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Planetary RadioJuly 26, 2016

Anatomy of a Rover—Getting Down to Mars

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On This Episode
DJ Byrne

Lead Software Designer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Don Heyer

Digital Design Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Raul Perez

Technical Staff, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

It takes a lot of terrific components to create a successful spacecraft like Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory. We’ll visit JPL to learn about the Terminal Descent Sensor radar that will once again help land a rover on the Red Planet. Emily Lakdawalla has tales of science, science fiction and cosplay from ComicCon. Bill Nye has returned from the frigid, icy wastes of Greenland. There a space celebrity cameo performance in this week’s What’s Up segment.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a Planetary Radio t-shirt, a Planetary Society rubber asteroid and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

What is the highest award given by NASA? It can only be earned by astronauts, the President awards it in Congress’ name, and does so on the recommendation of NASA.

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Tuesday, August 2nd at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

If you landed at the same latitude and longitude on Earth as Apollo 11 did on the moon, what country would you be in?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What instrument on Juno sounds most like something from a Star Wars movie?


The Jupiter Energetic-particle Detector Instrument or JEDI is the Juno instrument most likely to be from a galaxy far, far away.

Listen more: Mars 2020, fun, mission status, podcasts and videos, Planetary Radio, Earth, Bill Nye

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