NASA

Courtesy of NASA

Ross Reynolds talks to Alan Boyle, science editor for NBCNews.com, about the recent discovery of water on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Boyle also talks about NASA's proposed mission to Europa and how the agency decides where to focus its space exploration dollars.

Cash prizes await "citizen scientists" who can improve algorithms that help NASA find and identify asteroids in our solar system, the agency says. A contest to find more asteroids begins next week, in what NASA calls an attempt to crowdsource innovation.

The job of NASA's Kepler mission is to peek at the far reaches of space in the hopes of finding potentially habitable planets. The space agency announced a stunning success, saying that Kepler had identified 715 new planets that orbit 305 stars. The discovery boosts the number of verified planets by around 70 percent.

"Four of the planets are about twice the size of Earth and orbit in their star's so-called habitable zone," NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports for our Newscast unit, "where temperatures might be suitable for liquid water."

Sending 3D Printers Into Space

Oct 3, 2013
Flickr Photo/NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA is sending a 3D printer to the space station. Right now, you can make a copy of the Space Needle out of layer upon layer of extruded plastic, or a new jawbone, or a child’s toy. Soon, if an astronaut needs a very specific part, they won’t have to wait for delivery from a space ship. Made In Space Inc. has been contracted by NASA to develop a 3D printer.

Michael Chen, chief strategy officer for Made In Space Inc., explains how they're designing the new technology. The Made In Space 3D printer will be launched for another test into space on a SpaceX rocket flight next year. If it works, the printer is expected to be delivered to the International Space Station in 2015.

Flickr Photo/Jeff Christiansen

NASA is trying sell the historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and two billionaire-backed space ventures are vying for it. One is Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, the other is Elon Musk’s SpaceX based in California. The fight over the sole use of Launch Complex 39A caused NASA to postpone their decision on what to do with it. Alan Boyle, science editor for NBCnews.com explains the dispute.

Washington Researchers Using Fusion In Effort To Reach Mars

Apr 12, 2013
University of Washington, MSNW

Humans are on their way to Mars! Or at least they will be by 2025 if University of Washington researcher, Dr. John Slough has his way. Dr. Slough and his team are working on a fusion powered rocket that could zoom astronauts to mars in as little as 30 days. Back on earth, that speed could take you from Seattle to Miami in 3 minutes. The rocket project is funded by NASA and being built right here in Redmond, Washington. The President can keep is asteroid, Ross Reynolds talks with Dr. Slough about this rocket to Mars.

Forest Gibson, director of the parody video 'We’re NASA and We Know It.'
Courtesy Forest Gibson

Forest Gibson is a Seattle-based video producer and filmmaker. Forest and the company that he works for, Cinesaurus, have a knack for producing videos that get shared on the web and social media. Cinesaurus' clients include GAP, YouTube and the online humor network Cheezburger. One of the company’s biggest successes was the parody video released in the summer of 2012, “We’re NASA and We Know It.”