New Faces In The Space Race

New Face in Space Race

Proponents of space exploration certainly recall the past predictions of science fiction that suggested we would be out of our Solar System by this time, and trudging on to other galaxies. Unfortunately, those travel plans have yet to materialize. NASA’s modern space program was designed with several purposes in mind, the foremost being human dominance in the universe. When President JFK announced the United State’s dedication towards reaching the Moon, he stoked an already blazing global space race that first began with the Russian ‘Sputnik’ program. Years later, amid budget cuts and the red tape of bureaucracy, we’ve still barely… read more

Visualizing a Breathing Earth

Breathing Earth

Sometimes we get wrapped up in our own little corner of the world, and forget about the Earth as an organism. But this GIF, from data visualization expert John Nelson, uses hi-res satellite imagery of the Earth from NASA to show the seasonal transformations of our world, which could go a long way toward putting things in the proper global context. “Here’s a view looking at one year of seasonal transformations on Earth. Made possible by the tremendous folks of the NASA Visible Earth team, I downloaded the twelve cloud-free satellite imagery mosaics of Earth (“Blue Marble Next Generation”) at… read more

A 3-D Printed Rocket Engine From NASA


The magicians over at NASA have worked their secret magics in their secretive labs again, and created a 3-D printed rocket engine–and it actually works. It’s not really secret, nor is it magic, but it might as well be. The process behind ecological 3-D printing is absolutely incredible, and will one day bring us printed houses, printed jets, and even printed food. Right now, however, we’ll stick with on-demand jet engines. At the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, researchers used laser-melting tools to heat metallic powders and fuse them into shape. Though the entire crafting process took four months,… read more

No Looking Back To The Moon

Artist's Concept

It’s hard to imagine that over 40 years have passed since we put a man on the moon. Our lunar cousin beckons for us to return, though the prospect of such a mission has all but been shot down permanently by NASA. According to the space agency, we need to keep our priorities straight. Our finances aren’t as endless as some would like to believe. NASA’s Charles Bolden stated that if the next presidential administration reverses this decision and pursues a manned mission to the moon, we may never leave our planet. Just let that sink in for a moment…. read more

CloudSpotters App Crowdsources Cloud Atlas

CloudSpotters App Crowdsources Cloud Atlas

One of the most popular things to take pictures of with our smartphones are clouds (probably right behind pictures of fancy meals or sunrises and sunsets), so why not join a community that really appreciates cloud pictures? With the CloudSpotter app, you can capture and share images of different cloud types, while also contributing to a better understanding of the effect of clouds on the Earth’s climate. CloudSpotter, from the Cloud Appreciation Society, lets users explore the amazing world of clouds by learning how to spot them, and then “collecting” them: “From the fluffy Cumulus that form on a sunny… read more

The Most Beautiful Video on Earth

NASA ISS Earth at night

The world celebrates Earth Day today, the 22nd of April, with over one billion people taking part, according to Earth Day Network. The theme this year is ‘The Face of Climate Change’, and the idea is that we are all affected in some way by climate change. The impacts are real, not only on the natural environment, but also on people from all walks of life. If you need another reason to celebrate, here’s one. Watch this incredible montage of night-time images from the International Space Station, as produced by Knate Myers. Image Source

NASA’s Algae Cultivators Could Clean Wastewater, Produce Fuel


A small-scale version of an algae cultivation system developed by NASA may pave the way for larger systems that could not only clean up wastewater, but also produce biomass for fuels and feed. The Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae, or OMEGA system, was originally developed in seawater tanks at a California Fish and Game lab, and most recently scaled up to 450 gallon freshwater system now in use at a wastewater treatment plant in San Francisco. Growing algae in these photobioreactors could be a solution to a number of environmental issues, from reducing land use for biofuel production to… read more

It’s Ions To Mars


When ion thrusters were first imagined in the 1960’s, they were little more than a pipedream curiosity. Now, NASA has logged over 43,000 continuous hours with their current model of the futuristic propulsion system. This is a new world record, and a sign that NASA is headed in the right direction. Ion propulsion differs from traditional chemical thrusters in that it doesn’t burn fuel. Instead, the thruster’s energy comes from solar panels or a nuclear-powered system. In the case of the NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion engine, xenon molecules are ionized and then accelerated electrostatically using a cathode. The molecules… read more

Air Purifier Cleans Air by Committing Airocide


If you’re looking for the ultimate in clean air, consider the Airocide, which uses NASA-developed technology to eliminate indoor toxins and pollutants. We talk a lot about the importance of clean air in our neighborhoods, but we sometimes we forget that the most important location for clean air is in the rooms where we live and work. The same air that is polluted outside of our buildings is the same air that gets pulled inside for ventilation, where it then also mixes with gasses and pollutants coming from the furnishings and building materials that make up the rooms. Because we… read more

NASA’s Vegan Garden

Photography by NASA

U.S. astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station will receive a newly developed Vegetable Production System. NASA is currently working on VEGGIE, which is an idea to for fast growing vegan farms to be used in space. VEGGIE is set to launch aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule on NASA’s third Commercial Resupply Services mission this year. Imagine that! A vegetable garden in space. “Our hope is that even though VEGGIE is not a highly complex plant growth apparatus, it will allow the crew to rapidly grow vegetables using a fairly simple nutrient and water delivery approach,” said Howard Levine,… read more