Exploration

100-year-old whisky highlights art of blending

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 9, 2012   View Article

Antarctica-bound explorers would be wise to bring a case or two of Scotch whisky to endure chilly nights. Ernest Shackleton was wise.

In fact, the Scotch he packed for the Nimrod’s 1907 attempt to reach the South Pole was exceptional, according to distillers who sampled and re-created the drink.

7 tales of cities lost or found

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: July 30, 2009   View Article

The Lost City of Z, a fabled metropolis of unimagined riches deep in the Amazon rain forest, has eluded explorers for centuries. But recently documented traces of a well-planned constellation of walled settlements arranged around central plazas and linked together with arrow-straight roads in the Upper Xingu region of the Brazilian Amazon may be the civilization that gave birth to the legend, scientists say. Check out this and six more tales from cities lost and found.

New Species Pictures: “Ugly” Salamander and More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 16, 2009   View Article

See an E.T.-like amphibian, a prickly lizard, a katydid that sends vibrating valentines, and more—all potential new species found in remote Ecuadorian mountains.

NASA Aims for Moon by 2018, Unveils New Ship

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 19, 2005   View Article

Today NASA unveiled plans to return humans to the moon by 2018. Astronauts are expected to travel in a new spaceship that combines technologies developed for the space shuttle and Apollo programs.

The last lunar landing was during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

The new plan will cost about 104 billion U.S. dollars over the next 13 years and help President George W. Bush achieve the vision for space exploration that he outlined on January 14, 2004. At that time Bush said he wanted humans back on the moon by 2020.

Arizona Tries to Save “Living Cave”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 19, 2005   View Article

In 1974 cool, moist air billowed from a crack in Arizona’s sunbaked desert and lured cave hunters Randy Tufts and Gary Tenen underground. There, glistening formations of rock hung from the ceiling like icicles and sprouted from the ground. The explorers were overwhelmed. They’d discovered a so-called living cave.

Tufts and Tenen were the first humans known to set foot in the Kartchner Caverns, which today are among the world’s top show caves.

Mars Rovers Exceed 1 Year Mark – And Expectations

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 24, 2005   View Article

A year ago today scientists erupted in riotous applause when a robotic rover named Opportunity safely bounced to a stop on Mars. Today, long after the end of its 90-day initial mission, the rover continues to dazzle the world with insight into Mars’s wet past.

“I never, ever would have imagined the opportunity to literally be standing here a year later and saying yet again, ‘We’re back, and we’re still on Mars,'” departing NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe told reporters gathered for a celebration earlier this month. The occasion was to mark the one-year anniversary of the successful landing and deployment of Spirit, Opportunity’s twin rover which plopped down on to the opposite side of the red planet on January 3, 2004.

Deep Sea Hot Spots Harbor Abundant Life

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 24, 2004   View Article

The deep ocean floor is a dark, cold, remote, and seemingly lifeless place that until recently lay largely below the radar of science and exploration. But with advances in technology, scientists are accessing the deep and finding life everywhere they look.

“Typically the deep sea is very sparsely populated and at first glance it may appear as a vast, desolated plain of mud,” said Jeffrey Drazen, a marine biologist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach