Japan's Decade-Long Mission to Mine an Asteroid

1999 JU3: It doesn't sound like a very noteworthy name. It's just one of more than 5,000 Apollo-class asteroids. But 1999 JU3 could become a household name if Japan succeeds in mining it—a mission that JAXA has struggled with for decades, often disastrously. And on Sunday, it revealed the probe that could redeem it. » 9/02/14 5:45pm 9/02/14 5:45pm

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of You

The worst part of going to the doctor's is being poked and prodded with any number of terrifying probes and needles, but you probably haven't seen many of the really scary implements that are out there. Here are 16 crazy ones you probably don't want anywhere near you. » 9/28/12 11:20am 9/28/12 11:20am

Citizen! Only You Can Help Us Find Life On Mars

Space buffs take note: A science project called MAPPER is seeking citizen researchers to help aide in the search for off-world life on planets like our close neighbor, Mars. » 10/02/11 2:00pm 10/02/11 2:00pm

A Tiny Man-Made Probe Is Orbiting a Massive Asteroid 117 Million Miles…

History, made: The unmanned Dawn spacecraft has successfully entered orbit around Vesta, a massive asteroid some 117 million miles from our planet. This is the first spacecraft to orbit and object in our solar system's asteroid belt. [MSNBC] » 7/17/11 12:50pm 7/17/11 12:50pm

The Ghosts of Saturn

Designer Chris Abbas collected a ton of Cassini photography from the Saturn mission and made this video. It is at times simultaneously eerie and awe-inspiring. This is not your father's NASA highlight reel. » 6/04/11 6:00pm 6/04/11 6:00pm

For the First Time In Human History We Have a View of the Entire Sun

Until today, NASA was only able to directly view the Earth-facing side of the Sun. We could see solar storms as they happened, but not necessarily as they developed. Now, thanks to STEREO, we can see all sides simultaneously. » 2/06/11 3:00pm 2/06/11 3:00pm

We're Going to Investigate Europa's 62-Mile Deep Ocean for Signs of Life

It's official: NASA and the ESA will be sending specialized probes to the Jupiter moon Europa to further investigate that icy, ocean-y place for signs of life. In 2020. Patience! » 2/06/11 10:00am 2/06/11 10:00am

Up Close and Personal with Hyperion, Saturn's Mysterious Ugly Potato…

In November, the Cassini probe got very, very close to Hyperion, one of Saturns many moons. These 61 frames comprise a fly-by movie of the moon. Defrost the thing and add some sour cream and it's good enough to eat! » 12/05/10 5:00pm 12/05/10 5:00pm

NASA IBEX Probe Confirms Freaky Stuff Happening at the Edge of Our…

Fact: Space is a freak show. But that link goes to a post about deep space, beyond our solar system. Thanks to the IBEX probe, however, we're quickly learning that our own backyard is rife with the freaky-deaky too. » 10/03/10 12:00pm 10/03/10 12:00pm

A Mysterious Force Is Pulling Pioneer 10 Back Toward the Sun

I kind of dig space—especially the unexplained—so today I'm in a bit of a tizzy. Pioneer 10, you see—which left our solar system in 1983—is slowly being drawn back toward the Sun by an unknown force. » 9/19/10 10:00am 9/19/10 10:00am

Japan Sending Mirrorball to Mercury

Fresh from the (possible) success of its Hayabusa comet dust hoover, Japan is planning a new space mission—sending a rotating mirrored probe to the currently fashionable planet Mercury. » 7/21/10 6:40am 7/21/10 6:40am

Hayabusa Space Probe May Contain Asteroid Dust, or Just Normal Dust

See that? It might be a dust particle from an asteroid! Or it might be a flake of dried skin from a man in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency factory that built the Hayabusa probe. No one knows yet. » 7/07/10 3:47am 7/07/10 3:47am

Hayabusa Probe Disintegrates Over Australia

NASA captured the re-entry of Japan's troubled but still successful Hayabusa probe early this morning over Australia. The payload reportedly ejected without incident and parachuted to earth. What you see here is everything else going to hell (by design): » 6/13/10 1:30pm 6/13/10 1:30pm

Tumbleweed Rover Ball Could Be Key to Exploring More of Mars

Martian rovers with wheels are so 2009, man. And they get stuck in the sand way too easily. What we need is an army of tumbleweed beach ball robots surveying hundreds of miles of Martian surface. NASA's on the case. » 3/07/10 10:00am 3/07/10 10:00am

NASA Moon Bombing Mission May Have Worked Out After All

So that anticlimactic moon bombing NASA attempted the other day may have kicked up a little dust, instead of absolutely nothing as once feared. » 10/18/09 2:00pm 10/18/09 2:00pm

50 Years of Space Travel In One Beautiful Solar System Map

Most missions through space are lonely. Solitary probes arc through the solar system, charming us with their photos and data, and eventually—quietly—fade into disrepair, or out of range. But witnessed together, they form something sublime. » 10/13/09 4:20pm 10/13/09 4:20pm

NASA Envisions Robot Future That's More Wall-E Than Phoenix Lander

When the Mars Phoenix Lander touched down on the Martian soil, discovered water ice and microbe-friendly acidic alkaline soil last month, it was quite a feat-for a human-controlled robot. But what if the robots sent to distant worlds could think for themselves, a la Wall-E and his Apple-esque main squeeze, EVE? NASA's… » 7/06/08 1:00pm 7/06/08 1:00pm