Despite a hardy laptop, I've still managed to break mine. Photo: AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. Brown
I chose a laptop that even Nasa couldn’t break. Somehow, I have managed to break it
By Nicholas Lezard - 18 June 12:42

Nasa only has to worry about the fiery immolation of its crew, should anything go wrong. They do not have to take into account the treatment you give your machines.

These red, orange and green clouds (false color) in Saturn's northern hemisphere indicate the tail end of the massive 2010-2011 storm. Photo: NASA
Storms from outer space: some things are just too impressive to appreciate
By Michael Brooks - 29 April 8:34

We know more about life in space – and at home – than ever before. But what do we do with that knowledge?

Once again, lunar exploration is a primary concern of the world's space agencies. Photo: Getty Images
Japan joins list of nations planning on covering the Moon in robots over the next five years
By Ian Steadman - 27 April 13:04

The next five years will see a resurgence in lunar exploration, driven both by idealism and an economic incentive.

Astronauts explore a new world in Interstellar. Photo: Paramount/Warner Bros.
Near-light speed travel increasingly impossible, according to maths
By Tosin Thompson - 13 April 17:58

Travelling at close to the speed of light may be necessary for humans to colonise the galaxy, but the maths show it'd be like flying through a cloud of bombs - but also that we should notice the explosions here on Earth, if any other civilisation has managed the feat.

Venus appears near the crescent moon. Photo: Getty
Nasa chief scientist says we're (possibly) only a decade away from finding alien life
By Ian Steadman - 08 April 16:22

It's increasingly clear that the Solar System is more life-friendly than we'd previously suspected.

Phobos in 2008, as seen by the  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Mars' unusual moons may have been created by collision with Pluto-sized object
By Ian Steadman - 23 March 15:24

Mars' moons are unusual in the Solar System - for their size, shape and colour from their parent planet. Where did they come from? We've got some clues to work with.

A cutaway view of Saturn's moon Enceladus, showing possible hydrothermal activity that may be taking place on and under the seafloor of its subsurface ocean. Image: NASA/JPL
The unexpectedly watery moons of our Solar System may be friendlier to life than we thought
By Tosin Thompson - 19 March 11:47

Secret oceans on the moons Enceladus and Ganymede were discovered within days of each other, reshaping our belief that the Earth is the Solar System's most watery, life-friendly habitat.

Black hole Cygnus X-1. Photo: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
Dead stars and deep secrets: we are still in the dark when it comes to black holes
By Michael Brooks - 11 March 17:20

Despite Einstein and Hawking, we still know very little about black holes.

Less than fortnight from Ceres, the two strange bright spots on its surface are now clearly visible in the latest image from Dawn. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Bright lights and the possibility of life add mystery to Nasa's Ceres mission
By Tosin Thompson - 25 February 16:01

With only days to go before the first probe goes into orbit around this surprisingly interesting dwarf planet, further mysteries – including two strange bright spots in a crater – are coming into focus.

People, please don’t go to Mars - you’ll die
By Tosin Thompson - 19 February 14:58

The Red Planet is bad for humans in all kinds of ways, and being first there may be little consolation if you die before you even reach the surface.

Realistic-colour image of Europa. Photo: NASA / Jet Propulsion Lab-Caltech / SETI Institute
Is there life on Jupiter’s ice moon?
By Michael Brooks - 18 February 10:25

If only politics worked half as well as space exploration.

The image of the Martian surface that confirmed the survival of Beagle2. Image: HiRISE/NASA/Leicester
ESA's elusive Mars lander Beagle2 discovered - but how?
By Monica Grady - 19 January 13:35

Eureka! We've found Beagle2 – now, where did Philae go?

Philae comes in to land on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It reached the comet using carefully calculated forces of attraction. Image: 2014 European Space Agency/Getty
Wandering in the heavens: how mathematics explains Saturn’s rings
By Ian Stewart - 22 December 16:28

Ian Stewart shows how maths is changing cosmology, and explains why the best way to reach a comet near Mars is to go round the back of the sun.

Dark skies: a view of the milky way during a meteor shower, Myanmar. Photo: Getty
Dark energy vs dark matter: a battle of two cosmic monsters
By Michael Brooks - 04 December 10:00

Michael Brooks’s Science Column.

