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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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.

NASA Releases New Data on California’s ‘Rain Debt’

Jul 30, 2015
NASA/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio

A new NASA study examines 36 years of precipitation patterns in California.

Researchers are using this information to learn more about the current drought and how much precipitation it would take to quench a thirsty state.

How Biologists Plan To Save Endangered Sonoran Pronghorn

Jul 29, 2015
Arizona Game and Fish Department

Pronghorn once roamed North America by the millions, but human activity fragmented the species into four distinctive types, one of which makes its home in the desert Southwest.

The Sonoran pronghorn is light, fast and adapted for life in the desert, but just over a decade ago they were all but wiped out due to a severe drought. Now, efforts to help the endangered animal make a comeback are proving successful.

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