Dawn: Exploring Vesta and Ceres

When I was young, Ceres and Pluto were the biggest blank spots on the map of the Solar System. Most of the other interesting places had been long since explored, from Mercury all the way out to the moons of Neptune, but when I opened my astronomy books to the two minor planets, I saw... Continue Reading →

NASA’s Dragonfly: A Quadcopter on Titan

A couple posts ago, I reviewed a book about an expedition to Titan---arguably the most interesting celestial body in the Solar System---and I'd like to continue in that theme this week, turning my attention to a real, official Titan exploration project under development at NASA: the Dragonfly mission. Dragonfly will be a quadcopter aircraft sent... Continue Reading →

By Fusion Drive to Pluto

Oddball mission studies are my jam. Sometimes, they are NASA's jam, too---the agency is not afraid to occasionally explore the more speculative topics, spacecraft which rely on advanced technologies and are many decades away from ever seeing implementation. I stumbled across one such study when I was doing some reading on Pluto the other day.... Continue Reading →

Space News: ICESat-2

Post by Nic Quattromani: You know it’s a breathtaking time to be alive when you can Google “space news” and count on dozens of fascinating results instantly flowing into your browser. One such news story, which escaped my attention because Earth science escapes everybody’s attention, is the recent launch of NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land... Continue Reading →

How to Grow a Treehouse in Space

Post by AJ Rise: Biology’s reputation as a “soft” science is ill-deserved. It’s a field of many wonders still unknown to mankind, and endless possibility. I think it likely that many of the technological advancements in the near future will be rooted in the deep study of living systems. Millions of years of evolution have... Continue Reading →

The Parker Solar Probe

Post by Nic Quattromani: Well, here’s an interesting bit of space news: the Parker Solar Probe is scheduled to launch tomorrow, on August 11. Thus our brave little space probe shall begin its journey to the hottest place within light-years of here. You see, while previous solar observation probes like Ulysses have been content to... Continue Reading →

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