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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

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the Quest for Longitude

07/28/2015 | 43:09


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.

More Info & Listen »

Found! Beagle 2 on Mars

02/17/2015 | 28:50


  • Mark Sims, Professor of Astrobiology and Spacecraft Instrumentation, University of Leicester

The Beagle 2 Mars lander disappeared after it separated from the Mars Express orbiter on Christmas Day, 2003. Eleven years later, it has been found, partially-deployed on the Martian surface. Longtime Beagle 2 mission leader Mark Sims tells the story.

More Info & Listen »

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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A 2014 Preview From Emily Lakdawalla

01/06/2014 | 28:50


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

24 spacecraft are either busy exploring the solar system or speeding toward an exciting destination. The Planetary Society's Senior Editor takes us on a whirlwind advance tour.

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Amy Mainzer Is Hunting Asteroids With NEOWISE

12/30/2013 | 34:11


  • Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE Principal Investigator, Jet Propulsion Lab

Take a spacecraft that can no longer survey the realm of galaxies and repurpose it to discover thousands of much nearer asteroids and comets. Put it to sleep for 2.5 years, then wake it up and start discovering even more! JPL’s Amy Mainzer is Principal Investigator for NEOWISE, the mission using this amazing space telescope.

More Info & Listen »

A Big Week for Space Science at the AGU and Beyond

12/16/2013 | 28:50


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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Comet ISON: Much More Than a Memory

12/09/2013 | 28:50


Maybe it wasn’t “the comet of the century,” but ISON has left a scientific legacy that is beyond compare. That’s according to Karl Battams of NASA’s Comet ISON Observing Campaign on this week’s show.

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Alyssa Rhoden and the Rise of the Europa Underground

11/25/2013 | 30:20


  • Alyssa Rhoden, NASA postdoctoral program fellow, Goddard Space Flight Center

Alyssa Rhoden studies Jupiter’s moon Europa…from a distance. She, many other scientists and millions of space exploration fans around the globe want to see a mission to this ice world that hides a vast, warm ocean. That’s why she and several colleagues have created Destination: Europa, and they want your help.

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Planetary Radio Live Celebrates the Launch of MAVEN

11/18/2013 | 28:50


  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society
  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer
  • Casey Dreier, Director of Advocacy, The Planetary Society

The successful launch of MAVEN was covered by Mat Kaplan, Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla, with special, launch site reports from Jim Bell and Bill Nye.

More Info & Listen »

Emily Lakawalla's DPS Report

10/14/2013 | 28:50


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

The Planetary Society’s Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist recaps this year’s revealing meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS).

More Info & Listen »

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