John Michael Della Costa

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We spoke to the CEO of a new company that wants to revolutionize the way we think about spaceflight

In April, after several years of quietly developing a small launch vehicle akin to a "taxi ride into orbit," Vector stepped out as a new kid on the private spaceflight scene to do something nobody else had thought of doing: thinking big by thinking small.<p>Its goal: To create a system that could …

Space Exploration

December solstice starts shortest season

The 2017 December solstice will come on the December 21 at 16:28 UTC. That’s 10:28 a.m. on December 21, for those in the central time zone in North …

Vox Sentences: SpaceX just did something really, really cool

A new era in spaceflight starts not with a launch, but with a landing; Americans keep dying in "non-combat" operations in Afghanistan; and a US airstrike kills 10 Iraqi soldiers.<p><i>Vox Sentences is written by Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind.</i><p>TOP NEWS<p>A BFD for private spaceflight<p>The private spaceflight …

Why The SpaceX Falcon 9 Landing Matters, And What It Means For Our Future

The future of humanity lies in space. We need the resources from asteroids, we need to explore the other planets in our solar system, and we need to build science labs in the depths of space to perform experiments and understand the fabric of the universe. But first we have to get there, and get …

Danger from rogue 60 mile-wide comets that could wipe all life on earth instantly

Scientists warn of danger from rogue 60-mile-wide comets that could wipe all life on earth instantly<p><b>Hundreds of massive comets, called 'centaurs,'</b> …

Astronomy

Why the SpaceX rocket landing is great for NASA

Commercial space technology isn't replacing NASA. It's liberating it.

SpaceX

Highly anticipated Mars lander will be delayed or even canceled, NASA says

The InSight mission was to study the interior of the red planet.<p>One of 2016’s most anticipated space missions will have to be postponed more than two …

Space Science

Neil deGrasse Tyson Has Deep Thoughts About 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has searched his feelings about "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and the Force is strong in his …

Palaces, Penises, and Parties With the Young Jet Set

View Slideshow<p>Last weekend, while 200 of the world’s leaders gathered in Paris for a conference on climate change, 200 of the world’s most glamorous …

European Travel

The evolution of anti-evolution bills

In a new paper in <i>Science</i> (paywalled), Nicholas J. Matzke from the National University of Australia demonstrates the evolutionary connection between …

How people a century ago imagined we’d dress today

As the end of the year approaches, experts and pundits start rolling out their predictions for next year, and the year to come. But seeing into the future is a bit more challenging than these predictions make it seem — as the fascinating images below demonstrate.<p>These fantastic visions of what …

Kurt Vonnegut

This astronaut spacewalk looks like a scene straight out of the movies

NASA released footage of two American astronauts fixing a problem on the International Space Station, and it looks like it could be a scene from the 2013 film "Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.<p>In the video, station commander Scott Kelly and flight engineer Timothy Kopra float …

Space Exploration

Newly published documents reveal that Hitler received special treatment in prison

Historians have long been fascinated by the Nazi leader's time in Landsberg, where he and several followers were incarcerated after the unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, when Hitler tried to seize power in Bavaria. It was there that Hitler wrote much of the first volume of his book "Mein …

NASA released a spectacular new image of the Earth from the moon

From the surface of the moon, the Earth never rises or sets.<p>Our satellite is locked in place by our planet's gravity, so only one side is ever visible. This is why we can never see the dark side of the moon.<p>From the view of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), however, it can look like the …

Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

Table of Contents<p>Foreword Daniel G. Amen, M.D xi<p>Introduction: The Greatest Habit You Can Ever Break Is the Habit of Being Yourself xv<p>Part I The …

This Photo of an Astronaut Shows How Big the ISS Is

You’ve probably seen countless photos by now of astronauts working inside and outside the International Space Station, but sometimes it’s hard to get …

Here's a close look at SpaceX's historic rocket landing

SpaceX's much-hyped rocket landing was impressive, but you didn't exactly get a good look at it if you were watching live. It seemed more like a matchstick putting itself out, really. Not to worry, though: SpaceX has delivered an ample supply of photos and video documenting every step of this …

