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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

Could the Soviet Union Have Won the Space Race?

08/23/2016 | 46:49

Guests

Space historian and policy expert John Logsdon joins Mat Kaplan for a fascinating conversation about how the US could have lost the race to the moon.

More Info & Listen »

Sailing the Canyons of Titan

08/16/2016 | 38:39

Guests

Steep canyons on Saturn's moon Titan are filled with liquid methane. That's the discovery just announced by an international team of Cassini scientists, including Alex Hayes.

More Info & Listen »

Subcontractors: Making Space Happen

08/09/2016 | 28:50

Guests

  • Dion Jackson, Program Director, USC Center for Economic Development
  • G. Marie Talnack, Director of Technology Transfer, Cal Poly Pomona
  • Bill Galary, Senior Engineer, Nye Lubricants
  • Bob Hoffman, Regional Engineering Manager, Western Regional Sales, Nye Lubricants

You may never hear their names, but there are thousands of small to medium-sized companies without which space exploration and development wouldn’t happen.

More Info & Listen »

Interstellar Dreams Turn Real

08/02/2016 | 1:26:01

Guests

  • Philip Lubin, Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Travis Brashears, Undergraduate Student, University of California, Berkeley

Philip Lubin and his former student Travis Brashears have had quite a year. Their bold plan to send tiny probes to nearby stars is now supported by NASA and the Breakthrough Starshot $100 million dollar initiative. Hear their amazing story.

More Info & Listen »

Anatomy of a Rover—Getting Down to Mars

07/26/2016 | 36:40

Guests

  • DJ Byrne, Lead Software Designer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Don Heyer, Digital Design Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Raul Perez, Technical Staff, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

It takes a lot of terrific components to create a successful spacecraft like Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory. We’ll visit JPL to learn about the Terminal Descent Sensor radar that will once again help land a rover on the Red Planet.

More Info & Listen »

Juno Reaches Jupiter!

07/12/2016 | 48:25

Guests

  • Fran Bagenal, Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences,, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado
  • Guy Beutelschies, Director of Interplanetary Missions, Lockheed Martin Space Systems
  • Scott Bolton, Principal Investigator for JUNO
  • Elsa Jensen, JunoCam Instrument Operations Engineer, Malin Space Science Systems
  • Candice Hansen, Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
  • Jonathan Nichols, Reader, University of Leicester
  • Rick Nybakken, Juno Project Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer

Return with us to the evening of July 4, 2016 and the exciting arrival at Jupiter of the Juno orbiter. You’ll hear the moment of successful orbital insertion. Several of the mission’s key contributors reveal how Juno accomplished this feat, along with what they hope the spacecraft will tell us about the giant planet.

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Countdown to Jupiter

06/28/2016 | 40:14

Guests

Juno will enter Jupiter orbit on July 4th. Mat Kaplan talks with the mission’s Principal Investigator, Scott Bolton at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bill Nye helps prepare us for this exciting encounter and the science that will follow.

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Chris McKay, Larry Niven and Andy Weir at the Contact Conference

06/07/2016 | 32:32

Guests

Space art and science fiction joined science fact at the 2016 Contact Conference in Sunnyvale, California. We talk with three well-known visionaries.

More Info & Listen »

Getting Humans to Mars

05/31/2016 | 56:31

Guests

  • Stephen Jurczyk, Associate Administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Jim Free, Deputy Director of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Rick Davis, Assistant Director for Science and Exploration, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

Three NASA leaders talk with host Mat Kaplan about the progress we're making toward leaving footprints on the Red Planet.

More Info & Listen »

A Big Test for LightSail 2

05/24/2016 | 29:57

Guests

  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Jason Davis, Digital Editor, The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society’s solar sail spacecraft was in the middle of a critical test as we spoke with the Society’s Bruce Betts and Jason Davis.

More Info & Listen »

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