NASA

The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Sky Guys: An Astronomy Update

Credit James Pouliot / NHPR

We’ll check in about the latest from the International Space Station, talk about new planet finds by NASA, and look ahead to some highlights coming up to watch out for in the night sky.

GUESTS:

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Word of Mouth
12:59 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Lunar Conservation: Protecting America's Archeological History On The Moon

Feather left on the moon
NASA

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.

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Word of Mouth
10:07 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Pirate Joe's, Hollywood Animal Fails, And Abolishing Tips

Credit Tom Magliery via flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Word of Mouth
11:24 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Balloons...In...Space!

A rendering of a high-altitude balloon suspended over most of the Earth's atmosphere. That thing dangling from its underside is a telescope. (via The Atlantic)
Credit NASA/Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility

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.

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Word of Mouth
2:03 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Diary Of A Space Zucchini: An Astronaut Imagines His Vegetable's Voice

Don Pettit

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

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Word of Mouth
2:14 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

NASA To Test Effects Of Space Travel On Twin Astronauts

Credit NASA via NewScientist.com

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.

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Word of Mouth
11:57 am
Thu August 1, 2013

One Of These Space Weather Events Is Not Like The Others

Courtesy nasa.gov

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?

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Word of Mouth
8:55 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Space Weather Could Be Coming To A Forecast Near You

Credit Eddiedog2012

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.

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Word of Mouth
9:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Commercial Spaceport Is Being Threatened By History

Credit Jeff Houck/John Stavely via Flickr Creative Commons

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 Pittmanwho wrote about Space Florida’s proposal to build on top of an  18th century sugar factory and archaeological site called the Elliott Plantation.

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Word of Mouth
6:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Sequestration...In Space!

Credit NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Word of Mouth
12:04 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

The Science Of Peer Reviews: How Did The Controversial “Arseniclife” Study Get Such Glowing Reviews?

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.

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Word of Mouth
11:28 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Five Reasons NOT to Take That Trip to Mars

Credit Urban Don via Flickr Creative Commons

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:

1. “Puffy Face Syndrome”

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Word of Mouth
9:48 am
Tue January 15, 2013

The Mars500 Experiment: Sleeping in Space

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.

Word of Mouth
8:00 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Germs...IN SPACE!

Credit Credit Luke Bryant via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Word of Mouth
1:54 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

NASA's Back in the Game

Photo Credit Luke Bryant via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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