NASA's perpetual funding problems have been summed up satirically by The Onion, with the tongue-in-cheek article coming as the space agency renews its push to get more young people involved in STEM. Quoting made-up counsellors at NASA Space Camp, the satire news site plays on the constantly shrinking budget and how that has hamstrung projects and continues to dampen the possibility of things like manned missions to Mars.
Astronomers are rethinking assumptions about black holes, after new evidence punctured holes in the so-called "doughnut" theory of their appearance. So far, scientists had believed the unified theory of active, supermassive black holes sufficiently explained why they could vary widely in how they looked, but results from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have thrown that into disarray.
The hunt for alien life will turn up results within our lifetime, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute has promised the US Congress, though it might not be tentacled monsters or grey-skinned creatures with big eyes. The surprise commitment came at a House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing this past week, with SETI's Seth Shostak going on to explain the justification behind his bold prediction.
As humankind works towards expanding its presence in space, one day establishing colonies on other planets, questions of communication with Earth become increasingly important. To address this, researchers from MIT and NASA have demonstrated for the first time the ability to beam wireless broadband to space.
The SpaceX Dragon MK 2 is coming, and will be unveiled in full next week. Via Twitter, SpaceX guru Elon Musk confirmed May 29 would be the day we get our first look at their new craft. Though he was light on details of the new craft, there are suggestions it will be a massive improvement over the original.
A never-before-seen meteor shower could put on a dramatic show in the night sky tonight, NASA has advised, with the May Camelopardalids potentially featuring more than 200 meteors each hour. The result of periodic comet 209P/LINEAR, the predicted meteor shower is actually the result of a long-ago flyby in the 1800s, during which time it left streams of dust trailing it. Read on for how you could see it yourself.
Mars has been NASA's latest stomping ground, the source of a lot research and the occasional mystery. The latest exciting discovery on the Red Planet was a massive crater half the length of a football field, which is said to be the "biggest impact crater in the solar system that has been confirmed with both before and after images."
Russia, who we rely on to get up to the ISS, is currently entertaining a ban on allowing the US use of their rocket engines. NASA, having hamstrung their rocket program not long ago, has no recourse for that action. SpaceX, which seems the only other option, isn’t quite ready for prime time. The fallout may cost the US $5 billion and delay up to 31 planned missions, The Pentagon says in a new report.