Venus Express Is Dead, Leaving The Planet Without Robot Explorers

Goodbye, Venus Express. You were a lovely satellite, and lasted far longer than we had any right to expect. With propellant totally exhausted and on a decaying orbit, the spacecraft is presumed dead, burnt, crushed, and mangled by the hostile environment of Venus. » 12/21/14 2:08pm 12/21/14 2:08pm

This Is Every Place In The Solar System Ever Occupied Entirely By Robots

Is Mars really the only planet solely inhabited by robots? Yes, but no. The truth behind this meme is an excellent opportunity to investigate just how adventurous our robotic explorers are in visiting all sorts of places we squishy humans haven't. » 10/13/14 12:58am 10/13/14 12:58am

This Is the First Weekend in America With No Saturday Morning Cartoons

Saturday morning American broadcast TV was once animation's home field. Filling a cereal bowl with artificially colored sugar pebbles and staring at the tube was every kid's weekend plan. Not any more: For the first time in 50-plus years, you won't find a block of animation on broadcast this morning. It's the end of… » 10/04/14 6:16pm 10/04/14 6:16pm

Here Are Four Months of Storms Condensed into a Two Minute Video

We often see animated satellite images of storms over the Atlantic that show us 12- or 24-hour loops, but how about a satellite loop that lasts 2,150 hours? An ambitious YouTuber created this awesome time lapse video showing four months of storms over the western Pacific in just two minutes. » 9/02/14 1:00am 9/02/14 1:00am

First Light for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory

The new Orbital Carbon Observatory successfully launched, made it into orbit, slid into place at the head of the A-train, and now returned its first data. Soon, we'll be able to track how carbon sources and sinks vary with time all over the planet. » 8/12/14 3:40pm 8/12/14 3:40pm

Five Beautiful GIFs of Hurricane Arthur Show Nature's Terrifying Power

When Hurricane Arthur made landfall on the North Carolina coast last weekend, it was the strongest hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008. The storm was downright impressive visually, and these gifs document the latent beauty of nature's power. » 7/08/14 3:18pm 7/08/14 3:18pm

35 Awesome Facts About NASA's New Carbon-Tracking Satellite

The Orbital Carbon Observatory (OCO2) successfully launched early on July 2nd after a cliffhanger-scrub the night before. Here's 35 snippets of behind-the-scenes details about the newest Earth-observing satellite tasked with monitoring our home. » 7/04/14 1:05am 7/04/14 1:05am

NASA's Orbital Carbon Observatory Has Launched!

After the original Orbital Carbon Observatory crashed into the ocean, and the first attempt at launching the replacement observatory was scrubbed yesterday with less than a minute left in the countdown, we finally have a satellite capable of tracking carbon in our atmosphere. I was there. » 7/02/14 10:01am 7/02/14 10:01am

Six More Small Satellites to Study Earth and Space Weather

Six tiny satellites have been approved to join the CubeSat program for NASA's 2014 fiscal year. Although each satellite measures just 30 by 10 by 10 centimetres, they're capable of big science. The projects will collect data on terrestrial and space weather, with two particularly focusing on plasma bubbles. » 6/21/14 4:37am 6/21/14 4:37am

CubeSats Offer Big Science in a Small Box

Miniature cube satellites allow for contained research projects on a tight budget. More and more science is being done with these tiny cubes, with 24 projects currently in-orbit and another 76 pre-approved on a waiting list awaiting launch. » 6/12/14 6:14pm 6/12/14 6:14pm

Europe's New Satellite Narrowly Avoided A Collision with Space Junk

Just 34 hours after the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1A spacecraft separated from its carrier rocket, it nearly smashed into a dead NASA satellite. » 4/10/14 11:40am 4/10/14 11:40am

First Images from a New Satellite That Measures Rain and Snowfall

The new NASA-JAXA precipitation satellite works! The spacecraft was launched in February as part of an effort to improve global rain and snowfall measurements. You can see its first images, which are of a cyclone east of Honshu Island, Japan. » 3/25/14 3:43pm 3/25/14 3:43pm

Astronauts Installing a Live Version of Google Earth Today on ISS

Imagine a version of Google Earth that uses real-time imagery instead of years-old satellite data. This is the premise behind UrtheCast – a camera that Russian astronauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy will be mounting today outside of the International Space Station. Watch the installation-spacewalk live, here on… » 12/27/13 7:15am 12/27/13 7:15am

US spy agency launched this Earth-conquering octopus logo into orbit

It sounds like a joke, but this octopus, which looks like it might just eat the Earth, waving its tentacles over the slogan "Nothing is Beyond Our Reach," is the logo for NROL-39, the latest satellite mission launched by the United States' National Reconnaissance Office. » 12/08/13 10:00am 12/08/13 10:00am

Record-setting rocket launch puts on a show for America's East Coast

Last night, the U.S. Air Force launched 29 satellites into orbit from Virginia's eastern shore. The record-setting payload achieved liftoff atop a Minotaur-1 rocket at 8:15 p.m. ET, and was visible from the entire length of America's Eastern Seaboard, and as far west as Kentucky. » 11/20/13 6:55am 11/20/13 6:55am

Watch ten years' worth of global weather unfold in just three minutes

When NASA decommissioned the GOES-12 on August 16th, the weather satellite had been locked in geostationary orbit around Earth for a little over 12 years, snapping regular photos of the western hemisphere. Here now are a decade's worth of captured images, compressed into a three-minute stop motion masterpiece. » 9/04/13 7:30am 9/04/13 7:30am

Time-lapse satellite images show how Earth has changed over 28 years

Chances are, this is how you will be spending the rest of your day. Google Earth Engine is an incredible satellite tour through the recent history of our planet, showing year-by-year images from 1984-2012. Watch as cities expand, glaciers retreat, and seas vanish in a matter of decades. » 5/11/13 9:00am 5/11/13 9:00am

Have You Ever Seen Spacecraft Solar Panels From Behind?

I like very much the following behind-the-scenes photos the European Space Agency published on its blog and on its Facebook page. » 4/24/13 6:40pm 4/24/13 6:40pm

This is the biggest mirror on Earth

This guy is standing on the flattest, shiniest place on Earth. It takes over a large section of Bolivia, and it's so flat, dry, and reflective, that it's used for satellite calibration. » 1/08/13 12:40pm 1/08/13 12:40pm

Witness decades of urban growth as photographed from space

In 2008, for the first time in history, as many humans were living in cities as in rural areas. Over the decades, many cities have swelled to accomodate the growing human population as well as the growing trend toward urbanism. These are changes so extreme that they can be seen from space. » 7/28/12 9:30am 7/28/12 9:30am