Space the Final Frontier

Name NASA’s New Free-Flying Robot and Win $1,000

Name the ISS's new free-flying robot! (Wikipedia)

Need some cash? All you have to do is come up with a really sweet name for NASA’s new space robot.

NASA has teamed up with TopCoder to award $1,000 to whomever comes up with the best name for space agency’s new free-flying robot, NBC News reports. The robot will be sent up to the International Space Station in 2017, by which point we think “North,” “Khaleesi,” and “Kale” might unfortunately be out of style. Read More

Space the Final Frontier

NASA May Use 6-Months-Long Deep Sleep to Send Astronauts to Mars

Next stop: Mars. (SpaceWorks)

NASA has long been researching the viability of sending humans to Mars. Besides exploring the terrain with that sassy Mars Rover, the agency has also experimented with what astronauts might eat should they embark on the months-long voyage to the Red Planet (the answer: Spam and Nutella), among other tests.

In the latest Mars mission-related news, NASA-backed researchers with SpaceWorks Enterprises are reportedly experimenting with putting astronauts into a medically-induced deep sleep, called torpor, during the transit time to Mars. Read More

cool tech

Scientists Are Counting Polar Bears Using Satellite Images

Aw. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Even though it’s their job, not even researchers want to brave the chilly Canadian tundra to count how many polar bears there are. So, instead they’re using images obtained from satellites to get an accurate count of how many furry white beasts are around.

The study is being spearheaded by Seth Stapleton, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota. He told CBC News that is the first time a technique like this has been tested in the region. Read More

Space the Final Frontier

Buzz Aldrin Thinks We Will Colonize Mars in the Next 25 Years

Buzz Aldrin. (Getty)

It’s been 45 years since humans first landed on the moon, and the world’s now wondering when people — not just adorable selfie-loving rovers — are going to head over to Mars.

Buzz Aldrin seems confident a Mars colony will happen, based on a Reddit AMA the famed astronaut conducted this afternoon. Among other fascinating topics, like that time he met Tina Fey, Mr. Aldrin espoused his “very strong idea, concept, conviction, that the first human beings to land on Mars should not come back to Earth.” Read More

Go Home Science You're Drunk

Chinese Volunteers Eat Mealworms For 105 Days To See If They’d Make Good Astronaut Food

DINNER TIME. (Wikimedia Commons)

What a week it’s been for space travel! Yesterday, we told you about the Israeli group that’s trying to send the Torah to the moon. Now, let us share with you the tale of three Chinese volunteers who ate bugs for three months to see if they’d make good astronaut food.

For 105 days, three Chinese volunteers lived in a sealed-off biosphere and ate a diet consisting mainly of mealworms, the Daily Mail reports. Read More

Space the Final Frontier

Israeli Group Seeks Spacecraft To Send Torah To the Moon

To infinity and beyond! (Wikimedia Commons)

An Israeli group is trying its best to eternally preserve Jewish tradition, should Earth ever be destroyed by the Mayan apocalypse or a robot takeover or something.

A project based in Tel Aviv, Israel is aiming to send a Torah to the moon, NewScientist reports. If their plan runs smoothly, the group — which aptly calls itself the “Torah on the Moon Project” — will also send up copies of the Hindu Vedas and the ancient Chinese I-Ching. Read More

Space the Final Frontier

Brazilian Fisherman Finds Chunk of Space Rocket In Remote Amazonian River

Here's a scene from a river in Salinópolis, the town where the debris was found. (Wikimedia Commons)

A 73-year-old Brazilian fisherman was going about his day in a remote Amazonian river when lo and behold, he discovered a massive piece of “space junk” submerged in the water, the Guardian reports.

Turns out, the wall-sized panel was a piece of debris from the Ariane 5 rocket, one of Europe’s most sophisticated satellites. The rocket had reportedly launched from the Kourou base in French Guyana last July, the UK Space Agency said. The panel had been part of the satellite’s covering, and probably drifted inland after landing in the Atlantic. Read More