Planetary Radio • Jun 16, 2015

LightSail Triumphant! A Mission Press Conference

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On This Episode

Bell jim

Jim Bell

Past President (2008-2020), Board of Directors of The Planetary Society; Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University; Principal Investigator, NASA Perseverance rover Mastcam-Z instruments

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Bill Nye

Chief Executive Officer for The Planetary Society

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Barbara Plante

Founder and President for Boreal Space

Rex Ridenoure

President and CEO for Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation

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Doug Stetson

President of FreeFall Aerospace and of the Space Science and Exploration Consulting Group

After a roller coaster ride that included a maddening eight-day silence, the LightSail test mission finally achieved all of its major goals. Leaders of the mission team gathered on June 10th to take questions from the media, and share their thoughts and emotions with the general public. Today’s show presents highlights of that briefing. Emily Lakdawalla is seeing things on Pluto, and she’s not alone. Bruce Betts takes Mat Kaplan on a walk in space during this week’s What’s Up segment.

LightSail 1 from the Netherlands, June 8
LightSail 1 from the Netherlands, June 8 This post-sail deployment LightSail 1 flyover was captured by Cees Bassa in the Netherlands on June 8 at 01:45:20 UTC.Image: Cees Bassa

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Too bad there’s no contest this week. We were going to give away a trip to Mars.

This week's question:

The contest returns next week!

Question from the week before last:

Soviet Alexei Leonov performed the first spacewalk (extravehicular activity). Out of all spacewalks, what number, in chronological order, was the next Soviet spacewalk?


The Soviet spacewalk following Alexei Leonov’s pioneering EVA was the 11th spacewalk overall. Yevgeny Khrunov and Aleksei Yeliseyev transferred from Soyuz 4 to Soyuz 5 in 1969.