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Planetary RadioJune 27, 2018

It’s Asteroid Week with NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer

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On This Episode
Lindley Johnson Head Shot
Lindley Johnson

Planetary Defense Officer, NASA

Kelly Fast head shot
Kelly Fast

Near-Earth Object Observations Program Manager, NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office

Bill Nye headshot head shot
Bill Nye

Chief Executive Officer, The Planetary Society

Emily Lakdawalla 2017 headshot square serene
Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist, The Planetary Society

Bruce Betts Head Shot 2015
Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager, The Planetary Society

Mat Kaplan
Mat Kaplan

Planetary Radio Host and Producer, The Planetary Society

The dinosaurs regret their lack of a space program. 200 million years later, humans are gearing up to defend themselves from a species-ending rock. The many challenges involved are addressed in a new strategic action plan created by sixteen agencies of the US government. NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer, Lindley Johnson, and his associate, Kelly Fast, take us inside the plan. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy applauds the growing worldwide attention to Near Earth Objects. By the time you read this Hayabusa2 will have reached asteroid Ryugu. Senior editor Emily Lakdawalla has a mission update. And Bruce Betts is all over Asteroid Week in a new What’s Up segment.

Artist's concept of near-Earth asteroids

ESA / P.Carril

Artist's concept of near-Earth asteroids
Artist's view of asteroids passing Earth.

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This Week’s Prizes:
A svelte Planetary Radio t-shirt from the Planetary Society Chop Shop store. Also, a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

Why is the near-Earth asteroid Hayabusa2 is visiting named Ryugu?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Wednesday, July 4th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the International Space Station’s approximate altitude range above Earth’s surface? Unique or humorous units are welcome but won’t help you win.


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Who was in Earth orbit at the same time as the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova?


Cosmonaut Valery Bykovski reached orbit in Vostok 5 2 days before Valentina Teryshkova. They would come within 5 kilometers of each other back in June of 1963.

Listen more: near-Earth asteroids, comets, podcasts and videos, asteroids, Planetary Radio

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