Space Time

Space Time is an Inverse series that remembers the most important moments in humanity’s exploration of outer space.

Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon, 1969. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of the fi...
Heritage Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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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.

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images
Space Anniversary

40 Years Ago, NASA Tested Out a Radical Rehaul of an Iconic Technology

ByAllie Hutchison

Witness the reinvention of the humble EVA suit.

Space Anniversaries

50 Years Ago, NASA Sent an Ambitious Mission to Saturn — and To Interstellar Horizons

ByJon Kelvey

The Pioneer 11 probe would serve as a metaphorical blueprint for the Voyager missions.

Space History

15 Years Ago, Exoplanet Astronomers Made a Breakthrough in the Hunt for Life

ByJon Kelvey

Detecting methane on a distant exoplanet paved the way for the hunt for organic chemistry in the cosmos.

Space Anniversaries

75 Years Ago, an Astronomer Found the Weirdest Moon in the Solar System

ByAllie Hutchison

The high cliffs of Miranda barely scratch the surface of why Uranus' moon is so unique.

Science

5 Years Ago, SpaceX Launched Its Silliest Payload Yet — And It's Still in Orbit

ByJon Kelvey

The space-faring Tesla roadster set a speed record unlikely to ever fall to another car, even another Tesla.

Space History

60 Years Ago, Astronomers Cracked the Mystery of the Brightest Objects in the Universe

ByAllie Hutchison

No one was sure what quasars were and how they connected to galaxies. Then it all changed.

Science

65 Years Ago, America Launched Its Most Pivotal Space Mission Ever

ByJon Kelvey

Explorer 1 marked the entry of science into what had been a military affair.

Science

40 years ago, NASA launched the space telescope that proved JWST could work

ByJon Kelvey

IRAS is a sometimes forgotten spacecraft that proved that infrared astronomy had a bright future.

Science

15 years ago, a spacecraft swung by Mercury to beat the Sun's gravity

ByAllie Hutchison

The MESSENGER mission needed a few gravitational assists to enter orbit around the smallest planet.

Inverse Awards

Inside NASA's monumental effort to deliver the first Webb Telescope images

ByJon Kelvey

After 20 years and $10 billion, here’s how the NASA team scrambled to make the first images happen.

Space Time

50 years ago, NASA’s final Apollo mission left the Moon — are we ready to return?

ByAllie Hutchison

Can the Artemis mission pick up where Apollo 17 left off?

Science

60 years ago, one space mission crushed hopes for life around Earth's twin planet

ByAllie Hutchison

The Mariner 2 mission proved Venus was too hot to have present-day life.

Science

65 years ago, a street dog paved the way for human spaceflight — with a grim outcome

ByAllie Hutchison

A Soviet street dog went up to space, but the USSR was ill-prepared for her stay in space.

Science

55 years ago, Russia changed spaceflight forever — and lied about it a little

ByAllie Hutchison

The Venera 4 mission sent a probe into Venus' atmosphere, but played loose with whether or not it actually survived a landing.

Science

65 years ago, astronomy's most colorful character made a bold interplanetary claim

ByAllie Hutchison

Did Fritz Zwicky's ballistic experiment reach solar orbit, or was it all a bunch of hot air?

SpaceTime

65 Years Ago, “Simple Satellite” Sputnik Redefined Space Science — And Sent A Sinister Message

ByAllie Hutchison

There was more to this launch than met the eye.

Go deeper

Science

Astronomers Believe A Star Is About To Explode 3000 Light Years From Earth — Here’s How to See It

ByTanya Hill, Amanda Karakas and The Conversation

T CrB is usually much too faint to be seen. But once every 80 years or so, it brightly erupts.

Reel Science

Note To Hollywood: Nobody Faked The Moon Landing

ByRyan Britt

Is the new rom-com Fly Me To The Moon good fun or a new path to damaging conspiracy theories?

Space

Hurricane Beryl Likely Contributed to Boeing Starliner’s Ongoing Delays

ByKiona Smith

There's not much anyone can do to help from 250 miles above the ground.

Space

Failed Thrusters, Helium Leaks, and a Hard Deadline: Inside NASA’s Decision to Keep Boeing’s Starliner At the ISS

ByKiona Smith

Does it still count as being "grounded" when you're in space?

Space

There's a Black Hole Hidden in this Photo of a Digested Dwarf Galaxy

ByKiona Smith

This dense ball of stars is a relic of a galaxy our Milky Way swallowed long ago, and it may be hiding an astrophysical missing link.

Space

A Yearlong NASA Mars Simulation Revealed the Biggest Obstacle to Colonizing the Red Planet

ByDoris Elín Urrutia

On Mars, the lettuce that gets forgotten in our refrigerators would be a treasure.

Space

Europe’s Ariane 6 Rocket Has A New Engine That Can Literally Reignite Itself In Space

ByDoris Elín Urrutia

Here's what the Ariane 6 rocket has to offer.

Space

This Scorchingly Hot Planet That Rains Down Glass Apparently Also Smells Like Rotten Eggs

ByDoris Elín Urrutia

A study published Monday shows evidence for the toxic, nasty-smelling gas hydrogen sulfide in a nearby exoplanet.

Space

Remnants of Mars’s Violent Past Are Hidden In this New ESA Express Orbiter Image

ByKiona Smith

Picture something like an abandoned Mordor, but with glaciers.

Science

100 Years Ago, One Astronomer Massively Expanded Our Understanding Of the Universe

ByMartin Connors and The Conversation

Astronomers, maybe more than anyone, appreciate what an island of perfection our Earth is.