Science & Environment

The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

This One-Way Trip To Mars Is Brought To You By ...

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 55 million miles away in 2007.
NASA UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:59 am

In New York on Monday, a group of scientists and entrepreneurs launched a quixotic program that could allow you (yes you!) to make a trip to Mars. But you can't come back.

The Mars One nonprofit organization announced that it is now open to applicants interested in making a commercially sponsored one-way mission to Mars.

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Author Interviews
2:04 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

'Zoobiquity': What Humans Can Learn From Animal Illness

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 11:05 am

Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, a cardiologist at the UCLA Medical Center, coined the term "zoobiquity" to describe the idea of looking to animals and the doctors who care for them to better understand human health. Veterinary medicine had not been on her radar at all until about 10 years ago. That's when she was asked to join the medical advisory board for the Los Angeles Zoo and she began hearing about "congestive heart failure in a gorilla or leukemia in a rhinoceros or breast cancer in a tiger or a lion."

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Environment
8:45 am
Mon April 22, 2013

This Scientist Aims High To Save The World's Coral Reefs

Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science takes a water sample during his experiment on part of the Great Barrier Reef. The water is slightly pink because his team is using a dye to trace an acid-neutralizing chemical as it flows across the reef.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 9:52 pm

Most scientists find a topic that interests them and keep digging deeper and deeper into the details. But Ken Caldeira takes the opposite approach in search for solutions to climate change. He goes after the big questions, and leaves the details to others.

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Business
3:24 am
Mon April 22, 2013

This Building Is Supergreen. Will It Be Copied?

This Seattle building, a project by the Bullitt Foundation, is said to be the world's greenest office building. It uses a weather station to conserve energy, creates lighting via photovoltaic cells on the roof and features composting toilets.
Courtesy of John Stamets

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 10:18 am

One of the world's greenest office buildings formally open its doors Monday — Earth Day. It's a project of the environmentally progressive Bullitt Foundation. Its ambition is bold: to showcase an entirely self-sustaining office building hoping that others will create similar projects.

The first thing that strikes you about the new Bullitt Center is the windows. Walking up to the building in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, six stories of floor-to-ceiling glass soars above you.

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Sun April 21, 2013

Antares Rocket Launch Is A Success, In Test Of Orbital Supply Vehicle

The Antares rocket lifts off from the launchpad at the NASA facility on Wallops Island Va., Sunday, beginning a test mission that has now been deemed a success. The Orbital Sciences Corp. rocket will eventually deliver supplies to the International Space Station.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 6:04 pm

The Antares rocket launch is back on for 5 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon, as engineers and spectators look for the rocket to lift off from a launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. A check of all systems at 10 minutes before its launch was positive.

Update at 5:20 p.m. ET. Mission Called A Success:

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:03 am
Sun April 21, 2013

A Wet Towel In Space Is Not Like A Wet Towel On Earth

YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:20 am

You just don't know (because who's going to tell you?) that when you leave Earth, travel outside its gravitational reach, hundreds and hundreds of everyday things — stuff you've never had to think about — will change. Like ... oh, how about a wet washcloth?

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Sun April 21, 2013

Sunday Night Forecast: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meteors

Another meteor shower, the Geminid, sparkled over the Spanish canary island of Tenerife on Dec. 13, 2012.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 11:49 am

Keep your eye on the sky Sunday evening; the Lyrid meteor shower is expected to peak. It's the first meteor shower of the spring season.

The Lyrid shower is caused by Earth passing through the orbit of a comet known as Thatcher, though the comet itself hasn't been seen since 1861. Dust particles from the comet will be seen as flashes of light as they burn up in our atmosphere.

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Law
5:12 am
Sun April 21, 2013

Thirsty States Take Water Battle To Supreme Court

A dispute over Texas' access to the Kiamichi River, which is located in Oklahoma, has started a longer legal battle that is headed to the Supreme Court.
Joe Wertz for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 1:39 pm

On Tuesday, Oklahoma and Texas will face off in the U.S. Supreme Court. The winner gets water. And this is not a game.

The court will hear oral arguments in the case of Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, et al. The case pits Oklahoma against Texas over rights to water from the river that forms part of the border between them. Depending on how the court decides, it could impact interstate water-sharing agreements across the country.

Keeping Up With Texas

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:18 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Monkeys, Mai Tais And Us

YouTube

Some of us can't say no — and I'm using "us" in the broadest sense, to include not just humans, but wallabies, fruit flies, birds and monkeys. We can't control our appetites.

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The Salt
5:06 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Fertilizer Shows Its Deadly Side

Workers at a cooperative farm near Shanghai scatter fertilizer across fields of winter wheat. Image from the May issue of National Geographic magazine.
© Peter Essick National Geographic

My first reaction when I heard details of this week's deadly fertilizer explosion in Texas was horror.

My second thought was, "Maybe I shouldn't have pushed to change that headline."

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