Low Gravity Seriously Messes With An Ant's Ability To Explore Space

Experiments aboard the International Space Station with common pavement ants have shown just how badly microgravity impairs the insects' ability to search unexplored areas. Remarkably, however, tumbling ants demonstrated an uncanny ability to regain contact with the surface. » 3/31/15 7:00am Today 7:00am

No, NASA Is Not Planning To Build A Space Station With Russia

This past weekend, the head of Roscosmos announced plans to build a new orbital space station in partnership with NASA to replace the aging International Space Station. Too bad it isn't true. » 3/30/15 7:40am Yesterday 7:40am

Here's Your Opportunity To Help Name The Features Of Pluto And Charon

In July, New Horizons will pay a visit to Pluto and Charon. The historic flyby is expected to reveal surface features of these objects in extraordinary detail. Now, NASA and the SETI Institute, along with the International Astronomical Union, want your help naming these features. » 3/23/15 1:40pm 3/23/15 1:40pm

Molecular Nitrogen On Rosetta Points To The Comet's Frigid Origins

For the first time ever, scientists have detected molecular nitrogen on a comet. The discovery is sheds light on the nature of the pre-Solar System environment in which Comet 67P/C-G formed. » 3/20/15 2:20pm 3/20/15 2:20pm

Subterranean Lava Tubes Should Be Stable Enough For Future Moon Bases

Scientists speculate that massive underground cavities may exist under the lunar surface. And it turns out these so-called "lava tubes" should also be safe enough for a future moon base, according researchers presenting at this week's 46th Lunary and Planetary Conference in Texas. » 3/19/15 1:40pm 3/19/15 1:40pm

MESSENGER's Latest Shots Of Mercury Are Some Of The Best We've Seen

After four years in orbit around Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER mission is sadly coming to an end. But before it plunges to its doom, mission controllers are taking full advantage of the spacecraft's close proximity to the surface. Here are some of the most detailed and vivid images ever taken of the Solar System's… » 3/17/15 7:00am 3/17/15 7:00am

There May Be More Water On Jupiter's Largest Moon Than On Earth

By studying the subtle shifts of aurorae on Ganymede, scientists working with the Hubble Space Telescope have concluded that Jupiter's largest moon hosts a massive subterranean ocean. Quite suddenly, the outer reaches of our solar system appear to be a very wet place, indeed. » 3/13/15 12:50pm 3/13/15 12:50pm

A Warm Seafloor On Enceladus Makes It A Prime Candidate For Life

A new analysis of Cassini spacecraft data points to the distinct possibility that Saturn's icy moon Enceladus exhibits hydrothermal activity on its seafloor. It's a discovery that significantly bolsters the moon's status as a potentially habitable object. » 3/12/15 8:20am 3/12/15 8:20am

This Is The Week That Philae Could Return From The Dead

It has been nearly four months since Philae landed on Comet 67P. Because the probe landed in the shadow of a cliff, it couldn't draw sufficient energy from the sun. But later this week, there's a slim chance the probe could awaken and send a signal to the Rosetta spacecraft. » 3/10/15 11:20am 3/10/15 11:20am

The 7 Least Plausible Solutions To The Fermi Paradox

One of the greatest conundrums to face humanity is the question of extraterrestrial life. Many explanations have been posited over the years to explain why we have yet to make first contact, some better than others. Here are seven of the weakest solutions to the vexing problem known as the Fermi Paradox. » 3/02/15 11:00am 3/02/15 11:00am

Curiosity's Latest Wide-Angle Selfie Is Its Most Remarkable Photo Yet

Now would be a good time to update your desktop wallpaper. NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has snapped a spectacular — if not inexplicable — wide-angled self-portrait at the Mojave Site on Mount Sharp where the probe is currently drilling for samples. Here's how NASA created the extraordinary shot. » 2/25/15 6:40am 2/25/15 6:40am

The Closest View Yet Of Charon Orbiting Pluto

The New Horizons spacecraft has beamed back a time-lapse "movie" showing an entire day in the Pluto-Charon system. Captured from a distance of just 126 million miles (203-million km), the footage clearly depicts the "wobble" imposed on the dwarf planet by its large moon. » 2/12/15 11:20am 2/12/15 11:20am

How NASA Might Use A Robotic Sub To Explore Titan's Methane Seas

At a recent advanced concepts symposium, NASA scientists unveiled a conceptual plan to explore the frigid methane and ethane seas on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, using a robotic submarine. » 2/11/15 1:55pm 2/11/15 1:55pm

Watch The Inaugural Launch Of Europe's Experimental Spaceplane

The first launch and reentry of the European Space Agency's unoccupied Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) went off this morning after a slight delay. The mini spaceplane made splashdown in the Pacific Ocean after a quick but flawless journey. » 2/11/15 8:40am 2/11/15 8:40am

Our First Grainy Glimpse Of Pluto And Charon As New Horizons Closes In

NASA's New Horizons has returned its first images of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, since the mission entered into the countdown phase of its historic mission. Taken at a distance of 126 million miles (200 million km), it will pale in comparison to the images expected over the coming months. » 2/05/15 6:30am 2/05/15 6:30am

After Earth Falls, Will Interstellar Space Travel Be Our Salvation?

It may be just a matter of time before the Earth becomes uninhabitable. As astrophysicists and avid science fiction fans, we naturally find the prospect of interstellar colonization intriguing and exciting. But is it practical, or even possible? Or is there a better solution? » 1/23/15 11:20am 1/23/15 11:20am

A Dramatic Swirling Vortex At Venus's South Pole

There's a mass of swirling gas and cloud located some 37 miles (60 km) above Venus's south pole. This image was captured by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) aboard ESA's Venus Express spacecraft. » 1/21/15 7:00pm 1/21/15 7:00pm

Could This Be The Answer To Ceres's Mysterious White Spot?

As Dawn slowly approaches Ceres, this dwarf planet's inexplicable white spot is increasingly coming into focus. Thanks to xkcd's Randall Munroe, we may finally have the answer. » 1/21/15 1:00pm 1/21/15 1:00pm

The Remains Of Britain's Missing Lander May Have Been Spotted On Mars

Rumors are swirling that the British Beagle 2 lander — missing since Christmas Day in 2003 — has been spotted on the surface of the Red Planet by NASA's Reconnaissance Orbiter. » 1/13/15 9:00am 1/13/15 9:00am

These Are The Science Stories That Will Be Making News In 2015

The coming year is shaping up to be a rather extraordinary one. Over the next 12 months, we'll be visiting dwarf planets, unlocking the secrets of a 400,000-year-old genome, and resuming the hunt for exotic particles. Here are the science stories to look out for in 2015. » 1/08/15 11:15am 1/08/15 11:15am