Our Cosmos is a Spacecraft Graveyard

While it’s common to think of the universe as dark, mysterious and infinite, it’s less often that we consider all the human-made space junk floating around nearby. The cosmos is a graveyard of spacecraft—each with its own story. These defunct vessels “glide silently in Earth’s vicinity” with “their mission to chronicle the wonders of the universe long ended.” The Kepler, for instance, trails our planet since running …

NASA-Built Autonomous Drone Set to Rove Titan

A mission to send a nuclear-powered, autonomously-operating drone to one of Saturn’s moons will commence in 2026—and the craft, nicknamed Dragonfly, will arrive in Titan’s atmosphere in 2034. Then, the sedan-sized probe will investigate the lower-gravity surface’s dunes, mountains, rivers, and lakes—and report back instantly (though a transmission takes almost two hours from Titan to Earth). Another one of Dragonfly’s tasks will be to create …

Land on the Moon with Smithsonian Channel’s Augmented Reality App

Not only does the app Apollo’s Moon Shot let users explore the moon through augmented reality, it does so set in the year 1969. Available for Apple and Android devices, the AR app incorporates engaging information from the groundbreaking first landing—now 50 years after Neil Armstrong’s steps. Two games in the app also let users attempt a landing themselves. Real 3D scans were employed to …