National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

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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6:43am

Sat August 4, 2012
The Salt

Red Planet, Green Thumb: How A NASA Scientist Engineers His Garden

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:10 am

Limoncello in the making.
Rachael Porter NPR

Most mornings, space engineer Adam Steltzner wakes up at about 3 a.m., and before he can coax his tired body back to sleep, his mind takes over. And he starts to worry.

Eventually Steltzner gives up on sleep and heads into his garden where, just as first light reveals the sky, all that thinking can turn into doing. And finally, a little peace.

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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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