12 incredible photos of space tech from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab


The SPIDER project started in the 2000s. It was made to map the thermal afterglow of the Big Bang. A giant helium balloon that carried SPIDER 115,000 feet above Antarctica, it landed in a remote region there. Most of the data was stored on hard drives on SPIDER, which had to be recovered from the landing site. This photo is of SPIDER in January before it launched.

Image: NASA

By Lyndsey Gilpin

Lyndsey Gilpin is a former Staff Writer for TechRepublic, covering sustainability and entrepreneurship. She's co-author of the book Follow the Geeks.