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MARS TECHNICA

mars-technica-icon.JPGCould Jezero Crater hold the keys to unlocking an ancient and hidden past when life existed on the Martian surface? As NASA’s Perseverance rover heads to Mars to find out, we take you on board the spacecraft to learn more about some of its incredible exploratory technology from the scientists who created it. Come journey with us on our exciting limited-series podcast by Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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Mars needs women: ChemCam and the future of space missions: As Perseverance zooms toward Mars, still just at the beginning of its mission, the Curiosity rover celebrates its eighth year on the Red Planet. For the better part of a decade, an extraordinary instrument aboard Curiosity has been investigating the chemical building blocks of life and making exciting discoveries about Mars' habitability — with an extraordinary team at the helm.

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What rocks may reveal about Martian life: Before we can fully dive into answering questions about life on Mars, we have to answer some questions about life on Earth. Living microbes formed rock varnish in the desert Southwest. A new podcast considers whether they play the same role on Mars. 

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After Perseverance lands in February 2021…what happens next? Learn how the team will operate the rover from millions of miles away, discover some interesting theories about where possible Martian life could have gone, and listen to a few words of caution about why we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions about life on the Red Planet — not yet.

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The arid, dusty Mars we know today looked a lot different in the deep past. NASA’s Perseverance rover is headed straight for a spot that scientists believe was an ancient river delta. Once there, the rover’s instruments will search for signs that life could have existed on the Red Planet. In this episode, scientists Roger Wiens, Nina Lanza and Patrick Gasda talk about what these signs are — and what they may mean.

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To have the kind of dependable power needed to explore the sub-zero temperatures of Mars, the rover needs a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) — essentially a nuclear battery that uses heat from the natural radioactive decay of plutonium-238 to generate electricity as a kind of fuel. Under Secretary for Nuclear Security of the Department of Energy and NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thom Mason and engineer Jackie Lopez-Barlow explain how it works.

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At the end of the long-necked mast on top of the rover sits something that looks like a head with one wide eye. That’s SuperCam. The suite of instruments will zap rocks and examine their chemical and mineral makeup. In this episode, scientists Roger Wiens and Patrick Gasda take us on a guided tour of this fascinating instrument...

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Mars has captivated the imaginations of humankind for centuries. The Perseverance rover will dig into the Red Planet’s past to find out if ancient life once existed on the Martian surface — but to fully understand what we want...

National Security Science Podcast

nss-podcast-series.JPGThe National Security Science podcast is a spin-off of National Security Science magazine at Los Alamos National Laboratory. We bring you stories from the Lab’s Weapons Program—stories that show how innovative science and engineering are the key to keeping America safe. Or, as we like to say, better science equals better security.

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Salt Life: Go on patrol with an Ohio-class submarine that's ready to launch nuclear warheads at a moment’s notice

Ohio-class submarines disappear into the ocean for 70 days at a time, carrying 155 sailors, 24 nuclear-armed missiles, and more hot sauce than your local taqueria. Retired Naval officer Mark Levin gives a firsthand account.

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A moment of glory: testing the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile

The knowledge gained from testing the Minuteman III system has become more important than ever—even when things don't go as planned.

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A wealth of stealth: An inside perspective on flying the B-2 Spirit bomber

Los Alamos Air Force Fellow and B-2 pilot Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Steeves reads “A wealth of stealth,” a feature article that appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of National Security Science magazine. Steeves shares what it’s like to fly the B-2, a 31-year-old, 160,000-pound nuclear-capable bomber.