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Kip Thorne and the Science of Interstellar

Air Date: 12/02/2014
Run Time: 28:50

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  • Kip Thorne, Richard Feynman Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, CalTech

Topics: commercial spaceflight, Hayabusa2, Orion, mission status, astronomy, human spaceflight, Planetary Radio, Bill Nye

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Spoiler alert. Famed physicist Kip Thorne says you might be able to survive a plunge into a black hole after all! That’s just one molecule of the fascinating science behind the science fiction film he helped create. We’ll talk about the movie and Kip’s new book, “The Science of Interstellar.” Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye preview several major space events, and Bruce Betts joins Mat Kaplan for another stellar edition of What’s Up.

Orion lifts off

Jason Davis / The Planetary Society

Orion lifts off
NASA's Orion spacecraft lifts off atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37 on Friday, Dec. 5, 2015.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prize is the beautiful and informative Year in Space Desk and Wall Calendars.

This week's question:

What relatively bright star in our sky is Pioneer 10 headed for, and will reach the vicinity of in about 2 million years?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, December 9, at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What are the TWO active region numbers assigned to the giant sunspot that was visible during the most recent partial solar eclipse. The second number was assigned when the region reappeared as the Sun rotated.


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What is the approximate mass of the Philae lander? Hint: It’s more than an ant.


The Philae comet lander has a mass of about 100 kilograms.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

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