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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

Planetary Radio Live: Near Earth Objects—The Killer Asteroid Threat

02/22/2017 | 1:38:52

Guests

  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology / LightSail Program Manager, The Planetary Society
  • Paul Chodas, Manager, NASA NEO Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer, NASA
  • Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE Principal Investigator, Jet Propulsion Lab

Leaders of the quest to find, understand and protect ourselves from the asteroids and comets called Near Earth Objects gathered with host Mat Kaplan for a live conversation about this existential threat from space.

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 »

NASA’s Science Leader John Grunsfeld

05/17/2016 | 28:50

Guests

  • John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA

John Grunsfeld closes our coverage of the Space Foundation’s 32nd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. We also meet the leaders of the New Generation Space Leaders Program.

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A Death Valley Conversation About Life, The Universe and Everything With Tyler Nordgren and Jill Tarter

04/26/2016 | 1:11:38

Guests

Beautiful Death Valley National Park was the setting for a fascinating conversation with famed SETI researcher Jill Tarter and celebrated astronomer, artist and photographer Tyler Nordgren.

More Info & Listen »

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 »

Flying High on SOFIA

09/08/2015 | 32:25

Guests

  • SOFIA Team, The crew, scientists, engineers, educators and other aboard SOFIA

Planetary Radio returns to SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, but this time we fly in the giant 747 turned telescope platform. It was a night to remember.

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The Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the Quest for Longitude

07/28/2015 | 43:09

Guests

Come with us on a visit to the home of the prime meridian for a conversation with the curator of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich about the race to create a practical means for determining longitude.

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Saving the Planet: Voices From the Planetary Defense Conference

06/30/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • 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, Undergraduate Student, University of California, Berkeley
  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

Exploring the Seas of Earth and Other Worlds

06/23/2015 | 28:50

Guests

We return to the beautiful Aquarium of the Pacific in southern California for a fascinating conversation about ocean science. What we learn down here is furthering our research around the solar system. William Patzert, Jerry Schubel and Steven Vance join Mat Kaplan on stage. Emily Lakdawalla tells us what Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, has been doing lately. Bruce Betts is keeping his eye on converging Jupiter and Venus.

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Countdown to LightSail: An Update

04/28/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Jason Davis, Journalist and Digital Editor, The Planetary Society

The road to space has been a rocky one for most spacecraft, and LightSail is no different. Challenges remain even with the May 20th launch of a test mission approaching. Embedded LightSail reporter Jason Davis checks in with the latest news.

More Info & Listen »

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