The Curiosity rover hit an unexpected snag last week and had to switch over to a backup computer. It's coming out of "Safe Mode" operations later this week, but JPL engineers are still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong. We talk to Emily Lakdawalla to find out more.
Emily and Andy talked about the menagerie of rocks in the asteroid belt, how many of them travel in pairs and triples, how some of them are surprisingly wet, and how much you can learn about asteroids using Earth-based telescopes.
This week our guest is Dr. Paul Hayne from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Hayne studies snow and ice on Mars, extreme temperatures of the Moon, is a science collaborator on the Cassini mission. He also founded the group Young Scientists for Planetary Exploration to help organize early-career scientists to be aware of the politics of space.
We welcomed guest Sarah Noble to our weekly Google+ Hangout. Sarah is a lunar geologist and a civil servant working in the Research & Analysis program at NASA Headquarters. We'll talk about squiggly lines on the Moon, about working at NASA HQ, and the lunar mission launching later this year, LADEE, for which Sarah has recently been named Program Scientist.
Gary Hug is an asteroid hunter. He scans the skies every night looking for new near-Earth objects and refining orbital measurements for existing ones. He is also one of the Planetary Society's Gene Shoemaker Grant recipients, which is our program to provide highly-skilled amateur astronomers with the equipment and support needed to continue the search for potentially hazardous asteroids.