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Space Shuttle Discovery Joins Smithsonian

Space shuttle Discovery is expected to grace the skies over Washington next week before it takes up residence at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

NPR

A Silver Lining When Rockets Fail In The Clouds

Robert Siegel speaks with Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, about what can be learned from rocket failures like North Korea's.
NPR

There's A Reason It's Called Rocket Science

The history of rocket launches is filled with failure, but out of those failures came knowledge that helped lead to success, experts note. The question is whether North Korea's latest failure will put it on a successful path.
NPR

Searching For Nature's Time Machines in 'Relics'

In a new book, Relics: Travels in Nature's Time Machine, Harvard entomologist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki documents his travels, from New Guinea to New Zealand and beyond, looking for organisms whose genes can tell us something about conditions on Earth millions of years ago.
NPR

Engineering For Success By Building on Failure

In a new book, To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, engineer Henry Petroski chronicles disasters from the sinking of the Titanic to the destruction of space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. Petroski discusses why these accidents are often caused by factors other than a design flaw.
NPR

Living It Up In Space

How do astronauts take a bath in space? What happens to their sense of smell in a weightless environment? Two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station discuss the challenges of life in low Earth orbit and how their research is a stepping stone for future space exploration.
NPR

How Humans And Insects Conquered The Earth

In The Social Conquest of Earth, biologist and naturalist Edward O. Wilson writes of how humans and insects conquered the Earth by forming complex societies based on group cooperation, and he discusses the evolutionary struggle between our altruistic and selfish natures.

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