NASA Built a $349 Million Test Tower, Then Immediately Shut It Down

Welcome to Reading List, a collection of some of the best digital reads in technology and science. We have stories that take a deep dive into Amazon's ebook empire, a perplexing survey into NASA's $349 million abandoned test tower, an investigation into how online media works through the eyes of one ambitious startup,… » 12/21/14 4:00pm Sunday 4:00pm

Happy Birthday Ames! Awesome Photos From 75 Years of Aerospace Research

On the 20th of December, 1939, the second laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was founded. The facility at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, California, would later be known as NASA's Ames Research Center after the founding chairman of NACA, Joseph S. Ames—but no one could foresee how iconic… » 12/20/14 1:00pm 12/20/14 1:00pm

Kepler Just Discovered a New Super-Earth, Against All Odds 

In May 2013, NASA's exoplanet-seeking spacecraft, Kepler, seemed doomed. Two of four wheels that stabilized its telescope had malfunctioned—and NASA appealed to scientists from around the world for ideas to salvage its mission. Yesterday, it announced the discovery of a brand-new super-Earth 180 light years from our… » 12/19/14 11:35am 12/19/14 11:35am

These are NASA's coolest and strangest airplanes of the future

Most people don't know this, but NASA doesn't only work in exploring space. Its contribution to airplane technology—National Aeronautics and Space Administration—has been crucial to the development of safer, faster, more efficient travel. These are their coolest future concepts—some of which could enter service as… » 12/08/14 7:17pm 12/08/14 7:17pm

NASA's most ambitious spacecraft ever is about as smart as your phone

NASA's Orion spacecraft is being heralded as the saving grace of restless, star-gazing pioneers everywhere. And for good reason! It's the first real attempt in decades at pushing human space travel to its furthest possible limits. And what feat of engineering is powering this manifestation of mankind's greatest… » 12/05/14 2:58pm 12/05/14 2:58pm