China’s lunar rover, Jade Rabbit, landed on the moon to study the satellite’s terrain, geology, and lava flows. What else might it find? Dirty laundry, golf balls, bags of human waste, and an American flag. There are loads of items left on the moon by NASA’s Apollo missions -- still perfectly preserved because the moon lacks a destructive atmosphere. With a handful of countries announcing plans for future lunar missions, a number of scientists are arguing that moon trash is an archeological treasure that should be preserved and studied by future generations. But with no laws or lunar governing body to protect, say, the first footprint on the moon, some worry that America’s lunar heritage could be destroyed by a new generation of explorers rushing to reach the moon.
A montage of new ideas, picked fresh from the Word of Mouth vault:
Abolishing tips: usually, the debate around gratuity revolves around whether to leave 15 or 20 %.... Head of the Sustainable Restaurant Project at the University of Guelph , Bruce McAdams, is in favor of getting rid of tips altogether.
Balloon Brigade: the career aptitude test video game. A new startup designs mobile games that could help match fresh grads with job opportunities.
The science behind the buzz: journalist and science writer Joseph Stromberg explains caffeine addiction.
And now for a project that sounds more like something from a Pixar movie than the next big thing in space exploration…the High Altitude Lensing Observatory, or HALO, could be the Hubble telescope’s successor in deep space imaging – but instead of orbiting earth from space, scientists are hoping to hang this giant telescope from a great…big…balloon.
One of the scientists working on the project is Dr. Richard Massey, an astronomer at The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, Scotland.
NASA’s Don Pettit has been back from his last mission aboard the International Space Station for over a year, but his blog “Letters to Earth” remains one of the most fascinating and profound windows into the creative and emotional life of an astronaut. While in space he penned and published poetry, An Astronaut’s Guide to Space Etiquette, and the series, “Diary of a Space Zucchini”, which detailed life on the ISS from the unusual perspective of a se
Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly are the only siblings who have both traveled in space. The fact that they are identical twins makes them unique test subjects for a new scientific experiment being conducted by NASA to study the effects of long term space travel on the human body.
Jacob Aron is a technology reporter for New Scientist and creator of the website, “Just a Theory.” He wrote about the Kelly brothers “Twin Mission” in the latest issue of New Scientist magazine.
As we learned from Joe Hanson, space weather can be an amazing thing. As receiving real-time space weather forecasts is becoming more of a reality, it would be good to familiarize yourself with some of the weather events you can expect to see. We’ve compiled a list to test your space weather knowledge. All of these events sound fantastic and have been the fodder for many a Sci-Fi plot, but do you know which one of these 4 space weather events isn’t real?
It’s summer storm season, and before heading out of the house it’s not a bad idea to take a quick glance at your local Doppler Radar to avoid getting caught in a downpour. The breadth and scope of weather forecasting has advanced rapidly in the past few decades – now, the United Kingdom’s National Weather Service is partnering with NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to begin providing forecasts of space weather in near real-time. We wanted to get a better idea of what a space forecast might sound like, so we called Joe Hanson - host and writer of the PBS digital studio’s It’s Okay To Be Smart.
Florida’s Aerospace Economic Development Agency is making plans to build a new commercial spaceport not far from the Kennedy Space Center – home of NASA’s now retired shuttle program. There’s just one problem: the land is already occupied. To learn more, producer Taylor Quimby caught up with Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman – who wrote about Space Florida’s proposal to build on top of an 18th century sugar factory and archaeological site called the Elliott Plantation.
Sequestration cuts to the NASA budget will likely result in hundreds of millions of dollars lost to the Russian government. Joining us to discuss this "self-defeating cash transfusion to Moscow" is John Matson. John is an associate editor who writes about space, physics and mathematics for Scientific American.
Two years ago, a press conference was held at NASA headquarters, where it was declared that an alien life form had been discovered in Earth’s backyard. It wasn’t green and it didn’t say “take me to your leader”. But still, this tiny microbe dubbed “arsenic-life” caused quite a ruckus in the scientific community. Dan Vergano is a science correspondent for USA Today and he joins us to discuss his investigation into the study.
From the imagination of Ray Bradbury to the front pages of our newspapers, the prospect of traversing vast reaches of space and seeing Mars firsthand has long inhabited and excited the idealistic public consciousness. However, our recent talk with psychiatrist Mathias Basner revealed that the odyssey comes with a number of physiological costs. Here are some of the most prominent known bodily effects of long-term space travel:
If you think it’s difficult to get enough sleep in an age of 24 hours news cycles and the allure of Facebook surfing, consider how hard it must be without the sun…or gravity. The first of many studies on the Mars500 Project have been released, and it documented the sleeping habits of five men isolated on earth for 520 days.
The success of the Mars Rover Curiosity has re-invigorated public interest in a manned mission to mars. Millions viewed the “seven minutes of terror” video following the one-ton Curiosity’s suspenseful drop 13,000 miles an hour to zero as it landed on the surface of Mars. Long before the mission took off, scientists were grappling with other terrifying and seemingly mundane logistics of sending humans to mars.
Thanks to the popularity of the Mars rover, Curiosity, NASA is back in the public eye for something other than budget cuts or program terminations. The excitement and pride felt by many Americans over the rover’s successful landing, has NASA exploring ways to capitalize and build on this wave of public interest. Susan Waldman, a Washington Post business columnist, and co-founder of ZilYen, branding and marketing communication, gives her thoughts on NASA’s branding strategies.