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.

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Bill Cooke, NASA scientist, is regularly shooting marbles into carefully arranged piles of soil. Why is NASA paying this man to do something most of us would do for free? It's all about our return to the moon.

By Julia Layton

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?

By Marshall Brain

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.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

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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.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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

By Julia Layton

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

By Cameron Lawrence

Pluto is relatively round and orbits the Sun. So, why doesn't it qualify as a planet?

By Patrick J. Kiger & Kathryn Whitbourne

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Even though it's tiny compared to the rest of the universe, Earth is a complex planet that, so far, is the only one we know of that sustains life.

By Mark Mancini

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.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

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.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

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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.

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 is the closest planet to the sun, and it's the smallest. So why does it have longer days than we have on Earth?

By Mark Mancini

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.

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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.

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.

By Carolyn Snare

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.

By Stephanie Watson

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.

By Lacy Perry

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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.

By Robert Valdes

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?

By Marshall Brain & Kate Kershner

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

By Kevin Bonsor

Alien life forms would probably differ from those on Earth but still adhere to certain principles. Learn about astrobiology and the search for alien life forms.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

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Don't worry. We still love you, Earth, but we've been wondering about the possibility of life on other worlds for centuries, and now we have the tools to do some exploring. What have astronomers found so far?

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D., Patrick J. Kiger & Nicholas Gerbis

SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and it's dedicated to discovering signals sent to Earth from far, far away. Find out what would happen if an extraterrestrial were to make contact.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.