From DVICE: NASA, for some reason that the agency has chosen not to share, is quite interested in just exactly what it takes to set off a Type Ia supernova. Thanks to a series of X-ray and ultraviolet observations from the SWIFT satellite, NASA says that "we have a clearer picture of what's required to blow up these stars." Oh, good.
Most of us would like to step out on the surface of Mars and go all John Carter with its gravity someday, and if you believe SpaceX CEO Elon Musk someday might not be too far away. With a reusable rocket system and a refueling station right on the Red Planet, Musk believes he can get you to Mars a few years from now, at a ticket price of only half a million dollars.
Phil Plait is an astronomer and major sci-fi geek. He writes the Bad Astronomy Blog for Discover Magazine and is also the host of the Discovery Channel's science show "Phil Plait's Bad Universe." You can follow him on Twitter at @BadAstronomer. On September 13, 1999, a tragedy befell all mankind. An accident of unknown origin at the nuclear waste dumps on the far side of the Moon caused a massive explosion which hurled the Moon out of Earth orbit.
These days Russia's space program is mostly known as the only way we can get to and from the International Space Station, but the nation that came in second in the Space Race of the '60s may be about to change that. According to a leaked document from Russian space agency Roskosmos, they're finally going to the moon.
Last week, legendary futurist Ray Kurzweil gave us his take on the failings of science fiction cinema. Now Nick Sagan, son of iconic astronomer and Contact author Carl Sagan, has his own bone to pick with sci-fi filmmakers. Unlike Kurzweil, he's only got one complaint, but it's big enough to cover just about every alien invasion flick ever made.
Woolly mammoths may be extinct now, but a mammoth 2.0 could be coming soon. A team of South Korean and Russian scientists have teamed up to try and clone a woolly mammoth Jurassic Park-style, using cells discovered from mammoth's found in Siberia.
Astronauts have always been allowed to take certain non-essential keepsakes home with them when they complete a NASA mission, but what if they try to sell them? The space agency's lawyers have taken aim at three different astronauts in the last few months attempting to auction off space-flown artifacts, claiming the artifacts weren't the astronauts' to sell.
The Space Shuttle fleet is a museum collection and we're still a few years from seeing NASA's next manned vehicle, but America still has at least one spaceship out there. The Air Force has been flying a "secret" space plane around the Earth for the last year, and no one can really figure out why.
If you've all been waiting for scientists to finally come up with a Star Trek-like warp drive—so that you could finally start building your very own Starship Enterprise in your basement/garage/backyard—then you're outta luck.
When not inventing vending machines for ladies' underwear, Japanese innovators can do some mighty fine work. And their latest is the dream of every diplomat, teacher and parent: a gun that'll harmlessly stop people from talking.