Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Multimedia IconMultimedia

LightSail Prepares to Take Flight


Air Date: 01/27/2015
Run Time: 28:50

Listen to the full show:

Or Download mp3


  • Doug Stetson, LightSail Project Manager, The Planetary Society
  • Jason Davis, Journalist and Digital Editor, The Planetary Society

Topics: Rosetta and Philae, Planetary Society Projects, comets, comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Planetary Radio, LightSail, Planetary Society People, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), Bill Nye

Support Planetary Radio

The Planetary Society has just announced that LightSail will be launched into orbit on its first test flight in May. We’ll talk with Project Manager Doug Stetson and embedded LightSail reporter Jason Davis about what to expect. Bill Nye welcomes a special guest to a conversation about the meaning of this privately-funded solar sail. Emily Lakdawalla updates the Curiosity Mars rover mission and shares spectacular images from the Rosetta comet exploration. We close with Director of Science and Technology Bruce Betts and his recommendations of What’s Up this week.

LightSail from above

The Planetary Society

LightSail from above
This shot of LightSail's deployed solar sails was taken from the second story window above the high bay in the Cal Poly Bonderson Projects Center.

Related Links:

Trivia Contest

This week's prize is the 2015 Year in Space Wall and Desk Calendars AND a stylish Planetary Radio t-shirt!

This week's question:

Ceres, Pallas and Vesta are the largest asteroids. What is the fourth largest asteroid?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, February 3 at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Of the five currently IAU-recognized dwarf planets, which has the longest orbital period or year, and how long is that year?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

To the nearest half-hour, how long did it take the Huygens probe to descend from the top of Titan’s atmosphere to the surface?


It took just under two-and-a-half hours for the Huygens probe to descend from the top of Titan’s atmosphere to the moon’s surface.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Planetary Radio Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.


Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!