May 2016

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Spock and Kirk Illustration

Battle for the Soul of Star Trek

The trail-blazing sci-fi series debuted 50 years ago and has taken countless fans where none had gone before


To Boldy Return

This artifact in the Air and Space Museum collections boldly returns to public view

Brain Training Illustration

How to Plug In Your Brain

If neuroscientists are right, you’ll soon be able to sharpen your focus and boost your memory by recharging your brain—with electricity

Orion’s heat shield

Next Stop Mars

NASA's innovative deputy administrator Dava Newman explains just how close we are to sending astronauts far, far away


Home Away From Home

A Nevada real estate magnate has poured $290 million into a wild dream of being a landlord in outer space. His first tenant: NASA

Astronaut Dummy

Model Astronaut

A cautionary tale about the android who just wasn't suited for the task at hand

Sam Bousfield

Ready for Takeoff

Even before the "Jetsons," people dreamed of flying cars. Now breakthroughs in technology are helping all kinds of vehicles get off the ground



Reader responses to our April issue


C'mon Baby Light My Flier

C'mon baby light my flier


Identity Crisis

These images evoke a world of endless distraction


When Nature Knows Best

When nature knows best


Sparks Fly Over Tabloid Biz Flick!

Two new books offer divergent theories on the authorship of the much-heralded film

Traitors and Haters

The story behind the most famous betrayal in U.S. history shows the complicated politics of the nation's earliest days

Tweet All About It

From user-generated content to political screeds, the future of news happens to look a lot like the past

Ask Smithsonian

Just a sampling of what we can learn from those who have been to space