The Surprisingly Low-Tech Way NASA Decides When to Blow Up a Rocket

When the Antares rocket exploded seconds after launch on Tuesday night, NASA was able to account for all its employees very quickly after the failure thanks to a clearly very well-practiced protocol. The launch gave us a peek into the processes that dictate every rocket launch, and one of them was particularly… » 10/30/14 5:15pm 10/30/14 5:15pm

World's Most Badass GoPro Doesn't Even Blink at Up-Close Rocket Testing

When it comes to punishing GoPros, Copenhagen Suborbitals definitely takes the cake: The experimental rocket-building startup mounted an action cam right in the line of (literal) fire during a rocket test. Astoundingly, the thing survived. It's been to hell and back, and it has the video to prove it. » 8/30/14 9:45am 8/30/14 9:45am

The amazing system that tested the most powerful rocket engine ever

A photo of the Rocketdyne F-1 rocket engine—"the most powerful single-nozzle liquid-fueled rocket engine ever flown"—being tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama. Five of them powered the first stage of the Saturn V. Watch and listen to all of them being tested—in Dolby 5.1 sound. It's amazing. » 7/18/14 3:34am 7/18/14 3:34am

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 8:00pm 3/29/14 8:00pm

The World's Fastest Model Rocket Car Just Hit 285 mph

A toy car could easily break the sound barrier—or go even faster—in a kid's spirited imagination. But back in reality it takes more than that. You need engineering, patience, and a handful of rocket model engines—all of which helped Samvir Thandi's SST-3B-Falcon rocket hit a top speed of 287.59 mph. » 3/19/14 2:20pm 3/19/14 2:20pm

How To Turn Dry Pasta Into a Rocket Engine

You may not realize it, but your kitchen is one of the most well-stocked chemistry sets you could ever hope for. And it's not only for creating edible chemical reactions. NASA might rely on giant laboratories and factories to build its rocket engines, but all you need is a piece of pasta, a jar, some hydrogen… » 2/03/14 11:40am 2/03/14 11:40am

Spectacular photos of SpaceShipTwo breaking the sound barrier

SpaceShipTwo just finished its third rocket-powered test and reached the highest altitude its ever been at 71,000 feet by hitting a maximum velocity of Mach 1.4. You can see the new reflective coating on the rocket plane's tail booms which perfectly reflects the flame and our Earth. Lovely. Cant wait to book my ticket! » 1/10/14 10:45pm 1/10/14 10:45pm

A Measuring Tape For Anyone Who's Dreamed of Blasting Off This Rock

Tools like chainsaws and nail guns are tons of fun, but tape measures? It's hard to get excited about the ones that don't involve lasers. But a measuring tape that looks like a tiny earth with an even tinier rocket that blasts off leaving a trail of inches and centimeters? You've got our attention. » 12/13/13 5:20pm 12/13/13 5:20pm