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Mysteries of Space

Mysteries of Space : In-depth briefing
Guests staying in a pod of Russia's planned space hotel would eat dehydrated food — while orbiting at an average speed of 18,600 mph.

The space race for tourists

After years of delays, the long-awaited dream of commercial flights to space may soon become reality

 
Mysteries of Space : Fact Sheet
Two craters on the surface of Mars, color-coded here to highlight their varied terrain, may prove that the planet underwent significant fluctuations in its climate.

Did climate change turn Mars into a dead planet?

Detailed pictures of two sister craters offer proof that the Red Planet may once have been sufficiently moist to support life

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
An illustration of Mars One's proposed human settlement: The newly created group sees the Red Planet as the "Plymouth Rock" of our near future.

The earnest plan to have a settlement on Mars by 2023

A Dutch group outlines an ambitious multipart strategy to have humans living on the Red Planet in about a decade — if everything pans out

 
Mysteries of Space : Analysis
A model of the Starship Enterprise: The iconic Star Trek spaceship may take flight in the real world by 2032 if one determined engineer has his way.

The ambitious plan to build Star Trek's USS Enterprise

One adventurous engineer makes a compelling case to boldly build what no man has built before. Could the crazy thing actually work?

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
A NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of inferred dark matter that has been tinted blue shows the concentration of dark matter at the center of a galaxy.

The dark matter pelting your body right now: A guide

Groundbreaking research suggests the universe's most mysterious substance is hitting the human body at a much higher rate than previously thought

 
Mysteries of Space : Forecast
Artist's conception of an asteroid belt: A new company is looking to space for the next big source of natural resources.

Asteroid mining: Is there money to be made in space?

James Cameron, Google's top brass, and Ross Perot's son are betting big that there's platinum in the heavens. Are they delusional or brilliant?

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
An artist's illustration of SKA dishes, part of a proposed supercomputer radio telescope that would be tasked with studying the farthest corners of space.

Coming soon: A telescope that crunches more data than the entire internet?

An international team of astronomers imagines an enormous system of space telescopes stretching for thousands of kilometers above the Earth

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
Caught on camera: A mass of super-heated gas swirling through the sun's atmosphere at 186,000 miles per hour.

The gigantic solar tornado that could devour five Earths

Solar Dynamics Laboratory videotapes a twister — large enough to destroy our planet — stretching out from the sun's surface

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
The ill-fated luxury liner sets sail: Astronomers say a supermoon's extreme tides may have dislodged the icebergs that did in the Titanic.

Did a rare 'supermoon' sink the Titanic?

Astronomers say that a unique combination of celestial forces may have dislodged the icebergs that clogged the cruise liner's path

 
Mysteries of Space : Burning Question
An artist's conception of asteroids in a nearby solar system: Scientists warn that an asteroid 460 feet wide could collide with Earth in 28 years.

Could a 'humongous' asteroid really hit Earth in 2040?

Scientists warn that a space rock longer than a football field could smash into our planet

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
Playboy's proposed outer space strip club would be like an intergalactic cruise ship, complete with a zero-gravity, trampoline-filled dance club.

Playboy's plan for a strip club... in outer space 

The iconic men's mag dreams of an adult playland floating far above Earth — complete with cocktail-serving, jet-pack-wearing bunnies

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
The Japanese company that is nearing completion on the Tokyo Sky Tree plans to build an elevator that will take people some 22,370 miles above the Earth.

A 'space elevator' by 2050?

A Japanese firm would like to take tourists spaceward, to a station connected to a 22,370-mile stretch of cable. Could it happen?

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
An artist's rendering of GJ 1214b, a newly-confirmed waterworld shrouded in a thick, steamy fog.

'Waterworld': The strange planet covered in a 'big, hot ocean'

Astronomers discover a bizarre new planet that may be home to exotic substances like "hot ice" and "superfluid water"

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
An illustration of the CleanSpace One satellite: Is it too expensive and inefficient to offer a real solution to the space junk problem?

The 'janitor satellite' that cleans up space junk

Over 500,000 pieces of dangerous debris are flying around Earth, but a new initiative could help reduce the threat

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
While the planet's ice proves there was once water on Mars, new soil samples reveal the red planet has been experiencing a super drought.

Is Mars too dry for life?

Mineral samples suggest the Red Planet has been left hopelessly parched by a "super-drought" millions of years in the making

 
Mysteries of Space : Best Column
Plants soaked up our atmosphere's excess carbon dioxide hundreds of millions of years ago, allowing other forms of life to flourish, says Mark Fischetti at Scientific American.

Why we'll never find another planet like Earth

It doesn't matter how hard NASA looks, says Mark Fischetti at Scientific American. Until it identifies another planet with plants, Earth remains stubbornly unique

 
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