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A Big Test for LightSail 2

LightSail 2 sail deployment test from -X camera

Air Date: 05/24/2016
Run Time: 29:57

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  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology / LightSail Program Manager, The Planetary Society
  • Jason Davis, Journalist and Digital Editor, The Planetary Society

Topics: Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Planetary Society Projects, Akatsuki (Planet-C), solar sailing, Hubble Space Telescope, mission status, Mars Express, Planetary Radio, Venus, LightSail, Mars, Space Shuttle program, Juno, Bill Nye

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The Planetary Society’s solar sail spacecraft was in the middle of a critical test as we spoke with the Society’s Bruce Betts and Jason Davis. Mat Kaplan tells Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla why he’s a bit frustrated by some media descriptions of the beautiful new Hubble image of Mars. And Bruce returns for the regular What’s Up segment, including a chance to win Offworld Trading Company, the new economic strategy game set on a future Mars.

LightSail 2 successfully deployed its sails in the May 23rd Day In The Life Test

Jason Davis

LightSail 2 successfully deployed its sails in the May 23rd Day In The Life Test

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Trivia Contest

There will be three winners of Offworld Trading Company, the new and beautiful, engaging and scientifically-accurate economic strategy game set on Mars. A grand prize winner will also get a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

As seen from above Jupiter north pole, does the Great Red Spot travel clockwise or counterclockwise?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, May 31st at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Within 24 hours, on what date will the Juno spacecraft enter Jupiter orbit?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Approximately how much more massive is the star Sirius A (brightest in the sky) than our sun?


Sirius A is slightly more than twice the size of our sun, and about 25 times as bright.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

MORISHUN: 05/28/2016 02:13 CDT

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