A team of astrophysicists at the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center has just reached a major milestone in the search for life-supporting planets outside our solar system. For the first time, they have discovered an Earth-sized planet nestled in the temperate, liquid-water supporting distance from its star—the so-called habitable zone. "This is a historic discovery," says Geoff Marcy, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley who was not involved in the research, "it’s the best case for a habitable planet yet found." 

First Earth-Sized, Potentially Habitable Exoplanet Found

With all due respect to Mars, the most interesting places in the solar system aren’t planets at all. It rains hydrocarbons on Titan, which has great lakes near its north pole. Europa has water ice on the surface and may have an ocean underneath. New evidence has backed up the existence of an ocean on Enceladus feeding the geysers spraying from its south pole. Io has active volcanoes. Mimas looks like the Death Star. All of this to say: While astronomers have found hundreds of new exoplanets over the last 20 years, maybe we should be more excited about the possibility of an exomoon. 


Prepare Yourself for the Exomoons

With all due respect to Mars, the most interesting places in the solar system aren’t planets at all. It rains hydrocarbons on Titan, which has great lakes near its north pole. Europa has water ice on the surface and may have an ocean underneath. New evidence has backed up the existence of an ocean on Enceladus feeding the geysers spraying from its south pole. Io has active volcanoes. Mimas looks like the Death StarAll of this to say: While astronomers have found hundreds of new exoplanets over the last 20 years, maybe we should be more excited about the possibility of an exomoon. 

Prepare Yourself for the Exomoons

Now that the productive Kepler telescope is down for the count, astronomers are dreaming up new techniques and missions to help them find even more planets around alien stars.

8 New Ways to Search for Even More Planets

The Cold War revival is putting a chill on space-based cooperation. NASA associate administrator Michael F. O’Brien issued a statement this morning saying: “Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, until further notice, the U.S. Government has determined that all NASA contacts with Russian Government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted.”


The U.S. Suspends (Most) NASA Agreements With Russia Over Ukraine

The Cold War revival is putting a chill on space-based cooperation. NASA associate administrator Michael F. O’Brien issued a statement this morning saying: “Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, until further notice, the U.S. Government has determined that all NASA contacts with Russian Government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted.”

The U.S. Suspends (Most) NASA Agreements With Russia Over Ukraine

Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and heads of SNC’s Space Systems, has a better than front-row seat for America’s historic private space movement—he’s a player on the main stage. Sirangelo heads one of three companies that is designing spacecraft to bring humans into orbit for NASA.


Everything You Need to Know About Dream Chaser, America’s Next Space Plane

Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and heads of SNC’s Space Systems, has a better than front-row seat for America’s historic private space movement—he’s a player on the main stage. Sirangelo heads one of three companies that is designing spacecraft to bring humans into orbit for NASA.

Everything You Need to Know About Dream Chaser, America’s Next Space Plane

Seth Shostak, SETI senior astronomer, tells PopMech why it’s no surprise our search for alien life has so far come up empty—and why, if there really is intelligent life out there, we’ll find it within the next few decades.


The Search for Aliens Is Just Getting Started

Seth Shostak, SETI senior astronomer, tells PopMech why it’s no surprise our search for alien life has so far come up empty—and why, if there really is intelligent life out there, we’ll find it within the next few decades.

The Search for Aliens Is Just Getting Started

"The U.S. Air Force is looking for new ways to get its spy and GPS satellites into space for less money through their EELV (Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle) program. Currently United Launch Alliance, the joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, launches these satellites. But the rocket establishment is facing some competition in the form of Elon Musk and SpaceX."

Elon Musk to Congress: Here’s Why You Should Pick SpaceX

Thanks to the now-defunct Kepler telescope, last week NASA announced 715 new exoplanets in every Dr. Seussian size and makeup imaginable, and nearly doubled the number of exoplanets known to humanity. And more keep on pouring in. With that horde of new worlds, you might have missed a smaller announcement by a group of astrophysicists at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, who just tacked on eight more exoplanets right around the corner in our cosmic neighborhood. 


Every Red Dwarf Star Has a Planet—And There Are 200 Billion Such Stars in the Galaxy

Thanks to the now-defunct Kepler telescope, last week NASA announced 715 new exoplanets in every Dr. Seussian size and makeup imaginable, and nearly doubled the number of exoplanets known to humanity. And more keep on pouring in. With that horde of new worlds, you might have missed a smaller announcement by a group of astrophysicists at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, who just tacked on eight more exoplanets right around the corner in our cosmic neighborhood. 

Every Red Dwarf Star Has a Planet—And There Are 200 Billion Such Stars in the Galaxy

Even with the space shuttle in retirement, Cape Canaveral remains a busy spaceport. But can Florida’s Space Coast regain its hallowed place as the world’s capital of human spaceflight? Popular Mechanics tours the Cape to glimpse the present and future in heavy-lift rocket country.


Can Cape Canaveral Rise Again?

Even with the space shuttle in retirement, Cape Canaveral remains a busy spaceport. But can Florida’s Space Coast regain its hallowed place as the world’s capital of human spaceflight? Popular Mechanics tours the Cape to glimpse the present and future in heavy-lift rocket country.

Can Cape Canaveral Rise Again?

One thing to keep in mind as tensions rise between Russia and the West: We can’t send people to space without them.


By the Way, the World’s Space Missions Rely on Russian Hardware

One thing to keep in mind as tensions rise between Russia and the West: We can’t send people to space without them.

By the Way, the World’s Space Missions Rely on Russian Hardware