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

Space Time

Space Time is an Inverse series that remembers 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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40 years ago, NASA launched the space telescope that proved JWST could work

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


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

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

The Inverse Awards 2022

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

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?

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


65 years ago, “simple satellite” Sputnik redefined space science — and sent a sinister message

There was more to this launch than met the eye.


20 years ago, astronomers rediscovered the first exoplanet ever found

Pity the poor planet that no one quite believed in until it was too late.


10 years ago this month, a groundbreaking NASA technology changed spaceflight forever

NASA got a twofer deal with the Dawn mission.


50 years ago, one speech revolutionized the Space Age and took us to the Moon

President John F. Kennedy's words are emblazoned throughout history.


45 years ago this week, Voyager 1 began its journey into history — weeks after Voyager 2

The probe launched weeks after its sibling craft, Voyager 2.


53 years ago, NASA convinced America to go to the Moon — can they do it again?

“$12 a day to feed an astronaut. We could feed a starving child for $8.”


5 years ago, scientists observed a new kind of cosmic explosion

Two neutron stars slammed into each other and created a never-before-seen event.


45 years ago, the first Space Shuttle made history without going to space

Strapped on a Boeing 747, the historic flight paved the way for everything to come.

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Number 9

Lucy mission: NASA goals, mission updates, and Beatles Easter eggs

Plus: two Beatles Easter egg are coming along for the ride.


An asteroid will come within 2,200 miles of Earth tonight — here’s why you shouldn’t worry

Most space rocks are never a threat to our planet.


NASA just directed its Lucy mission to target a skyscraper-sized asteroid

We only have to wait a few months for NASA’s Lucy spacecraft to visit its first asteroid.


Scientists find two key ingredients for life in ancient meteors

Potassium and zinc were brought to Earth from distant space rocks.

ring around the asteroid, pocket full of space dust

Look! JWST captures images of an asteroid with a ring playing peek-a-boo with a star

Two separate studies recently pointed JWST's instruments at Chariklo, the only asteroid in our Solar System with its own rings.

Starry Night

Starship orbital flight: SpaceX successfully loaded the rocket with over 10 million pounds of propellant

SpaceX plans to send the Starship to orbit — at some point.

gotta go fast

NASA and DARPA want to build a nuclear-powered spaceship

The rocket could have its first orbital test "as soon as 2027."


“Rubble pile” asteroids may be surprisingly hard to destroy — study

When Japan's Hayabusa mission traveled to asteroid Itokawa, it collected samples. These successfully reached Earth in 2010.

the ice grains cometh

Look! Webb Telescope finds icy ingredients for organic chemicals in deep space

The coldest, most distant ices ever measured could have big implications for planets -- and life.


These 5 futuristic tech ideas could help us explore distant worlds

From the Moon to Pluto, these innovations could solve huge mysteries about our universe.


Earth's inner core may have stopped spinning — study

Geoscientists found the core may move on a cycle, stopping every few decades to take a breath.


Scientists have found a subtle way to hunt for life on exoplanets

Photosynthesis can leave hints in satellite data.


This nuclear-powered rocket could get humans to Mars in less than 2 months

Quick trip!


One of the universe’s most iconic nebulas is changing — astronomers don’t know why

“I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”


Supermassive black holes may be bigger and more powerful than we previously knew

A new study sheds light on the darkness of black holes at the center of galaxies.

mars rocks

Astronomers find a surprise layer of volcanic rock in Mars’ massive canyon

Plagioclase feldspar doesn’t often turn up in volcanic rocks on Mars — but scientists just found a huge deposit in the walls of Mars’ largest canyon.