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Blue Dot #238: ROVING MARS: Perseverance, Curiosity and the Evolution of Rovers


Host Dave Schlom checks in on the Mars rovers, first with Perseverance systems engineer and planetary scientist Vivian Sun as they discuss the rover's operations in Jezero Crater searching for signs of ancient life.

Then Dave visits with Curiosity Rover Engineering Camera Lead Doug Ellison about a remarkable picture he helped create from the slopes of Mount Sharp looking back through a valley into Gale Crater. Finally, we take a look at the origin of extraterrestrial rovers with Earl Swift, the author of the new book Across The Airless Wilds: The Lunar Rover and The Triumph of the Final Moon Landings. 

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.