Outer Space

Mysteries of Space : Best Video
Stanley the train reaches his 18-mile high destination before the weather balloon that lifted him aloft bursts and he plummets back down to Earth.

Stanley the train and 4 other toys launched into space

A California father scores a viral video hit after sending his son's toy into space. A look at his clip and those of others who've sent playthings way, way up

NASA : Slideshow
NASA's retired space shuttles: 13 iconic views from Endeavor, Enterprise, and Discovery's flyovers

NASA's retired space shuttles: 12 iconic views from Endeavor, Enterprise, and Discovery's flyovers

Three hardworking orbiters take their final victory rounds enroute to California, New York, and Washington D.C.

Mysteries of Space : Fact Sheet
Thanks to the combined power of NASA's Spitzer and Hubble telescopes, astronomers have been able to identify the oldest galaxy ever seen.

Discovered: A far-off galaxy from the dawn of time

A fuzzy red splotch hidden behind nearby star clusters might just be the most distant galaxy ever glimpsed by human eyes

NASA : Instant Guide
NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, pictured in the International Space Station on July 27, has now run a marathon and, most recently, a triathlon while in space.

The astronaut who completed a triathlon in space

Sunita Williams becomes the first astronaut to finish the triple-threat race by running, biking, and even swimming her way to the orbital finish line

Mysteries of Space : Analysis
Physicists believe that only 4 percent of the universe is made up of ordinary matter like stars and planets, with the remaining 96 percent composed of dark matter and dark energy.

Dark energy: The mysterious force causing the universe to expand

Scientists confirm with 99.996 percent certainty the existence of a little-understood substance that is "one of the great scientific mysteries of our time"

Mysteries of Space : Forecast
In this screen shot from an amateur astronomer's video, Jupiter appears to be hit by something, resulting in a two-second explosion.

How Jupiter might save Earth from devastating asteroid strikes

A massive collision rocked the gas giant's surface this week, adding to the growing body of evidence that Jupiter works as a giant space shield

NASA : The List
Neil Armstrong is pictured inside the Lunar Module "Eagle" which touched down on the Sea of Tranquility on the east side of the moon at 4:17 p.m. July 20, 1969.

Remembering Neil Armstrong: A humble hero and legendary astronaut

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said as he set foot on the moon and inspired generations of people around the world

NASA : Best Video
The Curiosity rover's heat shield can be seen falling to Mars' surface as the space lab makes its historic landing onto the Red Planet. 

The Curiosity rover: The jaw-dropping HD footage of its descent to Mars

New footage allows earthlings to visualize the "seven minutes of terror" the Mars rover endured as it made its descent onto Martian soil

NASA : Fact Sheet
An artist's conception of Curiosity rover's ChemCam laser, which allows scientists here on Earth to examine what Mars is made of.

The Curiosity rover's nuclear-powered laser

NASA's space lab blasted a small boulder on Mars' surface for the first time Sunday using powerful bursts of rock-vaporizing light

Mysteries of Space : Forecast
Members of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrate Mars Curiosity Rover's successful landing on the Red Planet Aug. 5

How NASA plans to top the Mars Curiosity voyage

The rover's near-miraculous mission has rekindled excitement about the space program. Here's where we might be going next

NASA : Burning Question
NASA's Bobak Ferdowsi: Note the yellow stars dyed into the shaved sides of his black mohawk, which itself is highlighted with wisps of red and blue.

Who is NASA's 'Mohawk Guy'?

Bobak Ferdowsi, the mission controller for NASA's Curiosity rover, became an overnight superstar thanks to his punk-rock hairdo and anti-corporate vibe

NASA : Analysis
Not wanting to waste any time, NASA's overachieving Curiosity rover beams back images of Mars' surface, with its shadow center, using a "fisheye" wide angle lens.

4 ways of looking at the Curiosity rover's historic landing

Wheels are down! NASA's multi-billion dollar space lab will finally begin its mission to determine if life on Mars ever existed. Here's what its successful touch-down means

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
An artist's rendition of a "vampire star" sucking gas from another star so that it can become bigger and brighter.

The surprising prevalence of killer 'vampire stars'

Some of our galaxy's biggest, brightest stars are members of binary systems — and they're sucking the life right out of their partner stars

Mysteries of Space : The List
An artist's illustration: Earth's inhabitable climate may not be unique.

The 5 most potentially inhabitable alien planets

Scientists rank the exoplanets most likely to have the rare ability to harbor life — though the chances are still pretty slim

NASA : Slideshow
Sally Ride: A visual tribute to the first woman in space

Sally Ride: A visual tribute to America's first female astronaut

As the first U.S. woman sent into space, Ride became an almost literal symbol of women's ability to break the glass ceiling

Mysteries of Space : Analysis
Images from NASA's 2004 Cassini mission show river networks draining into lakes in north polar region of Saturn's largest natural satellite, Titan.

Is Saturn's moon Titan even more Earth-like than we thought?

Scientists reveal that underneath thick layers of cloud cover, the moon's icy surface has complex river networks and a remarkably smooth landscape

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