Planetary Radio • Sep 05, 2018

Big Science, Big Rocket at the Marshall Space Flight Center

On This Episode

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Adam Goldstein

Fermi Team Member for University Space Research Association

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Paul McConnaughey

MSFC Associate Director, Technical

Mark McElyea

Associate Manager, Payload & Mission Operations Division

Andrew Schorr

MSFC Spacecraft Payload Integration & Evolution Deputy Manager

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Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager for The Planetary Society

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Mat Kaplan

Planetary Radio Host and Producer for The Planetary Society

Mat Kaplan’s Huntsville, Alabama trip wraps up with a tour of the historic and history-making Marshall Space Flight Center. Join him at the control center for research underway on the International Space Station, under a tent where a critical component of the Space Launch System rocket is getting finishing touches, in a conversation about the Fermi spacecraft’s search for the universe’s biggest explosions, and with the Center’s Associate Director for Technical efforts. Wrap up with Bruce Betts and the anniversaries of one fictional and one factual explorer of deep space.

SLS in flight
SLS in flight An artist's rendering of NASA's Space Launch System. NASA
NASA Moves Exploration Misson-1 Rocket Hardware for Outfitting
NASA Moves Exploration Misson-1 Rocket Hardware for Outfitting With the historic Saturn IB rocket that paved the way for America’s first lunar missions in the background, NASA moved the Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle stage adapter, which will be used for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). NASA/Tyler Martin
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope Fermi searches for and captures data from Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), the most powerful releases of energy yet found in our universe. (Artist rendering)
Deep Space Habitat Prototype
Deep Space Habitat Prototype The ISS module in the background would easily fit inside the prototype for a habitat module that is an early version of what might become part of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. Mat Kaplan
Unofficial Deep Space Habitat Patch/Sign at Marshall Space Flight Center
Unofficial Deep Space Habitat Patch/Sign at Marshall Space Flight Center Mat Kaplan
MSFC International Space Station Payload Operations Center
MSFC International Space Station Payload Operations Center All science and research activity on the ISS is managed and monitored from the control room in this building. Mat Kaplan
Marshall Space Flight Center historical marker
Marshall Space Flight Center historical marker The Visitor’s Center on the outskirts of the huge Redstone Arsenal hosts a sign that celebrates the legacy of the Marshall Center. Mat Kaplan
Space Launch System Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter
Space Launch System Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter The 8.5 meter/28-foot stage adapter will mate the SLS core state to the upper stage and payload. It's seen here with its recently-applied coating of insulating foam. Mat Kaplan
iTelescope.net
iTelescope.net

This week's question:

What is the diameter of the Voyager 1 and 2 high-gain antennas?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at http://planetary.org/radiocontest or write to us at planetaryradio@planetary.org no later than Wednesday, September 12th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the closest black hole to Earth that we know of?

Answer:

The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the August 22 space trivia contest:

Who is the Spitzer Space Telescope named after? (And don’t tell us, “a guy named Spitzer.”)

Answer:

The Spitzer Space Telescope is named after astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer Jr. who was the first to propose a space-based telescope in 1946.