Planetary Radio • Jul 15, 2014

Planetary Radio Live: The LightSail Countdown Begins!

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On This Episode

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Bill Nye

Chief Executive Officer for The Planetary Society

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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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David Brin

Science Fiction Author, Futurist, Astrophysicist, and Planetary Society Advisory Council member

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Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager for The Planetary Society

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Jason Davis

Senior Editor for The Planetary Society

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Barbara Plante

Founder and President for Boreal Space

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Doug Stetson

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

LightSail, the Planetary Society’s innovative solar sail cubesat, will ride into space on the huge SpaceX Falcon Heavy, now in development. Bill Nye joins a live celebration of this announcement with guests including author David Brin, Project Manager Doug Stetson and many more. Excerpts of the webcast are featured in this week’s episode. The evening ends with a live solar sailing edition of What’s Up with Bruce Betts.

Mat Kaplan, Jason Davis, and Bill Nye at Planetary Radio Live's LightSail event
Mat Kaplan, Jason Davis, and Bill Nye at Planetary Radio Live's LightSail event

Related Links:

This week's prize is a LightSail vest AND a LightSail polo shirt.

This week's question:

What is the approximate area of the LightSail sails?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Tuesday, July 22, at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

On what highly-publicized, international stage were parts of Skylab displayed?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

How many moons has Cassini discovered at Saturn?


Seven moons of Saturn have been discovered by the Cassini spacecraft, with an eighth possibly forming.