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What's Up

with Bruce Betts

Our resident planetary scientist and director of projects keeps you up-to-date on our exciting sci-tech projects, while dropping the occasional Random Space Fact.

Listen Up! Microphones to Fly to Mars

Bruce Betts • July 15, 2016 • 2

The Mars 2020 mission will carry microphones in its EDL package and its SuperCam instrument, which will enable us to finally hear the sounds of Mars. The Planetary Society has been trying to get microphones to Mars for 20 years and is ecstatic that these will fly.

A new hope for a microphone on Mars: Enhancing Mars 2020 science with sound

Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2016 • 6

When the Mars 2020 rover lands, we may finally hear the first audio recordings from the Martian surface.

Planetary Deep Drill Field Test: Road Trip

Bruce Betts • December 14, 2015

The Planetary Deep Drill is being tested in a California gypsum mine. Several Planetary Society staff took a road trip to visit the ongoing Honeybee Robotics test of this prototype robotic drill that could one day drill hundreds of meters into planetary ices.

Mastcam-Z: The Future of Stereo Imaging on Mars

Bruce Betts • October 29, 2015

An introduction to the Mastcam-Z stereo imager on the Mars 2020 rover, and brief reporting and reflections on team meetings, science instruments, and the exciting future of The Planetary Society covering the entire lifetime of this instrument, from design to Mars images.

Mega Hemorrhaging Total Lunar Eclipse Sept 27-28, 2015

Bruce Betts • September 24, 2015 • 1

There will be a spectacular total lunar eclipse on the night of Sept. 27-28, 2015, a newly dubbed Mega Hemorrhaging Eclipse. Here is info on what lunar eclipses are and how to observe the eclipse.

Opening the New Horizons Time Capsule

Bruce Betts • July 07, 2015 • 3

The New Horizons digital time capsule is opened, with the New Horizons Pluto flyby only one week away, showing images from Earth 2006 – the year New Horizons launched. Fifty images and captions from people in 17 countries were selected to be in the time capsule to reflect things expected to change by 2015.

Five steps to prevent asteroid impacts

Bruce Betts • June 30, 2015 • 3

For Asteroid Day, Bruce Betts reviews 5 steps needed to prevent asteroid impacts, as well as how The Planetary Society is involved in those.

Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners Announced: Saving the World

Bruce Betts • April 15, 2015

The six winners of the 2015 Shoemaker NEO Grants will use the grants to upgrade their observatories to improve their abilities to study potentially dangerous asteroids.

Planetary Defense Conference: Steps to Prevent Asteroid Impact

Bruce Betts • April 13, 2015 • 2

From Italy, Bruce Betts gives background and information at the start of the Planetary Defense Conference, which addresses the asteroid threat. Bruce summarizes steps to prevent asteroid impact.

Revitalized 0.81m telescope studying properties of NEOs

Bruce Betts • March 31, 2015

Thanks to a new focal reducer and re-aluminized mirror from a Shoemaker NEO grant, a 0.81-meter telescope in Italy is performing astrometric follow-up observations and physical studies of asteroids.

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