space camp

Gizmodo Visits NASA Microgravity University: Future Spaceflight In Zero G

How do you test a new method for CPR in space without actually going into space? You take flight in a microgravity plane, obviously. For the last 20 years, NASA’s Reduced Gravity Office has opened up its zero-g planes to college students from around the country, who get the once in a lifetime opportunity to test physical experiments in a weightless environment. Yes, they get to play with fire in zero g. Lucky…


Gizmodo Visits NASA: What It Feels Like To Fly In A Crazy Zero-Gravity Plane

Last week we showed you how NASA simulates space here on Earth, with everything from advanced virtual reality to monstrous thermal vacuum chambers. But all of that still can’t prepare you for how an object, or an experiment, will behave in zero gravity. Sometimes you just have to fly.


Gizmodo Visits NASA: The Domes Where NASA Drives Spacecraft Of The Future

Deep in the belly of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, lie “The Domes”. Step into one of them and suddenly you’re standing on the surface of Mars, or you’re flying high above the Earth, looking out from the International Space Station. This is the Systems Engineering Simulator, where we learnt to fly, drive and design better space vehicles.


Gizmodo Visits NASA: Taking Virtual Reality To A Whole New Level

We’ve seen how NASA recreates the vacuum of space right here on Earth, but what about the gravity of space? What about the forces of inertia? When large objects move and behave so differently, how to you train for a mission so you know what to expect when you get there? Like this.


Gizmodo Visits NASA: Inside Chamber Where NASA Recreates Space On Earth

Inside Building 32 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas sits Chamber A, a marvel of engineering, cleanliness and design. It’s also the closest you can come to being in space without strapping into a rocket.


NASA's New Orbiter Will Watch Plants Photosynthesise From Space

For the last 25 years, scientists have been able to monitor the “greenness” of trees from space and use that as a tool for evaluating plant health. The problem is that greenness isn’t a good indicator for stresses — such as drought — because some trees (think pines) continue to be a lovely green until they’re dead. Researchers are thus turning to a new indicator: the way plants glow.


7 Reasons Curiosity Is The Baddest Rover Ever

While Curiosity was still flying through space, way before it landed on Mars, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were busy working with a clone rover back on earth. In a simulation area called the Mars Yard, scientists put the duplicate Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) through a series of experiments to perfect the rover’s software and reevaluate its capabilities. The tests answered critical questions like, “Can it go over that big rock?”


The Beautiful Video Game That Drives NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

Curiosity has landed. It survived the seven minutes of terror and safely touched down on the surface of Mars. Now it needs a way to move around. Anyone who has ever played Lunar Lander and Moon Patrol already knows how they’re going to do this: video games.


The Lens We'll Look Through To Find A New Earth

We have heard a lot about exoplanets in the past year. But for all the talk about these planets, which orbit a star other than our sun, we still haven’t actually seen one.


How NASA Brings Space To Life On Earth

Numbers, facts, figures, equations. These are all obviously critical components of the space program. But numbers don’t speak to our emotions. It’s hard to commit millions of dollars and thousand of hours to an equation. We need something visceral that we can connect to.