Planetary Radio • Mar 17, 2015

Leaving Behind a Life on Mars—Former Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger

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John Grotzinger

Curiosity Project Scientist for California Institute of Technology

The Mars Science Laboratory rover has accomplished its primary goals on the Red Planet, and John Grotzinger has left his central role to become Chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. He shares his thoughts about the ongoing mission and much more. Emily reports from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas. LightSail is ready to be bolted to an Atlas 5 rocket, according to Jason Davis. Bruce Betts learns what a white dwarf star has in common with a can of tomato sauce in What’s Up.

Former Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger in his Caltech Office
Former Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger in his Caltech Office Image: Mat Kaplan

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This week's prize is Jim Bell’s great new book, “The Interstellar Age—Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission,” possibly signed by Jim!

This week's question:

What is the closest known white dwarf star?

To submit your answer:

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

Last week's question:

What is Ceres’ approximate rate of rotation?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

When was Ceres discovered, and who discovered it?


Ceres was discovered on January 1, 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi.