We Can Thank Plutonium for Everything We've Learned About Pluto

Our epic journey to Pluto has been filled with cosmic coincidences. Crossing Neptune’s orbit 25 years to the day after Voyager 2. Zipping by Pluto 50 years on the nose after our first Mars encounter. But my favorite serendipitous fact of all has to do with how we’ve powered the entire New Horizons mission—using none… »7/16/15 8:30pm7/16/15 8:30pm

Interplanetary Spacecraft, Ranked

We may be dirty monkeys at heart, but humans have done some pretty astonishing things in outer space over the past 50 years. We’ve launched dozens of interplanetary spacecraft, and explored most of the solar system with space robots who sent back pictures and scientific data. Here are our favorite of those craft,… »6/17/15 3:15pm6/17/15 3:15pm

Contact with Curiosity may be lost during its descent to the Martian surface

As NASA prepares for the August 6 landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, its scientists have made the disturbing realization that communication will likely be lost during its harrowing seven minute descent to the surface. Engineers attribute the fault to a critical support satellite, Odyssey, which is currently… »7/17/12 2:23pm7/17/12 2:23pm