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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

Humans Orbiting Mars!

09/29/2015 | 37:56


Scott Hubbard and John Logsdon led the Humans Orbiting Mars Workshop last spring. They return with Casey Dreier as the report on that workshop is released to the world.

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Saving the Planet: Voices From the Planetary Defense Conference

06/30/2015 | 28:50


  • Linda Billings, Research Professor, George Washington University
  • James Burke, Project Manager, Ranger program
  • Paul Chodas, Manager, NASA NEO Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Tom Jones, Astronaut, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
  • Nahum Melamed, Project Manager, Aerospace Corporation
  • Jason Reinhardt, MacArthur Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
  • Travis Brashears, Gould Law Student, University of Southern California
  • Philip Lubin, Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara

We’ve already brought you Planetary Radio Live from the 2015 PDC near Rome, Italy. Now you’ll hear a small sampling of the scientists, engineers, policymakers and media experts who spent five days considering how humanity will respond to a potentially disastrous threat. Bruce Betts celebrates the great Jupiter-Venus conjunction in What’s Up. Bill Nye and Emily Lakdawalla return next week.

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Chris Carberry and Getting Humans to Mars

06/02/2015 | 28:50


Explore Mars revealed the 2015 Humans to Mars Report at a recent conference in Washington. CEO Chris Carberry gives us a quick tour of this inspiring assessment of what it will take to get more than robots to the Red Planet.

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Saving the Planet at the Planetary Defense Conference

04/21/2015 | 28:50


  • William Ailor, Distinguished Engineer, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Fabrizio Bernardi, Chief Executive Officer, SpaceDyS
  • Paul Chodas, Manager, NASA NEO Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Lindley Johnson, Near Earth Object Programs Executive, NASA
  • Detlef Koschny, Co-Manager, Near-Earth Object Segment of the Space Situational Awareness Programme (SSA-NEO), ESA/ESTEC
  • Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE Principal Investigator, Jet Propulsion Lab

Planetary Radio Live was the only public event at the just-completed Planetary Defense Conference in Italy. Join us for excerpts from an all-star celebration of worldwide efforts to find, track, characterize and eventually deflect killer Near-Earth Objects.

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Humans Orbiting Mars: Report on the Workshop

04/07/2015 | 37:28


A human mission to orbit Mars might be possible by 2033, and it might be accomplished at reasonable cost and with existing or nearly-ready technology. Three leaders of a recent Washington DC conference on this topic provide a report.

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Big News From Little Worlds

03/24/2015 | 28:50


  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society

Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla has returned from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas with the latest revelations about our solar system. She shares them in an extended report.

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Leaving Behind a Life on Mars—Former Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger

03/17/2015 | 34:46


  • John Grotzinger, Curiosity Project Scientist, California Institute of Technology

The Mars Science Laboratory rover has accomplished its primary goals on the Red Planet, and John Grotzinger has left his central role to become Chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. He shares his thoughts about the ongoing mission and much more.

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Where Did The Air Go? Bruce Jakosky on the MAVEN Mars Mission

12/23/2014 | 28:50


  • Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN Principal Investigator, University of Colorado Boulder

Not just the air. Where is the water that was plentiful on the red planet billions of years ago? MAVEN may help answer these questions. Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky reports on the early, exciting science data.

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Can We Touch the Stars? Lou Friedman at the 100-Year Starship Symposium

09/23/2013 | 30:31


Only days after Voyager 1 reached interstellar space, forward thinkers met in Houston, Texas to consider how humans can become a starfaring species. Planetary Society Emeritus Executive Director Lou Friedman reports from the meeting.

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A Mars Exploration Rover Update with Project Scientist Bruce Banerdt

05/04/2009 | 0:28:52


Bruce Banerdt provides a status report on Spirit and Opportunity. Bill Nye has something old and something new to talk about, and Bruce Betts returns from the Planetary Defense Conference in Spain with news of Near Earth Objects and other things in the night sky.

More Info & Listen »




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