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In spite of everything, 2020 was a good year for space exploration according to five of The Planetary Society’s experts.
The leader of the OSIRIS REx asteroid sample return mission shares more details of last week’s encounter in an exclusive interview, while we also learn about the proposed mission to look for life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Our look ahead at the near-future of solar system exploration continues with Mars, the giant outer worlds, and the smaller bodies that can be found throughout the neighborhood.
OSIRIS-REx mission leader Dante Lauretta takes us to mysterious asteroid Bennu where a first sample collection site has been selected.
First we return to JPL for an update on the Mars Helicopter that has just been attached to the belly of the 2020 Mars Rover. Then it’s across the pond for a review of the amazing science coming from the Rosetta mission that spent years exploring comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We wrap things up with another What’s Up view across the solar system and beyond.
A rare alignment of planets and other objects will enable the solar-powered Lucy spacecraft to examine seven asteroids, six of which are among the thousands of Trojan asteroids that orbit ahead of and behind Jupiter. The mission team, include Hal Levison, Cathy Olkin and Mike Sekerak, hope to unlock secrets of our solar system’s origin through these ancient artifacts.
When will we return to Uranus and Neptune? Planetary scientist Amy Simon explains why a mission to the so-called ice giants is a high priority as she tells us about these mysterious, blue worlds.
Why did the dinosaurs die? They didn’t have a space program! The upcoming DART mission will test our best thinking about how we may someday deflect a Near Earth Object that is speeding toward fiery Armageddon on Earth. Nancy Chabot of the JHU Applied Physics Lab is the mission’s Coordination Lead.
Spacecraft OSIRIS REx is now orbiting a 260-meter asteroid named Bennu. Principal investigator Dante Lauretta returns to tell us what has already been learned, and to preview the excitement that is still to come, including the probe’s descent to the surface for collection of a pristine sample.
Why do so many spacecraft that are headed across our solar system turn their instruments back to Earth during flybys? OSIRIS-REx was no exception. The answers come from mission scientist Vicky Hamilton
The InSight lander has only just arrived on Mars. Now, OSIRIS REx has reached asteroid Bennu after traveling through deep space for a year and a half.
LightSail 2 is not the only solar sail in the universe. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Lab are preparing to send NEA Scout on a long, light-propelled journey to a near Earth asteroid.
A mostly SpaceX episode as the ambitious company provides updated details regarding its huge new rocket and introduces its first astronauts. Mat Kaplan shares more from the company’s headquarters, while Planetary Society Digital Editor explains and explores the BFR.
Ceres is the queen of the asteroid belt. Her first Earthly visitor is nearing its last days in spectacular style. Dawn Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns with stunning images taken from just 35 kilometers or 22 miles above the dwarf planet, and a preview of the spacecraft’s last days.
Dawn Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman helps us salute the ion-engine powered spacecraft that first orbited asteroid Vesta in the main asteroid belt and then moved to dwarf planet Ceres, revealing two fascinating worlds.
We are joined by British physicist turned comedian and actor Ben Miller, author of The Aliens are Coming! The Extraordinary Science Behind our Search for Life in the Universe.
CEO Randa Milliron introduces us to Interorbital Systems, which wants to put your payload in orbit for as little as $8,000. Can they do it?
Marilynn Flynn, Simon Kregar and Rick Sternbach are masters of space art. They talk about how their work furthers science and captures the imagination.
Mat Kaplan talks with Matt Taylor, the Rosetta Project Scientist, just two weeks after the spacecraft touched down on 67/P.
Alan Stern of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond was in Pasadena for the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences. He joined Mat Kaplan for a very special conversation down the street at Planetary Society HQ.