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Galaxy Quests

Stories of space travel, whether real, prospective, or completely in the mind.

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The Mysterious Evacuation of Sunspot Observatory

A year ago today, the FBI suddenly shut down a remote mountaintop observatory with no explanation. The internet went wild with theories.

The Maid Who Mapped the Heavens

Williamina Fleming was just supposed to help the director of the Harvard Observatory with household tasks. Instead, she changed the course of astronomy.

The First Black Astronaut and America’s Secret Outer-Space Spy Program

Major Robert Lawrence was trained by the Air Force in an elite Cold War-era program. This is why you've never heard of him.

He’s a Murderer With an Intergalactic Alibi. And She’s in Love With Him.

This is the story of a romance that just works — cosmic conspiracies, life sentences and all.

Scott McLeod Missed His Chance to Go to the Moon…But Landed the Love of His Life

As a young test pilot for the Apollo missions, he had one dream. It never took off — at least not the way he'd planned.

My Life on (Simulated) Mars

This is the true story of six strangers picked to live together in a geodesic dome, on top of a volcano, in a barren atmosphere chosen to replicate life in outer space.

The Aborted Launch and Meteoric Rise of Astronaut Ice Cream

The funky, freeze-dried snack that’s been embraced by backpackers, soldiers, and apocalyptic survivalists has one surprising secret: Among space explorers, it never took off.