Joe Palca

Joe Palca appears in the following:

Cassini Plunges To Saturn

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Cassini mission to Saturn ends on Friday. Scientists will steer the spacecraft into Saturn's atmosphere and watch it burn up.


Cassini Spacecraft Prepares For A Fiery Farewell In Saturn's Atmosphere

Monday, September 11, 2017

NASA's probe has spent the past 13 years orbiting Saturn, making a number of important discoveries along the way. On Friday, it will hurl itself into the planet's atmosphere and disintegrate.


The Army, The Inventor And The Surprising Uses Of A Batman Machine

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The Army wanted a new, small device that could pull a person rapidly up a rope. The invention they eventually got has uses far beyond the military.


How Moldy Hay And Sick Cows Led To A Lifesaving Drug

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The blood thinner warfarin, which prevents blood clots, owes its existence to some cows who got very sick after eating spoiled hay — and to a chemist who spent years trying to figure out why.


Millions Will See Total Solar Eclipse Sweep Across The U.S.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A total solar eclipse will make its way from Oregon to South Carolina. Millions are in the path of the eclipse, and millions more are head to locations where the total eclipse will be visible.


New Study Highlights Strong Link Between Basic Research And Inventions

Monday, August 14, 2017

A big waste of money or the engine of marketplace innovation? That's how some people see basic scientific research. Now a new study shows how basic research and inventions are connected.


Syrian Refugee And German Scientist Make An Unlikely Team

Monday, August 07, 2017

In Leipzig, Germany, two scientists from very different backgrounds are working on a unique research project.


Brush Yourself Off And Try Again: An Invention Story

Friday, August 04, 2017

Inventing even the simplest product is a fraught process. Mike Davidson and Mike Smith have learned that lesson the hard way as they seek to change the way teeth get cleaned.


After A Year In Space, The Air Hasn't Gone Out Of NASA's Inflated Module

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module was pumped up after it arrived at the International Space Station in 2016. NASA says it's doing well in the harsh environment.


Alabama Woman Stuck In NYC Traffic In 1902 Invented The Windshield Wiper

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Entrepreneur Mary Anderson thought it made no sense that New York streetcar drivers had to keep jumping off to clean snow from the windshield. She soon won a patent for her "window cleaning device."


Web Comic: The Scientist Who Escaped Aleppo

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

It was a harrowing journey. Nedal Said made a new life in Germany — and found what he'd always been looking for.


NASA Spacecraft Gets Up Close With Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Monday, July 10, 2017

NASA's Juno spacecraft will fly directly over the Great Red Spot, a swirling storm on Jupiter, on Monday. Scientists are hoping to gain a better understanding of the storm and why it persists.


Another July 4th Anniversary: Pathfinder's Landing On Mars

Monday, July 03, 2017

In 1997, the spacecraft's mission paved the way for the more sophisticated rovers operating on the Red Planet today.


Citizen Scientists Comb Images To Find An 'Overexcited Planet'

Thursday, June 01, 2017

In a crowdsourced search for celestial objects, four volunteers helped scientists identify a brown dwarf by studying images taken over the years by a NASA satellite.


Activists Build Human Rights Abuse Cases With Help From Cellphone Videos

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A human rights group finds itself with an interesting problem — an overwhelming number of videos to catalog as it builds legal cases. Computer scientists are creating tools to analyze the videos.


Juno Spacecraft Reveals Spectacular Cyclones At Jupiter's Poles

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The NASA has spotted enormous cyclones at the gas giant's north and south poles. The probe has also returned other data that have project scientists scratching their heads.


March For Science Organizers Work To Maintain Non-Partisan Position

Friday, April 21, 2017

A March for Science will be held Saturday in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other cities in the U.S. Organizers say the march is a non-partisan celebration of science. It's meant to both encourage political leaders to fund science and rely on scientific evidence when making policy decisions. Critics worry the march will turn into an anti-Trump rally and paint scientists as just another interest group.


Have Spare Time? Try To Discover A Planet

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Astronomers think there's an undiscovered planet lurking in the far reaches of the solar system, and they're asking the public's help to find it.


While Others Saw Refugees, This German Professor Saw Human Potential

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Carmen Bachmann, a professor in Leipzig, is building an online network to help political refugees who are scientists or social scientists connect with professional peers in Germany — their new home.


Travel Ban Keeps Scientists Out Of The Lab

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Trump administration's travel ban is preventing some researchers from returning to the U.S. Scientists fear this could negatively impact collaborations and international scientific meetings.