Michio Kaku forecasts the future of space travel

Mega-rich entrepreneurs are taking us where no human being has gone before.

  • During the first golden era of space exploration, we went to the Moon. Then, says Dr. Michio Kaku, we sort of dropped the ball for 50 years.
  • Space travel is very expensive, especially the way governments do space travel: It costs $10,000 to put a pound of anything into orbit around planet Earth.
  • We need to have an infusion of public and private funds. That's where billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos come into the picture. With their help, we have new energies, new strategies and, most importantly, a new vision to go back into outer space.
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Videos

Why the universe's ancient galaxies were extra bright

New research based on observational data from the Spitzer telescope provides clues as to how the universe first emerged from its dark age.

ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: D. Calzetti (UMass) and the LEGUS Team
  • Researchers using the Spitzer telescope were able to analyze some of the most distant and ancient galaxies in the universe.
  • They discovered that these galaxies were far brighter than anticipated, shedding clues into how the universe first emerged from the "dark ages" that lasted until about a billion years after the Big Bang.
  • This research serves as a stepping stone for future work to be conducted with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to be launched in early 2021.
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Surprising Science

Watch how this video brilliantly compares planet sizes

What if all planets were the same distance from Earth as the Moon?

Yeti Dynamics
  • A video imagines what it would look like if the planets were all the same distance from Earth as the Moon.
  • The largest planets like Jupiter and Saturn would loom large in the sky.
  • Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system.
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Surprising Science

A mind-blowing explanation of the speed of light

Light exists outside of time.

  • The only things that travel at the speed of light are photons.
  • Nothing with any mass at all can travel at the speed of light because as it gets closer and closer to the speed of light, its mass increases. And if it were actually traveling at the speed of light, it would have an infinite mass.
  • Light does not experience space or time. It's not just a speed going through something. All of the universe shifts around this constant, the speed of light. Time and space itself stop when you go that speed.
Videos

NASA uncovers a 19-year fraud that caused failed missions

An investigation finds the cause of failed NASA launches and $700 million in losses.

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory on the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Image credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin
  • An Oregon company provided falsified tests to a NASA rocket builder for almost two decades.
  • The company is now liable for $46 million in payments and the lab manager went to prison.
  • NASA can't test every single component itself, making it important the supply chain is protected.
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Technology & Innovation