Planetary Radio • Sep 13, 2016

OSIRIS-REx: The Voyage to Bennu Begins, With Dante Lauretta

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Dante Lauretta

OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator for University of Arizona

In two years a Near Earth Asteroid now known as Bennu will have a visitor from Earth. OSIRIS REx Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta reports on his mission’s successful launch. Bill Nye was in Florida for last week’s liftoff. Emily Lakdawalla shares the details of Rosetta’s last days, ending with a gentle impact on comet 67/P. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan reveal the amazing story behind a Soviet space shuttle that has traveled extensively, but not into space.

Liftoff of OSIRIS-REx
Liftoff of OSIRIS-REx OSIRIS-REx begins its journey to Bennu following a liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sept. 8, 2016.Image: Jason Davis / The Planetary Society

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This week's prizes are a gorgeous Planetary Society rubber asteroid and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

For spacecraft not headed to or near the Moon, what human mission had the highest apogee (traveled the farthest from Earth)?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Tuesday, September 20th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Which Mercury program human missions landed in the Pacific Ocean?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Which Space Shuttle Orbiter was the only one to have traveled by land, sea and air? (Slightly tricky!)


Enterprise was the only Space Shuttle Orbiter to travel by air, sea and land, though it never flew in space. The Soviet Union’s test vehicle for the Buran shuttle known as OK-GLI also traveled by air, sea and land, though it wasn’t truly a spacecraft.