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Planetary RadioNovember 8, 2016

Inside Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

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On This Episode
Enrico Palermo head shot
Enrico Palermo

Executive Vice President and General Manager, The Spaceship Company

Host Mat Kaplan traveled to California’s Mojave Desert for a tour of Virgin Galactic’s The Spaceship Company, where the second SpaceShipTwo was built and is undergoing flight tests. TSC Executive VP Enrico Palermo was his guide. Emily Lakdawalla provides a taste of this busy month throughout the solar system. NASA has reached an important milestone according to Bill Nye the Science Guy. And “The Honeymooners” are Bruce and Mat’s special guests on Whats’ Up.

VSS Unity

Enrico Palermo for The Spaceship Company

VSS Unity
Enrico Palermo and host Mat Kaplan pose in front of the “feathered” VSS Unity, SpaceShipTwo.
SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity in Flight

Mark Greenberg / Virgin Galactic

SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity in Flight
The VMS Eve (Virgin Mother Ship) carrys VSS Unity (Virgin Spaceship) for its first flight ever over Mojave, CA on Thursday September 8, 2016.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a lovely men’s or women’s Planetary Radio t-shirt, a Planetary Society rubber asteroid, and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

What supernova did famous astronomer Tycho Brahe observe?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, November 15th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Like the Lord of the Rings? Let’s play “Where in the Solar System.” Where in the solar system is Gandalf Colles?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What science instruments on New Horizons have names of characters from the old television series, “The Honeymooners?”


Ralph and Alice share names with characters on “The Honeymooners” (They aren’t acronyms!)

Listen more: Cassini, ExoMars TGO, Saturn, Saturn's rings, Commercial spaceflight, near-Earth asteroids, mission status, asteroids, human spaceflight, Planetary Radio, Mars, Phobos, Juno, Jupiter, Bill Nye

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