Planetary Radio • Oct 10, 2018

Celebrating Astronomy Day with the Giant Magellan Telescope

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On This Episode

20181009 patrick mccarthy

Patrick McCarthy

Vice President for Operations and External Relations for Giant Magellan Telescope

20181009 dave schwartz

Dave Schwartz

Integrated Modeling Lead for Giant Magellan Telescope

Bruce betts portrait hq library

Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager for The Planetary Society

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Mat Kaplan

Senior Communications Adviser and former Host of Planetary Radio for The Planetary Society

Happy Astronomy Day, October 13, 2018! We salute humankind’s long history of stargazing by checking in on what will be our planet’s largest telescope. Patrick McCarthy is an astronomer and a leader of the Giant Magellan Telescope project. He returns with a report on the instrument’s status, followed by a fascinating tour of the GMT facility. The MASCOT spacecraft has successfully completed its brief mission at asteroid Ryugu. Emily Lakdawalla provides an overview. And the space trivia contest has returned to What’s Up.

Mat Kaplan and Patrick McCarthy
Mat Kaplan and Patrick McCarthy Mat Kaplan interviews Patrick McCarthy about the Giant Magellan Telescope for a Planetary Radio episode.Image: MaryLiz Bender
Giant Magellan Telescope Actuator
Giant Magellan Telescope Actuator The Giant Magellan Telescope engineering team with a prototype of one of the many actuators (seen in the foreground) that will orient the GMT's giant mirrors.Image: MaryLiz Bender
Mat Kaplan and David Schwartz
Mat Kaplan and David Schwartz Mat Kaplan interviews David Schwartz at his workspace in the Giant Magellan Telescope office.Image: MaryLiz Bender
Mat Kaplan at the Giant Magellan Telescope office lobby
Mat Kaplan at the Giant Magellan Telescope office lobby

This week's question:

What rocket launched the Apollo 7 crew 50 years ago?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, October 17th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

There was no question last week.


There was no question last week.

Question from the September 26 space trivia contest question:

What is the tallest mountain on Ceres?


There were 156 Delta II launches. Only one of these failed, while one other was a partial success.