World’s Strangest

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Gingerbread Mars Rover

Wait — Mars is made out of candy? Let’s go! This Curiosity Rover built by Caltech has given us all the motivation we need: Crafted by Kevin Isacsson, head chef of the Athaneum, the Pasadena university’s private dining club, the rover features pinwheel cookie wheels connected with black licorice, sugared Lego “gears” and gumdrop and M&M [...]

The Jet Propulsion Lab: Up-Close & Personal

I recently took a trip to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in nearby Pasadena to interview a couple of the rocket scientists who successfully guided the Curiosity Rover to the surface of Mars. One of them is now involved with driving the rover around the Red Planet. I’ll post those two interviews separately in the days [...]

Curiosity and Its Big Brothers

When the Curiosity rover landed on Mars, we were all excited. Victory! The engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the many companies that worked with it saw seven years of effort pay off in one nail-biting event. It was glorious! But then I started to see some Tweets and some forum comments that sounded [...]

Space Exploration Superstitions

Photo: James Rickman/Los Alamos National Laboratory Rationality be damned! When it comes to space exploration, not even the world’s most brilliant scientific minds are immune to superstitions. Take, [...]

The Valedictorian Lawsuit

Straight A’s and a 4.50 GPA, accepted to Stanford with an engineering internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to boot but that’s not enough for some parents. No, they wanted their daughter to get [...]

NASA Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing on Mars

<p><img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-50769″ title=”marsrivers” src=”http://uploads.neatorama.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/marsrivers-150×112.jpg” alt=”" width=”150″ height=”112″/>NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is sending back data that may indicate that the red planet has some flowing water during part of the Martian year. The streams are small, short-lived, and must be salty -if it is what they think it is.</p> <blockquote><p>Dark, finger-like features appear and extend [...]

Be A Martian

NASA needs lots of help sorting through the hundreds of thousands of images they’ve collected from the surface of Mars. What do do? Make it into a game! Be A Martian combines the work of analyzing those images online with the competition of gaming. In this way, NASA hopes to enlist citizens to help with [...]

Spitzer Telescope Captures Images of Forming Planet

Image: Artist’s conception of LRLL 31 system, courtesty of NASA/JPL-CatlTech NASA’s Spitzer Telescope spent five months observing LRLL 31, a young star with a ring of materials orbiting it. Astronomers believe that it is in an early stage of planetary formation and that a sizeable lump in the ring system may be a protoplanet: One theory of [...]