You might call it the ultimate long shot — a group of space enthusiasts trying to re-establish contact with a wayward satellite launched in 1978. Figuratively speaking, it's been off the radar for decades.
It's official: NASA has given the Kepler spacecraft's mission makeover the go-ahead, turning it from a pure planet-hunting endeavor to an exploratory venture to study a wide range of celestial objects.
In the cold vacuum of space, miles above the planet surface, I am guiding my tiny space ship toward the airlock of another vessel. To dock, our orbits have to align precisely, but the variables are terrifying.
Despite capturing the hearts and minds of geeks everywhere (as well as endorsements from astrophysicist and national treasure Neil deGrasse Tyson), NASA is poor. That means it doesn’t have the cash to