NASA: Solar Storms May Have Been Key to Life on Earth

Our sun’s adolescence was stormy—and new evidence shows that these tempests may have been just the key to seeding life as we know it. Some 4 billion years ago, the sun shone with only about three-quarters the brightness we see today, but its surface roiled with giant eruptions spewing enormous…

‘Mixed Reality’ Technology Brings Mars to Earth

What might it look like if you were walking around on Mars? A group of researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, has been working on methods to take this question from the realm of imagination to the mind-bending domain of mixed reality. As a result, NASA and Microsoft…

NASA’s ‘Spaceport of the Future’ Reaches Another Milestone

NASA has completed a major milestone on its journey to Mars and is ready to begin another phase of work on its spaceport of the future, where the next generation of astronauts will launch to Mars and other deep-space destinations. This artist concept depicts the Space Launch System rocket rolling…

Investigating the Mystery of Migrating ‘Hot Jupiters’

The last decade has seen a bonanza of exoplanet discoveries. Nearly 2,000 exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — have been confirmed so far, and more than 5,000 candidate exoplanets have been identified. Many of these exotic worlds belong to a class known as “hot Jupiters.” These are gas…

NASA Tests Inflatable Heat Shield Technology for Deep Space Missions

Before NASA uses its new inflatable technology for slowing spacecraft that are entering the atmospheres of other planets, it will first need to be packed into the tight confines of a rocket. Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, recently put the technology to the test by packing…