Today on Focus we'll talk about the future of America's space program with expert John Logsdon. He supports further Moon and Mars missions and says that while the technical problems are significant, the Mars project would be a compelling mission that would attract high-quality scientists to NASA, and finally allow the organization to concentrate some of the world's greatest minds on a single exciting task.
Where do planetary science and philosophy intersect? In one fascinating field: the search for extraterrestrial life. Today on Focus, David Grinspoon speculates about the possibility of life on other planets and in other solar systems, how intelligent life may evolve both on our own planet and in the rest of the universe, and what the philosophical implications of these future discoveries may be.
Sojourner's diminutive size didn't stop it from captivating millions of people when it beamed back the first-ever photos from the red terrain of Mars. But the Pathfinder mission's story goes far back beyond that first contact. NASA engineer Andrew Mishkin joins us today on Focus to give us the details on the massive effort made by the world's best minds to land an artificial intelligence on the surface of Mars.
Mars is one of the brightest and most beautiful planets—and it may also hold the key to the question of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. Today on Focus we're joined by astronomer and writer Ken Croswell. His new book Magnificent Mars talks about the geology, topography, and atmosphere of the planet, as well as the spacecraft due to land on its surface within the next few weeks. What do we hope to learn from these latest missions to the Red Planet? This morning, Croswell will be answering that question—and more.
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched what would be the first man-made object to enter space. Today on Focus, we'll explore the dramatic history of Sputnik's launch, the instantaneous impact it made on the next decade to come, and the developments that brought America into the space race. Our guest will be writer Paul Dickson, author of Sputnik: The Shock of the Century.