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Planetary RadioMarch 7, 2018

Visiting the Birthplace of PlanetVac

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On This Episode
Headshot of Mat Kaplan
Mat Kaplan

Planetary Radio Host and Producer

Headshot of Bruce Betts
Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager, The Planetary Society

Jason Davis thumbnail
Jason Davis

Digital Editor, The Planetary Society

Justin Spring

Senior Project Engineer, Honeybee Robotics

Kathryn Luczek

Project Engineer, Honeybee Robotics

Space is hard. Sample collection and return is harder still. That’s why the radically-simplified PlanetVac system from Honeybee Robotics is so intriguing. Join Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts and host Mat Kaplan on a tour of Honeybee that includes a PlanetVac demo. Bruce returns for this week’s What’s Up jaunt around the night sky. Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis shares big news about the LightSail 2 solar sail and the next SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch.

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Trivia Contest

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

This week's question:

How many missions in NASA’s Mercury program carried humans into space?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, March 14th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the second brightest star in the night sky as seen from either hemisphere?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What two planets in our solar system have about the same surface gravity?


We wanted to hear that Mercury and Mars are the closest in surface gravity, but would have also accepted Venus and Uranus.

Listen more: mission status, Planetary Radio, explaining technology, PlanetVac, explaining science

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