News Round-Up: New Moon, Solar Windows, ‘Green’ Algae, Namibian Water

Pluto’s fifth moon discovered Image: Hubblesite A new moon has been found orbiting Pluto, bringing the number of satellites known around the former planet to five. P5 – the moon’s temporary designation – is between 10 to 25 km across (less than the diameter of London’s North Circular Road), and was discovered by scientists at […]

Robonaut 2 Says “Hello, world”

It might be very obvious considering my past posts and – if you’ve ever met me – my constant ramblings on the topic, but I’m quite a fan of astronauts. In Issue 20 of I, Science we interviewed former Apollo astronaut Colonel David Scott, which gave us the opportunity to ask a question that is […]

The Descent to Mars

This article is taken from the Winter 2011 issue of I, Science. Joel Winston deconstructs the creative mechanism planned to help land NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover next year, and what this might mean for the evolution of space exploration. As Mars continues to intrigue us and yield ever more ambitious missions, even greater technological advances […]

Interview With a Deep Sea Biologist

Dr Brian Bett was interviewed for our Exploring the Deep feature. This is the full transcript of that interview. JC: What is like exploring the deep sea from a personal perspective? BB: In many ways I am a traditional field ecologist, it just happens that my field lies under 3-miles of water. So this means […]

Exploring the Deep

This article is taken from the Winter 2011 issue of I, Science. Juan Casasbuenas explores the mysterious world of the deep sea and the extraordinary technology being used to find out exactly what’s lurking beneath the surface. The mission has been going for hours. The atmosphere is tense. In the dark room, multiple screens feed […]

Sub-Surface Life?

This article is taken from the Winter 2011 issue of I, Science magazine Antonio Torrisi uncovers the secrets held by the mysterious Lake Vostok, Antarctica’s as-yet unexplored sub-surface lake. The Antarctic is one of the most extreme places on Earth, so it follows it would be one of the least explored. However, remote areas spark […]

5 Space Breakthroughs of 2011

With the New Year comes the inevitable question of resolutions – how will you better yourself in 2012? The familiar answers of getting fit, losing weight, saving money and the like are a bit jaded, although surprisingly resolutions have been proven to make a huge difference to how we accomplish our desired goals. With this […]

Captain Scott’s 100-Year Legacy

Despite none of them making it home, the scientific legacy of Captain Scott and his team remains strong 100 years on. Here are just a few of the discoveries that can be traced back to Scott’s tragic Antarctic expedition. 2011 marks the 100-year anniversary of Robert Falcon Scott’s doomed quest to be the first to […]

The Heart of the Great Alone

Herbert Ponting, The ramparts of Mount Erebus, 1911 The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace 21 October 2011 – 15 April 2012 I have to admit, I’d never heard of the Queen’s Gallery before my visit last week, and even if I had, it wouldn’t have […]

NASA’s Curiosity: destination Mars!

Launch of NASA’s Curiosity rover a success. NASA’s Curiosity rover was launched today at 10:02 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41, on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. At the time of writing this article, the spacecraft has been off the ground for approximately 2.5 hours, winging its way through space to the […]

Is this the end for space travel?

Atlantis, the Space Shuttle, landed for the final time last week and ended thirty years of routine space flight. NASA has since been fighting to prove it’s not given up on space exploration, and that there are plenty more missions to make with new, better technology. “The things that you’ve done will set us up […]

Podcast: Episode 3 – Lift off

Science writer and producer Piers Bizony takes a retrospective look at NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell discusses space bacteria and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life and we ask Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees if we’ve any hope of getting to the red planet. Presented by Thea Cunningham and featuring reporters Camila Ruz, Thomas […]

Martian Musings

It’s getting a bit hot down here; climate change, political conflict and whatnot. Fancy relocating to Mars? It’s only 36 million miles away, about a nine month journey using a minimum energy trajectory. No problem, surely? Of course, nine months is a long time to be exposed to solar radiation, which can cause damage to […]

Manned Shuttles – A Waste of Space?

On Friday the shuttle Atlantis will lift off on its final voyage, when it returns it will mean the end of NASA’s iconic space shuttle programme. The shuttle’s retirement also signals the beginning of an uncertain time for human space missions. Funding cuts and plan cancellations mean that there is currently no replacement for NASA’s manned […]

Space Ageing

This week, the Space Shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth for the final time. Following this mission, NASA plans to send only one more shuttle into orbit. It will then retire its ageing shuttle fleet after a total of 135 spaceflights. For many, this decision is long overdue. Running a space agency is a very expensive business […]

Deep Sea Expedition

Forget space.  There are still parts of our Earth that have yet to be explored. In the depths of our oceans are animals that are not only new to science but that no human has ever seen before. Scientists know relatively little about the inhabitants of the deep sea. Most animals that have evolved to […]