A Solar-Powered Rocket Might Be Our Ticket to Interstellar Space

A Solar-Powered Rocket Might Be Our Ticket to Interstellar Space

“It’s really easy for someone to dismiss the idea and say, ‘On the back of an envelope, it looks great, but if you actually build it, you're never going to get those theoretical numbers,’” says Benkoski, a materials scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory and the leader of the team working on a solar thermal propulsion system.

Space Photos of the Week: Parker's Potential

Space Photos of the Week: Parker's Potential

Photograph: NASA GoddardThe European Space Agency’s PROBA2 satellite captured this unusually detailed photo of the corona—plasma that can be millions of degrees hotter than the star’s actual surface.Video: ESAThis sunspot, captured in ultraviolet by NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory in 2017, only looks small.

NASA Is Getting Serious About an Interstellar Mission

NASA Is Getting Serious About an Interstellar Mission

Indeed, the group says that if their mission is selected by NASA it could fly as soon as 2030.“This is humanity’s first explicit step into interstellar space,” says Pontus Brandt, a physicist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory who is working on the interstellar probe study.

A Republican Raid, NASA's Venus Plans, and More News

A Republican Raid, NASA's Venus Plans, and More News

Politicians are bickering and NASA is tinkering, but first: a cartoon tackling the problem of robot discrimination .Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.NASA wants to send a probe to the hellish surface of Venus.

NASA Wants to Send a Probe to the Hellish Surface of Venus

NASA Wants to Send a Probe to the Hellish Surface of Venus

Known as the Long-Lived In-situ Solar System Explorer, or LLISSE, each of the probe’s components is specially engineered to withstand the high temperature, high pressure, and reactive atmosphere that define that infernal planet.“We don't have any data on how the conditions change from day to night on Venus,” says Kremic.

Space Photos of the Week: Sun Spotting

Space Photos of the Week: Sun Spotting

Launched in 2018, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will take years to swoop into orbit around the Sun, but once it’s there, its main goal is to figure out exactly what drives the solar wind, the constant stream of highly charged particles that are spit out from the openings in the surface.

NASA Will Send a Helicopter to Hunt for Life on Saturn's Biggest Moon

NASA Will Send a Helicopter to Hunt for Life on Saturn's Biggest Moon

The Dragonfly mission will spend two years flying around the surface of Titan, studying the moon’s composition and searching for signs of life. On Wednesday, NASA announced it will send a spacecraft to the surface of Titan , Saturn’s largest moon and one of the leading candidates for finding extraterrestrial microbial life in our solar system.

Bezos Says Amazon Will Bet Even Bigger Despite Antitrust Probes

Bezos Says Amazon Will Bet Even Bigger Despite Antitrust Probes

“We need to be doing things where if they work, they have to be able to move the needle for us," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said. “We can’t do things that if they work they’ll be small,” Bezos said, in conversation with Amazon’s forecasting chief Jenny Freshwater.

The Mueller Report Is Much Worse for Trump Than Barr Let On

The Mueller Report Is Much Worse for Trump Than Barr Let On

Even as he correctly summarized that Mueller did not find that Trump’s campaign conspired—distinct from colluding, which the report makes clear—with the Russian government, Barr appears to have misled the public about the severity of the evidence on obstruction of justice.

Mueller Report Says No Collusion, Barr Raises a Million Questions

Mueller Report Says No Collusion, Barr Raises a Million Questions

Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapped up his 675-day probe —the most politically charged investigation in American history—with a profoundly unsatisfying conclusion about whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice: Maybe .The answer came in a convoluted four-page letter to Congress from newly installed Attorney General Bill Barr, who spent the weekend sorting through Mueller’s final report with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

7 Scenarios for How the Mueller Probe Might 'Wrap Up'

7 Scenarios for How the Mueller Probe Might 'Wrap Up'

7 Scenarios for How the Mueller Probe Might 'Wrap Up' Elena Lacey; Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images The breaking news hit a snowy Washington on Wednesday: Newly installed attorney general William Barr appears to be preparing to announce the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

How to Follow New Horizons' Historic Flyby of Ultima Thule

How to Follow New Horizons' Historic Flyby of Ultima Thule

As the mission's principle investigator Alan Stern puts it: "In the days following the flyby, Ultima Thule's going to become a real thing, then a real thing with a shape, then a real thing with geology." Here's when to expect what:January 1, 7:00 am PT / 10:00 am ET: By this time, New Horizons' mission scientists will expect to have heard from the probe about its health and whether the mission was successful.

NASA's New Horizons Probe Prepares To Make History—Again

NASA's New Horizons Probe Prepares To Make History—Again

NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI Stern and his team discovered the object in 2014 using the Hubble Space Telescope, while searching the sky for places New Horizons could visit after its brief encounter with Pluto.

The Mueller Investigation May Be Safe Despite Matt Whitaker

The Mueller Investigation May Be Safe Despite Matt Whitaker

At the same time, the forced resignation of attorney general Jeff Sessions, and appointment of his chief of staff Matt Whitaker to be the acting attorney general—a decision that is of at least debatable legality—has raised fears that the Trump administration is closing in on firing Mueller himself.Yet as the dust settles from the midterms and Sessions’ abrupt departure, there are five clear reasons to be optimistic that the rule of law will hold, and that Mueller will be able to complete his probe, regardless of what he ultimately finds.