Tag Archives: NASA

PBS NewsHour Covers NASA’s Discovery of Water on Mars

Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Over the weekend, NASA teased a big announcement across their social media accounts, and when it arrived this morning it was a doozy! Scientists have not only found evidence of the existence of water on the red planet, they’ve found actual flowing water.

As PBS NewHour science reporter Nsikan Akpan writes this morning, “Mars has seasonal rivers of flowing water. Note the verb ‘has’ rather than ‘had,’ as in liquid water is a current feature on present-day Mars. In other words, this is not from the distant past — the water is flowing now. What appeared to be a dry void of red-orange rock is wetter than previously thought.”

Follow full coverage of this exciting discovery and what it means – and to see more of the stunning photos like the one above of some of the sites that researchers found the flowing water – visit PBS NewsHour’s Rundown online.


28 Years Later: The Challenger Disaster

“The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.'” – President Ronald Reagan, Jan. 28, 1986

Today is the 28th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and the deaths of the seven astronauts aboard. Here is a segment of the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour report from that night that public television audiences across the United States watched as they tried to make sense of the day’s events. In it, you will see Judy Woodruff reporting on each of the seven astronauts, an in-depth interview with teacher Christa McAuliffe who died on board, and President Reagan’s address to the nation from that afternoon that concluded with the powerful quote at the top of this post.

Rise of the Drones

Watch NOVA “Rise of the Drones” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 on Wisconsin Public Television.

There’s nothing quite like seeing just how far we’ve advanced in technology over the years. Of course there are always the new toys every year like smart phones tablet computers that still impress us in our daily lives, but nothing compares to the best of the best. I think it’s pretty safe to say a lot more time and money is spent researching and designing new technology for military use and space exploration than goes into making our cell phones thinner.

Luckily for us, a lot of that research tends to yield technological advancements that can be applied to every day products. Sure it might take a few years for people to come up with useful applications for every new discovery, but there are a lot of things we have now that we can’t imagine living without. Sure we’ve all heard someway say they would die without their cellphones, but what about all the little things? Stain-resistant fabrics, scratch-resistant lens, memory foam and even the simple water filter are in our homes thanks to companies piggy-backing off of NASA developments.

It will be interesting to see how the amazing breakthroughs in drone technology will affect us a few years down the road. Do you have any predictions? I’m hoping to see self-driving cars make it into the mainstream before I die.