Reaction Engines' Skylon spacecraft would make short hauls into orbit, come back, and be ready to do it again two days later. Nick Kaloterakis

$3.6 billion: the funding a team of engineers needs to complete development of the Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, a new type of engine that could make runway-to-orbit space missions a reality

2,656: the number of times these three astronauts orbited Earth during their 166 days aboard the International Space Station (see them return home in a flaming Soyuz spacecraft)

Earthward Bound

202,586: the number of people who have applied for a one-way trip colonize to Mars (where they will probably go insane)

Mars colony with solar panels

36 years: the length of time NASA’s Voyager 1 has been traveling through the solar system. The craft has now officially entered interstellar space and is the farthest human-made object from Earth.

Voyager 1

One of the two identical Voyager probes, as photographed by NASA.

124,000 metric tons: the amount of chemical agent unleashed during World War I (read about how to safely dispose of chemical weapons here)

French Soldiers Attack German Trenches With Gas In World War I

3 to 5 pounds: the weight of the bacteria the typical person carries around (enough to fill a large soup can)

Colorful E. coli

$400: the price of the new 64GB iPhone 5S, which comes in gold, black, or silver and includes a capacitive fingerprint sensor

iPhone 5S

51 feet: the length of the giant robotic trucks that load, haul, and dump ore in Australian open pit mines

13 stories: the height of the solid carbon-fiber wing powering the AC72, a 50-mph catamaran that raced in this year’s America’s Cup

Louis Vuitton Cup Final, Day 4

The boats in the 34th America’s Cup are insanely fast. When the AC72 reaches 43 knots, or about 49 miles an hour, it sails its 72-foot length in one second. The sloops in the 2007 America’s Cup had an average top speed of 12 knots, or about 14 miles per hour. At that speed it took four seconds to sail their 80-foot length. Put another way, the sailboats sailing in the race area just next to the Golden Gate Bridge, will be exceeding the speed limit for cars on the bridge.

110 decibels: the noise a typical MRI scanner generates when in use—about as loud as a rock concert. GE Healthcare this week announced a new silent MRI machine

MRI Scanner

300 frames per second: the frame rate of the cameras used to capture amazing bees’-eye footage of mid-air honeybee mating