Science

7:44am

Sun August 5, 2012
Space

Opportunity To Be Less Lonely As Latest NASA Rover To Land On Mars

Opportunity on the rim of the Santa Maria Crater, seen by the MRO in 2011.
NASA

NASA has three rovers on Mars right now: the twins Opportunity and Spirit, and the Sojourner. Of those three, only Opportunity is operational and is set to be joined by Curiosity on Sunday night.

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5:34am

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.

4:11am

Sun August 5, 2012
Joe's Big Idea

Scientists Look To Martian Rocks For History Of Life

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 9:41 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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5:32am

Sat August 4, 2012
Space

Anxiety Hovers Over Rover's Mars Landing

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 9:43 am

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

These are tense times for scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. Late Sunday night Pacific Time, they'll learn if nearly a decade of hard work will result in a priceless scientific laboratory landing safely on Mars or if the rover known as Curiosity will turn into a useless pile of junk. Everything depends on what happens during the seven minutes of terror, the time it takes the probe to go from the top of the Martian atmosphere to the planet's surface.

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3:06pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Science

A 20,000 Year Rewrite Of Human History

New analysis of artifacts from Border Cave indicate that the Later Stone Age in South Africa began roughly 44,000 years ago, more than 20,000 years earlier than originally thought.
Paola Villa University of Colorado

It turns out the Later Stone Age wasn’t quite so late. A University of Colorado archeologist has just completed a new analysis of artifacts that has pushed the period back by 20,000 years. The work may resolve one of the long-running paradoxes of human history—but in the process, it has created a new one.

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