Since August of 2012, NASA's Curiosity Rover has tooled around the red planet doing science for us Earthlings. Now, nearly five years and some 10 miles later, the robot is starting to experience the wear and tear of an aging machine: On Tuesday, NASA announced the first two breaks in the rover's wheel treads.
SpaceX is already on track to make history by becoming the first private company to carry astronauts to the International Space Station in 2018. As if that wasn't ambitious enough, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on Monday that the company is planning to send two private citizens into orbit around the moon a mere six months after carrying its first crew to the ISS.
Poopin' ain't easy in space—especially if you're stuck in a space suit for extended periods of time. Today's astronauts wear diapers when they need to don a space suit, but on future Martian getaways, mishaps could leave astronauts stuck in their suits for six days at a time. That's a long time to move around in a poopy diaper. And in a low gravity environment, the stuff in your diaper could float out and cover everything else in your space suit. Not good.
A little more than 40 years ago, Dubai was a tiny pearl-fishing village lined with dirt roads. Now it's the largest and most futuristic city in the world, the jewel of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). From manmade, palm tree-shaped archipelagos to jetpack-wearing firefighters and the world's tallest building, the city has a reputation for taking on insanely ambitious projects and executing them with swiftness and expertise. Now, the UAE has a vision to build an even crazier city—on Mars.
When it comes to spaceflight, SpaceX's prices and flair are hard to beat. But the company hasn't exactly had smooth flying lately. There've been a few explosions, and the most recent blast in September has raised questions about whether the company's fueling operations could endanger future astronauts. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that a problem in the Falcon 9's engine could jeopardize SpaceX's goal of becoming the first private company to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station in 2018.
Scott and Mark Kelly—NASA astronauts and identical twins—have given countless blood and saliva samples this past year as part of NASA's first twin study. According to the first findings announced by NASA, there certainly are differences between the twins' DNA. But understanding what those differences might mean is a long way off.
The sixties, like today, were a turbulent time. America was divided over the war with Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing, and we were losing the space race with the Russians. Then, in 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered one of the most epic speeches in history, challenging NASA to make it to the moon by the end of the decade. His call-to-action rallied the American people and lit a fire under the space agency, which resulted in Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon in the summer of 1969.