From this point forward, NASA’s Washington DC headquarters will be known as the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters, named after the agency’s first Black female engineer. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the change today. Continue reading NASA names its DC headquarters after its first Black female engineer
Thirty-six years after becoming the first American woman to walk in space, Kathy Sullivan has made history yet again. On Sunday, the 68-year-old oceanographer and former NASA astronaut became the first woman to reach the deepest known spot in the ocean after returning from a 35,810-foot dive from the Challenger Deep. At the same time, she also became the first person in history to have both walked in space and descended to the deepest part of the earth. Continue reading The first American woman to spacewalk has now conquered the deepest ocean
Human spaceflight seems all the more remarkable when you consider the fact that our bodies didn’t evolve for space. We suffer in major ways as a result of microgravity and living in confined quarters hundreds of miles above the surface of the planet. Even our our immune systems take a hit, leaving us more susceptible to infection and disease as we spend more time in space. Continue reading Most of us have viruses sleeping inside us, and spaceflight wakes them up
We’re all clamoring to get into space these days, but lost in our excitement to fly to the Moon and colonize Mars is a brutal truth: the final frontier is a cold, inhospitable wasteland that’ll kill you at the first opportunity it gets. Astronauts already know this, but for the rest of us, here are just a few of the potentially lethal dangers faced by spacefaring pioneers.
Seeing as the Earth is a puny nugget of metal sitting atop a nearly 2000 mile-thick mantle of high-pressure flowing rock, it’s no surprise that the rock occasionally seeps out, either slowly or explosively, through the surface. It’s pretty cool to see the magma glowing beside Sicily’s nighttime lights, though.
On a mission to Mars, future astronauts will have to leave the protection of Earth’s magnetic field. As they head into deep space, high-energy galactic cosmic rays will pass through the hull of their ship and into their bodies. This might have dangerous—and lasting—consequences for the astronauts’ health.
There are lots of things most of us never contemplate when we fantasize about living in space: What happens to your arms when they don’t naturally fall at your sides? Do you keep your callouses when you aren’t walking? What’s it like to sleep in free fall?