Blog Archives

The search for our beginnings

On January 5, 2015

“Volcanologists go to volcanoes for their field work, but meteoriticists never go to asteroids!” Shogo Tachibana is an associate professor at Hokkaido University and one of the key scientists on the team behind Japan’s new Hayabusa2 mission. As he talked, he plucked from a shelf in his office a small grey rock embedded in a […]

Reflections on Rosetta

On November 19, 2014

“It’s all down to Isaac Newton now. It’s down to the laws of physics.” As the world waited to hear whether a refrigerator-sized probe had landed on a comet’s surface, European Space Agency senior science advisor Mark McCaughrean spoke to the live webfeed in Germany. “If Isaac’s friendly to us, we’ll have a great landing,” […]

Comet ISON promises a stunning show

On October 17, 2013

We’re a little over a month away from what might be the greatest sky-show of the year. On 28 November, Comet ISON will reach perihelion – its closest point to the Sun – making it shine so brightly in the sky it will be visible with the naked eye. Or not: the comet might not survive its close […]

Mars One mission could go horribly wrong — if it ever gets off the ground

On April 24, 2013

For the space-inclined, the week got off to an interesting start on Monday with a press conference from the team behind Mars One, the Dutch not-for-profit organisation that’s planning to broadcast the establishment of the first human settlement on Mars like a reality TV show. It was a fascinating conference, more for what the Mars […]

Where will humans be in the future of spaceflight?

On April 10, 2013

Broadly speaking, spaceflight can be divided into two camps: manned missions and unmanned missions. And historically, both have been received very differently since we can relate to humans better than we can to robots. On the one hand are the Apollo manned Moon landings that riveted the world in the late 1960s and the more […]