The planet Mars boasts the most dramatic landscapes in our solar system. Kevin Fong embarks on a grand tour around the planet with scientists, artists and writers who know its special places intimately- through their probes, roving robots and imaginations. This first part of the journey includes Mars’ gargantuan volcanoes, an extreme version of Earth’s Grand Canyon and the cratered Southern Highlands where future explorers might find safety from the Red Planet’s deadly radiation environment.
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Ann Druyan is an author and television and film writer & producer whose work is largely concerned with the effects of science and technology on our civilization. She was co-writer with Carl Sagan and Steven Soter of the Emmy and Peabody Award winning television series COSMOS, and as the founder and CEO of COSMOS STUDIOS, she is currently working on a reboot of that series. Ann Druyan served as Creative Director of the NASA Voyager Interstellar Record Project to design a complex message, including music and images, for possible alien civilizations. These golden phonograph records affixed to the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, the fastest moving vehicles ever created by the human species, are now beyond the outermost planets of the solar system on their way to interstellar space. They have a projected shelf life of one billion years. She is the author or co-author of several books, including Comet, which was on the New York Times best seller list for two months. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, written with Carl Sagan, was another New York Times best seller. She is also a credited contributor to the best-selling books Contact, Pale Blue Dot, The Demon-Haunted World and Billions
The Voyager 1 spacecraft will soon have a new territory to explore—interstellar space. Voyager chief scientist Ed Stone discusses whether the spacecraft will have a bumpy exit from the solar system, and the chances Voyager’s golden record may someday be intercepted by an advanced space-faring civilization.
GUESTS Ed Stone Chief Scientist, Voyager Professor, Physics California Institute of Technology Pasadena, California
Dr. Mae Jemison was the first black woman in space. Now, she’s leading a wildly ambitious project: to achieve interstellar travel in the next 100 years. She’s with us.
Think Star Trek and you won’t be far off. A new Pentagon project is putting out seed money for interstellar travel. Humans, rambling around among the stars. It’s called the 100 Year Starship project. It’s as wildly ambitious as just about anything you can imagine.
The spaceship, its energy source, its passengers’ survival – full-blown or just as DNA… all giant challenges. Not to mention that we’re sort of broke and not even flying space shuttles right now. Leader of the new effort: astronaut Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space. She’s with us.
This hour, On Point: the 100 Year Starship.
In the old days, we sang about fear and fortune way down in the mines. This week, the mining talk was way up in space. Mining asteroids. A bunch of rich guys with big track records and big dreams have formed a new company – Planetary Resources – to chase down asteroids and suck out their riches. Platinum. Iridium. Water in space.
If it sounds like the movie Avatar, well, director James Cameron is in the venture. So are Google guys. And Microsoft money. Is this for real?
This hour, On Point: Planetary Resources founder Eric Anderson and more. We’re thinking about mining asteroids.
Many of us spend more time at our desks than anywhere else. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson takes us into his office at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City for a tour of his office, in the fourth of Science Friday’s Desktop Diaries series. From a Saturn lamp Tyson made as a kid to his van Gogh pillow, Tyson has a lot of universe-themed paraphernalia. Tyson highlights some of his collection, and talks about what his journey to science stardom has been like. (Credits: filming: flora lichtman, christopher intagliata, production: flora lichtman, music tom pascale/beethoven) Viewed 12749 times. See More Videos
In Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson writes of how space exploration — especially human voyages — can profoundly inspire scientists and technologists of the future, and charts the path for missions to Mars and beyond.
Astronomer Dimitar Sasselov, director of Harvard’s Origins of Life Initiative, joins us to discuss his new book "The Life of Super-Earths" and to explain why he thinks planets larger than Earth offer the best prospects for finding life as we know it.
The new SOFIA observatory isn’t your average NASA project. Engineers took a 30-year old 747 airplane, cut a hole in the side and installed a 17-ton telescope. Most telescopes are either on the ground or somewhere in orbit, but SOFIA falls somewhere in the middle, flying around at about 40,000 feet.
Oh, yon flaming orb. Every day, Helios’s chariot carries you across the sky.
Well, perhaps not: but the 27 million degree star that rules our every waking hour actually has a beating heart. Well, a pulse.
Anyway, it also generates a kajillion fascinating facts — did you know you get more Vitamin D from ten minutes in the sun than 200 glasses of milk?
We explore stories of the star, its eclipses, storms, shelf-life and why somewhere over the rainbow, it’s way up high.
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