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Mat KaplanJune 3, 2016

Announcing Planetary Radio: Space Policy Edition

New episodes monthly

I’m very pleased to announce Planetary Radio Extra: Space Policy Edition (PRE:SPE for short), a new spinoff of Planetary Radio that will delve into the weeds of space policy and politics. This will add a whole new dimension to our popular “Space Advocate” video series on Planetary TV, which walks space supporters through how-to’s of the political process. Today’s policy decisions are critical to our future successes in space exploration, and The Planetary Society welcomes space advocates around the world to join us in advancing this process that will shape a robust future. Planetary Society Director of Space Policy Casey Dreier; his colleague, the Society’s Space Policy Adviser Jason Callahan; and I will take you to strange new worlds with behind-the-scenes stories of how NASA missions actually get made—the stories behind the amazing pictures, adventures, and science that thrill us every day.

The phenomenal success of several past discussions with Casey and Jason on Planetary Radio has convinced us that an eager audience across the US and the globe will welcome this new, monthly series. The inaugural program is already posted at http://planetary.org/radio and The Planetary Society's SoundCloud account. Everyone who already subscribes to Planetary Radio on iTunes or elsewhere will automatically receive new episodes on the first Friday of every month. You can also subscribe to the Space Policy Edition exclusively via this RSS feed.

As Emily Lakdawalla says, we live in a golden age of space exploration. But will it continue? Will humans go to Mars? How will they get there? Will we look for life on Europa and Enceladus?  The answers to these questions aren’t high above us in the cosmos. They are evolving in the halls of U.S. Congress, within offices of the White House, in NASA, and through the tireless work policy wonks and space advocates. While The Planetary Society’s space policy advocacy work is currently primarily focused in North America, it will take a global community effort - not the work of one nation - to achieve future great discoveries in space. We thus invite the world community to join us in our space policy deep-dives and calls to action that will shape the future.

Space activists under the U.S. Capitol dome are pushing their agendas even as competition for federal dollars increases. A new Administration will surely bring its own approach to the exploration of our solar system and beyond. NASA is building new hardware that can take astronauts beyond Earth orbit for the first time since the 1970s. And a whole new breed of commercial space companies are aggressively pursuing their vision for space. The Planetary Society has demonstrated that an informed and involved public can help stay the course, or change it when the need arises. The key is understanding the often byzantine machinery of policymaking, politics and the budget. It’s not an easy task, even for beltway insiders.

I hope you’ll listen, and that you’ll join the conversation! We’ll need your feedback about the topics we take on and how we can improve their presentation. And I know you’ll enjoy the ride. Even the wonkiest policy discussion can be engaging and fun. Join us as we throw the light of a thousand suns on the inner workings of Washington DC, and illuminate our pathway to the stars.

Read more: Space Policy, podcasts and videos, events and announcements, Planetary Radio

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Mat Kaplan

Planetary Radio Host and Producer
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