The Method: To An Asteroid; Turf Science

Aug 31, 2016

Patches of grass are grown and evaluated at the University of Tennessee's "turf farm."
Credit Matt Shafer Powell, WUOT News

Unmanned space probes and rovers are impressive feats of engineering, and they take great photos, but there’s something missing. The last time humans brought back a piece of the place they visited was during the Apollo program, nearly 45 years ago. Now, NASA is ready to embark on a mission that will swoop down close to the surface of an asteroid called Bennu. A long arm of the spacecraft will scoop up soil and rocks, and fly back to Earth. The mission is called OSIRIS-REx, and University of Tennessee planetary scientist Josh Emery is part of its science team. He speaks with Method host Brandon Hollingsworth.

Plus: When Astroturf debuted half a century ago, it was heralded as a major step forward for sports. Promises included enhanced safety and fewer injuries. Time has shown the original Astroturf wasn’t safe for athletes. In fact, it introduced a variety of serious injuries to the knees, feet and head. The good news is that athletic turf -and grass in general - has come a long way. WUOT’s Matt Shafer Powell recently visited the Turf Management farm at the University of Tennessee to find out.