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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 4:24pm8/20/15 4:24pm

NASA Will Reformat Mars Rover's Flash Memory From 125 Million Miles Away

NASA's Opportunity rover is still trundling across the surface of Mars, more than 11 years after its 90 day mission began. But its software is getting bogged down, so NASA's doing a full system backup, memory wipe, and reboot. It's just like your routine computer cleanup, just from the next planet over. »8/30/14 4:00pm8/30/14 4:00pm

The Inside Story of the Crazy Rocket Research at Jet Propulsion Labs

Everybody knows the cowboy reputation associated with early astronauts, the test-pilot swagger immortalized by Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff. But the rockets that took those astronauts to space were built by a group with an equally cinematic image: the nearly-unhinged, completely unfettered mad scientists at Jet… »3/29/14 8:00pm3/29/14 8:00pm

NASA's prettiest spaceship yet will take actual photos of alien worlds

PlanetQuest is NASA's effort to search for new Earths, exoplanets like ours that would probably contain life too. They're doing some really cool stuff, like this sunflower-telescope combo spaceship—"a cutting-edge effort to take pictures of planets orbiting stars far from the sun." Imagine that—seeing the actual… »3/21/14 11:36am3/21/14 11:36am

NASA's Rock Climbing Robot Could Tackle Everest With Ease

Last year NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory revealed a Spiderman-inspired grippy claw that would let spacecraft easily grab onto passing asteroids and comets. Since then the technology has been further refined and now integrated into a rock-climbing robot called the LEMUR IIB that could put Sir Edmund Hillary to shame. »11/06/13 10:20am11/06/13 10:20am

A Moon With The Most Volcanic Activity Of Anything In The Solar System

This moon looks even more like it's made from green cheese than ours does, but it's not. Lame. Io, the innermost moon of Jupiter, is the most volcanically active body in our solar system because of gravitational "tides" exerted by Jupiter and its other moons. And the constantly flowing lava gives Io's surface frequent… »8/04/13 5:06pm8/04/13 5:06pm