SmartPlanet: NASA's bed rest study, plug-and-play spacesuit, Robonaut2

Read SmartPlanet articles about the Indiana Jones of NASA, a Spider-Man-worthy adhesive device, a jet-inspired submarine, and more.

TechRepublic sister site SmartPlanet often features really interesting Geekend-themed posts. Here are eight stories that caught my attention in the past several weeks.

50 days in bed for science: Inside NASA's bed rest study

Heather Archuletta talks about spending nearly two months in bed for a NASA study. And why -- despite the possible end of the moon program -- the research is more important than ever.

NASA's new plug and play spacesuit

The space agency awards a $500 million contract for development of a suit astronauts may wear to the moon or Mars.

Meet R2: Your robotic coworker courtesy of NASA, GM

NASA and General Motors are collaborating on next generation robot technology. This robot, dubbed Robonaut 2 or R2 for short, could be your co-worker someday.

Video: Meet the 'Indiana Jones' of NASA

NASA scientist Chris McKay takes his work to the far reaches of planet Earth, studying extreme conditions in order to find life on other planets. Through the collection and study of various Earth minerals and organic content, he hopes to understand how life can exist on other planets. He is also researching climate change and how we can better manage our own planet.

Want to scale walls like Spider-Man? New device could pave the way

While it's not Spider-Man-worthy -- yet -- researchers at Cornell University have developed a new adhesive device that could one day let humans hang from and scale walls.

Richard Branson reveals $662K fighter jet-inspired submarine

Virgin billionaire Richard Branson lifted the curtain on his latest toy, a $660,000 airplane-inspired submarine that some call an "underwater plane."

Infographic: The world's satellites orbiting Earth, by nation

In a neat infographic, Austrian designer Michael Paukner maps out all the satellites and large debris orbiting the Earth -- and which nations are responsible for it.

With new battery tech, future cars could be powered by their bodywork

Researchers from Imperial College London and Volvo are developing a prototype material that's strong and light enough to be used as a car's skin but can store and discharge electrical energy.