March 20, 2007 - Focus

Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space

Guest: Chris Jones.

In November 2002, two American astronauts left Earth for a routine mission to the International Space Station. In February 2003, six of their colleagues boarded the space shuttle Columbia to return to the planet. Then came the bad news—Columbia had disintegrated only minutes away from landing, leaving the two still in space without their ride home. Today on Focus we'll get the full story from Chris Jones, author of Too Far from Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space.

Book cover for Dark Side of the Moon

January 09, 2007 - Focus

Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest

Guest: Gerard DeGroot.

The massive moon craze of the 1960s was sold on a promise of a positive influence on the economy, on politics, and on American culture. It certainly made a considerable cultural impact at the time, but since that first step the American space program has been as barren as the satellite it landed on. Today on Focus, professor of modern history Gerard DeGroot joins us to discuss whether it was as big a leap for mankind as Armstrong suggested.

August 03, 2006 - Focus

The Summer Skies

Guest: Jim Kaler, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Illinois.

As the seasons change, so does the sky. This morning on Focus, Professor of Astronomy Jim Kaler joins us to guide us through our corner of the universe. He will point out some of the more interesting features currently on display in the night exhibit and take general questions about astronomy and space exploration.

March 28, 2006 - Focus

The Mars Mission

Guest: Steven Squyres, Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University.

Twin robotic explorers Spirit and Opportunity have added a great deal to our understanding of Mars. Among other things, they have found substantial evidence that at one time, there was water on the surface of the planet. Today on Focus, Cornell University astronomer Steven Squyres talks us through what we know so far and the big question... was there ever life on the Red Planet?

October 13, 2005 - Focus

The Ultimate Field Trip: An Interview with Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt

Guest: Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut.

The last man to walk on the moon did so in 1972. Harrison Schmitt is to date the only civilian scientist to the moon, a geologist who continues to be a strong advocate for the exploration and settlement of space. Today on Focus, he'll talk about what it's like to stand on the lunar surface, and about what lies ahead for humans in space.

September 02, 2005 - Focus

The United States’ Space Program: What’s Next

Guest: Robert Zubrin.

Will astronauts ever return to the moon? Will they venture beyond our own system to other planets? This morning on Focus, we'll discuss Space Shuttle design, interplanetary travel, and Mars missions with former NASA engineer Robert Zubrin, worked on the design of advanced space transportation and propulsion as well as the development of strategies for the exploration of Mars during his time with the space agency.

September 23, 2004 - Focus

Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

Guest: Neil deGrasse Tyson.

How did the universe begin? It's a question that plagued scientists for centuries, and one that astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explores in his recent book Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution. He joins us on Focus today to discuss the formation of the universe, as well as its galaxies, planets... and inhabitants.

The Hubble Space Telescope orbiting above the Earth


August 17, 2004 - Focus

The Hubble Telescope and the Space Telescope Program

Guests: Mario Livo and John Bahcall.

Over the past fourteen years, the Hubble Space Telescope has added greatly to our knowledge of the universe, yet its future is in doubt. Unless a repair mission can be organized, Hubble will come to the end of its useful life in the next few years. Today on Focus, we're joined by Mario Livo and John Bahcall to talk about the efforts to keep Hubble going, as well as plans for the next-generation space telescope.

June 29, 2004 - Focus

The Commercialization of Space

Guest: Robert Zimmerman.

Last week, test pilot Michael Melville became the first person to reach space in a privately funded program. The designers of the craft, called "SpaceShipOne," have their sights set on a prize offered to anyone who can put a crew of three into space, bring them back safely, and repeat the feat within two weeks. Many people believe that Melville's flight, and the presence of contests like these, are opening the doors to space tourism. Today on Focus we'll explore the commercialization of space with award-winning sicence writer Robert Zimmerman.

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