Planetary Radio • Jul 12, 2017

20 Years on Mars with Matt Golombek

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On This Episode

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Matt Golombek

Mars Exploration Rover project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mars Exploration Program Landing Site Scientist

When the Pathfinder lander reached Mars 20 years ago it began a Martian renaissance that has never paused. JPL scientist Matt Golombek was the mission’s Project Scientist. He looks back and to the future of our explorations at the red planet. Planetary Society Director of Space Policy Casey Dreier shares his thoughts about the return of the National Space Council just authorized by President Trump. Got your eclipse glasses? You might win a pair, along with the new Planetary Radio t-shirt and an iTelescope astronomy account on What’s Up. Bill Nye is on book tour.

Matt Golombek and Mars rovers
Matt Golombek and Mars rovers Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech
The Sojourner rover examines a Martian rock called Yogi
The Sojourner rover examines a Martian rock called Yogi Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech

This week's question:

What other kind of ice appears to form snow-capped peaks on some of the mountains of Pluto?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, July 19th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Who submitted the name “Sojourner Truth” for the Mars Pathfinder rover, named in a Planetary Society-led contest?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

In what year was the supernova observed that formed the Crab Nebula?


The supernova that would become the Crab Nebula was seen by Chinese astronomers (and possibly others) in 1054 AD.