Space Travel

An artist's concept of NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER.

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'

The device will hunt for resources, including water, vital to future space exploration

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

The habitat 3D printed by the construction technology company ICON, and designed by the architecture firm, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, includes separate rooms for each crew member, two bathrooms, a kitchen, areas for fitness and recreation, and a space to grow crops.

NASA Is Recruiting Candidates for Year-Long Mars Simulation

Crew members will live in a 3-D printed habitat called Mars Dune Alpha in Houston, Texas

The ascent module (pictured) may still be orbiting the moon—or it exploded. According to the new calculations, the space junk never crash-landed onto the moon's surface as previously expected.

Part of the Apollo 11 Spacecraft May Still Be Orbiting the Moon

New research suggests the 'Eagle' ascent stage either exploded in space or remains in orbit—but it likely didn't crash land back on the lunar surface

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

Robert McCurdy, Untitled, Jeffrey P. Bezos, 2019, oil on canvas

Jeff Bezos Gifts Historic $200 Million to the Smithsonian

The Amazon founder's gift—the largest since the Institution was created in 1846—will support the Air and Space Museum renovation and a new education center

Ingenuity releases its first aerial photos of its shadow cast across the Séítah terrain during its ninth flight.

Innovation for Good

NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter Soars 2,000 Feet Through Martian Atmosphere in Its Ninth Successful Test Flight

The aerial trooper set new records for speed and distance, as well as stretched the capabilities of its navigation system

Mice pups were borne out of freeze-dried mice sperm that had been stored on the International Space Station for up to six years. Some of those mice and their offspring are pictured here.

After a Six-Year Sojourn in Space, Freeze-Dried Mice Sperm Produce Healthy Pups

Scientists say the finding supports the idea that genetic material can be shipped to other worlds to help establish a diversity of life

An undated photograph shows Wally Funk standing with a U.S. Air Force jet.

Trailblazing Pilot Wally Funk Will Go to Space 60 Years After Passing Her Astronaut Tests

Wally Funk, the youngest of the 'Mercury 13,' will join the inaugural crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule

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

An artist's rendering of the Earth and sun seen from space. Astronomers on Earth can detect other worlds when far away stars flicker as an orbiting planet passes in front of them, partly blocking our view. New research asks how many alien worlds might have been able to detect Earth in this way.

New Research

If Aliens Exist in These 1,700 Solar Systems, They Can Probably See Earth

Hypothetical alien astronomers orbiting these stars could have seen the sun’s light flicker as Earth passed in front of it

James Smithson was the Smithsonian’s founding donor, bequeathing approximately one ton of gold British sovereigns.

Smithsonian 175

Why Did James Smithson Leave His Fortune to the U.S. and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

This will be the first NASA mission to Venus since 1990.

Future of Space Exploration

With Two New Missions, NASA Announces Return to Venus by 2030

The projects, DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, will explore the planet's past and Earth's similarities with its sister planet

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

Mars as photographed by China’s Tianwen-1 probe after it entered the planet's orbit in February.

China's Zhurong Rover Lands on Mars

The achievement cements China as a major player in modern space exploration and could soon deliver discoveries about Mars' geology

Designed to operate for more than a decade, the Chinese Space Station will have 14 refrigerator-sized experiment racks and 50 external docking points designed for experiments outside the station to test how materials react in space.

China Launches First Module of New Space Station Into Orbit

The module is the country's largest spacecraft ever built and marks the first step in building their new space station by 2022

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s shadow seen on the surface of Mars and captured by its own down-facing camera during its second test flight on April 22.

NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter's Next Mission? Mapping the Red Planet From Above

After successful test flights, NASA is expanding Ingenuity’s mission to further explore its abilities as an aerial scout

Reopening July 24, 2020, the Smithsonian's 300,000 square-foot Udvar-Hazy Center includes singular, memorable and colossal items of air and space history.

Twelve Must-Sees When the Smithsonian Reopens Udvar-Hazy Center May 5

The massive showcase facility offers plenty of space for social distance along with plenty of air and space travel history

Soon after Ingenuity's lift-off and landing, the drone sent a black and white photo of its shadow during the flight back to engineers on Earth through the rover.

Exploring Mars

NASA's Mars Helicopter Completes First Historic Test Flight on Another Planet

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed Ingenuity's successful lift off into the Martian sky after receiving data from the Perseverance rover

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