Sangeang Api, a volcano off the coast of Sumbawa Island, Indonesia, as it erupted on May 30, 2014. Volcanic dust can cool the Earth. Image: Nasa
The problem with keeping the Earth cool with space mirrors and fake volcanic eruptions
By Ian Steadman - 01 December 11:46

Reflecting heat back into space, seeding the ocean with iron, simulating the effects of volcanic dust - the problem with thinking big about fixing the climate is that the massive risks are far more expensive than the known costs of simply not screwing the planet up in the first place.

Powerful you have become: a 3D-printed model of Star Wars' Yoda. Photo: Getty
Made in space: Sending 3D printers into orbit
By Michael Brooks - 27 November 10:00

The ESA wants to test a 3D printer in orbit because this is likely to be the best place and method of building the equipment that will take us further out.

Collateral damage? Debris from Virgin Galactic's crashed SpaceShipTwo
Space incorporated: lessons from the deadly Virgin Galactic crash
By Ian Steadman - 13 November 10:00

Governments are setting their sights on missions to Mars and the moon but private companies are focused on shorter excursions into space. Their motivation is simple: there’s money in it.

Ancient race: a blotched blue-tongue lizard and its offspring, Sydney Zoo, February 2014. Photo: Getty
Psycho lizards from Saturn: The godlike genius of David Icke!
By Dorian Lynskey - 06 November 10:00

The latest iteration of Icke’s meta-narrative involves the Archons, an ancient race of reptilian psychopaths who have hijacked our perception of reality in the manner of The Matrix.

Hostile planet: Echus Chasma, one of the largest water source regions on Mars, is pictured from ESA's Mars Express. Photo: Getty
68 Days Later: why the Mars One mission would end in disaster
By Ian Steadman - 23 October 10:00

A team from MIT estimated how long it would take for the mission to experience its first fatality. The answer: 68 days. The second group would arrive to find the first pioneers had been dead for more than a year and a half.

ISRO’s successful mission control room. Photo: EPA
Billion people hold their breath as India becomes the first Asian country to reach Mars
By John Bridges - 24 September 11:52

Mars has become the destination of choice for ambitious space agencies and nations. Now India is among that group.

Starry, starry night: the Perseid meteor shower seen from Burma, 2013. Photo: Getty
Pleiades row: the fault in our star measurements
By Michael Brooks - 11 September 10:00

Either our understanding of how stars form needs a big overhaul, or one of the current missions of the European Space Agency could turn out to be something of a white elephant.

The Sun, seen from the International Space Station. Photo: STS-129/Nasa
The curious case of space plankton
By Ian Steadman - 04 September 9:29

It’s increasingly becoming clear that space is a more hospitable environment than was assumed.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is seen in a photo taken by the Rosetta spacecraft, 6 August. Photo: Getty
Hunting the rocky rubber duck: how comet-chasing Rosetta could change history
By Michael Brooks - 21 August 10:00

This ball of rock and ice formed at the same time as our solar system and should, if predictions are correct, contain complex organic molecules, the same stuff as terrestrial life is made from.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera. Image:  ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
Rosetta becomes the first spacecraft to ever go into orbit around a comet
By Fiona Rutherford - 07 August 12:28

After a ten year chase, Rosetta became the first ever spacecraft to intercept and go into orbit around a comet - and over the next 18 months will begin searching for clues left over from the earliest moments of our Solar System.

Neil Armstrong in the lunar module, 1969. Photo: Getty
Neil Armstrong’s life: Searching for rocket man
By Erica Wagner - 25 July 12:59

Erica Wagner on a new biography of the space pioneer.

This panorama is a mosaic of images taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on the NASA Mars rover Curiosity while the rover was working at a site called "Rocknest" in October and November 2012. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
The Emirates paves way for a Middle East space programme with its mission to Mars
By Jill Stuart - 23 July 15:09

The United Arab Emirates now has its own space agency, and plans to launch a mission to Mars by 2021.

Colin Pillinger in 2004. Photo: Getty
Never forget Colin Pillinger – and all he did for the UK space industry
By Michael Brooks - 23 May 13:14

Hopefully, we'll soon be launching a mission to Mars from the UK.

Sandra Bullock goes for a spacewalk in Gravity. (Photo: Warner Bros)
In search of the notorious Big G: why we still know so little about gravity
By Michael Brooks - 13 March 9:00

Gravity is pathetic and so is our understanding of it.

Test image from Gaia: Slightly shaky to start with, but it’ll get there. (Image: ESA/DPAC/Airbus DS)
Largest ever space camera is ready to map a billion stars
By Ben Dryer - 26 February 16:31

The European Space Agency's Gaia telescope is so powerful, it see stars with power akin to measuring the width of a human hair at a distance of 500 km.