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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

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

Countdown to Jupiter

06/28/2016 | 40:14


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.

More Info & Listen »

Planet 9 From Outer Space!

02/09/2016 | 49:10


  • Mike Brown, Planetary Astronomer, California Institute of Technology
  • Konstantin Batygin, Assistant Professor of Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology

Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin fully expect a new and undemotable ninth planet will be found in the outer reaches of the solar system. The Caltech researchers talk about their findings and much more.

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Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides on LauncherOne and the Return of SpaceShipTwo

03/10/2015 | 28:50


6,000 job-seekers came to the new Long Beach, California home of Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne rocket on a recent morning. We sit down with CEO George Whitesides for a conversation about this new effort and the return of SpaceShipTwo.

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Dr. J and the World’s Biggest Telescope

01/13/2015 | 36:11


  • Joe Liske, Acting Programme Scientist for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), and host of Hubblecast, European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Joe Liske, host of Hubblecast, is also the top scientist on the European Southern Observatory’s European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), now under construction on a Chilean mountaintop. “Dr. J” tells us what this largest ever telescope will help us discover.

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The SpaceShipTwo and Antares Disasters: Special Coverage With John Logsdon

11/04/2014 | 28:50


It was a terrible, tragic week for commercial space development. Historian and space policy analyst John Logsdon helps up understand the greater meaning of the SpaceShipTwo and Antares disasters on this special edition of Planetary Radio, with additional thoughts from Bill Nye.

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The Gemini Planet Imager: Worlds Made Visible

01/13/2014 | 31:19


  • Bruce Macintosh, Gemini Planet Imager Principal Investigator, Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Stanford University
  • Franck Marchis, Exoplanets Research Thrust Chair, SETI Institute

Principal Investigator and physicist Bruce Macintosh joins astronomer Franck Marchis to celebrate first light from the most powerful instrument for imaging exoplanets.

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10 Years A Roving: A.J.S. Rayl on the Mars Exploration Rovers

12/23/2013 | 53:17


What a long, wonderful trip it has been for Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rovers. Planetary Society reporter A.J.S. Rayl has been writing about their adventure every month for ten years. She looks back on this week’s show.

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A Big Week for Space Science at the AGU and Beyond

12/16/2013 | 28:50


  • Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, The Planetary Society
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society

The annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union revealed lots of science, some of it astounding. Emily Lakdawalla was there with Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator Casey Dreier, whose news was not quite as good.

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Celebrating the Admiral of the Solar System

12/02/2013 | 29:30


  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society
  • Louis D. Friedman, Board of Directors, The Planetary Society
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer

The life of explorer and teacher Dr. Bruce Murray was celebrated last November 10th at Caltech. This week we present a few excerpts from the tributes paid to the former JPL Director and co-founder of the Planetary Society.

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It's Hot! Plutonium 238 is Back

10/28/2013 | 32:08


  • Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, The Planetary Society

Casey Dreier tells the winding tale of Plutonium 238, the radioactive isotope that is vital for exploration of the solar system. The US came dangerously close to exhausting its supply. Even with production restarted, there are major challenges facing explorers.

More Info & Listen »

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