A NASA Engineer Builds Weird And Better Halloween Costume

Two years ago, Mark Rober was an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, part of a team that worked on the Curiosity rover. For Halloween, he strapped an iPad to his chest and another to his back. Then he turned them on and used the devices’ cameras and screens to make it appear as if he had a gaping hole in the middle of his torso. Continue reading »

NASA Once Fed Spiders Drugs And Then Watched As The Stoned Bugs Made “Deformed” Webs

A normal web on the left next to a web made by a spider on LSD

NASA once fed spiders drugs like LSD and marijuana and then watched as the stoned bugs made “deformed” webs. The space agency published the results of its bizarre experiment in 1995 – and they were as fascinating as you’d expect. Continue reading »

“Learning To Fly”: Gorgeous Vintage Photos Of Early NASA Facilities

From the wind tunnels the made commercial aviation possible to the analog machines that preceded the computer, a visual history of the spirit of innovation presently unworthy of the government’s dollar.

Among the great joys of spending countless hours rummaging through archives is the occasional serendipitous discovery of something absolutely wonderful: Case in point, these gorgeous photographs of vintage NASA (and NASA predecessor NACA) facilities.

Sperry M-1 Messenger

A Langley researcher ponders the future, in mid-1927, of the Sperry M-1 Messenger, the first full-scale airplane tested in the Propeller Research Tunnel. Standing in the entrance cone of the tunnel is Elton W. Miller, Max M. Munk’s successor as chief of aerodynamics. Miller was one of the designers of the Propeller Research Tunnel. Continue reading »

NASA Captures New Magnificent Images Of Galaxies


Three days before plunging into Saturn’s sunny side, the robotic Cassini spacecraft swooped far behind Saturn’s night side with cameras blazing. Thirty-six of these images have been merged — by an alert and adept citizen scientist — into a last full-ring portrait of Cassini’s home planet for the past 13 years. The Sun is just above the frame, causing Saturn to cast a dark shadow onto its enormous rings. This shadow position cannot be imaged from Earth and will not be visible again until another Earth-launched spaceship visits the ringed giant. Continue reading »

3D Printed Cylinders Tower Over Mars Surface In Latest Design For Habitat Challenge

NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Challenge has seen several companies competing for a high honor – to design the first habitats for humans on Mars and the moon. Using 3D printing, these competitors have proven their ability to create structures such as cones, cylinders and beams. The most recent phase of the competition takes things to a new level by asking the teams to present their ideas for entire structures. A lot of the ideas offered thus far have been low dome-like structures, some partially buried in the ground. But AI SpaceFactory, the second place winner of the most recent competition round, has something a bit different in mind. Continue reading »