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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

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.

More Info & Listen »

LightSail Triumphant! A Mission Press Conference

06/16/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer
  • Barbara Plante, Founder and President, Boreal Space
  • Rex Ridenoure, President and CEO, Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation
  • Doug Stetson, LightSail Project Manager, The Planetary Society

After a roller coaster ride that included a maddening eight-day silence, the LightSail test mission finally achieved all of its major goals. Leaders of the mission team gathered on June 10th to take questions from the media, and share their thoughts and emotions with the general public. Today’s show presents highlights of that briefing. Emily Lakdawalla is seeing things on Pluto, and she’s not alone. Bruce Betts takes Mat Kaplan on a walk in space during this week’s What’s Up segment.

More Info & Listen »

Cassini Update AND LightSail Spreads its Wings!

06/09/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker, returns with another update on the magnificent mission at Saturn. You’ll also hear Bill Nye and the moment when LightSail began to deploy its solar sail.

More Info & Listen »

Chris Carberry and Getting Humans to Mars

06/02/2015 | 28:50

Guests

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.

More Info & Listen »

Spiraling Closer to Ceres With the Dawn Mission’s Marc Rayman

05/19/2015 | 33:59

Guests

  • Marc Rayman, Dawn Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

It’s the biggest dwarf planet between here and Pluto, and it has a new permanent resident. The Dawn spacecraft is orbiting Ceres in the asteroid belt, revealing it as never before. What are those bright spots anyway? We spend time with Dawn’s Chief Engineer and Director, Marc Rayman.

More Info & Listen »

Alan Stern and the Rise of Pluto

05/12/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Alan Stern, New Horizons Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Humankind’s arrival at Pluto is barely two months away. The science and images have already started to flow from New Horizons, according to the mission’s Principal Investigator, Alan Stern. Alan returns to Planetary Radio this week.

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Sean Solomon on the Climactic End of the MESSENGER Mission to Mercury

05/05/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Sean Solomon, Principal Investigator for MESSENGER, Columbia University

We open with the countdown to destruction—the MESSENGER spacecraft’s impact on Mercury ended its spectacularly successful mission. Principal Investigator Sean Solomon joins us immediately after this big finish.

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

03/10/2015 | 28:50

Guests

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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Year of the Icy Worlds

02/10/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Bob Pappalardo, Principal Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Marc Rayman, Dawn Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

We’ll visit the Jet Propulsion Lab on its Icy Worlds Day to learn more about spacecraft exploring Ceres, Enceladus and Europa from leaders of these missions.

More Info & Listen »

Dr. J and the World’s Biggest Telescope

01/13/2015 | 36:11

Guests

  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

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