12/15/2017

A Return To The Moon, An Ancient Bludgeon, And Anesthetized Plants

7:34 minutes

aldrin in his spacesuit on the moon in color next to the american flag
Buzz Aldrin saluting the U.S. flag during the Apollo 11 mission. Credit: NASA

This week, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, directing the NASA administrator to make plans for “a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use.”  In remarks at the signing, the president said that “this time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints—we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond.” The directive, however, doesn’t allocate any new funding to the effort, and it’s not clear how much of the national space policy it will actually change.  

[In Louisiana, a battle ensues over coastal restoration.]

Annalee Newitz, tech culture editor at Ars Technica, joins Ira to talk about that plan and other stories from the week in science, including the FCC vote regarding Net Neutrality,  “experimental archaeology” research on a Neothlithic weapon known as the Thames Beater, and studies about whether animal anesthetics such as ether can also be used to anesthetize plants.


Support great science journalism!

Segment Guests

Annalee Newitz

Annalee Newitz is the tech culture editor for arstechnica.com  and founding editor of io9.com. She’s the author of  Autonomous (Tor, 2017). She’s based in San Francisco, California.

Meet the Producer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.

Explore More