This month, NASA revealed new details of the plan to send humans to Mars by 2030. It's an elaborate and expensive mission, involving a giant deep-space rocket, and roping an asteroid into the moon's orbit to use as a stepping stone to Mars.
But there are still some serious questions about a manned expedition to Mars. Namely, is it safe? That's where astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly come in. The Kelly brothers are identical twins, and the only siblings ever to both fly in space.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Iraq is suffering the worst spate of violence in many years — some say the worst since the height of the U.S. war in 2008. On Friday, dozens of people were killed at an election rally in Baghdad. This Wednesday, Iraqis will go to the polls in the first parliamentary election since the U.S. pulled combat troops out in 2011.
In five wars over 10 years, Ron Capps shifted back and forth between being a U.S. Army officer and a State Department foreign service officer in some of the world's deadliest places.
In Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, he served as a senior military intelligence officer. In wartime Kosovo, Darfur and Rwanda, he worked as a diplomat out in the field, documenting violence and war. As he writes in his new memoir, all the while he was almost daily "in the midst of murder, rape, the burning of villages, crimes against humanity, war crimes, ethnic cleaning or genocide."
Just a few words can hold a world of meaning. John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court justice, has written a short new book in which he proposes a few words here and there that would create some sweeping changes.
The book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, details the half-dozen ways Stevens thinks the Constitution could be improved, changes that he says are worth the trouble of the arduous amendment process.
E-cigarettes are not new, but there is still much that's unknown about them. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explains the latest research on e-cigarettes and offers his take on new regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.
This week in Seattle, Bill and Melinda Gates are attending a meeting of the minds.
Five hundred of the world's top innovators in global health have gathered for the Global Health Product Development Forum, an annual event in which scientists, engineers, policymakers and activists work to develop new tools for fighting diseases.
At some schools, the admissions process itself can work against low-income students, according to Georgia Nugent, former president of Kenyon College and a senior fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges.
Nugent says during her tenure at Kenyon, there were low-income students at the bottom of the admissions list who sometimes weren't accepted so the school could make room for more affluent students.
President Obama kicked off the first leg of his tour of Asia on Wednesday with some sushi diplomacy.
He dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a revered and tiny temple of sushi in Tokyo called Sukiyabashi Jiro. The subterranean restaurant, with just 10 seats at the counter, was made famous by the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.