Science Fiction

The doormouse hibernates to conserve resources in harsh conditions. Similarly, scientists envision humans hibernating to endure long-distance space travel.

Can Humans Ever Harness the Power of Hibernation?

Scientists want to know if astronauts can hibernate during long spaceflights. First, they need to understand what hibernation is

Isaac Asimov at age 70.

If Isaac Asimov Had Named The Smartphone, He Might Have Called It The “Pocket Computer Mark II”

The sci-fi author correctly predicted a number of innovations that have come to pass

Holograms, even those not carrying secret messages, need to be preserved.

Why Holograms Will Probably Never Be as Cool as They Were in "Star Wars"

But those that do exist must be preserved and archived

Lucian's space travelers witness a battle between the forces of the Sun and the Moon, which includes outlandish creatures like three-headed vultures and space spiders.

The Intergalactic Battle of Ancient Rome

Hundreds of years before audiences fell in love with Star Wars, one writer dreamt of battles in space

The well-known dinosaur skeleton known as "Big Mama" has been hiding a secret.

Fossilized Dinos Are Bones Turned to Stone—But Sometimes, Part of the Original Dino Survives

Every fossilized skeleton is a unique snowflake. We now know that some contain biological bits of tooth and claw

The original Frankenstein didn't create a bride for his creature–and with good scientific reason.

Scientists Find That Frankenstein’s Monster Could Have Wiped Out Humanity

Thank goodness his creator never finished his proposed girlfriend

H.G. Wells was one of the first science fiction writers.

The Many Futuristic Predictions of H.G. Wells That Came True

Born 150 years ago, H.G. Wells predicted, and inspired, inventions from the laser to email

Boldly going where no curatorial object has gone before.

The Mission to Restore the Original Starship Enterprise

The beloved 1960s studio model stars in <em>Building Star Trek</em>, a documentary premiering on Smithsonian Channel this Sunday

Cartoonist and concept artist Jean Giraud.

Meet the Man Who Helped Define How Science Fiction Looks

The renowned cartoonist Jean Giraud had a hand in some of science fiction’s most iconic films

Left to Right: Mitch Pileggi, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and William B. Davis—there has been no official announcement about whether an 11th season will pick up where the recent cliffhanger left off.

I Want to Believe (In the Science of "The X-Files")

In some scenes, the television show is theater of the absurd, but in others, you can bet the science is solid with biologist Anne Simon on the job

Is the Earthworm Native to the United States and More Questions From Readers

You asked, we answered

A photograph from a staged production of "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots").

78 Years Ago Today, BBC Aired the First Science Fiction Television Program

And no, it wasn’t 'Doctor Who'

David Bowie performs as Ziggy Stardust

How David Bowie Helped Shape Science Fiction as We Know It

From “Space Oddity” to “Lazarus,” Bowie gave voice to the anxiety of science fiction

A Stormtrooper Mask

These Are the "Star Wars" Exhibitions You Are Looking For

Grab your light saber and celebrate the art of the movie series at museums around the world

An electronic weapon from Taser International

The Word "Taser" Comes From a Young Adult Sci-Fi Novel

Massively popular at the time, the Tom Swift books have not aged very well

Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan at the Geneva Summit.

Reagan and Gorbachev Agreed to Pause the Cold War in Case of an Alien Invasion

The 40th President of the United States was a big science-fiction fan

Matt Damon stars as Mark Watney, the titular "Martian" who gets left for dead on the red planet.

The Secret of "The Martian" Success? Scientific Peer Review

Andy Weir's tale of a stranded astronaut got its start as a blog, complete with reader comments that helped shape the plot

The Star Trek starship Enterprise model on display in the Smithsonian Arts and Industries building in 1975.

Trekkies Needed for USS Enterprise Restoration Project

The National Air and Space Museum asks "Star Trek" fans for pre-1976 images or film of the original studio model of the USS Enterprise

The Scanadu Scout is just one of the many devices that attempt to act like a real-life tricorder

A List of All the Times People Have Tried to Build a Working Tricorder

Star Trek-style scanning has been a bit more complicated than expected

From the Italian version of The Great Moon Hoax. Leopoldo Galluzzo,  Altre scoverte fatte nella luna dal Sigr. Herschel (Other lunar discoveries from Signor Herschel), Napoli, 1836

The Great Moon Hoax Was Simply a Sign of Its Time

Scientific discoveries and faraway voyages inspired fantastic tales—and a new Smithsonian exhibition

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