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Planetary RadioAugust 2, 2016

Interstellar Dreams Turn Real

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On This Episode
Philip Lubin

Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara

Travis Brashears

Undergraduate Student, University of California, Berkeley

Philip Lubin and his former student Travis Brashears have had quite a year. Their bold plan to send tiny probes to nearby stars is now supported by NASA and the Breakthrough Starshot $100 million dollar initiative. Hear their amazing story. Emily Lakdawalla tells us August promises to be an exciting month. Bill Nye finds reason to celebrate science through findings that indicate Martian gullies weren’t carved by liquid water. We’ll head for central Africa with Bruce Betts for a surprising relationship with the Moon.

Breakthrough Starshot

Breakthrough Starshot

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a copy of “The Martian” signed by Andy Weir, a Planetary Society rubber asteroid and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

What spacecraft flew past comet 19P/Borrelly in 2001?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, August 9th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the highest award given by NASA? It can only be earned by astronauts, the President awards it in Congress’ name, and does so on the recommendation of NASA.


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

If you landed at the same latitude and longitude on Earth as Apollo 11 did on the moon, what country would you be in?


The same latitude and longitude of the Apollo 11 landing would put you deep in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Earth.

Listen more: Opportunity, mission status, Planetary Radio, solar sailing, Venus, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), Juno, Bill Nye, Jupiter

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