Spotting Objects From Space Is Easy. This Challenge Is Harder
A battle royale called the Smart program has charged teams with a daunting first task: Identify construction sites on Earth using only data from orbiters.
These Satellites See Through the Clouds to Track Flooding
Remote sensing systems can struggle to spot high waters, especially in stormy weather or at night. Synthetic aperture radar offers a shot in the dark.
Astronaut Gear of the Future May Fight Bone and Muscle Loss
New space suits and muscle stimulators could keep spacefarers fit on long voyages.
NASA’s Lucy Mission Gets Ready to Fly by the Trojan Asteroids
The spacecraft will provide the first up-close look at these building blocks of the early solar system.
The Space and Air Forces Launch an LGBTQ Task Force
Ten years after “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” a major general from the Space Force is leading a new inclusion initiative.
There Are No Real Rules for Repairing Satellites in Space—Yet
Fixing, refueling, and upgrading satellites in orbit is about to become more common. A group is pushing for international standards to keep these missions safe.
Neutrino Detectors Could Be Used to Spot Nuclear Rogues
In theory, the particles could reveal whether a reactor is building up plutonium for weapons. US energy experts are starting to take the idea seriously.
‘Dr. Phosphine’ and the Possibility of Life on Venus
Scientists found hints of alien life floating in Venus's atmosphere by focusing on a long-ignored, simple compound: phosphine.
The Feds Want These Teams to Hack a Satellite—From Home
Meet the hackers who, this weekend, will try to commandeer an actual orbiter as part of a Defcon contest hosted by the Air Force and the Defense Digital Service.
This Citizen Science Gig Pays People to Match Space Photos
Astronomers at the Hubble Image Similarity Project are employing their out-of-work neighbors to help them train a neural net to recognize celestial objects.
Satellite Data Reveals the Pandemic's Effects From Above
Images taken from space are providing details to governments and relief efforts about how humanity is handling the Covid-19 crisis.
The Search for the Next Big Idea in Magnetic Field Mapping
A new competition challenges scientists to innovate on how we map Earth's constantly shifting magnetic field—and make navigation safer and more accurate.
Astronomy Expands Its Scope From the Heavens to Humans
Every 10 years, astronomers weigh in on the state of their field. For the first time, they're tackling Earth-centric issues like gender bias and diversity.
Now Entering Orbit: Tiny Lego-like Modular Satellites
Space is getting closer, thanks to small, cheap “satlets” that network themselves to solve problems in flight.
Forget Earth: In Space, Libertarian Ideas Are Thriving
Space entrepreneurs tend to share a fondness for libertarian principles. So before checking into your space hotel, be sure to read your Heinlein.