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

The Painful Truth About NASA's Warp Drive Spaceship From A Physicist

I'll be honest — this is not the post I wanted to write. When NASA released their new renders of a hypothetical future faster-than-light spaceship, I wanted to believe that such a craft was mere decades away from reality. Then I made the mistake of asking someone much smarter than me about it. » 6/16/14 12:00pm 6/16/14 12:00pm

The SpaceX Dragon V2 Design Was Inspired By A 60s Space Movie

Yesterday, potential supervillain Elon Musk unveiled the new manned spacecraft from SpaceX, the Dragon V2. It's a large-crew capacity capsule, and will be the first of its kind to actually fly. This fundamental idea was inspired by a 60s space thriller that was so awful MST3K lampooned it. But it brought up some good… » 5/30/14 8:44pm 5/30/14 8:44pm

Here's Your First Look At The Dragon V2, America's Newest Spaceship

SpaceX has just officially announced their new manned-variant of their Dragon capsule, and it looks like a pretty sweet ride. So far we've seen some details, and we generally know what the layout is, but this is the first full view of the capsule so far. Should be a nice upgrade from the old Soyuz. » 5/29/14 10:20pm 5/29/14 10:20pm

This NASA Rocket Test Will Absolutely Blow You Away

The Peregrine Hybrid Sounding Rocket is meant to shoot to the very edge of space, conducting research as it goes. But at the moment, it's still in development. It might be a small research rocket, but it's got what seems like Satan's intestinal discomfort exploding out the back. Don't watch this with headphones. » 5/26/14 3:00pm 5/26/14 3:00pm

How NASA Can Run The International Space Station Without Russia

Russia announced today that they would be terminating their involvement in the ISS as of 2020, something we guessed would happen. Some news outlets framed this as them just ending their participation, others suggested they'd "kill" the station. The US has been planning on using the station until 2024. Can we do it… » 5/14/14 4:23pm 5/14/14 4:23pm

The Only Car Endorsed By A Moonwalker Was Not What You'd Expect

Only twelve men have walked on the moon, and it's pretty incredible how little those men used their status as Apollo astronauts to shill for products or endorsement deals. In fact, it seems like only one moon-astronaut was ever used to sell cars, and the car sold just might be the last one you'd expect. » 4/15/14 12:20pm 4/15/14 12:20pm

Land Rover Wants To Help Richard Branson Send People To Space

That Virgin Galactic spaceship isn't just parked next to the new Land Rover Discovery Concept on the deck of the Intrepid for a sweet photo op, it's a tie-in for Richard Branson's announcement that Land Rover will be the first corporate parnter to his his space-fairing venture. » 4/14/14 9:07pm 4/14/14 9:07pm

Your Beat Up Van Has Gone More Miles Than A Super-Fast Space Probe

Good news, for fans of beat-up old vans that haven't budged from the lawn you parked them on 20 years ago. Your van has actually racked up a bunch of miles! No, a bunch of hoodlums haven't been stealing it in the night for shenanigans. It's just been sitting there, stuck on Earth, moving at blazing speeds. » 3/08/14 11:00am 3/08/14 11:00am