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The Plutonium Problem: Who Pays For Space Fuel?

NASA has relied on a special kind of fuel, called plutonium-238, to power robotic space missions for five decades. that it sometimes seems easier to chart a course across the solar system than to navigate the budget process inside Washington, D.C.
NPR

For Copernicus, A 'Perfect Heaven' Put Sun At Center

In 1543, when Nicolaus Copernicus made the astounding claim that Earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around, his ideas were met with scorn. "It went against everything that your senses tell you. It went against common sense," says author Dava Sobel, who wrote a new book about the astronomer.
NPR

Nebraska May Play Key Role In Canada Pipeline Battle

TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline would cut through the Ogallala aquifer, a major water source that supplies about 80 percent of Nebraska's water for drinking and irrigation. Legislators have introduced bills preventing pipelines in environmentally sensitive areas.
NPR

Fake Mission Accomplished For Mars500

This week marked the end of the Mars500 experiment, a 520-day simulation of a trip to the red planet that sealed six men inside windowless modules in a Russian laboratory. The crew dealt with fake emergencies and communications blackouts, and finally suited up to "land" on a fake Martian landscape. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports.
NPR

MAP: TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline

The company is planning to extend its existing pipeline to the Gulf Coast. It also would add a secondary pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska that takes a more direct route than the one completed in 2010.
NPR

A Researcher Asks: Are Dolphins Self-Aware?

Like chimpanzees, dolphins are large-brained and highly social animals, but can they recognize themselves in a mirror? Psychologist and dolphin researcher Diana Reiss discusses her work with dolphin communication and cognition.
NPR

Peering Into The Brain, But At What?

Modern brain-imaging techniques have given researchers an unprecedented level of detail about the structure of the brain, but are they any closer to puzzling out how the brain really works? Harvard neuroscientist Jeff Lichtman talks about the limitations of brain imaging, and the challenges of trying to use imaging techniques to decode the brain's behavior.
NPR

Exploring 'The Hidden Reality' Of Parallel Worlds

It is possible that there are many other universes that exist parallel to our universe. Theoretical physicist Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, explains how that's possible in the new book, The Hidden Reality.

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