Planetary Radio • May 31, 2016

Getting Humans to Mars

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On This Episode

20160531 stephen jurczyk

Stephen Jurczyk

Associate Administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate for NASA

James free portrait

Jim Free

Associate Administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate for NASA

20190821 rick davis portrait

Rick Davis

Assistant Director for Science and Exploration for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

Three NASA leaders talk with host Mat Kaplan about the progress we're making toward leaving footprints on the Red Planet. Emily Lakdawalla showcases great new space images from the amateur community. Bill Nye tells us how a LightSail technical challenge has been solved. Bruce Betts can't take his eyes off Mars as it makes its closest pass of Earth in years. Don’t miss the new arrangement of our theme!

Humans to Mars summit
Humans to Mars summit Stanford University’s Scott Hubbard, Mars Society Founder Robert Zubrin and Buzz Aldrin in the Humans To Mars lobby—a true meeting of Martian minds.Image: Mat Kaplan
Journey to Mars
Journey to Mars Click to enlarge.Image: NASA

Related Links:

There will be three winners of Offworld Trading Company, the new and beautiful, engaging and scientifically-accurate economic strategy game set on Mars. A grand prize winner will also get a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

During the current closest approach, how big is the disc of Mars as seen from Earth as measured in arc-seconds?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Tuesday, June 7th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

As seen from above Jupiter north pole, does the Great Red Spot travel clockwise or counterclockwise?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Within 24 hours, on what date will the Juno spacecraft enter Jupiter orbit?


The Juno spacecraft will go into orbit at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.