Back to Top
This artist’s concept shows the sky crane maneuver during the descent of the Curiosity rover to the Martian surface.
The Sky Crane Solution

By Don Cohen For all these missions, entering and descending through the Martian atmosphere and putting an undamaged lander on the surface (the mission phase known as EDL, for entry, descent, and landing) has been technically demanding.

Read More
The NASA Viz app shares scientific stories through images, animations, articles, and more.
Scientific Visualization: Where Art Meets Science and Technology

By Helen-Nicole Kostis and Don Cohen At the start of the video, we see a bright sliver of Earth against a background of the star-speckled blackness of space.

Read More
In This Issue by Don Cohen
In This Issue (ASK 47)

Don Cohen, Managing Editor   In his “From the Academy Director” column, Ed Hoffman argues that political and social skills are essential to carrying out ambitious projects.

Read More
This artist's concept shows the MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet, with a fanciful image of her home planet in the background. Credit: NASA/Goddard
Interview with Lisa May

By Don Cohen Lisa May is the program executive for MAVEN, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). In her spare time, she acts as the female voice of NASA’s ScienceCasts. Don Cohen spoke with her at NASA Headquarters.

Read More
In This Issue by Don Cohen
In This Issue (ASK 46)

Don Cohen, Managing Editor   In his “From the Academy Director” column, Ed Hoffman says, “Knowledge is the coin of the realm at NASA,” and discusses the challenges of identifying, capturing, and sharing the wealth of valuable knowledge the agency possesses.

Read More
In This Issue by Don Cohen
In This Issue (ASK 45)

Don Cohen, Managing Editor   In their frank analysis of the failure of the Wide-field Infrared Explorers primary mission (“WIRE: Learning from Failure”), Bryan Fafaul and Kerry Ellis explain that this project based on “insight, not oversight” didn’t have enough of either.

Read More
Interview with Jeffrey Hoffman

By Don Cohen   Currently a professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jeffrey Hoffman flew on five shuttle missions as a NASA astronaut, including the first Hubble repair mission. He also served as NASA’s European representative for four years. Don Cohen spoke with him at his […]

Read More
In This Issue by Don Cohen
In This Issue (ASK 44)

Don Cohen, Managing Editor   One of NASA’s stated goals is to “expand scientific understanding of the earth and the universe in which we live.”

Read More
Steven Smith
Interview with Steven Smith

By Don Cohen   As a NASA astronaut, Steven Smith has flown on four shuttle missions and taken seven spacewalks to carry out Hubble telescope repairs and install the S-Zero Truss in the International Space Station (ISS).

Read More