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Countdown to LightSail: An Update


Air Date: 04/28/2015
Run Time: 28:50

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  • Jason Davis, Journalist and Digital Editor, The Planetary Society

Topics: Rosetta and Philae, Planetary Society Projects, comets, comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Planetary Radio, Planetary Society Political Advocacy, Earth, LightSail, Planetary Society, Bill Nye

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The road to space has been a rocky one for most spacecraft, and LightSail is no different. Challenges remain even with the May 20th launch of a test mission approaching. Embedded LightSail reporter Jason Davis checks in with the latest news. Emily Lakdawalla takes us to the Rosetta probe as Comet 67P closes on the sun. Bill Nye spent some quality time with President Barack Obama, and salutes the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan are back from defending the planet in Italy with yet another What’s Up segment.

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.

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This week's question:

What is the absolute magnitude of our sun?

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Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, May 5th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

As of April 11, 2015, about how many near-Earth comets are there known to be?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What is the orbital period of Neptune’s moon Triton?


The orbital period of Neptune’s moon Triton is about 5.8769 days, or, if you prefer, -5.8769 days (retrograde).


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