How Border Drones Were Born During the Vietnam War

From 1968 until 1973, the US military spent about $1 billion a year on a new computer-powered initiative intended to end the war in Vietnam. It went by many names over the years — including Practice Nine, Muscle Shoals, Illinois City and Dye Marker. But today it’s most commonly known as Operation Igloo White. »9/23/15 4:53pm9/23/15 4:53pm

The Alternative Universe Of Soviet Arcade Games


When you walk into the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games in St. Petersburg, the first thing you’ll see is a series of gray, hard-edged soda machines from the early 1980s. If you choose the one in the middle, it will dispense a tarragon-flavored and slightly fermented soda whose recipe relies on a syrup that has not been… »9/06/15 11:55pm9/06/15 11:55pm

A Foggy Morning Adds Surrealism to the Wonder of Spaceflight

November 30, 1982: A foggy morning before the inaugural flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger offered no hint to the troubles that would plague the mission. On top of an over two-month launch delay, a malfunction placed the shuttle in a too-low orbit for the first shuttle-based spacewalk and satellite deployment. »9/05/15 9:37am9/05/15 9:37am

No, Da Vinci Wasn't The First Inventor to Dream About Human Flight

Leonardo DaVinci’s wing and glider designs have inspired literature, art, and cinema over the centuries. But plenty of other people have schemed to take to the air, long before the Wright Brothers. Here are just some of the inventors who devised methods of unpowered human flight...with mixed success.
»8/25/15 11:48pm8/25/15 11:48pm

These Previously Unseen Photos Bear Witness to the Carnage of World War II

History website Argunners has published a series of previously unseen photos recently uncovered from the archives of an American four-star general who served in Europe during the Second World War. The images show a war-torn Europe as American forces move towards Berlin.
»8/19/15 11:55am8/19/15 11:55am

Can You Help Decode The Unknown Language On This 750-Year-Old Sword?

In 1825, a three-foot-long sword was uncovered from a river on the eastern cost of England. “If struck with sufficient force, it could easily have sliced a man’s head in two,” writes the British Library’s Julian Harrison. Though its potential uses might be obvious, the gold inscription on its face is not. »8/10/15 5:20pm8/10/15 5:20pm

Learn How A Titan Missile Is Fired In This Video 

At the height of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union had thousands of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles trained on one another. In this video, we get a tour of a Titan missile silo, and learn exactly what would happen when the order came down to launch an attack. http://io9.com/watch-lord-kel... »8/01/15 1:31pm8/01/15 1:31pm

We Get the Best Space Images When Scientists Pull All-Nighters

Fifty years ago today, the Mariner 4 mission sent home the first images of Mars. Today, the New Horizons probe sent home gloriously detailed photos of Pluto. Despite the intervening decades, the vibrant excitement of the mission scientists staying up all night to see that first image is exactly the same. »7/15/15 9:24am7/15/15 9:24am

When We Discovered Pluto, It Changed How We Saw The Solar System

On the 23rd and 24th of January, 1930, a young astronomer working in Flagstaff, Arizona, scanned a small patch of the night sky. He was taking pictures of star positions, looking for anomalies that would signal movement somewhere at the edge of the solar system. He took the pictures then set them aside, not realizing… »7/12/15 4:25pm7/12/15 4:25pm