The search for life is a pillar of Mars exploration. But our search isn’t only confined to the planets of our solar system. Radio telescopes search for signals of intelligent life from far away planets, orbiting other stars. In his story, “The Great Silence,” science fiction author Ted Chiang features the Arecibo telescope as he considers the significance of the animal life that surrounds it.
Astronautical engineer and astronomer George Robert Carruthers, a name well-known and dearly regarded in the space science community, and a good friend of the National Air and Space Museum, passed away on Saturday, December 26 after a long illness.
China’s Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission successfully brought back pristine Moon samples to Earth. The last time such a feat was accomplished was during the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976. A total of three robotic sample return missions, as part of the Cold War Moon Race with the United States, were successfully executed.
Interplanetary road trips take a WHILE. So for this episode of Voyages to Mars, while we cruise onward towards the Red Planet, we’re listening to some poetry that pays tribute to long duration space travel.
Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, published a few years before the world’s first satellite was even launched (!), remains one of the most influential stories of human settlement on Mars ever published.
Humans aren't yet able to go to Mars ourselves, so we’re reliant on the help of rovers and landers to be our eyes and ears on the surface - our mechanical “boots on the ground.” This episode is our ode to ROBOTS!
We’ve talked about planetary protection on the pod before, but it’s never felt closer to home than now, so we’re digging a little deeper into what it takes to keep our planet safe from space germs and keep space safe from Earth germs.