Tag: vox

Building a lunar base out of Moon dust

Building a lunar base out of Moon dust

Welcome to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Here, engineers are dreaming up new technologies that will help build settlements on the Moon or Mars via NASA’s experimental “Swamp Works” lab. With everyone from NASA to Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos looking to send people to the Moon and beyond, the Swamp Works engineers are hard at…

We met the world’s first domesticated foxes

We met the world’s first domesticated foxes

This week, we meet the very cute and very bizarre result of an almost 60-year-long experiment: they’re foxes that have been specially bred for their dog-like friendliness toward people. We do a little behavior research of our own, and discover what scientists continue to learn from the world’s most famous experiment in domestication. The fox…

Designing a tiny home to orbit the Moon

Designing a tiny home to orbit the Moon

NASA wants to build another space station — except this one won’t live in a close orbit around Earth. Instead, it will be sent into deep space to orbit around the moon and then someday…Mars. Within the last year, NASA has begun planning for a much smaller astronaut outpost, a new destination dubbed the Gateway.…

A microscopic look at why the world is running out of sand

A microscopic look at why the world is running out of sand

Humans are using more sand than the Earth is naturally producing, and that’s a problem for the global construction industry. But it turns out that the usefulness of sand depends on the science of each tiny little grain. We went on a sand scavenger hunt to collect some samples, look at them under a microscope,…

What wildfire devastation looks like from above

What wildfire devastation looks like from above

In the Western United States, “fire season” isn’t seasonal anymore — it’s year-round. Because more and more, wildfires are a thoroughly man-made disaster and are technically a misnomer. Here, we take a car and drone tour through some of the most fire-prone parts of California, and see firsthand the causes and effects of “fire season”…

Alexa invades the living room

Alexa invades the living room

So how can we get Alexa into our living rooms? Over the past six months, tech companies have been battling it out to connect digital assistants to your TV. Homepod, Google Max, and the Sonos Beam bring quality sound, while the Fire TV Cube and Amazon’s Echo and Dot just want to make our TVs…

Why graphene hasn’t taken over the world…yet

Why graphene hasn’t taken over the world…yet

Graphene is a form of carbon that could bring us bulletproof armor and space elevators, improve medicine, and make the internet run faster — some day. For the past 15 years, consumers have been hearing about this wonder material and all the ways it could change everything. Is it really almost here, or is it…

Digging precious metals out of your old phone

Digging precious metals out of your old phone

E-waste is more than phones and laptops. There’s gold, silver, copper, and lots of other precious metals powering your electronics, and that makes for some valuable “e-waste”. And a recent study proposed that it’s now more cost-effective to dig minerals out of old electronics than out of the Earth. We crack open some old tech…