Space Exploration

Space exploration is a broad topic covering many facets of deep-space and planetary science. Learn about space probes, Mars Rovers, SETI and other out-of-this-world subjects.

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It's been more than 50 years since humans first landed on the moon. Pull up a lunar module and let's see how much you know about Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and the adventure that immortalized them.

By Mark Mancini

He was responsible for some of humanity's greatest achievements, and his name now graces a massive NASA project. But how did a law degree lead to being a space pioneer?

By Nathan Chandler

Fling away your Fodor's! Toss your TripAdvisor! We have the only guided tour of outer space you'll need -- a foray into the final frontier so ambitious it will make the Voyager probes' Grand Tours look like daytrips.

By Nicholas Gerbis


Human beings have only gone as far as the moon and back -- and that's certainly an accomplishment in and of itself. But what other methods do scientists use to learn about our galaxy and beyond? What have we achieved so far in our exploration of the final frontier?

By Rick Mayda

NASA's DART spacecraft hit its mark Monday, Sept. 26 after years of planning. The bullseye was asteroid Dimorphos. Here's what NASA hopes to learn now.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Using the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a team of scientists discovered what could very well be the first exoplanet outside the Milky Way. It's massive and might even orbit a black hole.

By Valerie Stimac

One of the three-man crew of Apollo 11, the mission that first set foot on the moon, Michael Collins was a true American hero.

By Mark Mancini


Thousands of satellites fly overhead every day, helping us with things like weather forecasts, scientific research, communications, TV broadcasts (and maybe some surreptitious spying). How much do you know about these eyes in the sky?

By Gary Brown & William Harris

Since its inception in the late '50s, NASA has accomplished some amazing technical feats. But what are some of the agency's greatest moments?

By Julia Layton & Mark Mancini

The Voyager space probes took dazzling pictures of planets no one had ever seen. And they're still on the move, carrying golden records with a message for aliens -- complete with bagpipes and Louis Armstrong.

By Ed Grabianowski

It was a small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind. But some people say that the moon landings never happened at all. Why all the conspiracy theories?

By John Fuller


If the Earth is struck by calamity, will survivors find salvation in the proposed Doomsday Ark? The lunar-based vault will contain information that could help jumpstart a new civilization.

By Julia Layton

The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most amazing machines in orbit right now. Learn more about the Hubble Space Telescope and how it works.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Sarah Goddard

Mars Odyssey is NASA's latest Mars spacecraft, and it's going to the red planet in search of water. Learn how this orbiter could pave the way for manned missions to Mars!

By Kevin Bonsor

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.


Apollo astronauts left a lot of stuff behind on the moon. Can you see any of that from Earth, even with a telescope?

By Valerie Stimac & Sascha Bos

If you take cosmic dust and add plasma ... do you get life? Findings suggest that plasma crystals may be the key to one of the universe's greatest mysteries: Is there life out there?

By Jacob Silverman

The hunt for exoplanets, planets orbiting sun-like stars, is on! Thanks to new equipment, NASA has spotted thousands of them. But which ones might be able to handle life?

By William Harris & Jacob Silverman

Have you met the driving force behind the U.S. space program for the foreseeable future? Take a second to get acquainted with the proposed blasting behemoth.

By Nicholas Gerbis


Sure, the shuttles may be sitting around in museums now, but our journey to space is far from over. Get ready to meet some serious contenders in the new space race.

By Nicholas Gerbis

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

Because an Earth-like environment is created within a spacesuit, it allows you to walk around in space in relative safety. But outer space is an extremely hostile place and could kill you if you aren't protected.

By Marshall Brain

If you spent a year on Mars, you would need to take more food and water than you could possibly carry. But if you had to go, how much would be enough?

By Marshall Brain


People around the world watched as Neil Armstrong touched the moon and declared, "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." But how did we put a man on the moon?

By Stephanie Watson

Yes, we have some amazing inventions thanks to space exploration, and we're curious about life on other planets. But the cosmos also touches a deeper part of our psyches. Here are 10 reasons space exploration matters to you.

By Patrick J. Kiger