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Planetary RadioFebruary 10, 2015

Year of the Icy Worlds

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On This Episode
Bob Pappalardo head shot
Bob Pappalardo

Europa Clipper Mission Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Marc Rayman head shot
Marc Rayman

Dawn Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Linda Spilker head shot
Linda Spilker

Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Emily Lakdawalla coined the phrase, and it is exquisitely appropriate. We’ll visit the Jet Propulsion Lab on its Icy Worlds Day to learn more about spacecraft exploring Ceres, Enceladus and Europa from leaders of these missions. Emily Lakdawalla has assembled a family album for the two moons of Mars. Casey Dreier stands in for Bill Nye with a special review of the new NASA budget. And a healthy, hearty Bruce Betts is back with lots of What’s Up in the night sky.

JPL Icy Worlds Day

Mat Kaplan

JPL Icy Worlds Day
Dawn Mission Director Marc Rayman talks with media representatives in the Dawn mission control room.
Mat Kaplan and Marc Rayman with an Ion engine

Merc Boylan

Mat Kaplan and Marc Rayman with an Ion engine
Mat Kaplan and Marc Rayman with an actual ion engine like those on the Dawn spacecraft now approaching Ceres.
Robert Pappalardo

Mat Kaplan

Robert Pappalardo
Europa mission Project Scientist Robert Pappalardo next to the “vault” mockup in JPL’s von Karman Auditorium.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are the Year in Space Wall and Desk Calendars AND a stylish Planetary Radio t-shirt!

This week's question:

What is the diameter of the largest Deep Space Network antennas?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, February 17 at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What are the proper names of the two stars in Ursa Major (The Big Dipper) that point to the North Star?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Ceres, Pallas and Vesta are the largest asteroids. What is the fourth largest asteroid?


The fourth largest of the asteroids is Hygiea, discovered in 1849.

Listen more: Enceladus, Cassini, podcasts and videos, Dawn, Saturn's moons, asteroid 1 Ceres, Jupiter's moons, Europa, mission status, Future Robotic Missions, asteroids, events and announcements, FY2016 NASA Budget, Planetary Radio

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