Extended Classic: Cosmic Queries: Venus with Dr. FunkySpoon

Mosaic of Venus created from Magellan radar data and color images from Soviet Venera Spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL

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About This Episode

NEW: Now featuring a 13-minute “Venusian Update” from Dr. FunkySpoon and Chuck Nice about the ESA’s Venus Express, Japan’s “never say die” Akatsuki orbiter, and possible future US missions to our “Evil Twin.”

This week, astrobiologist Dr. David Grinspoon sits in while Neil is off working on the new COSMOS series for FOX. You might remember him as our guest planetary scientist from the Mars Curiosity Rover team at StarTalk Live! Satisfying our Curiosity about Mars and StarTalk Live! Exploring Our Funky Solar System, but he also works on ESA’s Venus Express mission. In other words, Dr. FunkySpoon is the perfect guide to answer your Cosmic Queries about Venus… with a little help from comic co-host Leighann Lord. You’ll hear theories on why Venus rotates so slowly (its year is shorter than its day), and in a different direction than Earth. Find out why exploring Venus has been so much harder than Mars, in spite of the long/bio/leighann-lord-lasting Soviet Venera program, and the challenges to creating rovers and space suits that can withstand Venus’ crushing pressure (90x Earth’s) and searing heat (nearly 900 °F). Learn about Venus’ runaway greenhouse atmosphere, how it got that way, why it has no plate tectonics, and even the possibility of life on this inhospitable planet orbiting so close to the Sun.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Extended Classic: Cosmic Queries: Venus with Dr. FunkySpoon.

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