Post Thumbnail

For its crazy 2020 asteroid capture mission and other projects, NASA is developing next-gen "Hall effect thrusters" to corral an asteroid and put it into the moon's orbit. At the same time, the European Space Agency (ESA) is trying to improve its own Hall thrusters to power future missions. If you...

8 hours ago 0 Comments
April 1, 2015 at 12:34PM
Post Thumbnail

NASA is finally done assessing its two options for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). Its final choice? Option B: it plans to grab a chunk of its target asteroid and take the boulder-sized piece to the moon's orbit. While Option A sounded more exciting -- it entailed capturing an entire asteroid...

6 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

When American astronaut Scott Kelly Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka leave Earth for their 12 month stay on the International Space Station, they'll be riding this Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft. The launch is scheduled for this Friday from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhs...

6 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's Commercial Crew Program is an initiative to get private companies to ferry personnel to-and-from the International Space Station. SpaceX is doing its very best to show that it can do the job, and has successfully tested one of the most important components its crewed vehicle needs: the esca...

7 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Mars One promises to send humans on a one-way trip to the red planet, with the intent to colonize, by 2027. Once the first four people leave Earth for Mars, there's no turning back, no panic button, no chance to return home. This aspect of the trip isn't just for drama -- it's a core tenet of Mars...

8 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's Curiosity rover isn't done finding signs that Mars once had the prime ingredients for life... not by a longshot. The explorer robot has discovered evidence of nitrates, the nitrogen compounds that are some of the key nutrients for life, in rocks at three places near its landing site. This s...

8 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

It's trivial to see mature stars in action, but baby stars are another matter. They 'only' spend 150,000 years in their earliest formative stage, and they rarely give away clues that they're around. That's what makes the above pictures so important -- scientist Emily Safron and colleagues have bec...

9 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

The end is nigh, Engadget readers: a triumvirate of celestial events is happening simultaneously. Okay, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but until we hit the other side of today's supermoon, spring equinox (yay!) and total solar eclipse, we just won't know. As The Wall Street Journal tells...

12 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA wants to visit celestial bodies we've never been to before, so it has started testing a precise landing system that will first be used for future trips to Mars. The engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory used a rocket by Masten Space Systems called XA-0.1B "Xombie" (a reusable test rocket tha...

13 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

As much as humanity knows about Mars, the planet is still chock-full of surprises. Just ask NASA: University of Colorado researchers using its MAVEN probe have discovered phenomena in the Martian skies that you would never see on Earth. For one, there are auroras that are so energetic (their elect...

14 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Here's the first X-class solar flare of 2015, which erupted on March 11th. Here's the good part: it was so powerful it caused radio blackouts in many parts of the globe. According to NASA, it was an X2 flare: an explosion on the sun's surface that's twice as intense as the already huge and uncom...

14 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's set to test a wing concept it says "may herald (the) future" of electric planes, but it almost looks like a joke -- it has one-third the wing area of a normal aircraft and 18 electric motors. However, the space agency is dead serious about the LEAPTech wing, a joint partnership with two pri...

15 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

"Asteroid hunters." It sounds like some Hollywood blockbuster / straight-to-DVD "classic" that already exists, but now you, yes you, can be one... from your PC. NASA has launched a desktop app that recruits civilians to help identify asteroids from telescope photography, helped by a special astero...

16 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

If all goes well, NASA will finally launch its Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) observatories tonight. Comprised of four identical spacecraft (shown above in a clean room), its purpose is to study the magnetic fields around Earth for information on how they connect and disconnect. The MMS is headed...

19 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Last month, the FAA announced regulations for piloting drones, requiring you to keep your eyes on the unmanned aircraft at all times. Looking to help ease those rules, Excelis is developing an air traffic control system for drones, and it's nearly ready for trials at the Federal Aviation Administr...

20 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

As you might imagine, astronauts typically need to stay laser-focused on their missions -- even a brief distraction could lead to a broken part or some other crisis. They won't have to worry about keeping their eyes (and hands) on the ball if NASA has its way. It's teaming up with Osterhout Design...

20 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

We know: The progress toward NASA using the SLS (or Space Launch System if you aren't into the whole brevity thing) has been painfully slow, starting way back in 2011. Today marks a significant step toward it shooting astronauts into the furthest reaches of space, however -- testing its booster sy...

21 days ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

You probably know that Mars hasn't always been so barren, but have you wondered what it was like in its heyday? You almost wouldn't recognize it, according to an international team of scientists. They've used six years of atmospheric monitoring to determine that Mars had enough water to form a big...

24 days ago 0 Comments