NASA : Analysis
Earth pictured from the dark side of the moon.

NASA's 'ambitious' plan for a base off the dark side of the moon

After grounding its shuttle program, the U.S. space agency flirts with building a distant space station to serve as a jumping-off point for future missions to Mars

NASA : Photos
NASA's new "Blue Marble" image is a digital composite of several photos taken by a satellite as it zoomed around the Earth four times on January 4.

NASA's 'impossibly beautiful' photo of Earth

The space agency releases an ultra high-def update to its iconic photo set. Feast your eyes

NASA : Analysis
A six-foot prototype crossbow: NASA scientists are working with a test harpoon to zero in on the best way to snag a comet.

NASA’s comet-snagging space harpoon 

How do you collect mineral samples from flying asteroids you can't land on? Scientists may have a solution

NASA : By the numbers
Artist's rendering of NASA's Curiosity rover, which is expected to land on Mars in August 2012.

The Curiosity rover's 'long cruise to Mars': By the numbers

NASA's massive new mobile space lab is set to touch down on the Red Planet next August — in a mission to find evidence of alien life

NASA : The List
This job isn't easy to get: To even be considered, astronaut applicants need 1,000 hours of experience piloting a jet, must be in peak physical condition, and can't be too short, or too tall.

NASA's 'highly competitive' astronaut job application

Do you have the right stuff? There's only one way to find out...

NASA : Fact Sheet
Did Neil Armstrong bring moon rocks back from his Apollo 11 mission and then gift one to a co-worker? That's what the co-worker's wife claimed, after being busted for trying to sell the lunar sample.

The 'terrified' grandma busted by NASA for selling a moon rock

Did NASA officials go too far by setting up a sting operation for a 74-year-old widow trying to sell a tiny speck of lunar material?

NASA : Instant Guide
The moon reportedly contains twenty times more titanium and platinum that any place on Earth, so one billionaire wants to mine it.

The 'self-made' billionaire who wants to mine the moon 

A tech entrepreneur wants to use his vast fortune to set up his next enterprise — out in space

NASA : Forecast
In a quest for "prestige," China launches its first space laboratory module Thursday, the initial step in assembling a space station.

China's first space station: What it means for America 

Just two months after NASA ends its aging shuttle program, the emerging Asian superpower celebrates a historic space mission

NASA : Analysis
An artist's illustration of NASA's proposed space taxi, which would be built by a private company to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

NASA's new $1.6 billion 'space taxi' plan

With the space shuttle program retired, U.S. astronauts will turn to private industry to hitch a ride into space

NASA : Controversy
Artist's concept of NASA's new megarocket that will feature an enhanced space shuttle fuel tank and be able to lift triple the weight current unmanned rockets can handle.

NASA's new 'monster' rocket: Gamechanger or boondoggle?

A powerful new "megarocket" will cost billions, and will take NASA, well... no one knows where

NASA : Instant Guide
A rendering of NASA's UARS satellite: The real thing is about the size of a bus and is expected to crash into Earth in the next few weeks.

NASA's falling satellite: Where will it hit?

When a decommissioned satellite the size of a bus enters the atmosphere in the next few weeks, space agencies worldwide will keep their eyes on the sky

NASA : Instant Guide
"Apollo 18," about a space mission to the moon that goes horribly wrong, has provoked NASA's ire for not clearly promoting itself as fiction.

NASA vs. Apollo 18

The space agency is none too thrilled about the new sci-fi thriller's many conspiracy theories — or its attempt to pass off a fictional moon voyage as real

NASA : Opinion Brief
The space shuttle Atlantis crew before their July 21 launch: Their 12-day mission to the International Space Station was the 30-year shuttle program's final flight.

The 'sentimental' Atlantis landing: The end of an era

The 135th and final shuttle flight touched down in Florida just after dawn Thursday morning, concluding NASA's 30-year program

NASA : Opinion Brief
Spectators watch Friday as the space shuttle Atlantis launches for the final time.

The 'bittersweet' Atlantis launch

The last liftoff of the final space shuttle brings an emotional end to a 30-year era of American exploration

NASA : Slideshow
A young boy plays with a toy shuttle Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center

Atlantis' final flight: A visual history of NASA's shuttle program

The last shuttle lifted off Friday, ending a 30-year program known as much for its tragedies as its successes

NASA : Opinion Brief
A rainbow appears near the space shuttle Atlantis, which is poised to take its final flight on Friday, ending the 30-year shuttle program.

Can NASA survive without the shuttle program?

NASA has big plans for life after the space shuttle retires. But can it turn them into reality?

Subscribe to the Week