Cosmologists study the large-scale structure and evolution of the universe -- here imagined as it evolved (reading left to right) from 900 million years after the Big Bang to today.

The Planck Telescope: News From the Dawn of Time

Will a new picture of the universe’s first light overturn a theory that has reigned for 30 years?

AeroVironment’s Global Observer (in California last year), designed to fly for a week on hydrogen, will triple the endurance of experimental, gas-powered UVAS from the late 1980s.

Distance Runners

Unmanned aerial vehicles redefine the term "nonstop flight."

Northrop Grumman’s portrait of the future for naval aviation: the X-47B on the runway in Palmdale, California.

*Pilot Not Included

Military aviation prepares for the inevitable

The Falcon 9 shown during ground tests at Cape Canaveral, Florida, last January.

Is It Safe?

The first company with a plan—and a rocket—to send humans to orbit answers the existential question.

Researchers have been looking far and wide for biofuel sources, including switchgrass.

Fly Green!

Richard Branson and Boeing heap hope-and hype-on biofuels.

Lockheed Martin's folding-wing model in a wind tunnel.

Shape Shifters

Shape-memory polymers and other technologies may create an airplane for all missions.

Heathrow's new control tower is located near Terminal Three. The control room, mounted on a steel mast, is five stories high and weighs more than 1,000 tons.

475,000 Takeoffs and Landings a Year

The Summer Games will bring 4,000 additional aircraft to London's airports. Find out what it takes to keep Heathrow running smoothly on a normal day.



Double the size of an Airbus A380? No problem, aerodynamicists say.


Going Up?

To build a space elevator, you'll need a very light car and a very strong string.

Flying doorstop: The wedge shape of the X-43 compresses air entering the engine. This computational fluid dynamics image shows the vehicle's pressure gradients at Mach 7.

Debrief: Hyper-X

Scramjet power? Simple: Keep a match lit in a 7,000-mph wind.

A simulated Mars Exploration Rover roams a simulated planet. In January it all becomes real.

Next Stop Gusev Crater

If planetary scientists could do whatever they wished, they'd probably send a spacecraft to land on the floor of Valles Marineris.

The tumbling asteroid Eros (shown here in a time sequence taken during NEAR's approach) was a challenging target for space navigators.

Hang a Right at Jupiter

For space navigators, the best course to a distant object is never a straight line.


Starz in the Hood

There are more stars in our celestial backyard than we once thought.

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