Build Your Favorite Space Gadgets With LittleBits' Awesome NASA Kit

The Mars Rover. The ISS grappling arm. An infrared light meter. You can build working models of all of those and more with LittleBits' new space-themed electronics kit, which is NASA scientist-approved and here to let kids experience simpler versions of the challenges that space scientists and engineers face every day. … » 4/24/14 1:42pm Yesterday 1:42pm

Where are all these awesome spaceliners of the future?

The other day a friend saw that cool reusable Falcon 9R rocket video and he wondered where the hell are the spaceliners of the future—the epitome of them all being Pan Am's space clipper Orion, from Stanley Kubrick's 2001. I think about that myself many times. Why haven't we advanced in propulsion technology? We are… » 4/22/14 8:37pm Tuesday 8:37pm

Using Plastic Surgery To Keep Astronauts Human On Long Space Missions

A brief exchange in the back of last week's issue of New Scientist asks: "I understand that the lines and sagging skin we acquire as we age are due to the sun and gravity. If I lived in a space station in zero or microgravity away from the sun, would I stay looking young?" A perfectly innocuous, if even somewhat boring,… » 4/21/14 5:41pm Monday 5:41pm

The SpaceX Launch Is Sending Dinosaur Microbes to the Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon capsule that just left Earth for the International Space Station is carrying many an important item: a new laser communication system, coffee (which they just ran out of!), a planter for fresh produce, and billions and billions of microbes swabbed from dinosaur bones, sneakers, and spacecraft clean… » 4/18/14 4:45pm 4/18/14 4:45pm

Youth Lagoon Used Sounds from Space to Make This Dreamy New Song

You can't hear sound in space. But that doesn't mean that you can't make sound from space. Lefse Records recently did just that, inviting 14 artists to make songs using "sounds" from space. The first track released is by Youth Lagoon, and it's pretty good! » 4/17/14 7:00pm 4/17/14 7:00pm

This New Hubble Pic Takes Us Halfway to the Edge of the Universe

This is a new picture taken by the Hubble Telescope that shows us the universe in more detail than we've ever seen it. It's a 14-hour exposure that shows objects at various stages and distances in cosmic history—showing tiny objects that would appear a billion times fainter if looked upon with our weak human eyes. » 4/17/14 10:00am 4/17/14 10:00am

OSIRIS-REx Wants to Lasso an Asteroid to Explain Life on Earth

NASA has a plan to better explore how our own local star system, and life within it, got started. It wants to intercept, study, and sample a passing asteroid. The only thing more impressive than this mission's astronomical level of precision is how the space agency somehow shoehorned "Origins Spectral Interpretation… » 4/15/14 11:40am 4/15/14 11:40am

Yuri's Night, the 53rd Anniversary of Man's First Voyage to Space

On this day in 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to enter outer space and orbit our planet. Tonight, science and space fans worldwide celebrate this milestone of human exploration with Yuri's Night. Mika McKinnon tells us more about the man, his voyage, and the ways we honor him today. » 4/12/14 8:00pm 4/12/14 8:00pm

Awesome video game will let you fully live your space pilot dreams

Here's 12 minutes of gameplay footage of Star Citizen, a space flight simulator video game that will let you live in a parallel universe. Not only pilot a spaceship, but have a living avatar there. And with Oculus Rift support, it will be a total alternate universe experience. It looks absolutely fantastic. » 4/11/14 11:40pm 4/11/14 11:40pm

Astronauts will grow their own food (or weed?) for the first time ever

NASA is sending a really cool garden to the International Space Station on April 14, on board the SpaceX Dragon. For the first time in history, astronauts will grow their own food in space using this groovy disco box, an important step towards future long-term space travel and extraterrestrial colonies. Incidentally,… » 4/11/14 11:00pm 4/11/14 11:00pm

Buying Pieces of the Space Race at Bonhams' Space History Auction

This week, Bonhams hosted an auction of historical space items in Manhattan. The Space History Sale featured troves of objects and documents, both American and Soviet, dating back to the heyday of the space race. And Gizmodo got the chance to take a peek. » 4/10/14 4:00pm 4/10/14 4:00pm

What Happens to Bacteria in Space?

In the otherwise barren space 220 miles above Earth's surface, a capsule of life-sustaining oxygen and water orbits at 17,000 miles per hour. You might know this capsule as the International Space Station (ISS), currently home to six humans—and untold billions of bacteria. Microbes have always followed us to the… » 4/10/14 11:00am 4/10/14 11:00am

Buy These Seeds From Space and Make Yourself an Intergalactic Salad

It's not quite spring yet, but it's nice enough that you're probably tentatively peering out the window of your garbage-lined apartment for your first glimmer of sunshine in five months. Maybe you're even prepping your garden—in which case I invite you to consider investing in space basil. It's exactly what it sounds… » 4/09/14 5:00pm 4/09/14 5:00pm