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Gregory and James Benford on the "Starship Century"

Starship Century Book

Air Date: 09/30/2013
Run Time: 28:50

Listen to the full show:

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  • Gregory Benford, Physicist and Science Fiction Author, UC Irvine
  • James Benford, Physicist and President of Microwave Sciences, Microwave Sciences

Topics: interview, podcasts and videos, spacecraft, SETI, trans-neptunian objects, future technology, human spaceflight, Planetary Radio, explaining technology, the Moon, impact cratering, explaining science, Planetary Society People, Planetary Society, Late Heavy Bombardment, Bill Nye

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“Starship Century—Toward the Grandest Horizon” is the new collection of fact and fiction assembled by Gregory and James Benford.  The brothers are among the leaders of a renaissance in research and thinking about interstellar travel. They have returned to Planetary Radio to talk about this story of human destiny among the stars.  Emily Lakdawalla explores the ancient basins of Luna.  Bill Nye takes time out from “Dancing With The Stars” to talk about the dance between a new commercial space capsule and the International Space Station.  It’s shrouds and clouds of planets for Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan on What’s Up.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prize package is swag from the new movie, "Gravity!"

This week's question:
What is Mercury's eccentricity?  (Give us at least 2 or 3 digits.)

To submit your answer:
Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Monday, October 7th, at 2pm Pacific Time.  Be sure to include your name, mailing address and shirt size.

Last week's question:
What is the name of the location where MER Opportunity will spend the next Martian winter?

The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:
What happened to Mariner 3?  What went wrong with Mariner 3 that had to be corrected for Mariner 4?

Mariner 3's protective shroud did not separate, so the spacecraft could not extend its solar wings.  A new, all-metal shroud was designed for Mariner 4.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

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