NASA Launches Mars Rover Curiosity | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

NASA Launches Mars Rover Curiosity

Play associated audio

A Mars rover nicknamed "Curiosity" lifted off successfully from Cape Canaveral Saturday morning. The mission will study the chemical makeup of air and soil on Mars using instruments that have been designed and built in Maryland.

The suite of instruments is called the Sample Analysis at Mars -- or SAM. It was developed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. SAM is designed to analyze samples of rock and soil, as well as the air around it.

Melissa Trainer, a research scientist at Goddard, says NASA is trying to determine whether life was ever present on Mars.

"All we know about habitable environments are what we see on Earth," says Trainer. "So it's important to kind of expand our focus and understand what habitability can mean on another planet."

Trainer says they'll conduct status checks, but won't receive the real data until they land on the surface. Goddard scientists will be waiting to analyze the information streaming back to Earth.

The rover is expected to touch down on Mars in August.

NPR

Small South Carolina Newspaper Takes Home Top Pulitzer Prize

The winners of this year's Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, fiction, poetry, drama, music, biography, history and nonfiction were announced Monday at Columbia University in New York.
NPR

When Danish Cows See Fresh Spring Pasture, They Jump For Joy

Thousands of spectators gather every April to see ecstatic cows return to fields on organic farms around Denmark. The organic industry says the event has helped fuel demand for organic foods.
WAMU 88.5

Hello, Goodbye: Pair Of Virginia Delegates Depart After Short Careers In Richmond

Some members of the Virginia's General Assembly are throwing in the towel, deciding against seeking reelection. — and some of them haven't been around for very long.
NPR

Norway Becoming First Country To Eliminate FM Radio

The switch from analog to digital radio offers more channels at a fraction of the cost, the government says.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.