Tag: science experiments

How four rogue satellites could change the spaceflight industry

How four rogue satellites could change the spaceflight industry

Earlier this year, a company launched four tiny satellites into orbit without permission. These “rogue satellites” caused an uproar in the space community, and in the future, others like them could increase the risk of catastrophic collisions in orbit. We talked to some space experts about what’s at stake when no one knows exactly what’s…

How science could save the diamond industry from itself

How science could save the diamond industry from itself

Diamonds have always been extremely rare and valuable…but that might change soon. Over the past five years, the synthetic diamond industry has exploded, producing large and perfect diamonds to rival anything that comes out of the Earth. We look at the technology making this possible and ask, “When diamonds are no longer rare, what are…

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…

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,…

Why Tesla is building city-sized batteries

Why Tesla is building city-sized batteries

We talked to the co-founder of Tesla, JB Straubel, about why giant batteries are crucial to the future of power grids everywhere. Batteries are becoming more useful at powering bigger things like bikes, cars, and soon, entire cities. We explore some of the zanier forms of energy storage already in use around the country. Learn…

This monster plant is trying to take over. What if we let it?

This monster plant is trying to take over. What if we let it?

Silicon Valley is home to tech giants, venture capital…and a years-long battle between an invasive species, a tiny bird, and a bunch of scientists trying to decide what counts as “nature.” We put on the biggest boots we could find and headed out to the strange salt flats of the San Francisco bay to check…

Space Craft: Season 2 Trailer

Space Craft: Season 2 Trailer

Would you choose to live on another planet if given the chance? How about living in space? In this season of Space Craft, follow along as Loren Grush investigates some of the ways people are preparing to live in space – from testing out habitats and growing food, to learning about the physiological challenges and…

How NYC plans to survive the next superstorm

How NYC plans to survive the next superstorm

Sandy hit New York City almost six years ago and the city is still recovering. As storms grow even more frequent and severe, cities around the world are struggling to prepare themselves for the worst. We took a behind-the-scenes look at New York’s subway system to see all the disaster-grade gear the city is installing…