NASA builds unusual testbed for analyzing x-ray navigation tech

Pulsars have a number of unusual qualities. Like zombies, they shine even though they’re technically dead, and they rotate rapidly, emitting powerful and regular beams of radiation that are seen as flashes of light, blinking on and off at intervals from seconds to milliseconds. A NASA team has built a first-of-a-kind testbed that simulates these distinctive pulsations.

NASA's Barrel Mission launches 20 balloons

A team of scientists recently launched 20 balloons during a campaign in Antarctica to study a space weather phenomenon, during which electrons stream down toward the poles from two gigantic donuts of radiation, the Van Allen Belts, which surround Earth.

NASA examines the beginnings of the Universe

When did the first stars and galaxies form in the universe? How brightly did they burn their nuclear fuel? Scientists will seek to gain answers to these questions with the launch of the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRIment (CIBER) on a Black Brant XII suborbital sounding rocket between 11 and 11:59 p.m. EDT, June 4 from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drills second rock target

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used the drill on its robotic arm to collect a powdered sample from the interior of a rock called "Cumberland."

NASA satellites pinpoint glaciers' role in sea level rise

A new study of glaciers worldwide using observations from two NASA satellites has helped resolve differences in estimates of how fast glaciers are disappearing and contributing to sea level rise.

A Galaxy's ring of fire

How many rings do you see in this new image of the galaxy Messier 94 (below), also known as NGC 4736? While at first glance one might see a number of them, astronomers believe there is just one. This particular image was captured in infrared light by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. 

NASA's asteroid sample return mission moves forward

NASA's first mission to sample an asteroid is moving ahead into development and testing in preparation for its launch in 2016.

NASA wants high-performance spaceflight computing capabilities

NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M., are requesting research and development proposals to define the type of spacecraft computing needed for future missions.

NASA's Google+ Hangout links Space Station, "Star Trek Into Darkness" crews

The director, a writer and some actors in the film "Star Trek Into Darkness" will join NASA as it hosts a Google+ Hangout from noon to 12:45 p.m. EDT, May 16, about how work aboard the International Space Station is turning science fiction into reality.

Video: Analyzing the atmospheres of far-off worlds

Gone are the days of being able to count the number of known planets on your fingers. Today, there are more than 800 confirmed exoplanets - planets that orbit stars beyond our sun - and more than 2,700 other candidates.

These dead stars are polluted with planet debris

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found the building blocks for Earth-sized planets in an unlikely place - the atmospheres of a pair of burned-out stars called white dwarfs.

NASA begins again

The roar of a 5,000 pound rocket engine has returned to the Johnson Space Center. The Morpheus team has completed the build-up of our “Bravo” vehicle, conducted numerous integrated tests, and has now stepped into our flight test program.

NASA tests Orion crew module

Completely surrounded by a massive 20-foot-high structure called the crew module static load test fixture, the Orion crew module is being put through a series of tests that simulate the massive loads the spacecraft would experience during its mission.

Putting planets in a petri dish with NASA's Spitzer

Our Milky Way galaxy is teeming with a wild variety of planets. In addition to our solar system's eight near-and-dear planets, there are more than 800 so-called exoplanets known to circle stars beyond our sun.

NASA: Global warming increases the risk of extreme weather

A NASA-led modeling study provides new evidence that global warming may increase the risk for extreme rainfall and drought.

NASA laptop stuffed full of porn

A Chinese man who was suspected of spying on NASA was pulled off a plane with a stolen laptop.  But instead of the expected state secrets, the laptop was packed full of porn.

NASA's Osiris sets sail to comet Bennu in 2016

NASA's Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will visit the asteroid now called Bennu, named after an important ancient Egyptian avian deity.

NASA's LADEE can help us understand other worlds

Earth’s atmosphere is critically important to all of us. In addition to providing us with air to breathe, it protects us from temperature extremes, harmful space radiation, and vast numbers of incoming meteoroids.

NASA's Cassini observes a Saturnian hurricane

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has offered scientists the first close-up, visible-light views of a behemoth hurricane swirling around Saturn's north pole.

Meteors are colliding with Saturn's rings

NASA's Cassini spacecraft recently managed to provide the first direct evidence of small meteoroids breaking into streams of rubble and crashing into Saturn's rings.