Microgravity University: Testing the Future of Spaceflight in Zero G

How do you test a new method for CPR in space without actually going into space? You take flight in a microgravity plane, obviously. For the last 20 years, NASA's Reduced Gravity Office has opened up its zero-g planes to college students from around the country, who get the once in a lifetime opportunity to test… » 11/28/14 12:00pm 11/28/14 12:00pm

What It Feels Like to Fly in NASA's Crazy Zero-Gravity Plane

Last week we showed you how NASA simulates space here on Earth, with everything from advanced virtual reality to monstrous thermal vacuum chambers. But all of that still can't prepare you for how an object, or an experiment, will behave in zero gravity. Sometimes you just have to fly. » 11/25/14 11:00am 11/25/14 11:00am

Inside "The Domes," Where NASA Drives the Spacecraft of the Future

Deep in the belly of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, lie "The Domes." Step into one of them and suddenly you're standing on the surface of Mars, or you're flying high above the Earth, looking out from the International Space Station. This is the Systems Engineering Simulator, where we learned to fly,… » 11/19/14 12:16pm 11/19/14 12:16pm

The NASA Playground That Takes Virtual Reality To a Whole New Level

We've seen how NASA recreates the vacuum of space right here on Earth, but what about the gravity of space? What about the forces of inertia? When large objects move and behave so differently, how to you train for a mission so you know what to expect when you get there? Like this. » 11/18/14 2:00pm 11/18/14 2:00pm

Inside the Chamber Where NASA Recreates Space on Earth


Inside Building 32 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas sits Chamber A, a marvel of engineering, cleanliness, and design. It's also the closest you can come to being in space without strapping into a rocket. » 11/17/14 12:07pm 11/17/14 12:07pm

Seven Reasons Curiosity Is the Baddest Rover Ever

While Curiosity was still flying through space, way before it landed on Mars, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were busy working with a clone rover back on earth. In a simulation area called the Mars Yard, scientists put the duplicate Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) through a series of experiments to… » 8/07/12 11:00am 8/07/12 11:00am

The Beautiful Video Game That Drives NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

So MSL Curiosity has landed. It survived the seven minutes of terror and safely touched down on the surface of Mars. A miracle in its own right. Now that it's there, it needs a way to move around. Anyone who played Lunar Lander and Moon Patrol already knows how they're going to do this: Video games. » 8/06/12 11:00am 8/06/12 11:00am

The Lens We'll Look Through to Find a New Earth

We have heard a lot about exoplanets in the past year. But for all the talk about these planets, which orbit a star other than our sun, we still haven't actually seen one. » 3/28/12 3:40pm 3/28/12 3:40pm

How NASA Brings Space Down to Earth

Numbers, facts, figures, equations. These are all obviously critical components of the space program. But numbers don't speak to our emotions. It's hard to commit millions of dollars and thousand of hours to an equation. We need something visceral that we can connect to. » 2/16/12 1:00pm 2/16/12 1:00pm

This Is the Center of the Universe: NASA's Deep-Space Command Central

Through technology, we've developed the ability to reach out into the distant corners of the universe. Rovers, orbiters, and deep-space probes. But regardless of how far away from us they extend, they all reach from a single point of origin: Earth. » 2/09/12 2:00pm 2/09/12 2:00pm

The Miraculous NASA Breakthrough That Could Save Millions of Lives…

There are no hospitals in space. The closest E.R. is back on Earth, and astronauts can't exactly jump in a cab to get there. So what happens if the sun burps out a massive blast of radiation while an astronaut is space-amblin' by? » 2/08/12 12:00pm 2/08/12 12:00pm

How To Land a Plane That's Missing Half a Wing

It's time to talk about the second letter in NASA: Aeronautics. Yes, NASA does mind-blowing things in outer space, but they also want you to get to your family reunion in one piece. NASA is making planes smarter. » 2/03/12 4:00pm 2/03/12 4:00pm

This Is How Spaceships Are Born

Have you ever wondered how the hell spaceships get made? I mean, how does something like the six-legged ATHLETE rover go from an engineering fantasy into an actual working thing? Creativity? Technological know-how? Sure, you need plenty of that. But most of all: It takes the stones to dream up what no one ever… » 2/02/12 3:01pm 2/02/12 3:01pm

This Is NASA's Cancer-Sniffing Cellphone Sensor

What if you could use your phone to test the air for toxins? What if you could monitor your health simply by blowing on it? Sounds amazing, right? Nanosensor technology developed by NASA Ames is going to make that a reality. » 2/01/12 3:30pm 2/01/12 3:30pm

How NASA Solved a $100 Million Problem for Five Bucks

A few years ago, back when the Constellation Program was still alive, NASA engineers discovered that the Ares I rocket had a crucial flaw, one that could have jeopardized the entire project. They panicked. They plotted. They steeled themselves for the hundreds of millions of dollars it was going to take to make… » 1/31/12 3:20pm 1/31/12 3:20pm

The Two-Ton Robot That Can Leap Over Asteroids

Michael Jordan? Muhammad Ali? Joe Montana? Sit down. The world's most amazing athlete works for NASA. Meet the gigantic, six-legged, tool-wielding robot that can hop around an asteroid. Tiger Woods ain't got nothin'. » 1/31/12 10:00am 1/31/12 10:00am

Welcome to Space Camp

When you were a kid, did you dream of going into space? Maybe you had a coloring-book about a lunar voyage. Or maybe you and your best friend tried to create anti-gravity out of cleaning products and accidentally killed a tree in your front yard. Y'know, hypothetically.
If any of this sounds even remotely familiar,… » 1/30/12 12:17pm 1/30/12 12:17pm

Stop What You're Doing and Explore Mars Right Now

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk around on Mars? For 99.99999% of us, this may be as close as we ever get. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has given us the honor of taking the lid off of this awesome, interactive eye-candy. Basically it's Google Earth, for Mars. » 1/25/12 6:40pm 1/25/12 6:40pm

NASA Finds Outer Space 65 Feet Underwater

NASA may not be sending anyone to the moon or Mars in the near future, but they've discovered the next best thing: an undersea laboratory three miles off of Key Largo. It's how astronauts do Space Camp. » 5/12/10 10:40am 5/12/10 10:40am