Tahoe Talk podcast: NASA rover to land on Mars; Drone numbers rise

We hope you enjoyed the long weekend, whether you were celebrating the joyous Lunar New Year (FYI: Year of the Ox), Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Presidents Day … or just this four-day week.

– Perseverance, NASA’s most sophisticated rover to date, is expected to land on the surface of Mars on Thursday, Feb. 18, around 12:55 p.m. The rover has been traveling through space since launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the end of July. When it reaches Mars, Perseverance will have traveled 292.5 million miles on its journey from Earth. The rover will explore Jezero Crater, the site of an ancient lake that existed 3.9 billion years ago, and search for microfossils in the rocks and soil. Along for the ride with Perseverance is an experiment to fly a helicopter, called Ingenuity, on another planet for the first time

– Back in 2012, the FAA anticipated 30,000 drones operating by 2020. But, like the current temperature in Texas, that was wayyyyy too low. According to data from the government, there are at least 1,746,248 registered drones in the country, and likely many more unregistered ones.

– In Bloomberg’s annual ranking of innovative countries, America has fallen outside the top 10. When the index first launched in 2013, the U.S. took the top spot. (South Korea came in at No. 1 this year.) According to the analysis, the country is falling behind in terms of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates, advanced degrees and workers in research and development. A 2020 report from the National Science Board sounded a warning about the U.S. being “no longer the uncontested leader” in science and engineering.

– Jeopardy’s late Alex Trebeck donates wardrobe to The Doe Fund, an organization that “provides paid work, housing, vocational training, continuing education and comprehensive social services to underserved Americans with histories of addiction, homelessness and incarceration,”

– What happens when you mix the world’s richest human and the No. 1 downloaded podcast in the world? Find out by listening to Elon Musk and Joe Rogan. 3:24


– In an announcement last week, NV governor Sisolak announced that beginning yesterday, most NV businesses will be able to move into the 35% capacity range and in another month possibly back into the 50% capacity range. It also pushes large gatherings into a 200 or 25% (whatever is less)

– California’s Gov. Newsom might be on the hot seat as the petition to recall him says they have the amount of signatures needed for the campaign to happen.

– Sunken boat off of Pope beach

– In Incline Village – thanks to a grant from the Duffield Foundation, the sheriff’s office will be fully staffed this summer – something that hasn’t been done in over 20 years.

– If you’re a cross country skier – or just want to hit up something different without the lines from the lift, cross country trails have been groomed and ready to ski at Spooner Lake

– Only sight of weather on the horizon is possibly Friday and potentially into the weekend, but looks like rain at lake level and snow at the higher elevations

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