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Getting Humans to Mars

Humans at Work on Mars

Air Date: 05/31/2016
Run Time: 56:31

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  • Stephen Jurczyk, Associate Administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Jim Free, Deputy Director of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Rick Davis, Assistant Director for Science and Exploration, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

Topics: Planetary Society Projects, Voyager 1 and 2, OSIRIS-REx, Saturn, Jupiter's moons, amateur image processing, Ganymede, mission status, human spaceflight, LightSail, Mars, conference report, Bill Nye

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Three NASA leaders talk with host Mat Kaplan about the progress we're making toward leaving footprints on the Red Planet. Emily Lakdawalla showcases great new space images from the amateur community. Bill Nye tells us how a LightSail technical challenge has been solved. Bruce Betts can't take his eyes off Mars as it makes its closest pass of Earth in years. Don’t miss the new arrangement of our theme!

Humans to Mars summit

Mat Kaplan

Humans to Mars summit
Stanford University’s Scott Hubbard, Mars Society Founder Robert Zubrin and Buzz Aldrin in the Humans To Mars lobby—a true meeting of Martian minds.
Journey to Mars


Journey to Mars
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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:

During the current closest approach, how big is the disc of Mars as seen from Earth as measured in arc-seconds?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, June 7th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

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


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

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


The Juno spacecraft will go into orbit at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

sepiae: 06/06/2016 08:19 CDT

Listening to this program within a cultural reflection of a surge of interest in form of books, films and general presence as a topic - this is really going to happen! The egoistic part of me hopes that I'll be still around to witness the biggest continuous news story being a good one. One thing I'd have liked to hear a little more about is the current state on radiation affairs, one the biggest problems upon leaving the parking lot. The good folks with CERN are working on a promising approach, a superconducting shield to create a magnetic field around spacesuits and -crafts: A question how it'll work out schedule-wise, but very exciting, I say.

Victor_Dunn_UK: 06/19/2016 02:17 CDT

Great new arrangement to the theme tune! Sounds just like a Movie Blockbuster with hints of Star Trek, Battlestar, and more...

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