Arizona Science Desk

Reporting on science, technology and innovation in Arizona and the Southwest through a collaboration from Arizona NPR member stations. This project is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Additional stories from the Arizona Science Desk are posted at our collaborating station, KJZZ: http://kjzz.org/science

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Amanda Solliday - KAWC

Blythe, California will soon become home to a 485-megawatt photovoltaic facility. The desert town of 20,000 people sits just west of the Colorado River, across from the Arizona border.

The Renewable Resources Group, an asset management firm, will oversee the building process.

The solar farm will sit on roughly five square miles of private land and supply energy to an estimated 145,000 homes in southern California.

NASA

NASA tested the parachute system of the Orion spacecraft using a mock capsule at the Yuma Proving Ground on Aug. 26, 2015. The 11-parachute system will slow the vehicle during the last phase of descent after a mission, ensuring astronauts can land safely.

Read more about the test here: http://kawc.org/post/nasa-orion-mission-one-step-closer-manned-flight

NASA Orion Mission One Step Closer To Manned Flight

Aug 26, 2015
Amanda Solliday - KAWC

Before mankind takes that giant leap to Mars, there are a lot of smaller steps men and women are taking here on Earth to prepare for the mission.

To test the Orion spacecraft's landing parachutes, the crew dropped a model of the capsule from 35,000 feet above the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground on August 26.

This remote part of the Sonoran Desert is a perfect place for a spacecraft test. You can usually count on a few things like no rain, few clouds and an isolated place to land.

Amanda Solliday-KAWC

Eight new cases of citrus greening have popped up in the past month near Los Angeles, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The tree-killing disease is also damaging groves in Florida and Texas, but has yet to appear in Arizona.

As Amanda Solliday reports from the Arizona Science Desk, researchers want to know if climates like Arizona’s offer citrus trees some natural protections against greening.

: The Wilderness Society

The Wilderness Society has published a searchable map where you can find parks and recreational areas that are supported by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), including nearly 40 Arizona sites.

The map also gives information about funding by project and county.

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