How the Soviet Union Almost Won the Race to Be First to Photograph Mars

In 1969, the U.S. finally won the race with the Soviets to be first to put people on the moon. But the memory of that space race has overshadowed one that came before: the race to be the first to photograph Mars from space. It was the subject of an intense rivalry—and one that the Soviets narrowly missed winning. » 7/16/15 3:20pm 7/16/15 3:20pm

We Get the Best Space Images When Scientists Pull All-Nighters

Fifty years ago today, the Mariner 4 mission sent home the first images of Mars. Today, the New Horizons probe sent home gloriously detailed photos of Pluto. Despite the intervening decades, the vibrant excitement of the mission scientists staying up all night to see that first image is exactly the same. » 7/15/15 7:30am 7/15/15 7:30am

How We'll Live on Mars: A Manifesto for Colonizing the Red Planet

For more than century, humans have imagined building colonies on Mars, and now settling the Red Planet is no longer a pipe dream—it’s something we might achieve in little over a decade. And many people, including the author of the new book How We’ll Live on Mars, believe our very survival as a species hinges on it.… » 7/07/15 12:40pm 7/07/15 12:40pm

What's Stopping Us from Building Cities in Space? No, It's Not Tech.

The US has a plan for Americans to live in space. In 2012, the National Research Council was commissioned by Congress to roadmap the future of human space exploration. Last June, the team published its findings in a massive report, which called for several action steps to be taken immediately. One year later, are we… » 6/18/15 5:40pm 6/18/15 5:40pm

Wait, How Did These Chunks Of Glass End Up In A Crater On Mars?

Mars is a strange place, whether we’re talking the seemingly nature-defying behavior of its liquids or just the tendency of even the most ordinary rock to have a secret life. But this latest look into one of its craters shows something odd even by Martian standards: There’s glass in there — and lots of it. » 6/15/15 9:20am 6/15/15 9:20am