lasts a little more than16 hours. Its year is about 165 Earth years. Neptune's orbit is a perfect circle. The last stop on spacecraft Voyager's epic trip through the solar system was the gas giant Neptune.

Uranus Explained

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun, and is named for the ancient Greek deity of the Heavens, the earliest supreme god. It is the third largest planet in the solar system, and is three times as large as Earth.

Venus Explained

Venus is the second planet from the sun, and is about the same size as Earth. It is a terrestrial planet, meaning it has a solid surface. But the harsh conditions on Venus make it very inhospitable. Two spacecraft, Pioneer Venus 1 and Magellan, were able to penetrate the thick atmosphere of this planet.

Saturn Explained

Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest planet in the solar system. It is named for the Roman god of agriculture, one of the most important gods in the Roman world. Saturn is made mostly of hydrogen and helium, and its poles appear to be flattened because of its speedy rotation on its axis...

Earth Explained

Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest planet in the solar system. It is named for the Roman god of agriculture, one of the most important gods in the Roman world.

Mars Explained

Mars, which is the fourth planet from the sun and the third smallest in size, got its name because of its rusty red color. People associated the planet's blood-red color with war, so they named it Mars, after the Roman god of war.

How the Delta IV Heavy Works

It's bigger, stronger, more efficient and more precise: The Delta IV Heavy is arguably the greatest rocket built to date. It can put 13 tons of satellite payload into its intended orbit with fuel to spare, and that's just the beginning.

How UFOs Work

The accounts are oddly similar: darting lights in a night sky, a hovering disc, radio interference. How can so many people be "mistaken"? Learn about the evidence for and against alien UFOs and check out some of the stranger tales of contact.

Behind the X Prize

We know who won – top-runner SpaceShipOne. We know what the team receives for that accomplishment: $10 million and an obscenely gigantic trophy. But what about the story behind the contest? Learn about the rules, restrictions, red tape, test crashes, successful launches and the technological innovations that may get you into sub-orbit sooner than you think.

How SpaceShipOne Works

It's launch time for the first privately funded space flight. In the course of battle for the X Prize, a group called Scaled Composites has built and tested SpaceShipOne, a sub-orbital spacecraft intended to carry tourists on the ride of their life. Learn all about the craft.

How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work

Of course we want to go to Mars. Until we figure it out though, roving robots with names like Spirit, Opportunity, Sojourner and Curiosity are our best bet for digging up dirt on our nearest planetary neighbor. Want to go along for the ride?

How Electromagnetic Propulsion Will Work

Get a sneak peek (even before NASA scientists) at a new type of spacecraft that could be jolted through space by electromagnets.


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