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Planetary RadioSeptember 20, 2016

Cassini at Saturn: The Final Year

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On This Episode
Linda Spilker head shot
Linda Spilker

Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The great Cassini spacecraft has a year to go before it plunges into the ringed planet. Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with more amazing mission science. Emily Lakdawalla introduces us to the wonders of Gaia and its one billion stars. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan have their usual good time exploring the current night sky and offering another space trivia contest. Bill Nye is away.

Saturn approaching summer in the north

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Saturn approaching summer in the north
It’s nearly summer in Saturn’s northern hemisphere as Cassini continues to explore.
Cassini in orbit

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Saturn and Cassini

Cassini's final orbits will bring the closest views of Saturn since the spacecraft's arrival in 2004.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a gorgeous Planetary Society rubber asteroid and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

Where are the three Deep Space Network facilities?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, September 27th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

For spacecraft not headed to or near the Moon, what human mission had the highest apogee (traveled the farthest from Earth)?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Which Mercury program human missions landed in the Pacific Ocean?


Mercury-Atlas 8 and 9 (Sigma 7 and Faith 7) landed in the Pacific Ocean north of the Hawaiian Islands.

Listen more: Enceladus, New Horizons, astronomy and astrophysics spacecraft, Titan, mission status, astronomy, Planetary Radio, Saturn's moons, stars and galaxies, Saturn, Saturn's rings

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