Science

7:34am

Sun August 5, 2012
Space

How This Mission To Mars Is Different From Others

NPR's Joe Palca will be at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California to monitor the Mars mission landing Sunday night at 10:30 p.m. PDT. Palca talks with guest host Linda Wertheimer about the Mars landing and purpose of the mission.

6:11am

Sun August 5, 2012
Joe's Big Idea

Scientists Look To Martian Rocks For History Of Life

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:41 am

Mmm, nice rock! This rover's looking for secrets to the history of life on Mars.
Photo Illustration Courtesy NASA

NASA has sent rovers to explore Mars before. But three words explain what makes this latest mission to Mars so different: location, location, location.

The rover Curiosity is slated to land late Sunday in Gale Crater, near the base of a 3-mile-high mountain with layers like the Grand Canyon. Scientists think those rocks could harbor secrets about the history of water — and life — on the Red Planet.

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8:43am

Sat August 4, 2012
The Salt

Red Planet, Green Thumb: How A NASA Scientist Engineers His Garden

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:10 am

Limoncello in the making.
Rachael Porter NPR

Most mornings, space engineer Adam Steltzner wakes up at about 3 a.m., and before he can coax his tired body back to sleep, his mind takes over. And he starts to worry.

Eventually Steltzner gives up on sleep and heads into his garden where, just as first light reveals the sky, all that thinking can turn into doing. And finally, a little peace.

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4:51pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Space

Mars Rover Will Look For Building Blocks Of Life

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

On Sunday night, a six-wheeled rover the size of a subcompact car will land on Mars. We preview the mission, from the remarkable landing system to the kind of science the rover will do during its mission.

2:00pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Environment

Spending The Holidays At A Toxic Waste Site

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:29 pm

To avoid the crowds at Niagara Falls, why not sail the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or ogle oil refineries in Port Arthur, Texas? In Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures In The World's Most Polluted Places, Andrew Blackwell describes traveling to the world's most contaminated destinations.

1:55pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Health Care

One Doc's Prescription For Hassle-Free Healthcare

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:29 pm

Dr. Jay Parkinson envisions a future of more efficient, hassle-free healthcare--and it starts online. He says he and his colleagues at the New York City-based healthcare start-up Sherpaa can solve 70 percent of patients' problems via email, eliminating a trip to the doctor's office.

1:49pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Science

Making Movies That Zoom Into Foreign Worlds

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:29 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. A little later in the program, we'll be talking about NASA's landing of its new probe, Curiosity, to the Martian surface. But with us now is Flora Lichtman with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: This is a soothing...

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: I mean, I saw the video pick. It's so soothing, although it's on a topic that you wouldn't think is soothing at all.

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1:44pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Technology

Tech Giants Gear Up For Patent Battle

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:29 pm

A court battle between Apple and Samsung is underway in California, with each side arguing over intricate patent and trademark claims covering how the companies' phones and tablets work, look, and feel. Robin Feldman, professor at the UC Hastings College of the Law, explains some of the key issues in the court case and how it might affect the technology industry.

1:30pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Environment

Changing Views About A Changing Climate

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:29 pm

What is the role of humans in climate change? "Call me a converted skeptic," physicist Richard Muller wrote in an Op-Ed in the New York Times this week, describing his analysis of data from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Though Muller was once a notable skeptic regarding studies connecting human activity to climate change, he has now concluded that "humans are almost entirely the cause" of global warming.

1:28pm

Fri August 3, 2012
NPR Story

Planning For 'Curiosity' On Mars

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:29 pm

If all goes according to plan, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, nicknamed 'Curiosity,' will touch down on the red planet this weekend following what NASA has called 'seven minutes of terror' during the descent. NPR science correspondent Joe Palca and John Grunsfeld, head of NASA's Science Directorate, give a preview of the mission and talk about what scientists hope to learn from the latest ambassador to Mars.

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