Space

Word of Mouth
4:10 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Five Cinematic Reasons Not to Go Mars

Our conversation today about our genetic wanderlust got us thinking about the interstellar urge to roam. Luckily, the Dutch-based Mars One is planning the first human trip to Mars in 2023. If you have ten years to spare—and are resilient, adaptable, trusting, curious, creative, and resourceful—you may be the ideal candidate. Before you rush to fill out your application, consider these cinematic warnings about space travel. Because everything that can go wrong in outer space, will go wrong. Yeah, Murphy's Law is intergalactic.

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Inspired Lives
7:00 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Inspired Lives: Jerry Carr

NASA-Astronaut Gerald Paul Carr
NASA

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Word of Mouth
9:00 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Mice...in...Space...

Photo Credit Brian Kellett via Flickr Cretive Commons

Three mice have returned home from ninety-one days aboard the international space station. The trip was the longest in space for any animal besides humans. Jessica Hamzelou wrote about what these intrepid space mice reveal about how space travel and zero gravity affect physiology for New Scientist Magazine and joins us now to go over the results.

All Things Considered
4:44 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Bringing a Mini-Spacecraft Back to Earth Safely - Without a Parachute

Earth from 105,900 feet, as seen by a camera on the Project SMART craft. The little marks in the photo are pieces of the just-burst weather balloon that lifted the craft into space.
courtesy Louis Broad, via UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space

Time to add another page in the history of space exploration in New Hampshire. This week a team of high school students taking part in the Project SMART summer program at UNH sent a small craft 105,700 feet into the air – that’s over 20 miles up. And it came back down to Earth without a parachute.

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All Things Considered
4:00 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

See the Transit of Venus: This Week, or in the Year 2117

Astronomy is one of those fields where it just doesn’t pay to procrastinate. The last time Earthlings could spot the planet Venus crossing the yellow disk of the sun was in 2004. But if you don’t take a look this time around, here’s when you’ll get your next opportunity: December 10th of 2117.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Lights Off, Eyes Open: New Moon Darkens Skies For Meteor Shower

A composite of Lyrids over Huntsville, Ala., in 2009. This year, the meteor shower will hit its peak before dawn Sunday morning.
Danielle Moser/MSFC NASA

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:58 pm

Tonight is a good night for a meteor shower. The Lyrids aren't known for their flashy shows, but this year they're getting help from a new moon.

The dark skies will be "ideal for meteor watching from the ground," NASA says.

Kelly Beatty, senior contributing editor for Sky and Telescope magazine, tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon the best views are from the darkest places.

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Around the Nation
6:45 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Back To The Future: Seattle's Space Needle Turns 50

The Seattle Space Needle's 50th anniversary is Saturday. Though the top of the Needle has been off-white for years, it's being painted its original color, "galaxy gold," for the anniversary.
Dan Callister Getty Images

Seattle's Space Needle turns 50 on Saturday. Originally built as a tourist attraction for the city's 1962 World's Fair, the structure was meant to evoke the future. Now the future is here, and the Needle has become the city's favorite antique.

Peter Steinbrueck traces the tower's lineage to an abstract sculpture that sits in his office. Steinbrueck is an architect and former City Council member, and the sculpture used to belong to his father, Victor, also an architect.

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The End Of The Space Shuttle Era
5:02 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Shuttle Discovery To Make Final Flight, Atop A 747

The space shuttle Discovery is loaded onto the back of a modified 747 at Kennedy Space Center on April 15. The plane will ferry the shuttle to Washington, D.C., on April 17, where it will be permanently installed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Kim Shiflett NASA

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 6:12 pm

On Tuesday morning, space shuttle Discovery will become the first of NASA's three shuttles — plus a shuttle prototype — to travel to its new retirement home.

NASA flew its last shuttle flight in July. Since then, it's been prepping the spaceships to become museum displays. And even though the shuttles are headed to places like Los Angeles and New York rather than the space station, figuring out how to get them there has still been a major undertaking.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:25 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Space on a Shoestring

Team Astrobotic

Space – a private frontier…

With the shuttle program behind us, companies and enterprising college students are today’s celestial pioneers. Their mission?  To seek out new ways of launching into orbit on a shoe-string budget. 

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Space
3:05 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Earth Has Just One Moon, Right? Think Again

The last lunar eclipse of 2011 as seen from the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles on Dec 10, 2011.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Everybody knows that there's just one moon orbiting the Earth. But a new study by an international team of astronomers concludes that everybody is dead wrong about that.

"At any time, there are one or two 1-meter diameter asteroids in orbit around the Earth," says Robert Jedicke, an astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii.

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Space
5:09 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Spacecraft's Wild Ride To Mercury Yields Surprises

The Messenger spacecraft is depicted over the Calvino Crater on Mercury in this enhanced-color image of the planet's surface.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:40 pm

There's a small spacecraft called Messenger that's been orbiting the planet Mercury for a year. Today, at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, astronomers revealed what they've learned about the innermost planet in our solar system, and some of the new knowledge is puzzling.

Maria Zuber, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied a large crater 900 miles across called Caloris.

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Europe
3:57 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

For Russia's Troubled Space Program, Mishaps Mount

Russia's unmanned Progress space freighter, headed for the International Space Station, blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Oct. 30, 2011. A string of mission failures has raised concerns over the reliability of Russia's space program.
STR Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 9:56 pm

Russia was once the world leader in space exploration, but its space program has suffered a string of costly and embarrassing mishaps over the past year.

NASA says Russia is still a trustworthy partner, but critics say the once-proud program is corrupt and mismanaged — good at producing excuses, but not results.

The Memorial Space Museum in Moscow showcases the achievements of the Soviet Union's space program.

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Science
4:08 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

Meteorite Hunter Scours The Ground For Bits Of Sky

One of Ruben Garcia's favorite spots to go meteorite hunting is an enormous dry lake bed in southern Arizona.
Courtesy Jana Becker

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 7:03 pm

Every so often, pieces of heaven crash into Earth.

They can come from our own solar system, or millions of light years away. Few of us are lucky enough to get our hands on one of these space rocks. But for meteorite hunters and dealers such as Ruben Garcia, touching a piece of outer space is a daily routine.

The Best Hunting Grounds

One of Garcia's favorite spots to go meteorite hunting is an enormous dry lake bed in southern Arizona.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Mon February 27, 2012

'Space Chronicles': Why Exploring Space Still Matters

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says valuing space exploration "transforms the culture into one that values science and technology."
AP

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 12:02 pm

After decades of global dominance, America's space shuttle program ended last summer while countries like Russia, China and India continue to advance their programs. But astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of the new book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, says America's space program is at a critical moment. He thinks it's time for America to invest heavily in space exploration and research.

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All Things Considered
5:19 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

New Hampshire Artist and "Web Adventurer" Sets His Sights on Space

Spacebound? John Herman is a semifinalist in the Space Race 2012 contest; the winner goes on a suborbital space flight.
Roger Goun via Flickr/CC

Ask people who know John Herman of Newmarket and they’ll tell you he keeps really busy –plays, meetups, video blogs, improv comedy, music… He’s basically everywhere at once, but there’s one place even John Herman hasn’t gone (yet): space.

That may change, as John is one of 20 semifinalists in the Space Race 2012 contest; the winner goes into sub-orbital flight on a trip with a commercial spaceflight company.

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