There are four boys in my life; none truly boys at all. I don't think of them this way, especially now that they are all grown men with tremendous hea...
After spending a hundred and seventy days and seventy-one million miles in orbit on the International Space Station, Astronaut Ron Garan had a transformative experience.
If this little device can bring a sky full of stars into my 8 foot by 3 foot bunk on simulated Mars, maybe the right sort of technology can allow the right sort of human to be at ease with few or no true windows to our future worlds.
Coincidences, coincidences, coincidences. It's all coming together on Sunday for THE astronomical event of the year.
Let's get this over with once and for all: We are going to Mars. The only questions are: When? Who? How? Which way? And, of course, why?
Do you have the right to room on a plane? If you answered "no," you're probably with the majority of American travelers. After all, airlines are private companies, and you always have the option of paying more for an upgraded seat, don't you?
In the observable universe, galaxies (the gravitational grouping of stars, dust, gas and dark matter) come in three main flavors: spirals, ellipticals and irregulars. Yet each flavor has its own distinguishing characteristic.
As I look at it there in the bowl, I find myself thinking for the first time that lettuce is kind of amazing. First, it's actually pretty cool-looking. Second, this substance, which is more than 95 percent water and has almost no calories, is somehow delicious.
I find myself living at a very particular point in the almost 4 billion years of the evolution of life on this planet. I feel extraordinarily lucky to be alive right now, when for the very first time, we are able to investigate terrestrial life on scales smaller than the size of atoms, as well as look to the skies for evidence of extra-terrestrial life many hundreds of light years beyond Earth.
You know those moments where you can almost hear god laughing? This is one of them.
I was an atheist who died and discovered I was wrong. A "straight-A" kid willing to worship only the preachings of scientific method, finding all religion and spiritual mumbo jumbo to be a crock o' shit. That is, until I stopped breathing.
What do you say during your last few minutes "on Earth"? Things will break. We will not. How I know that I just can't say. I think it's because we prefer to laugh more than we like just about anything else. Even science. Even being astronauts for a year during NASA's longest planned Mars simulation.
The extraterrestrials are just plain done with us. The Cold War has ended, and so has their fascination with our nuclear missile silos. So maybe they've just declared "mission accomplished," and gone away. That would be analogous to Charles Darwin's visit to the Galapagos Islands -- after he probed, bottled and cataloged some of the natives, he weighed anchor and withdrew. But here's another possibility.
These days we talk about human missions to Mars as if a new type of space race has begun, one clearly distanced from the original by a good 40 or more years, a race we believe we won, because we sent astronauts to the moon. What if the original race never ended?
The F-35 joint strike fighter, the United States' most expensive warplane to date, was supposed to cost $1.5 trillion over 50 years. The current contract is seven years behind schedule and $163 billion over budget. Here are four other things the US could have bought with the waste from the program.
When the first trailer for Ridley Scott's big screen adaptation of Andy Weir's Sci-Fi novel The Martian was released, the response was so overwhelmingly positive that 20th Century Fox opted to move its release date forward in order to avoid big screen rivals such as James Bond, The Hunger Games, and Star Wars