Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 10:02 am
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.
The United States and five other nations are embarking on a new program to limit pollutants connected to global warming. But they're not targeting carbon dioxide with this effort — instead, they're looking at methane gas, and soot.
NPR's Richard Harris filed this report for our Newscast desk:
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. is teaming up with Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Ghana and Bangladesh to get countries thinking about some potent contributors to climate change."
NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Saturday. The MSL is five times heavier than the rovers currently on Mars and has twice as many scientific instruments. It will take nine months for the spacecraft to reach the Red Planet, and there's plenty of things for it to do before then.
You may not have realized it, but a piece of U.S. property was recently driving around on the surface of Mars. Tens of millions of miles away from the debt crisis, the heat wave and other big events of the summer, NASA's rover Opportunity just completed a 13-mile trip to allow scientists to examine a Martian crater.