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NASA's Orion Capsule Makes Perfect Test Landing, Minus A Few Parachutes

NASA hasn’t sent humans into space on its own spacecraft since the Space Shuttle orbiters retired, so they really want to be sure things are working properly before astronauts climb aboard the next-generation Orion capsule. Earlier today, NASA simulated a “Minimum System Test” in which some of Orion’s parachutes were… » 8/29/15 3:00pm Saturday 3:00pm

Watch the ocean's five islands of garbage form over the last 35 years

The ocean is filled with alien-looking creatures, a lot of natural beauty and a crap ton of garbage. There is so much garbage in the ocean that fully formed patches of our filth have spawned. In this fascinating visualization, NASA reveals how the ocean’s 5 islands of garbage came to be. You can see the swirling… » 8/21/15 8:30am 8/21/15 8:30am

NASA and Matt Damon Told Us Why The Martian Is "a Love Letter to Science"

Right now, here’s how close we are to the events of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian actually happening: Not very. NASA believes we’re probably about 20 years away from putting an astronaut on Mars, but as the movie about a astronaut being stranded on Mars hits theaters, 20 years feels longer than it sounds. » 8/20/15 1:00pm 8/20/15 1:00pm

I Flew With NASA To Study the California Drought From the Sky

It didn’t look good. Dark sapphire pools dotted the bare gray peaks of the Sierras, ringed in too many concentric circles of sediment to count. As I flew above the mountains with NASA scientists on a tricked-out DC-8 plane, the effects of four years of drought were painfully evident to the naked eye. But it’s what we… » 8/20/15 10:20am 8/20/15 10:20am

California Is Pumping So Much Groundwater That the Land Is Sinking

The Mad Max plot playing out in California is causing all sorts of problems, not least for farmers, who have turned to pumping groundwater to irrigate crops. According to NASA, all that pumping is having an effect: in some places, the ground is sinking by two inches per month.http://gizmodo.com/learning-from-... » 8/20/15 8:30am 8/20/15 8:30am

The Crab Nebula Is a Gorgeous Mystery

In 1054 CE, a new light blazed in the night sky, four times brighter than Venus. Chinese astronomers called it a “guest star,” but today we call it a supernova: the dying explosion of a massive star. The star that created the supernova of 1054 had been dead for 6500 years by the time the light of its explosion reached… » 8/16/15 10:30am 8/16/15 10:30am

The Little Gem Nebula Shines Like A Jewel

This gorgeous filtered image is a 6,000-year-old snapshot of a slowly dying star. When the star at the center of the Little Gem Nebula reached the end of its lifespan, it began ejecting its outer layers into space in glowing clouds of gas. Its stellar wind pushes the gas outward into this colorful bubble.
» 8/09/15 4:30pm 8/09/15 4:30pm

Explore the Surface of Mars With NASA's Latest Web Tools

Most of us will never set foot on Mars, but thanks to NASA’s unceasing public outreach campaign, now we can all imagine what that might be like. To commemorate the three year anniversary of the Curiosity rover’s Martian landing, NASA has unveiled two new web tools that allow you to explore the Red Planet’s surface and… » 8/08/15 11:00am 8/08/15 11:00am