Stephen Hawking and a Russian Billionaire Want to Build an Interstellar Starship

Last year, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence got a major boost when Russian billionaire Yuri Milner unveiled a $100 million effort to scan the skies for radio and light signals emitted by aliens. Not content to simply sit tight and wait for ET to hail us, Milner now plans to build interstellar spacecraft.…

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Watch NASA Test Its Rocket-Powered "Flying Saucer" Live On io9!

After scrapping all of its planned test launches earlier this month, NASA will today attempt to release its Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) from the edge of space. The rocket-powered, flying saucer–shaped landing vehicle will then return to Earth on a dramatic path through Hawaii's skies. Watch it live, here!

The Worst Blunders People Make in Inventing Fictional Alien Worlds

We love stories that take us to alien planets and let us explore whole new environments. But not every alien planet is totally realistic, especially given how much we've learned about exoplanets lately. So we asked six experts to tell us the biggest mistakes they see in fictional habitable worlds — and here's what…

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