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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

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.

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The Launch of LightSail

05/26/2015 | 28:50

Guests

This special edition takes you behind the scenes on May 20, 2015 as LightSail is lifted into orbit. You’ll hear the thrilling launch, meet key team members as they prepare for the big moment, and hear a special status report from Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye.

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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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Countdown to LightSail: An Update

04/28/2015 | 28:50

Guests

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.

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Saving the Planet at the Planetary Defense Conference

04/21/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

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

03/17/2015 | 34:46

Guests

  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

Jonathan Goff Says Let’s Redirect an Asteroid

02/24/2015 | 28:50

Guests

ARM is the Asteroid Redirect Mission, and sometimes it seems that it doesn’t have a friend in the world. But it does, and Jonathan Goff of Altius Space Machines is one.

More Info & Listen »

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