Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Space

Interplanetary War

 Interplanetary War

Syfy’s 'The Expanse,' based on the James S. A. Corey book series, revolves around conflict between human-seeded planetary civilizations -- namely a UN-governed Earth and an independent Martian state. How does this vision match up with futurist predictions concerning interplanetary war, the rigors of space travel and postcolonial cultural schisms? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore and even chat with 'The Expanse' executive producer Naren Shankar. See more »

OSIRIS-REx: NASA's Journey to the Netherworld

 OSIRIS-REx: NASA's Journey to the Netherworld

In the year 2018, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu, a 1,614-foot near Earth object that might just collide with our world at some point in the 22nd century. OSIRIS-REx will explore this carbonaceous wanderer, but it will also bring a portion of it back home. Join Robert and Christian as they discuss the mission and chat with space scientists Dr. Amy. A Simon about OSIRIS-REx. See more »

Saturn's Brood: Beyond the Outer Ring

 Saturn's Brood: Beyond the Outer Ring

The planet Saturn offers far more than rings to those who venture within its gravitational influence. This wind-swept gas giant also holds sway over no fewer than 53 moons, including such wonders as the atmosphere-shrouded Titan, two-faced Iapetus and sponge-like Hyperion. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the mysteries of the Saturnian moons. See more »

The Forbidden Void: Cases Against Space

 The Forbidden Void: Cases Against Space

For most of us, space exploration seems like a no-brainer. By venturing out into the cosmic ocean, we advance our technology, unravel the secrets of our universe and further ensure the long term survival of the human race. Not everyone’s on board, however. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore some past and present arguments against space exploration. See more »

Jupiter's Children: A Voyage to the Galilean Moons

 Jupiter's Children: A Voyage to the Galilean Moons

Of all the moons of Jupiter, Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io tantalize us the most. These alien worlds of ice, fire, desolation and hidden oceans tantalize us with their possibility for extraterrestrial life and human exploration of the outer solar system. Join Robert and Joe for a mind bending exploration of the great gas giant’s Galilean Moons. See more »

When We Think About Cyborgs

 When We Think About Cyborgs

What began as a 1960s term for a retrofitted human space explorer has become a focal point for considerations of human and machine interaction, technological culture, biomechanics and feminist identity. Join Robert and Christian as they set aside the brain/computer interfaces for a discussion of what it is to be a “cyborg” in 2016. See more »

Algorithms In The Blood: The P vs. NP Problem

 Algorithms In The Blood: The P vs. NP Problem

What does it mean to solve a problem in our universe? That’s a trickier question than you might think, with some fairly high-stakes ramifications in the worlds of computing and even philosophy. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the inherent logic of problem-solving in our universe, with some attention to a special example of an outstanding problem in computer science: P vs. NP. See more »

The Medusa Nebula: A Monstrous Beauty of Space

 The Medusa Nebula: A Monstrous Beauty of Space

Join Robert and Christian as they consider the beauty and composition of the Medusa nebula. See more »

Space Mirrors: Weapons, Energy & Propulsion

 Space Mirrors: Weapons, Energy & Propulsion

What can you accomplish with a space mirror? Quite a lot, actually. You can use them to gaze far into the cosmos, to propel exploration craft and even cast patches of light back down on night-cloaked regions of the planet. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian discuss the power of space mirrors. See more »

Space Weapons: Rods From God

 Space Weapons: Rods From God

You may call it “Rods From God,” Project Thor” or a glorious Hypervelocity Rod Bundle, but this theoretical space weapon comes down to one devastating reality: A space-empowered nation’s ability to raise a 20-foot tungsten rod up into orbit and then drop it on an enemy target with mass-accelerated force. No bombs, no lasers, just pure reentry power. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore the feasibility of rod-based warfare. See more »