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Planetary RadioSeptember 5, 2018

Big Science, Big Rocket at the Marshall Space Flight Center

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On This Episode
Adam Goldstein
Adam Goldstein

Fermi Team Member, University Space Research Association

Paul McConnaughey
Paul McConnaughey

MSFC Associate Director, Technical

Mark McElyea

Associate Manager, Payload & Mission Operations Division

Andrew Schorr

MSFC Spacecraft Payload Integration & Evolution Deputy Manager

Headshot of Bruce Betts
Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager, The Planetary Society

Headshot of Mat Kaplan
Mat Kaplan

Planetary Radio Host and Producer

Mat Kaplan’s Huntsville, Alabama trip wraps up with a tour of the historic and history-making Marshall Space Flight Center. Join him at the control center for research underway on the International Space Station, under a tent where a critical component of the Space Launch System rocket is getting finishing touches, in a conversation about the Fermi spacecraft’s search for the universe’s biggest explosions, and with the Center’s Associate Director for Technical efforts. Wrap up with Bruce Betts and the anniversaries of one fictional and one factual explorer of deep space.

SLS in flight

NASA

SLS in flight
An artist's rendering of NASA's Space Launch System.
NASA Moves Exploration Misson-1 Rocket Hardware for Outfitting

NASA/Tyler Martin

NASA Moves Exploration Misson-1 Rocket Hardware for Outfitting
With the historic Saturn IB rocket that paved the way for America’s first lunar missions in the background, NASA moved the Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle stage adapter, which will be used for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1).

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
Fermi searches for and captures data from Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), the most powerful releases of energy yet found in our universe. (Artist rendering)
Deep Space Habitat Prototype

Mat Kaplan

Deep Space Habitat Prototype
The ISS module in the background would easily fit inside the prototype for a habitat module that is an early version of what might become part of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.
Unofficial Deep Space Habitat Patch/Sign at Marshall Space Flight Center

Mat Kaplan

Unofficial Deep Space Habitat Patch/Sign at Marshall Space Flight Center
MSFC International Space Station Payload Operations Center

Mat Kaplan

MSFC International Space Station Payload Operations Center
All science and research activity on the ISS is managed and monitored from the control room in this building.
Marshall Space Flight Center historical marker

Mat Kaplan

Marshall Space Flight Center historical marker
The Visitor’s Center on the outskirts of the huge Redstone Arsenal hosts a sign that celebrates the legacy of the Marshall Center.
Space Launch System Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter

Mat Kaplan

Space Launch System Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter
The 8.5 meter/28-foot stage adapter will mate the SLS core state to the upper stage and payload. It's seen here with its recently-applied coating of insulating foam.

Trivia Contest

This Week’s Prizes:
A svelte Planetary Radio t-shirt from the Planetary Society Chop Shop store and a 200-point iTelescope.net astronomy account.

iTelescope.net
iTelescope.net

This week's question:

What is the diameter of the Voyager 1 and 2 high-gain antennas?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at http://planetary.org/radiocontest or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, September 12th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the closest black hole to Earth that we know of?

Answer:

The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the August 22 space trivia contest:

Who is the Spitzer Space Telescope named after? (And don’t tell us, “a guy named Spitzer.”)

Answer:

The Spitzer Space Telescope is named after astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer Jr. who was the first to propose a space-based telescope in 1946.

Listen more: pics of spacecraft in space, SLS, Orion, mission status, astronomy by planetary missions, events and announcements, human spaceflight, Planetary Radio, explaining technology, spacecraft, Space Shuttle program

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