Lasers Fired At NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

NASA’s new Parker Solar Probe is getting some intense environmental testing. Extreme tests simulate extreme conditions the satellite experiences during launch and beyond. Parker Solar Probe was built at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and will explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere. Recently, lasers were fired at the spacecraft to test its solar panels. These […]

Why Mars Died, and Earth Lived

The Mars rover, Curiosity, is the latest in a long line of missions to Mars… Landers sent to scoop its soil and study its rocks, orbiters sent to map its valleys and ridges. They are all asking the same question. Did liquid water once flow on this dry and dusty world? Did it support life […]

NASA Is Going to The Sun, Here’s Why That’s So Crazy

The Sun is an unpredictable, violent ball of gas and plasma, radiating fusion energy. It can send streams of charged particles right towards Earth without warning, potentially causing catastrophic damage to our power grid. And while we need the Sun to live, we also need to protect ourselves from its wrath. The problem is, we […]

NASA’s New Solar Scope Is Ready For Balloon Flight

NASA and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute are testing a new way to study the Sun. From NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s field site in Fort Sumner, New Mexico a football field-sized balloon is flying to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere. It’s carrying an instrument called BITSE — the Balloon-borne Investigation of Temperature […]

How NASA Built the Fastest Spacecraft Ever

This is the fastest man-made object ever created, racing to our Sun at 700,000 km/h. Built to withstand drastic changes in temperature, it will be the closest to spacecraft has ever been to a star. So, how did NASA prepare this record-breaking mission for its daring journey to the Sun? There are three main questions […]

How Earth’s Magnetic Field Twists and Buckles During Solar Storms

Traveling at the near speed of light, energetic particles shooting out from the sun can zip through space, smack into our planet’s atmosphere, and cause incredible disruptions. And one of the biggest impacts we know of happened during the tail end of the Vietnam War. President Nixon really wanted to pull us out, but wanted to […]

Parker Solar Probe–Mission Overview

The Sun. It’s the solar system’s engine, and the only star in the sky that gets our attention… every day. But up close, it’s unlike anything we can see from Earth. It’s ferocious— a writhing mass of nuclear chaos, tangled magnetic lines, and a constant wind with inconceivably high temperatures and speeds close to a […]