Sorry, the EmDrive doesn’t work

The EmDrive turns out to be the "um..." drive after all, as a new study dubs any previous encouraging EmDrive results "false positives."

Credit: AndSus/zolotons/Adobe Stock/Big Think
  • The proposed EmDrive captured the public's imagination with the promise of super-fast space travel that broke the laws of physics.
  • Some researchers have detected thrusts from the EmDrive that seemed to prove its validity as a technology.
  • A new, authoritative study says, no, those results were just "false positives."
Keep reading Show less

There’s nowhere left on Earth free of space pollution

When we look at the night sky, we may see junk instead of stars.

Credit: Petrovich12 / Adobe Stock
  • New research has found that the entire planet is covered by light pollution from space objects.
  • Companies like SpaceX and Amazon plan to launch thousands of satellites into orbit this decade.
  • Scientists fear this space traffic will impede their ability to stare into deep space.
Keep reading Show less

Less-advanced alien civilizations may be nearby — but we're not looking for them

Humans are more likely to have "first contact" with an advanced alien civilization, according to a recent NASA-funded paper.

Pixabay
  • A new paper outlines some of the most promising ways scientists and space agencies can search for evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations.
  • Because of a concept called "contact inequality," the researchers suggested it's relatively unlikely humans will discover evidence of alien civilizations that have similar levels of technology to us.
  • However, near-future technology could soon allow scientists to search for both highly advanced and less advanced alien civilizations.
Keep reading Show less

NASA's Perseverance records first-ever sounds of rover driving on Mars

Sound waves behave quite differently on Mars than on Earth.

Credit: NASA
  • NASA's Perseverance rover landed on Mars on February 18, and is currently preparing to begin its main mission of searching for signs of ancient life.
  • The rover contains two microphone systems, one of which was recently used to capture sounds of the rover traveling at speeds below .01 mph.
  • NASA hopes to return Perseverance's rock collection to Earth by 2031.
Keep reading Show less

Unknown bacteria found living on the International Space Station

The discovery could help astronauts find better ways to grow food in space.

Credit: Aslam Z., Lee C. S., Kim K.-H., Im W.-T., Ten L. N., Lee S.-T. via Wikipedia
  • The bacteria were collected as part of a surveillance program that tasks astronauts with regularly collecting samples from eight sites aboard the International Space Station.
  • The bacteria discovered on the space station belong to a family of bacteria that helps plants grow and blocks pathogens.
  • Finding sustainable ways to grow food is critical to any long-term space mission.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast