Space NPR coverage of space exploration, space shuttle missions, news from NASA, private space exploration, satellite technology, and new discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics.

Stephen Hawking discusses the "Breakthrough Starshot" space exploration initiative during a news conference Tuesday at One World Observatory in New York City. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation hide caption

toggle caption
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation

Stephen Hawking's Plan For Interstellar Travel Has Some Earthly Obstacles

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474227319/474235604" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

(Top row, left to right) Titan, Earth's moon, Europa and Enceladus. (Bottom row, left to right) Callisto, Charon, Ariel and lo. NASA hide caption

toggle caption
NASA

Hot On The Trail Of Alien Moons

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473380087/474050103" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ambitious Project Would Use 'Starchips' To Travel To Alpha Centauri

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474050084/474050085" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An image from the European Southern Observatory shows the sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri — which appears so large because of the telescope optics and photographic emulsion — taken from photos in the Digitized Sky Survey 2. Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to Earth's solar system. ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin hide caption

toggle caption
ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin

An artist's rendering of the BEAM inflatable annex attached to the side of the International Space Station. Courtesy of Bigelow Aerospace hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Bigelow Aerospace

NASA To Test Inflatable Room For Astronauts In Space

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473089336/473477593" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This computer-simulated image shows a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy. The cosmic monster's powerful gravity distorts space around it like the mirror in a fun house, smearing the light from nearby stars. NASA/ESA/D. Coe, J. Anderson and R. van der Marel (Space Telescope Science Institute) hide caption

toggle caption
NASA/ESA/D. Coe, J. Anderson and R. van der Marel (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Supermassive Black Holes May Be More Common Than Anyone Imagined

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473091314/473279698" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The women of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory helped launch the first American satellites, lunar missions and planetary explorations. Those "human computers," as they were called, are seen here in 1953. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Meet The 'Rocket Girls,' The Women Who Charted The Course To Space

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473099967/473139338" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bob Ebeling with his daughter Kathy (center) and his wife, Darlene. Howard Berkes/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Howard Berkes/NPR

Challenger Engineer Who Warned Of Shuttle Disaster Dies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/470870426/471467074" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A Martian gravity map shows the Tharsis volcanoes and surrounding flexure. The white areas in the center are higher-gravity regions produced by the massive Tharsis volcanoes, and the surrounding blue areas are lower-gravity regions that may be cracks in the crust (lithosphere). MIT/UMBC-CRESST/GSFC via NASA hide caption

toggle caption
MIT/UMBC-CRESST/GSFC via NASA