Skip to main content


The Shifting Politics of NASA's Astronaut Program

The Shifting Politics of NASA's Astronaut Program

Ever since President George W. Bush's decision to retire the space shuttles in the aftermath 2003's Columbia disaster, NASA's human spaceflight program has been adrift.

February 27, 2015 — Lee Billings
Where Everything Is in the Solar System, Right Now

Where Everything Is in the Solar System, Right Now

NASA knows, and it maintains active archives of these data. Here are maps for the positions of known natural objects in the inner, outer and distant solar system in January 2016

January 29, 2016 — Caleb A. Scharf

Visualizing 4-Dimensional Asteroids

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Jake VanderPlas, a data scientist who worked on the Graphic Science illustration in the October issue of Scientific American magazine.

September 16, 2014 — Jake VanderPlas

The Failure of Phobos

A new explanation for the strange grooves on the surface of the martian moon Phobos suggests that the entire satellite already shows signs of how it will eventually be destroyed.

November 12, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

Countdown to the Kuiper Belt [Videos]

For the first time two spacecraft will soon make up-close studies of objects from the solar system’s Kuiper Belt, a mysterious region beyond Neptune’s orbit.

October 14, 2014 — Clara Moskowitz

Heads Up! Thirteen Years Of Asteroid Impacts On Earth

Since the Chelyabinsk event in early 2013, when a brilliant meteor fireball streaked across Russian skies and exploded with the energy of thirty Hiroshima bombs, humans have paid slightly more attention to the potential danger of asteroids than before.

April 23, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Space: A New Hope or an Old Dream?

The release of a long-awaited National Academy of Sciences report on the state and future of the US space program has triggered wide-reaching commentary on what it means to be space-faring.

June 5, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf