NASA Announces InSight Lander on Mars May Only Have a Few Months Left

NASA Announces InSight Lander on Mars May Only Have a Few Months Left

The InSight Mars lander will cease science operations sometime in the next few months due to a decreasing power supply, mission managers said at a news conference on May 17. Martian dust covering the solar panels has reduced the amount of power to roughly 500 watt-hours per Mars day or sol. When InSight landed in … Read more

New Kind of ‘Solar’ Cell Shows We Can Generate Electricity Even at Night

New Kind of 'Solar' Cell Shows We Can Generate Electricity Even at Night

Conventional solar technology soaks up rays of incoming sunlight to bump out a voltage. Strange as it seems, some materials are capable of running in reverse, producing power as they radiate heat back into the cold night sky. A team of engineers in Australia has now demonstrated the theory in action, using the kind of … Read more

Scientists Have Powered a Basic Computer With Just Algae For Over 6 Months

Scientists Have Powered a Basic Computer With Just Algae For Over 6 Months

In a ghastly vision of a future cut off from sunlight, the machine overloads in the Matrix movie series turned to sleeping human bodies as sources of electricity. If they’d had sunlight, algae would undoubtedly have been the better choice. Engineers from the University of Cambridge in the UK have run a microprocessor for more … Read more

Radical Idea Shows Laser Propulsion Could Rapidly Accelerate Trips to Mars

Radical Idea Shows Laser Propulsion Could Rapidly Accelerate Trips to Mars

NASA and China plan to mount crewed missions to Mars in the next decade. While this represents a tremendous leap in terms of space exploration, it also presents significant logistical and technological challenges. For starters, missions can only launch for Mars every 26 months when our two planets are at the closest points in their … Read more