Space

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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3:14am

Fri August 3, 2012
Space

NASA Rover To Explore The Red Planet

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, maybe this is going to sound crazy, but the 1990 version of "Total Recall" took Arnold Schwarzenegger to Mars.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOTAL RECALL")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (as Character) Welcome to the Mars Federal Colony.

INSKEEP: This weekend, by the way, NASA's rover Curiosity is heading to Mars for real. It launched at the end of last year and is set to land on Mars just after 1 a.m. Eastern time on Monday.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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6:34am

Thu August 2, 2012
Space

Watch NASA's Curiosity Land On Mars in Times Square; Or Boulder, Or Denver. Your Choice.

Artist's rendering of Curiosity approaching Mars.
NASA JPL-Caltech

NASA's Curiosity Rover will be touching down on the Red Planet Sunday, August 5th at 11:15 p.m. MDT. If you happen to be in Times Square you can catch mission coverage on the big screens. Closer to Colorado, maybe it's time for a pajama party.

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12:00pm

Wed August 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Once In A Blue Moon: August Will Bring Two Full Moons

A waxing moon in the background of a fairground attraction in London on Sunday.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

In astronomical terms, a blue moon really doesn't denote that long a time span. In fact, a blue moon happens once every 2.7 years on average.

Still, it's a special event that, at least using its modern definition, happens when there are two full moons in a single month.

Today (Aug. 1) we'll see a full-moon and that is a prelude to the blue moon of Aug. 31. As Space.com reports, the Aug. 31 moon will reach its full phase during the day.

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