Planetary Radio • Mar 06, 2019

China on the Final Frontier

Please accept marketing-cookies to listen to this podcast.

Download MP3

On This Episode

20161103 andrew jones 233

Andrew Jones

Contributing editor for The Planetary Society

Jason headshot sept 2020

Jason Davis

Senior Editor for The Planetary Society

Bruce betts portrait hq library

Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager for The Planetary Society

Kaplan mat headshot 0114a print

Mat Kaplan

Senior Communications Adviser and former Host of Planetary Radio for The Planetary Society

With missions like Chang’e 4 on the far side of the Moon, China has firmly established itself as a leader in space exploration. Space journalist Andrew Jones helps us explore the nation’s ambitious near and long-term plans. Emily Lakdawalla says Mars lander InSight’s Mole has hit an obstacle, while Jason Davis shows us how Japan’s Hayabusa2 has blasted asteroid Ryugu for a sample and celebrates the success of the SpaceX Crew Dragon demo mission. Chief Scientist Bruce Betts gets a polite dressing down from an impeccable source.

Chang'e-4 lander as seen from Yutu-2
Chang'e-4 lander as seen from Yutu-2 Yutu-2 imaged the Chang'e-4 lander in early January 2019 using its Panoramic Camera (PCAM).Image: CNSA / CLEP
Chinese robotic research base
Chinese robotic research base Image: CNSA / CLEP
Chang'e-5 sample return mission
Chang'e-5 sample return mission Image: CNSA / CLEP

This week's question:

What are the Hayabusa2 five gram bullets made of? (Not the bigger copper projectile that will make a much bigger impact.)

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, March 13th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Where will the Hayabusa 2 return capsule land with its samples collected at asteroid Ryugu?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the February 20th space trivia contest question:

Of the five known dwarf planets, which is the only one not known to have a moon?


Of the five dwarf planets in our solar system, only Ceres has no (natural) moon.