NASA's OSIRIS-REx will land on an asteroid to bring home rocks and dust – if it can avoid Mt. Doom

OSIRIS-REx will touch down on asteroid Bennu, collect a sample of the dust and begin its journey back to Earth, where scientists will study it, hoping to learn secrets of the solar system's origin.

Elizabeth Cantwell, Professor of Practice for Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Senior Vice President for Research & Innovation, University of Arizona • conversation
Oct. 19, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  solar-system  nasa  asteroid  astrobiology  innovation-and-invention  bennu  near-earth-asteroids  sample-return-mission

2020 Nobel Prize in physics awarded for work on black holes – an astrophysicist explains the trailblazing discoveries

The 2020 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three scientists – an Englishman, an American and a German – for breakthroughs in understanding the most mysterious objects in the universe: black holes.

Gaurav Khanna, Professor of Physics, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth • conversation
Oct. 6, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  physics  space  astronomy  black-hole  gravity  singularity

The detection of phosphine in Venus' clouds is a big deal – here's how we can find out if it's a sign of life

News that Venus may harbor life has swept the globe. So how do we find out for sure? A planetary scientist explains what's next.

Paul K. Byrne, Associate Professor of Planetary Science, North Carolina State University • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  nasa  life  extraterrestrial-life  venus  astrobiology

The detection of phosphine in Venus' clouds is a big deal – here's how we can find out if it really is life

News that Venus may harbor life has swept the globe. So how do we find out for sure? A planetary scientist explains what's next.

Paul K. Byrne, Associate Professor of Planetary Science, North Carolina State University • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  nasa  life  extraterrestrial-life  venus  astrobiology

NASA's big move to search for life on Mars – and to bring rocks home

This summer, NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is taking the next giant leap in our search for signs of life beyond Earth.

Melissa Rice, Associate Professor of Planetary Science, Western Washington University • conversation
July 29, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  space  nasa  mars  life-on-mars  microbial-life  mars-mission-2020

Duckweed is an incredible, radiation-fighting astronaut food – and by changing how it is grown, we made it better

Duckweed is the perfect space food: small, fast-growing and nutritious. By studying how light levels changed the production of radiation-fighting antioxidants, researchers made it even better.

Barbara Demmig-Adams, Professor of Plant Ecology and Molecular Biology, University of Colorado Boulder • conversation
July 14, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: space food nasa plants nutrition light farming antioxidants radiation micronutrients

The UAE's Mars mission seeks to bring Hope to more places than the red planet

A new country launches a mission to Mars. A space expert explains what this means for the Middle East and the African continent.

Wendy Whitman Cobb, Professor of Strategy and Security Studies, US Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies • conversation
July 13, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: space mars india russia united-states space-exploration japan international-space-station united-arab-emirates mars-exploration space-race

Why are scientists trying to manufacture organs in space?

Why are scientists trying to grow organs at the International Space Station? People live on Earth not in zero-gravity. A stem cell expert explains why it is useful to do these experiments in space.

Alysson R. Muotri, Professor of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California San Diego • conversation
July 8, 2020 ~5 min

Tags:  space  biology  international-space-station  artificial-organs  microgravity  space-health  organs  experiments

Curious Kids: What would happen if gravity was reduced by half?

If gravity was half as strong, you could jump much higher.

Jacco van Loon, Astrophysicist and Director of Keele Observatory, Keele University • conversation
June 29, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: space gravity curious-kids

Meteorites from Mars contain clues about the red planet's geology

Martian meteorites allow scientists here on Earth to decode that planet's geology, more than a decade before the first missions are scheduled to bring rocks back home from Mars.

Arya Udry, Assistant Professor of Igneous Petrology, Planetary Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas • conversation
June 16, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: space nasa mars gravity volcanoes antarctica earth meteorites outer-space asteroids national-science-foundation mars-rover sahara rock life-on-mars morocco martian-volcanoes

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