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How NASA Created a Flight Simulator For The First Astronauts Landing on the Moon

December 5, 1961. A man at the controls of a module gazes at the lunar surface from close up. Is this an astronaut, approaching the Moon nearly eight years before Apollo 11? Nope—it’s a pilot testing Project LOLA, a massive network of hand-painted mosaics and tracked cameras that trained astronauts for the moon… »9/03/15 11:20amYesterday 11:20am

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 3:00pmSaturday 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 8:30am8/21/15 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 1:00pm8/20/15 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 10:20am8/20/15 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 8:30am8/20/15 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 10:30am8/16/15 10:30am