Lab Notes

Probing nearby stars

Four miles from the launch pad, standing on the roof of the 44-story vehicle assembly building where NASA constructed the space shuttles, I hold...

Prospecting nearby worlds

The past year has been fantastic for commercial spaceflight, with Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launching 18 Falcon-9 rockets in 2017. It now seems almost...

Diving into Saturn

I finally arrive on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California, around 3:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 15 to bear witness to the final gravitational dance...

Blocking out the sun

As seen from Earth, a solar eclipse takes place when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, partially or totally obscuring the sun....

Akatsuki returns from the dead

It is Dec. 7, 2015. We’re in Sagamihara, Japan, a little southwest of Tokyo. On a clear day like today, you can just make...

The thundering launch of GOES-R

As the Atlas V rocket’s inferno lit up the night sky early in the evening of Nov. 19, 2016, it was as if the...

Colonizing Mars the SpaceX way

OK, so who is ready to go live on Mars? I saw a few hands go up there in the Boulder Weekly readership. Now...

The OSIRIS-REx mission: To Bennu and back

On Sept. 8, 2016, Dr. Vicky Hamilton watched as NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification Security, Regolith Explorer) lifted clear of Cape Canaveral’s...

Catching the solar eclipse

More than a century ago, Albert Einstein proposed a new theory of gravity, suggesting that concentrations of matter warp the underlying fabric of space,...

Juno reaches Jupiter

In Roman mythology, Jupiter is king of the gods and his wife Juno is the queen. Jupiter was known for his infidelity, so Juno...

Boosting solar physics

Shortly after the financial crash of 2008, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to stimulate the economy with $787 billion in...

Igniting space weather

In March 1989, a powerful eruption from the Sun slammed into the Earth’s magnetic field and took down a regional power grid in Canada,...
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