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The Mars Mission
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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
TODAY
Dec 23, 2014
NYPD Officers Shot

Calls for police reforms after officers’ shootings. How the conversation is and isn’t changing from Ferguson to New York.

Dec 23, 2014
Have you ever thought about what your cat thinks about you? (Flicr / Creative Commons)

There’s a reason your cats act the way they do. Their genome shows, they’re not so different from wild animals. We’ll dive in.

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Dec 22, 2014
A sample of some of the costumes on display at the fall 2014 "Dance & Fashion" exhibition at New York City's Museum at FIT. (AP)

Couture fashion exhibits are drawing record crowds at museums. We’ll look at the beauty and the art behind the glitz.

 
Dec 22, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. (AP)

A weak ruble and a turbulent economy. We look at Putin’s Russia and what its economic free fall means.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

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Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

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Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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