A Tantalum Bullet For Asteroid Research

This week, Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft made contact with the asteroid Ryugu. Plans call for the lander to fire a bullet made of tantalum into the asteroid’s gravelly surface, in hopes of blasting off dust and fragments that could be collected in a sample container for a later return to Earth. Ryan Mandelbaum, science writer at Gizmodo, joins Ira to talk about the mission to Ryugu and what the team hopes to learn.   

They’ll also chat about new information in the question of what led to the demise of the dinosaurs,  thesequencing of the great white shark genome, and a warning from the FDA not to seek a fountain of youth in transfusions of young blood, in this week’s News Roundup.


Further Reading

  • Learn more about the scientists trying to figure out what happened during the mass extinction that led to the rise of the dinosaurs.
  • While you shouldn’t seek transfusions of young blood to stay youthful, listen to this interview about the cultural significance and business of blood.
  • Meet the team of Indian scientist who were the first to get an orbiter to Mars in one try.

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