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Planetary Radio

Planetary Radio

Each week, Planetary Radio visits with a scientist, engineer, project manager, astronaut, advocate or writer who provides a unique and exciting perspective on the exploration of our solar system and beyond. We also showcase regular features that raise your space IQ while they put a smile on your face.  Host Mat Kaplan is joined by Planetary Society colleagues Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bruce Betts, and Emily Lakdawalla. We hit the road now and then to produce a Planetary Radio Live show in front of an audience.  Drop us a line or enter the weekly space trivia contest at planetaryradio@planetary.org.

Please support your local public radio station that airs the show! Check the station's online schedule or review our online list of affiliates. Satellite radio listeners can hear us Sunday evenings on the Sirius XM Public Radio channel.  Want to hear Planetary Radio on your local station? Ask them to contact us or review our radio affiliate information page.

iTunes and other podcast aggregators like Stitcher make it easy to listen and subscribe. Just search for "Planetary Radio." or click the links below.

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Recent Shows

NASA’s New Planetary Defense Office

02/02/2016 | 50:35

Guests

  • Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer, NASA
  • Kelly Fast, Astronomer and Manager of the Near Earth Object Observation Program, NASA

Lindley Johnson has just been named NASA's first Planetary Defense Officer. He's joined on this week's PlanRad by astronomer Kelly Fast, the new manager of the Near Earth Object Observation Program.

More Info & Listen »

Civilizations Among the Clustered Stars?

01/26/2016 | 41:48

Guests

New research indicates that globular clusters—collections of up to a million stars—could provide stable environments for life, along with opportunities for interstellar civilizations. Lead author Rosanne Di Stefano joins us to explain.

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Marc Rayman’s Dawn Mission Update

01/19/2016 | 30:51

Guests

  • Marc Rayman, Dawn Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Dawn Mission Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns for another report on the ion-engine powered mission, now orbiting 240 miles above dwarf planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt.

More Info & Listen »

Master of the Moon Rocks: NASA Astromaterials Curator Francis McCubbin

01/12/2016 | 38:18

Guests

Francis McCubbin is the new Astromaterials Curator at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the priceless collection includes the Apollo moonrocks. Join host Mat Kaplan's visit.

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Ad Astra Builds “The Martian’s” Rocket Engine

01/05/2016 | 34:40

Guests

  • Mark Carter, Senior Vice President of Technology Development, Ad Astra Rocket Company
  • Jared Squire, Senior Vice President of Research, Ad Astra Rocket Company

Mat Kaplan visits the Ad Astra Rocket Company in Texas where they are perfecting the VASIMIR electric rocket engine. Emily Lakdawalla has created a comprehensive timeline tracing missions throughout the solar system. Bill Nye salutes Planetary Society colleagues who gathered to record a Planetary Radio Extra year in review conversation. The new year’s sky is chock full of planets according to Bruce Betts.

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2015: A Great Year for Space Exploration

12/29/2015 | 28:50

Guests

Our year-end review features the “best of 2015” lists from Jason Davis, Casey Dreier, Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye the Science Guy. What’s Up offers planets, a comet, and a nice prize package for the space trivia contest.

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A Journey to Space

12/08/2015 | 34:34

Guests

  • Shell Amega, Vice President, Communications, California Science Center Foundation
  • Devin Waller, Exhibit Project Manager, California Science Center Foundation
  • Mark Krenzien, Director/Writer, Journey to Space 3D IMAX Film

Journey to Space is both a new and spectacular IMAX movie and an exciting, hands-on exhibition at the California Science Center. We learn about both this week.

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A Tiny Explorer Called Twinkle

12/01/2015 | 28:50

Guests

A small but talented UK team is building Twinkle, a small spacecraft with a big mission—exploring the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars.

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From Mars to the Stars With Lou Friedman

11/10/2015 | 47:33

Guests

The founding Executive Director of the Planetary Society has just written “Human Spaceflight: From Mars to the Stars,” an optimistic view of humanity’s future in the solar system and beyond.

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A 35th Anniversary Party With Neil Tyson!

11/03/2015 | 31:47

Guests

It was a grand night at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. CEO Bill Nye led the Planetary Society’s 35th anniversary party with guests including Neil deGrasse Tyson and Deputy NASA Administrator Dava Newman. We present a very brief sampling of the celebration.

More Info & Listen »

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