Planetary Radio • Nov 01, 2016

Matt Taylor Rocks Rosetta

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On This Episode

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Matt Taylor

Rosetta Project Scientist for European Space Agency

Last year it was New Horizons at Pluto. In 2016, the thrilling end of the Rosetta comet mission generated the greatest public interest and enthusiasm. Mat Kaplan talks with Matt Taylor, the Rosetta Project Scientist, just two weeks after the spacecraft touched down on 67/P. Emily says there’s reason for hope and joy after the Schiaparelli crash on Mars. Bill Nye is counting down to the US election. Mat Kaplan and Bruce Betts offer a slightly tardy Halloween edition of What’s Up.

Simulating Rosetta's touchdown
Simulating Rosetta's touchdown Rosetta Mission Manager Patrick Martin and Project Scientist Matt Taylor simulate the spacecraft touchdown at Planetary Society HQ.Image: Mat Kaplan
Rosetta impact
Rosetta impact Artist's impression of Rosetta shortly before hitting Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 30 September 2016.Image: ESA / ATG Medialab

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This week's prizes are a lovely men’s or women’s Planetary Radio t-shirt, a Planetary Society rubber asteroid, and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

Like the Lord of the Rings? Let’s play “Where in the Solar System.” Where in the solar system is Gandalf Colles?

To submit your answer:

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

Last week's question:

What science instruments on New Horizons have names of characters from the old television series, “The Honeymooners?”


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

In what region of Mars will the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli land?


Schiaparelli came down in Mars’ Meridiani Planum.