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Planetary RadioSeptember 19, 2018

Return to Fiery Mercury With BepiColombo

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On This Episode
Elsa Montagnon head shot
Elsa Montagnon

Spacecraft operations manager, BepiColombo mission

Emily Lakdawalla 2017 headshot square serene
Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist, The Planetary Society

Bill Nye headshot head shot
Bill Nye

Chief Executive Officer, 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

Elsa Montagnon is Spacecraft Operations Manager for the European/Japanese mission leaving for our solar system’s innermost planet very soon. She joins us to talk about the long journey ahead. Elsa also has the cover article in the brand new edition of The Planetary Report, the Planetary Society’s once exclusive magazine that is now available to everyone online, according to its editor, Emily Lakdawalla. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye is happy for a very happy Elon Musk. The leader of SpaceX just introduced his paying customer for a trip around the moon in 2023. All this, and What’s Up!

Bepicolombo approaching Mercury (artist concept)


Bepicolombo approaching Mercury (artist concept)
BepiColombo approaching Mercury (5)

ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/JPL

BepiColombo approaching Mercury (5)
BepiColombo thrusters

ESA / M. Gaido

BepiColombo thrusters
Engineers attach 4 ion thrusters to BepiColombo’s Mercury Transfer Module in April 2016.

Trivia Contest

This Week’s Prizes:
A svelte Planetary Radio t-shirt from the Planetary Society Chop Shop store, a 200-point astronomy account, and a code for the free download of Distant Suns (+VR) (iOS devices only).

This week's question:

What is the tallest mountain on Ceres?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Wednesday, September 26th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Time again to play Where in the Solar System? Where in the solar system is a crater named Math? (Sadly, unrelated to Mathew Kaplan.)


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the September 5 space trivia contest:

What is the diameter of the Voyager 1 and 2 high-gain antennas?


The diameter of the Voyager 1 and 2 antennas is 3.66 meters or 12 feet.

Listen more: Mercury, podcasts and videos, astronomy by planetary missions, Planetary Radio, pics of hardware on earth, the Moon, BepiColombo

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