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Planetary RadioMay 3, 2016

At Space Symposium With the Leader of the European Space Agency

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On This Episode
Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi head shot
Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi

Director General, UAE Space Agency

Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Woerner head shot
Johann-Dietrich Woerner

Director General, European Space Agency

Bernard Foing head shot
Bernard Foing

Chief Scientist, European Space Agency

The annual Space Symposium in Colorado is a must-attend event for space leaders from around the world. Our coverage begins with United Arab Emirates Space Agency Director General Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, and then moves to ESA Director General Jan Woerner and Chief Scientist Bernard Foing. Emily Lakdawalla shows us the moon as you’ve never seen it before. SpaceX is rolling on to Mars according to Bill Nye. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan learn what a psychopomp has to do with one of our solar system’s most distant worlds.

2016 Space Symposium

Mat Kaplan

2016 Space Symposium
A 2016 Space Symposium panel featuring the leaders of many national space agencies.
2016 Space Symposium Panel

Mat Kaplan

2016 Space Symposium Panel
Bill Nye with Bernard Foing and Amy Mainzer talk space science at the 2016 Space Symposium.
Bernard Foing 2016 Space Symposium

Mat Kaplan

Bernard Foing 2016 Space Symposium
ESA Chief Scientist Bernard Foing leads a town hall meeting about the moon village proposal.
The Broadmoor—home of the annual Space Symposium

Mat Kaplan

The Broadmoor—home of the annual Space Symposium

Related Links:

Trivia Contest

This week's grand prizes are three of Tyler Nordgren’s fantastic posters and a 200-point astronomy account!

This week's question:

What is the date of the next Mercury transit of the Sun as seen from Earth after the May 9, 2016 transit?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, May 10th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

When was the first recorded observation of Mercury’s transit across the sun, and who made that observation?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What is the name of 90482 Orcus’ moon?


Orcus’ moon is the Etruscan psychopomp Vanth.

Listen more: Commercial spaceflight, NASA lunar missions before 2005, Future Robotic Missions, Planetary Radio, the Moon, Planetary Society People, Japanese lunar missions, conference report

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