While tensions remain high between the United States and North Korea, the relationship is more cordial between their scientists.
Scientists from both nations are collaborating via nongovernmental organizations and universities on projects ranging from tuberculosis research and deforestation issues to digital information technology.
The idea behind science diplomacy is to build bridges and relationships through research and academics despite political tensions. This month, a delegation of North Korean economic experts visited Silicon Valley to see various American businesses and academic institutions such as Stanford University. It may seem like a bizarre concept that two countries, at odds with each other, would share scientific knowledge.
It was a strange sight indeed - one large aircraft carrying another large aircraft strapped on top. But that's exactly what skyward-looking folks in Washington saw Tuesday as Space Shuttle Discovery, atop a Boeing 747, made an inspiring pass over the capital in its final flight.
It makes you wonder: How can the 747 transport something that big and heavy? Well, the shuttle-airliner combo is not as heavy as you might first think. In fact, it's a relatively easy load to hoist.
When the shuttle missions started in the 1980s, NASA designated several places as landing strips for the orbiter, including Edwards AFB in California.