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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

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 »

Space Policy Edition #3: Plutonium-238, Europa via SLS, Cost of the Next Mars Rover Rises

08/05/2016 | 1:03:06

Guests

In our third episode, we debate the risks and rewards of tying the future of a Europa mission to the fate of NASA's massive Space Launch System rocket. Also, NASA just announced that the next Mars rover will cost $2.4 billion—$900 million more than initially thought. But the mission is not considered over budget. Why not? Lastly, the U.S. just generated 50 grams of Plutonium-238, the largest amount in nearly thirty years. We celebrate the successful effort to create this critically important, though highly toxic, power source for deep space spacecraft.

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.

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The Eagle Has Landed: Remembering Neil Armstrong

07/19/2016 | 28:50

Guests

We celebrate the 47th anniversary of the first moon landing with the reprise of a conversation with author and NBC space reporter Jay Barbree about his trusted friend Neil Armstrong.

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Space Policy Edition #2: Why Juno? Why Jupiter? Why Now?

07/01/2016 | 1:09:14

Guests

This month Jason Callahan, Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan ask whether the Moon vs. Mars human destination debate makes sense, highlight a new report on the science potential of CubeSats by the National Academies, and explain how a thrilling planetary science mission like Juno gets a thumbs up from NASA.

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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.

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Space Policy Edition #1-How We Got Here: Human Spaceflight at the End of the Obama Era

06/03/2016 | 1:08:00

Guests

In the premiere of this new monthly series we briefly examine the latest move by the House of Representatives in the game of NASA's budget and then discuss what Lockheed Martin's new "Mars Base Camp" proposal takes from The Society's Humans Orbiting Mars workshop. Our featured discussion takes a deep dive into the story of President Obama's impact on human spaceflight--how NASA ended up with a mixed program of commercial systems and big government programs.

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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.

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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 »

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.

More Info & Listen »

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