Elon Musk

This Squid Could Help Humans Repel Dangerous Flesh-Eating Bacteria

The bobtail squid stays alive because it attracts and keeps a specific kind of bacteria. Scientists still don’t know exactly how it does this, but …

I can't shake this totally believable theory about the new 'Star Wars' villain

<b>Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you haven't seen "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."</b><p>There's still a lot we don't know about after seeing the new "Star Wars" movie. One of the biggest mysteries surrounds the new villain, Supreme Leader Snoke.<p>Since the moment I saw the character on screen, I've only …

NASA wants to grow potatoes on Mars

Nasa and the International Potato Center (CIP) are taking the reins on the experiment, which will also be used as a stepping stone to learning how we can grow crops on the Red Planet itself.<p>The team, which is basing its experiment in Peru, is hoping to raise awareness of the resilience of potatoes, …

Scientists Cleverly Use Cargo Ships For New Tsunami Warning System

The public-private partnership is making waves for all the right reasons.<p>Sometimes public-private partnerships make so much sense you wonder why they didn't happen sooner.<p>When it comes to understanding and predicting tsunamis, a long-standing difficulty has been collecting real-time data from the …

Geology

The First Lunar Lander in Four Decades Discovered a New Kind of Moon Rock

China's Chang'e-3 moon mission ID's a new kind of volcanic rock up there.<p>The first lunar rover in more than 40 years has uncovered a new type of moon rock.<p>A team of geologists and planetary scientists behind the recent Chinese Chang'e-3 moon mission just announced the discovery of a …

This Famous Image Of Marie Curie Isn't Marie Curie

This one could've used a fact-checker or two...<p>The above image, allegedly of Marie Curie, adorns stamps around the world. But there's a problem: It's not Marie Curie.<p>It's instead a photo of Susan Marie Frontczak, snapped by Paul Schroder in 2001. Frontczak makes a living portraying the famous …

Science

Studies on kissing, the word 'huh?' among Ig Nobel award winners

BOSTON (Reuters) - Researchers who studied the consequences of intense kissing, the global use of the word "huh?" and how badly bee stings hurt on different parts of the body were among the winners of this year's Ig Nobel prizes for comical scientific achievements.<p>The annual prizes, meant to …

Science

Not Up for Debate: The Science Behind Vaccination

Whenever I sit down to watch a presidential debate, I have one sincere hope: that vaccines won’t come up at all. Besides the fact that there really is no “debate” when it comes to the science of how they work or how they may harm, merely talking in public about denying vaccines often leads to the …

Public Health

'Universal law of urination' among Ig Nobel award winners – video

Researchers who studied the average length of animal urination, the consequences of intense kissing and how badly bee stings hurt on different parts of the body were among the winners of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes for comical scientific achievements on Thursday evening. The ceremony, at Harvard …

Harvard

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 winners - in pictures

Spectacular views of the universe have been unveiled at the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 awards ceremony, held at the Royal Greenwich Observatory<p>What was your best astronomy shot this year? Share your photos via GuardianWitness

Astronomy

First woman in space recalls mission's teething troubles

On 16 June 1963, within hours of Valentina Tereshkova becoming the first woman in space, she realised that the scientists and engineers who had worked for years on the project had made two mistakes, one small but enraging, one possibly terminal.<p>Re-united with her spacecraft, Vostok 6, in an epic …

Space Exploration

Can't believe your eyes? Scientists build tiny invisibility cloak

Scientists might be a step – a teeny tiny step – closer to developing that Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak of your dreams. Researchers at UC Berkeley have created a thin metamaterial that can conform to irregularly shaped objects and render them invisible in certain wavelengths of light.<p>For …

Engineering

What is a fairy ring?

Have you ever noticed mushrooms growing in a big circle? It’s known as a fairy ring. How does it happen?<p>An EarthSky Facebook friend wrote:<p>My …

Mushrooms