NASA protects its super heroes from space weather

It's not a bird or a plane but it might be a solar storm. We like to think of astronauts as our super heroes, but the reality is astronauts are not built like Superman who gains strength from the sun. In fact, much of the ...

Van Allen probes revolutionize view of radiation belts

About 600 miles from Earth's surface is the first of two donut-shaped electron swarms, known as the Van Allen Belts, or the radiation belts. Understanding the shape and size of the belts, which can shrink and swell in response ...

Space balloons and charged particles above the Arctic Circle

I research space weather. That's how physicists describe how storms on the sun end up affecting us here on Earth. Most days I sit at a computer coding, attending telephone conference meetings with collaborators across the ...

Detecting DNA in space

If there is life on Mars, it's not too farfetched to believe that such Martian species may share genetic roots with life on Earth.

How to plant a garden on Mars—with a robot

In the last century humanity has taken gigantic leaps forward in the robotic exploration of the cosmos—not least in the search for habitable worlds and environments that could house life outside of the Earth. The next logical ...

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