NASA Chamber A

40 tons: the weight of the door to NASA’s Chamber A, a room that recreates the deadly conditions of deep space and, because it can reach 11 Kelvin, is the coldest place on Earth

4: the number of spiral arms that make up the Milky Way, according to a new study (previous observations give our galaxy just two arms)

The Milky Way

1 trillionth of a second: the time it should take scientists to heat water to 600 degrees Celsius using a clever new heating method

Illustration of a Cloud of Water Molecules Heated to 600 Degrees Celsius

$11,720: the money raised via Indiegogo for an absurd device that claims to translate dog thoughts into English

No More Woof

$2 million: the top prize of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a Pentagon-funded competition to develop robotic first responders

$1 million: the prize the Methuselah Foundation is offering the the first research group to make a bioengineered liver

2 centimeters: the average amount of space between penguins in a huddle, according to researchers who created a mathematical model of penguin huddles

Emperor Penguin Huddle

1.2 million: the estimated number of Americans who get salmonella infections each year (but don’t worry, your eggnog is safe)

$199: the price of the Canary home security system, which includes a wide-angle HD camera, infrared motion sensor, temperature and humidity sensors, and microphone


1903: the year the Wright brothers first piloted a heavier-than-air craft. Read the story of their famous first flight in the September 1925 issue of Popular Science.

Orville piloting the flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903.

1976: the year of the last soft landing on the moon, until China’s Chang’e 3 spacecraft touched down last week (video)

14,838: the number of pieces of large debris orbiting Earth (see where they are)

10 kilowatts: the power of a recently tested, truck-mounted Army laser that can zap incoming drones and mortar shells

HEL MD Set Up Outside

This truck has a freakin’ laser on it.