Astronauts

Members of NASA's Mars 2020 project lower the oxygen-producing instrument, called MOXIE, into the Perseverance Mars Rover in March 2019.

A Lunchbox-Sized Device Is Making Oxygen on Mars

By scaling up the technology, NASA could allow future astronauts to breathe on the Red Planet

An artist’s rendering of astronauts working near NASA’s Artemis base camp, complete with a rover and RV.

The Revolution in Moon Exploration

Four Things We’ve Learned About NASA’s Planned Base Camp on the Moon

Eventually the station will allow astronauts to spend up to two months on the lunar surface

This mosaic depicts the International Space Station as pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour in November 2021.

Russia Says It Will Leave the International Space Station After 2024

The United States and Russia jointly built and now operate the station

Aldrin's Apollo 11 inflight coverall jacket

These Objects Tell the Story of Buzz Aldrin's Career

The astronaut is auctioning off his moon-landing jacket and other space gear

Karen Nyberg, a retired NASA astronaut, is launching a new fabric line inspired by her time in space. 

Good News

Retired Astronaut Launches a Fabric Line Inspired by Her Views of Earth From Space

Karen Nyberg's two missions to the International Space Station over her 30-year career with NASA fueled her creativity as an artist

Scans of the astronaut's neural networks were taken before they blasted off into space, as soon as they landed safely back home, and some cosmonauts had an additional brain scan seven months after their return to Earth. (Pictured: Astronaut Bruce McCandless II during an untethered spacewalk in 1984)
 

Long-Term Space Travel May 'Rewire' Astronauts' Brains

The changes may help the organ adapt to microgravity, but they seem to persist for several months after returning to Earth

This Bushnell telescope allowed Sally Ride to gaze at her favorite constellation, Orion, and envision her future as an astronaut. 

Women Who Shaped History

How the Smithsonian Is Honoring Remarkable American Women

From a series of coins to a museum in the making, their groundbreaking achievements gain new visibility

The first-ever archaeology experiment in space is being conducted on the International Space Station.

First-Ever Archaeological Project Studies How Astronauts Adapt to Their Environments

Researchers on Earth, partnering with those on the International Space Station, are taking a novel approach to understanding the ways humans live in space

A region within Mars's Valles Marineris (pictured) called the Candor Chaos had a large amount of hydrogen about a meter below the surface.

Beneath Canyons on Mars, Astronomers Find Potentially 'Water-Rich Area the Size of the Netherlands'

A Martian orbiter located a large reserve of hydrogen in a mountainous area of the Red Planet

A rainbow appears after a storm on the faux-Martian habitat.

Inside the Experiment to Create Mars on Earth

A hostile landscape. Cramped quarters. Dehydrated food. A photographer takes part in an attempt to live on another planet

Stretching 4,800 square feet in size, the piece coincides with the United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child initiative and is also part of World Space Week.

A Monumental Portrait of NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson Crops Up in Atlanta

The earthwork is the latest in land artist Stan Herd's impressive, decades-spanning portfolio

The massive 170,000-pound Discovery measures 122 feet long by 58 feet tall with a wingspan of 78 feet.

Following the 1986 and 2003 Shuttle Disasters, 'Discovery' Launched America Back Into Space

This "Champion of the Fleet," a signature Smithsonian artifact, flew 39 space missions and traveled 150 million miles

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for captive apes.

Ask Smithsonian

How Do Gorillas Get Heart Disease? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

The researchers flew their fridge on parabolic flights to simulate a microgravity environment.

Innovation for Good

The Quest to Build a Functional, Energy-Efficient Refrigerator That Works in Space

Designed and tested by Purdue University engineers, this new appliance would lengthen the shelf life of food on long missions

Palomar 5 is located about 80,000 light-years from Earth in the Milky Way’s inner halo.

Scientists Discover Bevy of Black Holes in Our Own Galaxy

Palomar 5's unusual cluster may explain some of the Milky Way's star streams and other phenomena

NASA just announced a partnership with Tide to figure out how to do laundry in space. Solving this problem will allow astronauts to stop throwing away their dirty clothes, which means some missions must ferry hundreds of pounds of clean clothes into space.

NASA Just Put Doing the Laundry on Astronauts' Chore List

Dirty clothes are currently thrown away, requiring missions where weight is at a premium to bring many pounds of socks, shirts and underwear

These baby bobtail squid going to the International Space Station for an experiment that examines whether space alters the symbiotic relationship between the squid and a bioluminescent bacterium that allows them to glow.

NASA Is Launching Tardigrades and Baby Squid Into Space

The experiments could help astronauts stay healthy and survive longer outside Earth’s atmosphere

Astronaut Sally Ride (left) and poet Maya Angelou (right) will be the first individuals honored through the American Women Quarters Program.

Women Who Shaped History

Maya Angelou, Sally Ride to Be Among First Women Featured on U.S. Quarters

Between 2022 and 2025, the U.S. Mint is set to highlight up to 20 trailblazing American women

Michael Collins' NASA astronaut portrait.

Smithsonian Voices

Remembering Michael Collins

As the third director of the National Air and Space Museum, the former astronaut campaigned for a museum on the Mall in time for the nation’s bicentennial

This view of Gemini VII from VI-A in December 1965 shows the spacecraft’s orbital configuration.

Smithsonian Voices

How Neil Armstrong Avoided Near-Disaster to Make the First Space Docking

Smithsonian curator Michael Neufeld recounts the harrowing details of when Gemini Vlll astronauts faced the first life-threatening, in-flight emergency

loading icon