Kickstarter can be a great way for people to help out with projects they care about. Make a small donation, and maybe even get a little trinket for your time. But what about the rich eccentric with money to burn? For 10,000 bucks, they too can help out with a project--and in exchange get their DNA on the moon.
Dear intrepid lunar explorers: NASA politely asks that, when you travel to the moon, you refrain from messing with the American flag.
Google’s Lunar X Prize promises $20 million to whoever’s first to get a privately funded robot to the moon. But the folks at NASA don’t want any of the stuff they left up there getting messed up in the process, so they've offered a few handy guidelines for what to stay away from while you’re up there. (We’re looking at you, non-autonomous moon robots.)
Getting to the moon is a noble and ambitious goal for any country, and other nations will probably follow in our footsteps here pretty soon. But private companies won’t go without the promise of profit, and until they do, space will be left unsettled, advocates say. The latest in a drumbeat of pro-colonization comes from the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is advocating the recognition of property rights on the moon or other celestial bodies.
Look toward the west tonight and you’ll see Jupiter and Venus together, lining up with the crescent moon in a rare and beautiful conjunction. Venus is so bright you can see it during the day today, a few degrees above the sun, just like Abraham Lincoln famously did during his second inauguration. Cloudy skies? No problem — check here for a live feed of this event.
In celebration of 1,000 days in orbit, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team released two beautiful videos of our moon, one a fiery drama showing the moon’s tough evolution and another touring its most interesting sites.
So many exoplanets may hold water, atmospheres, just-right temperatures and a rocky surface for life to flourish — we just need to know where to look. Once astronomers have pinpointed a good candidate, we also need to know how to look — which instruments and methods might sniff out the right chemical signatures of life. A new trick that essentially amplifies those signatures could be one way to do it. Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory just discovered life on Earth with this method, treating our home as if it were an exoplanet.
Happy New Year! NASA may not launch any people into space in 2012, but a successful robotic mission just as the new year dawned sets the stage for the space agency's near-term future. The twin Grail probes arrived at the moon on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and are preparing to study our only natural satellite's past.
This is kind of a Friday video, in that it is silly and involves (read: consists entirely of) moments that could be soundtracked with a loud cartoony "BONK!", but this week has been a little bit long already and it feels like maybe by watching this video we can usher Friday in a little faster. So! This is a video of astronauts falling down, on the moon. Enjoy!
Robert Bigelow is not a small name in the space world. His company Bigelow Aerospace is a pioneer of inflatable spacecraft, and the company has made waves with its plans for an inflatable, orbiting space hotel (not coincidentally, Bigelow's fortunes come from his ownership of the Budget Suites motel chain). So when he says something about the future of space travel, we listen. On the other hand, when he says that China is planning to take over the moon circa 2025, we listen, but with skepticism.
As NASA promised last week, and only slightly delayed by weather, the GRAIL mission to the moon has launched. The twin probes will arrive just as 2012 dawns, and map the gravitational field and the interior characteristics of our nearest neighbor.
Strong winds in the upper atmosphere forced NASA to scrub Thursday's planned launch of its newest moon mission. The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory is now set to lift off at 8:33 a.m. EDT or 9:12 a.m. PDT Saturday — but the weather is still not cooperating.
NASA is going back to the moon once again, sending a pair of spacecraft on a quest to learn the origins of our closest companion by studying its interior and its gravitational field. But beyond new lunar science, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, GRAIL, will also help cement NASA’s legacy of lunar exploration in the public imagination.
Seriously, you guys, this is a real story. The Japanese branch of popular American circle-of-grease manufacturer Domino's has unveiled plans to build a dome-shaped Domino's pizza on the moon. The moon. The artist's rendering, above, features a drive-through which the Domino's concept artist thinks you'll be able to drive a space-motorcycle through.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.