Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:38 pm
NASA's MAVEN explorer blasted off Monday on the first leg of its 440-million-mile journey to Mars, where scientists hope it will answer an ancient question: why the red planet went from warm and wet to cold and dry in a matter of just a billion years.
The robot orbiter, called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe, launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:28 p.m. EST. It will take 10 months to reach Mars.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:30 pm
Workers at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station successfully completed the first day of a delicate operation to remove radioactive fuel rods from a reactor damaged in the March 2011 tsunami.
The fuel rods were removed from the Unit 4 reactor, which was offline at the time the tsunami smashed into the plant, overwhelming its backup systems. Although Unit 4 was spared the fate of three other reactors that melted down, a fire in its containment building weakened the structure.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:14 pm
To coincide with the release of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, our reporting theme this week will focus on video games — the development, the potential and the way they are shaping modern life. As always, we want to hear your ideas, so feel free to tweet, comment or email.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 1:45 pm
Hey there, hipster. No bike helmet, huh? Well, we all have our excuses. There are the vanity-driven ones that — let's be honest — explain why the majority of our brain cages sit collecting dust in the dark corners of the garage. Squashed hair, unflattering chin straps, general discomfort, etc.
On Thursday, authorities in Canada announced the bust of an enormous international child pornography operation. It was the end of a three-year investigation into a website that trafficked in illicit videos of young boys. More than 300 people have been arrested in connection with the videos, 76 of them in the United States.
On Wednesday, diplomats from the United States and Iran — along with five other world powers — go back to Geneva and the negotiating table. They'll be discussing a possible deal to limit Iran's controversial nuclear program, which has sparked international tensions for a decade.
The previous meeting between Iran and the five permanent Security Council members (Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S.) plus Germany failed to produce an agreement.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:35 am
Imagine a tiny computer embedded under your scalp that's constantly tracking your brain activity and zapping you when it senses something awry.
That might sound like science fiction, but a medical device that does that was just approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an option for people with epilepsy that's resistant to treatment with drugs.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea. Some news this week got us thinking about how radically our viewing habits are changing. The broadband service company, Sandvine, released a study that shows that Netflix and YouTube now account for more than half of the data we consume on fixed networks, which is to say at home or work. It's just one more bit of evidence that Americans are increasingly turning to online video sources for news and entertainment, rather than TV, which mean advertisers have to do the same.