In just two days, the rover Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars, after automatic maneuvers that stretch the boundaries of credibility. We find out how, why, and what's at stake for the mission, the future of space exploration and the search for life elsewhere in the universe. Also, spinning the July jobs report, and unfinished business in Washington.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Today's monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics allowed for different interpretations. President Obama touted the increase in jobs for creating "the security that comes with work." Mitt Romney called it "another hammer blow to the struggling middle class families of America." Reuters agreed with Romney, but Associated Press found "a hopeful sign after three months of sluggish hiring." Daniel Gross is editor and columnist for Newsweek and the Daily Beast.
On Sunday evening in Pasadena — Monday morning in Times Square — a scientific laboratory is schedule to land on the surface of Mars.With Mars roughly 154 million miles away, the landing can't be controlled from Earth. The Mars rover "Curiosity" is designed to slow down from 13,000 miles an hour to zero in just seven minutes — automatically. If that mind-boggling scenario works, the most complex laboratory ever sent into deep space will try to determine if life might possibly have existed on Mars. Nobody knows if they'll find what they're looking for.Why has NASA spent $2.5 billion on such a risky expedition? Will this weekend's scheduled landing help resolve the fundamental question: are we alone?
NASA centers around the country, including NASA Headquarters in Washington, will be open for landing events. Many science centers also are opening for events focused on the Curiosity landing. To find events near you, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/QtmuY7
Ashwin Vasavada, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Ryan Anderson, US Geological Survey (@marschronicler)
Jonathan McDowell, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (@planet4589)
Emily Lakdawalla, Planetary Society (@elakdawalla)
Forget about drought relief for farmers and ranchers or cyber-security for critical infrastructure. Congress has recessed for five weeks of political campaigning. The House and the Senate adjourned yesterday, and won't return for more than a month, leaving behind a lot of unfinished business. Jennifer Steinhauer is congressional correspondent for the New York Times.
More From To the Point
Trump’s war on the FBI Donald Trump claims rogue FBI agents are part of a Deep State he accuses of “spying” on his presidential campaign. A former agent tells Warren the “the FBI doesn’t spy… it catches spies.” Shades of Watergate? Richard Nixon’s former White House lawyer, John Dean, says, “no way.”
Touching down in fly-over country Dodge City, Kansas and Erie, Pennsylvania may have something in common. That’s just one surprise in “Our Towns,” a new book by James and Deborah Fallows. The veteran Atlantic magazine correspondent and his scholarly wife spent two weeks in each of 25 different cities. Their search for America’s character provides anecdotes, comparisons and distinctions after a journey of 100,000 miles.
Teachers are battling back Teachers are mad as hell in several red states. They’re walking out over cuts in pay and reductions in classroom support. It’s a grass-roots rebellion from West Virginia to Kentucky and Arizona. Will it renew support for the value of public education in a changing economy?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Calif. Governor’s race: Travis Allen interview Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen represents Huntington Beach. Allen missed out on President Trump’s endorsement, but he says he still supports him and his agenda. Allen talks to us about immigration, his support for a border wall, and… Read More
The most competitive races and measures on the Santa Barbara and Ventura primary ballot It’s primary season! Voter materials have already arrived for those with vote-by-mail ballots, and election day is quickly approaching on Tuesday, June 5. Santa Barbara June primaries Here’s a look at… Read More