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.


Between the cancellation of the U.S. space shuttle program and the launch failures that have plagued Russia, you may have given up hope on space. China hasn't.

Martians, there's a spiffy, new rover in town. If you want to meet this nuclear-powered, laser-toting monster truck of science, head on over to the Gale Crater to get a glimpse.

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 the time space shuttle Atlantis touched down after its final voyage in July 2011, a major shift in strategy for space exploration was already under way. What are NASA's newest programs?

In March 2011, European scientists announced the launch of a project called SPACECAST to detect and forecast space weather. How will it work and what do they hope to learn?

There's a lot more out there than our measly solar system, and astronomers are becoming more adept at finding those worlds all the time. Here are 10 of their coolest discoveries.

If you consider throwing down a welcome mat on the porch of the International Space Station the same as living "elsewhere," then yes. But what about the moon and destinations beyond?

Comic books have happily subscribed to the theory of multiple universes for decades. After all, how else could flying and leaping versions of Superman exist at the same time? In the real world, things are a little different.

You're parched. Do you know what planetary thirst quencher to reach for? Is Martian water of a vintage you'd rather not try? And how are those lunar additives going to work out for you?

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?

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.

NASA has an SUV-sized rover on Mars, and it’s sending new data back to Earth all the time. Landing Curiosity (and other rovers) on the red planet is no small affair. Check out these pictures of rovers and the extreme engineering that goes into a successful mission.

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.

Has space camp gone out of style? NASA's going after the MySpace generation with a new Web site design and strategy, but why?

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

Although most people today will never set foot on the moon, it's likely you come into contact with a NASA byproduct every day.

The moon landing is just one of many sources of debate among space conspiracy theorists. This image gallery wades into the discussion on this theory and a few others.

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?

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?

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.

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?

Not by a long shot, self-centered earthlings. So the question is, exactly how many Earth wannabes are cruising around the universe and what are they like?

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?

NASA's next generation of telescopes will collect 1,736 times more light than the Hubble and will penetrate the depths of the universe to see objects nearly as old as the Big Bang.

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