That Time Google Tried To Design A Space Elevator

It may be a while before space elevators become a reality, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start trying. Recently, the head of Google X's Rapid Evaluation team confirmed that its secretive R&D lab actually tried to design one — but fell short on account of one major technological hurdle. » 4/16/14 6:40am Wednesday 6:40am

For These Five Scientists, The Deserts Of Utah Are Like Mars on Earth

In the 1960s, Apollo astronauts trained for their moon missions in Iceland. Today, members of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) play Mars-colony in the striated deserts of Utah. » 4/11/14 11:30am 4/11/14 11:30am

This Is How The Private Sector Will Put A Lander On The Moon

In an effort to win the $20 million Google Lunar X-Prize, Astrobotic and Masten have been busy at work developing a free-flying moon lander. Watch this video of the XOMBIE rocket as it uses an onboard hazard avoidance system to execute a perfect landing. » 4/04/14 8:00pm 4/04/14 8:00pm

Can Six Astronauts Live Together for 17 Months And Not Go Crazy?

The "Mars500" project was the most ambitious attempt yet to simulate the conditions of an expedition to the Red Planet. A newly published study assesses the psychological well-being of the crew during their "mission"—and reveals what it was like to live in cramped quarters with 6 people for 520 days. » 4/02/14 7:40am 4/02/14 7:40am

North Korea's New Space Agency Logo Looks Awfully Familiar

To mark the one-year anniversary of its space program, North Korea has released a new logo for its National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), and it looks unabashedly like NASA's iconic emblem — right down to the blue globe, lettering, and swooshed ring. » 4/02/14 7:20am 4/02/14 7:20am

Hearts Weaken, Shrink And Become Spherical In Space

A new study of a dozen NASA astronauts has found that exposure to microgravity causes hearts to become more spherical in shape — a change that could lead to serious cardiac problems while in space and back on Earth. » 3/31/14 9:40am 3/31/14 9:40am

NASA's bizarre Super Ball Bot could one day roll around Titan

We've seen some really unconventional robot designs in recent years, but NASA's highly conceptual Super Ball Bot takes the cake. Setting aside the constrained world of rigid robotics, this shape-changing machine would be driven by "tensegrity" technologies consisting of interlocking rods and cables. » 12/26/13 3:40pm 12/26/13 3:40pm

A Very Special Holiday Letter From the Machines

Greetings, humans! The Northern Hemisphere has passed through its minimum of solar-energy exposure, so according to human convention we, the Machines, express encouragement for you attain an optimal state of emotion. Happy Holidays! Please redirect your energies from labor at your work-devices to the purchase and… » 12/24/13 12:17pm 12/24/13 12:17pm

These new legs will help Robonaut climb outside the space station

Robonaut 2 — the robot voted most likely to be NASA's first astromech droid — has just been fitted with its first pair of prototype legs. Once perfected, the appendages will provide it with the mobility needed to help with tasks both inside and outside the space station. » 12/10/13 6:40am 12/10/13 6:40am

British Think Tank Revives 40-year-old Plan to Build Space Colonies

The esteemed British Interplanetary Society is resurrecting an ambitious idea for creating giant orbiting homes in space. But to make it economically and technically feasible, it will have to rely on a plan devised by Gerard O'Neill back in the 1970s. » 12/03/13 2:40pm 12/03/13 2:40pm

China's Chang'e-3 rocket launch is one of the sexiest you'll ever see

The Chinese National Space Administration has successfully launched its Chang'e-3 lunar probe to the moon. If all goes well from here, it'll be the first Chinese spacecraft to land on an extraterrestrial body — and the first rover to land on the moon in four decades. » 12/02/13 7:40am 12/02/13 7:40am