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Planetary RadioMarch 18, 2014

Alaskan Aurora Adventure!

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On This Episode
Neal Brown head shot
Neal Brown

Former Director, Poker Flat Research Range

Join Mat Kaplan and other Aurora “virgins” as they seek the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska, and meet retired rocketeer and Director of the Poker Flat Research Range, Neal Brown. Bill Nye laments a development that may keep new missions from exploring the outer solar system. Bruce Betts takes us on a tour of the solar system and through the looking glass.

March 3, 2014 launch from the Poker Flat Research Range

NASA / Christopher Perry

March 3, 2014 launch from the Poker Flat Research Range

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Trivia Contest

This week's prize is the new and improved Planetary Radio t-shirt.

This week's question:

How many of Jupiter’s moons are larger than Earth’s Moon? Extra points: name it or them.

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, March 25, at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What was the first time astronauts flew in a spacecraft not designed to safely re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What Curiosity rover instrument has an acronym name that when pronounced backwards gives you one of the things that instrument measures?


Curiosity’s SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) instrument spelled backwards is MAS(s), which is one of the things it measures.

Listen more: astronomy, Future Robotic Missions, Planetary Radio, Earth, Bill Nye

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