Cold War Nuclear Explosions Freakishly Impacted Space Weather

The overdrawn game of nuclear chicken between the USSR and the United States—now known as the Cold War—lasted about 45 years. While neither superpower ever deployed nukes on each others’ soil, high-altitude bomb testing caused a kerfuffle in Earth’s atmosphere. Though the conflict has (thankfully) long since ended, newly declassified information suggests it might have impacted space weather in ways we never anticipated. Read More >>

American Space Legend John Glenn Has Died at 95

John Glenn, an aviation legend and the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, has died this afternoon at the age of 95. Read More >>

The Beagle 2 Mars Lander Came ‘Excruciatingly Close’ to Success

Landing on Mars is hard, but the European Space Agency’s first attempt—the Beagle 2 probe—came maddeningly close to being a complete success. In fact, a new 3D modelling analysis shows that the lander’s failure to communicate with the Earth was likely due to a single jammed solar panel. Read More >>

A Solar Flare Almost Caused Nuclear War in 1967

On May 23rd, 1967, the United States Air Force scrambled to ready nuclear missile-laden aircraft for deployment. Radar systems designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles had just been disrupted, in what the military perceived to be an act of war. But before any nukes were launched in retaliation, it seems Air Force command was told to stand down. Read More >>

An Optical Illusion Has Been Tricking Everyone About the Size of Saturn’s Rings for Centuries

Look at this picture of Saturn. Can you see the biggest ring? Are you sure? Read More >>

What China’s Yutu Rover Learned On the Moon

A team of scientists has finished analysing rocks collected by the Chinese lunar rover Yutu in 2013 — the first geologic sampling effort to hit the Moon in forty years. The regolith is unlike any we’ve seen before, and it suggests that the Moon’s history is far more complex than we realised. Read More >>

We’ve Had Some Amazing Trips to Venus and It’s Time to Go Back

After decades of neglect, Venus might just be making a comeback. Late last month, NASA announced five finalists for the next low-cost space probes; two of them are missions to Venus. Read More >>

These Shiny Foil Screenprints of Space History are Fantastic

The designers at Astronomika have launched a limited edition screenprint series that they describe as their attempt to draw everything humans have sent into space. They call it "a growing compendium of beautifully crafted screenprints celebrating the past, present and future of spaceflight." Read More >>

Buying Pieces of the Space Race at Bonhams’ Space History Auction

This week, Bonhams hosted an auction of historical space items in Manhattan. The Space History Sale featured troves of objects and documents, both American and Soviet, dating back to the heyday of the space race.  Gizmodo got the chance to take a peek. Read More >>