Important clues to the origins of the solar system come from asteroids, comets and meteors, believed to be remnants from the early solar system. Until the early 1990s, the only information obtained on these bodies was through Earth-based observations, either by observing them in orbit or by examining the remnants that reach us here on Earth. Producer Dan Grossman investigates the history of our understanding of comets with astrobiologist and author David Grinspoon and science historian Sara Schechner. He visits famed comet hunter David Levy. In recent years, scientists have been able to investigate asteroids and comets in unprecedented detail by sending spacecraft to examine them from close range. Grossman looks at the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker mission, the first to circle an asteroid and give scientists a close-up look at one of the largest remnants of the solar system’s birth. Project leader and astro-physicist Andrew Cheng from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab details how the composition, orbits, and trajectories of asteroids, comets and meteorites help predict and record the life of the solar system.
The Soundprint documentary series features the best work of top radio producers. The award winning documentaries are renowned for drawing the listener into the story with compelling interviews, authentic voices and rich sound. From memoirs to science, health and popular culture, Soundprint creates a powerful experience the listener will not soon forget.