space

Christine Sapio

A group of teenagers in Flagstaff are spending their summer… hanging out at school. They’re the CocoNuts FIRST Robotics Team, an award winning club of budding engineers at Coconino High School. They’ve built a replica lunar rover to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. The rover makes/made a grand entrance on a float at the Fourth of July parade today. In this audio postcard, we hear from the kids and one of their coaches about the project.

Canyon Movement Company

It was a marvelous night for a moon dance at the annual Spring Dance Festival in Flagstaff presented by Canyon Movement Company. This year’s theme was the Apollo missions. How do dancers translate science onto the stage? In this installment of Eats and Beats: Stories about Food and Music, we hear three choreographers explain how they used music and movement to cast a different light on the moon.


Derek Storm, www.derekstorm.com

NASA has wrapped up the first phase of a study on the long-term effects of space travel by using twins as research subjects. Scientists wanted to study people with the same genetics to compare DNA changes in different environments. There was really only one set of twins that would work for this particular study: astronaut brothers Mark and Scott Kelly. Scott spent 342 days in space – setting a new record – and Mark stayed on Earth, acting as a control experiment. On a recent stop in Flagstaff, Mark Kelly spoke with KNAU’s Zac Ziegler about the experience and what NASA has learned so far.


NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin

A space mission led by the University of Arizona has been orbiting a near-Earth asteroid for the past three months. It’s turned up a few surprises, including plumes of dust and rubble that erupt off the asteroid’s surface into space. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft beamed back the first close-up image of its target, Ultima Thule, revealing it’s a “contact binary”—two space rocks stuck together. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

This is the most primitive contact binary ever explored by a spacecraft. It likely formed four and a half billion years ago by a process called “accretion.” Particles of rock and rubble melded into two round objects, which then slowly spiraled together until they stuck.  

NASA

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which visited Pluto three years ago, flew by another frozen world in the outer regions of the solar system last night. Ultima Thule is now the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft. Will Grundy of Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory is one of the scientists involved. He spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny from mission control in Maryland.

NASA

Late last night, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by a small icy object at the edge of the solar system. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, it’s now the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft.


NASA

Fifty years ago today, astronauts orbiting the Moon captured a photograph that some people say changed the world. It was the first color photograph of Earth from space. Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman took the unplanned picture from Apollo 8 just as the blue Earth began to rise over the pale lunar surface. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with local space historian Bill Sheehan about why the “Earthrise” photo mattered in 1968, and still matters today.   

NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

A NASA spacecraft operated by the University of Arizona has discovered water locked up in clay minerals on an asteroid. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, some scientists believe asteroids may have delivered water and organic molecules to Earth in its early history, sparking the origin of life.


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A NASA mission to an asteroid arrives at its destination today. OSIRIS REx is led by the University of Arizona and it’s the first U.S. spacecraft to visit an asteroid with plans to bring a sample of it back home. Scientists say the mission will tell us about the origins of the solar system and how to protect Earth from asteroid impacts. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with deputy principal investigator Heather Enos.


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