What You Need To Know About Tomorrow's Orion Spacecraft Test Flight

Tomorrow is a big deal for those of us who one day hope to open the first Pinkberry on Mars: it's the first test of humanity's first interplanetary-capable manned spacecraft, Orion. The four-hour test will prove the spaceworthiness of the capsule. So what, exactly, will it be doing up there? » 12/03/14 5:50pm 12/03/14 5:50pm

The First 3D-Printed Object In Space Was Just Made On The ISS

If we're going to venture out into space in a serious way, at some point we're going to need to be able to manufacture stuff. Replacement parts, tools based on needs we don't yet know, novelty Pez dispensers, etc. 3D printing is probably the best way to do this, and a major first milestone was reached on Tuesday. » 11/27/14 9:00am 11/27/14 9:00am

Watch The Incredibly Violent Antares Rocket Explosion From The Pad

An Antares supply rocket headed for the International Space Station blew to smithereens just above the launch pad last month, and video of it was pretty crazy. But also, it wasn't quite as subway-mumbling insane as it could've been, because the video was from far away. Here's that huge explosion close up. » 11/26/14 1:29pm 11/26/14 1:29pm

Why Elon Musk's 'X-Wing' Rocket Isn't As Crazy As It Sounds

Elon Musk really understands the internet. This is, of course, news only to newborns and the recently coma-awoken, but it's impressive to see in action. This weekend, Musk tweeted about 'X-wing' developments to his rocket, making a technical recovery system seem like sci-fi, even if it actually makes perfect sense. » 11/24/14 10:30am 11/24/14 10:30am

Holy Crap, NASA Is Considering Improvements To Orion That We Proposed

I'm not going to lie; I'm pretty excited about this. Let me make this clear right up front, though: I don't actually think NASA is using my idea, as such. But, NASA has announced it's considering an addition to the Orion spacecraft that's exactly like what I proposed last year. Hear me out. » 10/10/14 2:33pm 10/10/14 2:33pm

First Ever Inflatable Space Station Module Set To Launch Next Year

Bigelow Aerospace has been experimenting with the concept of inflatable space modules for quite some time, and they're finally ready to put it to a real test: at least two years docked to the ISS. Now, finally, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts can have those zero-g wrestling tournaments they want so badly. » 10/08/14 7:40pm 10/08/14 7:40pm

Engineering Professor: Rocket Boots Are Possible Thanks To The Segway

Rocket boots are one of those things that comes up again and again in science fiction because the fundamental idea is so basic and desirable. More stylish than a jetpack, too. Iron Man loves them, as does the Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. I just never thought they could work, until I talked to Dr. Larry… » 10/07/14 7:00pm 10/07/14 7:00pm

Sore Loser Puts SpaceX And Boeing Spaceship Development On Hold

In September, NASA announced it would be funding two private spacecraft designed to ferry astronauts to and from Earth orbit: Boeing's CST-100 and the SpaceX Dragon V2. A third competitor, Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser, wasn't picked, and as a result, Sierra Nevada is challenging the decision, placing all projects on… » 10/06/14 3:50pm 10/06/14 3:50pm

What NASA Isn't Saying In NASA's Big Rocket Announcement

Yesterday, NASA announced that they'd reached a milestone in the development of America's next major space transportation system, the SLS (Space Launch System). They'd reached Key Decision Point C, which is a crucial review and approval point. The SLS looks promising, but NASA isn't talking about some important things. » 8/28/14 2:28pm 8/28/14 2:28pm

Watch This Russian Rocket Explode Resulting In A Massive Shockwave

From Foxtrot Alpha: A Proton-M rocket carrying a GLONASS satellite exploded just after leaving the launch pad last summer, and it was chock full of rocket fuel. The shock-wave from the blast is made incredibly clear some ten seconds after the flailing rocket detonates in a huge fireball. » 8/23/14 3:05pm 8/23/14 3:05pm

Why NASA's "Impossible" Engine Is Likely Just That

Like anyone else who periodically tries to convince their spouse to eventually die on Mars with them, I was very excited to hear about a revolutionary new spacecraft propulsion system, from NASA, no less. It seemed too good to be true, so I steeled myself for disappointment and asked our physicist, Stephen Granade. » 8/05/14 3:02pm 8/05/14 3:02pm

SpaceX Can Now Land Rockets Like Old Sci-Fi Drawings Did

One of the biggest problems with rocket boosters is that you cram them full of amazing materials and engineering, and then ditch them after the first trip. It'd be like buying a Porsche 918, driving it to the coast, and then jumping out of it just before your let it drive off a pier. It's sort of crazy. SpaceX thinks » 7/24/14 3:58pm 7/24/14 3:58pm

This Is What Its Like To Power Through Descent Into The Atmosphere

Elon Musk's humanity-altering company, SpaceX (no, not Tesla), is trying its darndest to create a re-useable rocket booster. But they're not trying to do it with parachutes, followed by a big splashdown. They're trying to do it with more rocket fuel, and this video is proof of a big step toward that goal. » 7/22/14 6:50pm 7/22/14 6:50pm