Spiders in space weave a web of scientific inspiration for Spider-Man fans

While spiders were busy spinning webs in space, researchers on Earth weaved their knowledge of this activity into educational materials to inspire and motivate students. Now, this free, Web-based guide is being re-released through Scholastic and Sony Pictures as curriculum for educators to leap on the excitement surrounding the release of the film, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites

Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

Study finds astronauts' hearts become more spherical in space

New findings from a study of 12 astronauts show the heart becomes more spherical when exposed to long periods of microgravity in space, a change that could lead to cardiac problems, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

NASA's Space Sunflower may help snap pictures of planets

A spacecraft that looks like a giant sunflower might one day be used to acquire images of Earth-like rocky planets around nearby stars. The prototype deployable structure, called a starshade, is being developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Space station SPHERES run circles around ordinary satellites

These are, in fact, the droids that NASA and its research partners are looking for. Inspired by a floating droid battling Luke Skywalker in the film Star Wars, the free-flying satellites known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying aboard the International Space Station since Expedition 8 in 2003.

Space flies offer clues about microgravity's impact on astronauts

Fruit flies bred in space are offering scientists a clue as to how astronauts' immune systems may be damaged during prolonged space travel.

Thinking inside the box, launching into space

Two tiny, cube-shaped research satellites hitched a ride to Earth orbit to validate new hardware and software technologies for future NASA Earth-observing instruments. The cube satellites, or “CubeSats,” which typically have a volume of exactly 33.814 ounces (1 liter), were launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket late last week  from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base as part of the NROL-39 GEMSat mission.

Space cargo craft throughout the years

The first Cygnus Spacecraft to visit the International Space Station (ISS), the G. David Low, departed the station at 7:31 AM EST on October 22, 2013. The Cygnus spacecraft is the latest in a long line of cargo vehicles built to resupply the orbital outposts that humanity has positioned in the heavens.

Managing the deluge of 'Big Data' from space

For NASA and its dozens of missions, data pour in every day like rushing rivers. Spacecraft monitor everything from our home planet to faraway galaxies, beaming back images and information to Earth. All those digital records need to be stored, indexed and processed so that spacecraft engineers, scientists and people across the globe can use the data to understand Earth and the universe beyond.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft finds ingredient of household plastic in space

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected propylene, a chemical used to make food-storage containers, car bumpers and other consumer products, on Saturn's moon Titan.

NASA spacecraft track energy through space

Scientists have provided the most comprehensive details yet of the journey energy from the sun takes as it hurtles around Earth's magnetosphere.

Underground living prepares astronauts for space

This week sees the start of ESA’s next underground training course for astronauts. Six new and experienced astronauts from all over the world will work together to overcome the difficulties of working in a new environment performing a full scientific programme with limited supplies – similar to working on the International Space Station.

NASA's Fermi celebrates 5 years in space, kicks off extended mission

During its five-year primary mission, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has given astronomers an increasingly detailed portrait of the universe's most extraordinary phenomena, from giant black holes in the hearts of distant galaxies to thunderstorms on Earth.

NASA satellites measure plant health

NASA scientists have established a new way to use satellites to measure what's occurring inside plants at a cellular level.

NASA's Hubble shows link between stars' ages and their orbits

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have determined the orbital motion of two distinct populations of stars in an ancient globular star cluster, offering proof they formed at different times and providing a rare look back into the Milky Way galaxy's early days.

NASA's interplanetary probes to snap images of Earth from space

Two NASA spacecraft, one studying the Saturn system, the other observing Mercury, are maneuvering into place to take pictures of Earth on July 19 and 20.

Weightlessness of space helps design improved materials for Earth

Researchers from Northeastern University are among the many scientists helping NASA use the weightlessness of space to design stronger materials here on Earth.

3D printing = food in space?

NASA and a Texas company are exploring the possibility of using a "3D printer" on deep space missions in a way where the "D" would stand for dining.

Understanding the past and predicting the future by looking across space and time

Studying complex systems like ecosystems can get messy, especially when trying to predict how they interact with other big unknowns like climate change.

There's no floating brains in space

Scientists have put to bed a theory about space brains, which will be a great relief to those who have trouble sleeping over such matters.