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The Mars Mission
photo

Robotic Mars exploration has been no picnic. Half of all Mars missions have ended in failure. But right now, the Mars Phoenix Lander is up there, well-landed, sending back astonishing images, and — it appears — shaking off its problems extending the eight-foot arm that will dig for ice.

The Phoenix is looking for conditions that would support life on Mars. But the bigger search for life “out there” goes way beyond the Martian north pole, to “weird life” and “exoplanets.”

This hour, On Point: The Phoenix has landed: the new mission to Mars, and the search for life beyond Earth.

Guests:

Peter Smith, principal investigator and project leader of the Phoenix Mars Mission and a scientist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and associate professor of physics at MIT.

Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.

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ONPOINT
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Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

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Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

 
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Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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