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NASA Launches Mars Rover Curiosity

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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.

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'Neither Snow Nor Rain' Celebrates History Of U.S. Postal Service

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with author Devin Leonard whose new book, Neither Snow Nor Rain, celebrates the history of the U.S. Postal Service.
WAMU 88.5

Should Local Restaurants Retire The Phrase, "Farm To Table?"

Where does Washington restaurant food really come from? Kojo explores how the phrase "farm to table" is used and discusses whether it should be retired altogether.

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The Results Of Tuesday's Indiana Primaries

Senator Ted Cruz drops out of the presidential race and Senator Bernie Sanders wins Indiana. Guest host Lisa Desjardins talks with a panel of guests about what Tuesday's primary results mean for the 2016 presidential race.

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Not Just Bitcoin: Why Blockchain Is A Seductive Technology To Many Industries

From bank regulation to military messaging, blockchain is offering a wide potential to change the way online transactions and communications are carried out.

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