What if we're all from Mars?
August 31, 2013 A number of scientists say evidence is building for the theory that life started on Mars. With potentially infinite possibilities for life to bloom in this vast universe, NPR's Scott Simon wonders what it means to be human.
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August 30, 2013 After the WISE telescope used up the coolant needed to operate its detectors, its primary mission as an infrared survey telescope ended. NASA's Amy Mainzer describes how the agency is repurposing the dormant craft for a new three-year mission looking for near-Earth asteroids. Astronomer Brett Gladman also discusses a newly spotted asteroid-like object trailing Uranus.
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Mars: Our "home" planet?
August 29, 2013 Mars had more of the key minerals needed to get life going, a researcher says. He theorizes that some of the rocks that have traveled from the Red Planet to Earth had those elements and gave life here a kick start.
August 25, 2013 For the past decade, scientists have been waiting for the Voyager 1 spacecraft to cross into deep space. New research suggests it has left the solar system, but other scientists say it's still inside the sun's sphere of influence. (This piece initially aired Aug. 19, 2013, on Morning Edition.)
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An artist's concept of the completed Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
Giant Magellan Telescope
August 24, 2013 One of seven large mirrors for the 72-foot telescope will be spun cast at the University of Arizona on Saturday.
August 23, 2013 The ailing Kepler planet-hunting telescope cannot be fixed, the victim of failed reaction wheels required to aim the instrument. However, researchers still have reams of data to sift through. William Borucki of NASA and Joshua Winn of MIT discuss the search for distant planets.
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This may look like a mad scientist's garage sale, but it's actually the most precise clock ever built.
August 22, 2013 Scientists are always looking for a more accurate answer to the question, "What time is it?" Now they've built the most precise atomic clock yet — but it's not just telling time. It has the potential to investigate the accuracy of the General Theory of Relativity.
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August 22, 2013 NASA says the small object that was caught on video by a spacecraft called the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory was most likely a member of a sun-grazing group of comets known as the Kreutz family.
This artist's drawing shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth.
August 21, 2013 NASA is bringing a retired spacecraft back into service to help search for asteroids that could pose a danger to Earth, the space agency announced on Wednesday.
This artist rendering provided by NASA shows Voyager 1 at the edge of the solar system.
August 19, 2013 For the past decade or so, scientists have been waiting for the Voyager 1 spacecraft to cross into deep space. New research suggests it already has — over a year ago.
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A meteor trail is seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15.
August 17, 2013 The giant space rock that slammed into Chelyabinsk in February sent material into the stratosphere that circled the globe in just four days and lingered for months.
Mission to Mars: Six explorers lived in this simulated Mars habitat in Hawaii for four months, part of a NASA study to test the role of cooking and food on an extended space mission.
Sian Proctor/NASA HI-SEAS
August 16, 2013 It's not the hard work that will make astronauts lose it on long planetary missions — it's boredom. And something that can become very boring very fast is a rote menu. A simulated Mars mission reveals why cooking for others will be vital on long space journeys, and why wraps rule.
An artist's illustration of Kepler-22b, a planet that circles its star in the "goldilocks" zone.
August 16, 2013 Two of the four gyroscope-like wheels that keep the planet-hunting probe pointed in the right direction aren't working. NASA is exploring whether there might be other research projects Kepler can still carry out.
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Chart showing galaxy formation 11 billion years ago.
August 15, 2013 Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope say familiar types of galaxies, such as spirals and ellipticals, were present just 2 billion years after the Big Bang.
The "Grasshopper" during its hop into the air.
August 15, 2013 A 10-story "Grasshopper" rocket was successfully launched, flown sideways and then brought back down. The hope is that some day such rockets can be reused instead of jettisoned and allowed to burn up.
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