NASA Spent $349 Million On A Test Tower It May Never Use

Six months ago, NASA finished building a brand new $US349 million vacuum test chamber — but it was no occasion for celebration. The space program it was built for was cancelled years ago. This huge structure in Mississippi is now more readily seen as a massive symbol of pork.


Researchers Figured Out How To Prevent That White Film On Chocolate

It doesn’t hinder how it tastes in any way, but that white film that often appears on the surface of chocolate after a while looks really unappealing. Known as fat bloom, it affects even the highest quality of chocolate, and most often chocolate-covered treats. But it’s only recently that Fraunhofer’s researchers were finally able to figure out why chocolate coatings were more prone to the effect.


Monster Machines: This 'GoreSat' Weather Satellite Will Keep An Eye On Solar Winds

When the solar winds blow strong, it plays havoc with electronics here on Earth. We can protect our sensitive electronic infrastructure — power grids, navigation and communication satellites, and such — but only with sufficient warning. And that’s where the new DSCOVR satellite comes in.


SpaceX Plans To Land A Rocket On This Barge

SpaceX is working hard to make its rockets land-able and, by extension, reusable. Now, it plans to try and land its Falcon 9 craft on this barge.


Top Ten Weirdest Science Stories Of 2014

2014 was a pretty great year for science. A probe from the European Space Agency physically landed on a moving comet for the first time. Lockheed Martin made a significant technology breakthrough relating to nuclear fusion power. Oh, and the world’s biggest-ever dinosaur, the “Dreadnoughtus”, was discovered. There were also a bunch of science stories that grabbed headlines simply for being weird.


Rosetta Update: What It Found, What's Next

Rosetta’s lander is hibernating on a comet now, waiting for a brighter sun. The mission’s scientists, though, have been hard at work, scrutinising reams of data and predicting how the lander could wake up. At the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting today, Rosetta’s scientists dropped some intriguing hints of what’s to come.


The Flu Shot Isn't A Good Match This Year. Is It Ever?

The CDC announced recently that this year’s flu vaccine is missing a key strain, one that accounts for 48 per cent of what’s circulating. That strain, a “drifted” version of H3N2, was discovered in March 2014, but the vaccine strains for the Northern hemisphere, including the US, had been decided a month earlier. (The Southern hemisphere vaccine will include the drifted strain.)


This Giant Rainbow Was Made With Tech That's Used To Study Exoplanets

It’s not very often that the fields of advanced photonics and installation art meet. But in Amsterdam this week, visitors to the city’s Central Station are getting a look at what happens when liquid crystal optic technology is used to something completely unscientific: Make public art.


Why Is Peanut Butter So Damn Sticky?

Arachibutyrophobia is a proposed humorous name for the fear of peanut butter getting stuck to the top of your mouth, coined by Charles M. Schulz in a 1982 edition of his famed Peanuts comic strip. But why does peanut butter have such a tendency to get stuck in your palate when so many other foods don’t?


Curiosity Found Spikes In Methane That Could Signal Life On Mars

Ever since Curiosity landed on Mars, it has been in search of methane. It couldn’t find any for years, until a new set of experiments unveiled today that detected large spikes in methane. Scientists have no idea what caused the spikes, but the most intriguing explanation is “life on Mars.”