The Best of Our Knowledge
1:25 pm
Mon August 17, 2009

The Best of Our Knowledge # 987

Albany, NY –
ASTROBIOLOGY RESEARCH AND EDUCATION SERIES LINKS MOON ROCKS TO 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF MOON LANDINGS

"THE CATACLYSMIC BOMBARDMENT OF THE EARTH-MOON SYSTEM 3.9 BILLION YEARS AGO: COULD THE FORMATION OF THE MOON'S BASINS BE RELATED TO THE ORIGIN OF THE OORT CLOUD OF COMETS, THE ORBIT OF PLUTO, AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH?"

By now, we've all experienced the media immersion and focus on the first Moon landing 40 years ago. But what many may have not considered is, what's left of all those Moon rocks the Apollo astronauts brought back with them to Earth?

Well, as it turns out, scientists are still using Moon samples for their research: still discovering new information, and in the process, finding out important things about Earth's history and our own solar system.

One of those Moon rock researchers joins TBOOK in studio to discuss how he is applying new technology to discover more from the materials that were returned. He is Dr. Timothy Swindle, a Professor in the Department of Planetary Sciences at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona in Tucson. His specialty is Cosmochemistry.

Glenn Busby reports. (10:35)

The preceding is made possible by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, through support of the New York Center for Astrobiology, located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - in partnerships with the University at Albany, the University of Arizona, and Syracuse University.

**(For more information about this story, or any of the other more than 150 stories featured in this current and past exclusive radio series, or if you would like to hear them again via your computer, the website given at the conclusion of the above segment is: www.origins.rpi.edu.)**

TBOOK REMEMBERS TEACHER FRANK MCCOURT

PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF "ANGELA'S ASHES"
PASSES AWAY AT AGE 78 -

Of course with Walter Cronkite's passing away on the anniversary of the first Moon landing, and Cronkite's link forever in history to that amazing event another death just two days later received very little public notice.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Angela's Ashes", Frank McCourt, also died at the end of last month. He was 78. It was announced in May that McCourt had been treated for melanoma, and that he was in remission undergoing home chemotherapy. He reportedly died from the disease, with meningitis complications at a hospice in Manhattan.

For most of his life, Frank McCourt was not a writer. He was a teacher. He taught English and creative writing for 30 years in New York City Schools.

After retiring, McCourt wrote "Angela's Ashes", a memoir of growing up in Ireland. It became a number one best-seller and won him multiple awards. Next, came "Tis", which told the story of making it in America as an immigrant. And his last book, "Teacher Man", chronicles his methods of teaching.

That was the occasion of our last visit with Frank McCourt here on The Best of Our Knowledge. TBOOK's, Jim Horne, spoke with McCourt back in 2006. We hope you enjoy this memorial from our program archives.

Jim Horne reports. (8:57)