Joe Pappalardo

Joe Pappalardo is a contributing editor at Popular Mechanics and author of the new book, Spaceport Earth: The Reinvention of Spaceflight.

Why There Are Sperm Swimming Around at the Space Station

Researchers aboard the International Space Station investigate if earthlings have what it takes to reproduce off-planet.

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First Anniversary Of The Referendum Which Annexed The Crimea To Russia
Now NATO Says Russian “Hybrid Warfare” Could Start a Real War
The global alliance can now go to collective war if a member is subjected to “hybrid warfare.” The problem is no one can define it clea…
3D printed satellite parts
Lockheed Martin Is 3D-Printing Giant Titanium Space Parts

Building huge fuel tanks via 3D printing could show how new manufacturing will revolutionize the launch industry.

For Just 2nd Time Ever, Meteor Hunters Recover Chunks of Rock They Tracked From Space
Scientists track a meteor through space and recover its remains after impact, proving we’re getting better at spotting potential cosmic…
5 Space Forces From Sci-Fi and What We Can Learn From Them

Can Starfleet and the U.S Colonial Space Marines tell us something about Donald Trump's Space Force?

The Science of Saving the Declaration of Independence

How science helped—and harmed—efforts to preserve the U.S.'s founding documents.

Why the Girl Scouts Are Learning to Pick Locks and Hack Computers
Forget cookies. America's Girl Scouts are learning to pick locks and hack computers as an inside track toward careers in science and te…
How Boeing's Hypersonic Passenger Plane Concept Works

Building an airplane that can reach (and survive) Mach 5.

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Why Would We Need a U.S. Space Force, Anyway?

An expert discussion about a new military branch becomes a master class on why things need to change

The Time I Thought a Mars Rover Spoke To Me On a Barstool

I was wrong. But it wasn't because of the drinking.

Smart Robots Are the Secret to Spaceflight's Future

How automation will revolutionize launches, orbital operations, and building huge things in space.

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SpaceX's Plan to Reinvigorate Cape Canaveral
Four years ago we asked if commercial spaceflight industry “could make Cape Canaveral rise again.” The answer can be found within a spa…
The Flyeye Telescope Will Use Insect Vision To Save the World

Spotting space rocks before they squash humanity like a bug.

Guangzhou pearl river new town
The U.S. Is Still Clueless About the Creepy 'Sonic' Attacks in China and Cuba
Americans are being sent home from the consulate in Guangzhou, China after mystery attacks that resemble those against the Havana embas…
Watch in Real Time as American Airlines 1897 Tries to Escape a Hail Storm From Hell
Combining weather map with flight tracking reveals the rambling path an American Airlines plane flew as it tried to escape a horrible h…
How Space Crystals Could Lead To New Cancer Drugs
Drug companies want to grow crystals that can reveal the structure of the body's important proteins. The best place to do that? In spac…
Why the Pentagon Doesn't Know How Much Anything Costs

The F-35 cost a trillion dollars. Nobody really knows how much America's next nuke will cost. What's wrong?

Inside China’s New Space Station
With a diminutive size, robotic arms, and a buddy camera floating nearby, the CSS will bring a new design ascetic — and governmen…
Astronaut Alan Bean on the moon
The Forgotten True Story of Alan Bean's Unlikely Journey to the Moon
The fourth person to walk on the moon, astronaut Alan Bean, died over the weekend. This is the wild true story of Apollo 12, and how a …
10 of America's Hidden Battlefields

The armed history of the United States can be found in some unexpected places.

modem router bills cable Internet
FBI to America: Reboot Your Routers, Right Now

There's a sneaky bit of malware going around.

There Are Secrets in the Texas Theatre

A famous Dallas movie house preserves the secret history of cinema tech behind its doors.

The Showdown Between the F-35 and the Russian Weapons Built to Stop It Is Finally Here
Israel is flying the F-35 into combat, which means the Joint Strike Fighter is up against Russian-built radar and anti-aircraft weapons…
Constellation of small satellites
Why the Pentagon Thinks Small Satellites Can Solve Big Problems
With Russia and China developing anti-satellite weaponry, the U.S. is thinking about distributed networks of smaller, easier-to-upgrade…
The Spaceport Subsidy? Congress Is About To Sink Big Dollars Into Pushing Private Space

The space launch sites popping up all over America could soon be in line for some big federal dollars.

Ukraine Bought This American Anti-Tank Missile. Will It Help Them Keep Russia at Bay?
The Trump administration’s sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine won’t change the war. But it’s more than just a gesture of sup…
Flying taxis
Dallas Flyers Club: What Uber's Flying Taxi Future Feels Like

We zoom around Dallas in a Bell Helicopter to find out how the future of commuting by air will actually work.

What Happens to a Cruise Missile Captured by the Russians

A fate worse than death awaits military hardware recovered intact on the battlefield.

How a Syrian Airstrike Got Help From Space

A glimpse at the early days of a new kind of space war, where 30-somethings are rewriting the rules from a command center in Qatar.