Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon, 1969. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of the fi...

Space history

A retrospective series on the most important moments in humanity’s exploration of outer space.

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50 years ago: Mars 3 taught us to turn failure to success on Mars

Mars 3 accomplished the first soft landing on Mars. Then it died.

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Space champ

50 years ago, Richard Nixon made a radical decision that changed NASA forever

Richard Nixon wanted a cost effective, routine way to put stuff in space. And with the Space Shuttle, he sort of got it.

What now?

30 years ago, the fall of the USSR stranded a cosmonaut in space

Sergei Krikalev had a God's eye view of the fall of the Iron Curtain. He wasn't given much choice in the matter.


How amateur radio fanatics launched the world's first private communications satellite

Before the CubeSat, there was OSCAR 1.


50 years ago: Mars 3 taught us to turn failure to success on Mars

Mars 3 accomplished the first soft landing on Mars. Then it died.


60 years ago, a space chimpanzee made history — and left a dark legacy

Enos the chimpanzee orbited the Earth before John Glenn. Neither Enos or John were happy about that.


50 years ago, a NASA spacecraft revealed Martian volcanoes

After a series of underwhelming Mars missions suggest Mars might be, well, boring, Mariner 9 revealed the Red planet it all its dusty and gargantuan glory.

Looking sharp

Look: 55 years ago, NASA took ‘the picture of the century’

Lunar Orbiter 2 showed us the Moon in a whole new light.


75 years ago, a Nazi rocket took the first photo of Earth from space

The first photo of Earth taken from space captured imaginations in 1946.


How a 74-year-old supersonic aircraft changed the American approach to flight

On October 14, 1947 “it started with the X-1.”

Space monkey

Human space travel owes everything to one forgotten creature

The Aerobee-19 rocket launch proved it was possible to send animals to space and bring them back alive.


How a Cuban Air Force pilot became the first Black man in space

Tamayo Mendez is Cuba's first and only cosmonaut.


The team was scared that we would fail: A NASA mission 45 years ago changed everything

The Viking missions set the gold standard for landing on Mars, but they couldn't resolve the big question — are we alone?

Ring ring

40 years ago, Voyager 2 paved the way to Titan

It's the 4th anniversary of the Voyager 2 flyby of Saturn, which informed every NASA mission to the rigned gas giant since.

Say Cheese

In 1976, one piece of “controversial” tech changed every Mars mission since

Without Viking 1, there might have been no Perseverance selfies.

Go deeper
Martian mystery

Curiosity finds “intriguing carbon signatures” on Mars

One potential culprit? Ancient Martian microbes.

Inverse Interview

The Webb Telescope is uniquely able to find potentially habitable worlds — here's why

There are 70 planets scheduled for study in the first year of Webb alone.


Going to space can literally change the shape of your eyeball. Here’s why.

One more thing to consider before buying that Blue Origin ticket.


What happens to your body if you die in space? It’s complicated

On short missions, it’s likely the body would be brought back to Earth.


Netflix’s best apocalypse movie reveals the truth about planet-killing asteroids

This movie hits its target.

say it three times

Scientists solve the weirdest cosmic riddle of the past few years

The call is coming from inside the house.

Reel Science

The best sci-fi thriller on HBO Max reveals a deadly cosmic threat

Gravity, streaming on HBO Max, portrays the space phenomenon of Kessler Syndrome. But is it realistic? We check in with a space expert to answer your questions.


Scientists detect water vapor on an odd Neptune-like planet

TOI-674 b is an ideal candidate for observations with the James Webb Space Telescope.


New Mars study holds clues to how life began on Earth

Analysis of a 4 billion year old meteorite revealed clues on the history of the Red Planet.


This Neptune-sized world could be the weirdest moon astronomers have ever seen

Meet Kepler-1708 b and its not-so-little friend (that may or may not exist).


A 1,000 light year bubble unveils link between supernovae and new stars

By chance, our Sun wandered into the middle of a cosmic bubble 5 million years ago. Astronomers now know that gave us front row seats to the star formation show

It's aliiiive!

Look: This landform on the Martian surface is actually moving

say cheese

How the James Webb Space Telescope will create images of the ancient universe

JWST will capture the cosmos in infrared light, producing breathtaking images of distant stars and galaxies.

traveling troupe

These torn bits of small galaxies could reveal dark matter mysteries

A dozen groups of moving stars could point the way.


Astronomers discover a planet with one of the most unusual shapes ever seen

Forget the orbs you know. Here’s one you don’t.

Size Matters

Look: A “mini monster” could help explain how black holes form

Did they grow quickly, or were they always that big?