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Episode 143 - Round-Table Discussion with New Horizons Early Career Scientists

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Recap: On July 7, 2015, one week before NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto and Charon, I sat down with six other early career scientists and interviewed them about several different topics related to the mission and just being a planetary scientist or scientist in general. And, for those listeners who stay to the end, there is a bonus of over 3 minutes of outtakes!

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Episode Summary

Because this was a round-table discussion, there is no transcript. Topics discussed include:

1. Introduce yourself: Name, which science theme team you're on, and what you do (few sentences).

2. Listener Robert wants to know what your average day is like — how many hours, and what you do? Is it all spent behind a computer, are you by yourself or in meetings, do you have an overseer or fairly independent, etc. Since we're focusing on New Horizons, let's narrow it to answers related to your work on New Horizons, not necessarily since we've been here at APL.

3. What is one thing you're hoping to find in the Pluto-Charon system, and what observation or observations hare planned to help you make that discovery, if it's real?

4. A related science planning question, from listener Rick: How are we planning to look for clouds? Remember that we can't discuss any possible results in this podcast, so this is more of a how do we expect they'd manifest that we could actually plan observations for?

5. Broader question to wrap things up: What is it like for you to be on the New Horizons team? And I realize that's a really open-ended question, so let me focus it more: A lot of news outlets are going to have interviews with some of the higher-ups on the team, people who have perspectives from Pioneer, Voyager, and even more recent outer solar system missions. I know that a few of you have worked on other missions, but this is really the last one to the last of the classical planets, the first to the third region of the solar system. Is it exciting, is it just run-of-the mill science discovery, have you been involved in anything like this ... what's the general "vibe" to use common slang? And how do you think you'll look back at this in 30 years?

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Comments to date: 1. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:

Robert Peters   Wisconsin

12:09pm on Sunday, December 13th, 2015 

Wonderful podcast. Sounds like you guys love your job and really like working with each other. Enjoyed hearing about your work. And yes... I am real.

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