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Planetary RadioJanuary 17, 2017

Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan Leaves NASA

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On This Episode
Ellen Stofan head shot
Ellen Stofan

Planetary Geologist and Director of the National Air and Space Museum

For well over three years, planetary scientist Ellen Stofan has worked directly with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to help coordinate and expand the myriad science efforts by the agency. We talk with her as she ends this remarkable tenure. Emily Lakdawalla says don’t miss Hidden Figures. Bill Nye checks in from Japan with a tribute to the late Apollo moonwalker Gene Cernan. A year on Jupiter or the lifetime of this show? We’ll learn which is longer in this week’s What Up.

Titan Mare Explorer (TiME)


Titan Mare Explorer (TiME)
Ellen Stofan


Ellen Stofan


Eugene "Gene" Cernan

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a lovely Planetary Radio t-shirt, now available in both men’s and women’s styles. Also, a 200-point astronomy account, and a Planetary Society rubber asteroid.

This week's question:

Approximately how wide is the combined, complex caldera of Olympus Mons, the Martian volcano?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, January 24th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Approximately how many squished-up Earths would fit inside Saturn?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Which is longer? Jupiter’s year or Planetary Radio’s existence?


At 12+ years and counting, Planetary Radio has existed for longer than a Jovian year, which lasts 11.86 Earth years.

Listen more: product review, obituary, Space Policy, Titan, Future Robotic Missions, Planetary Radio, Saturn's moons, Bill Nye

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