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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 »

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.

More Info & Listen »

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.

More Info & Listen »

The Exciting Year Ahead on the Final Frontier

01/06/2015 | 28:50

Guests

The Planetary Society’s experts look forward to a great year of firsts in the solar system and beyond.

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Orion Launches Into History

12/09/2014 | 28:50

Guests

NASA’s Orion spacecraft has taken its first step toward Mars and an asteroid mission. The Planetary Society’s Jason Davis was at the Kennedy Space Center for the December 5 mission.

More Info & Listen »

Miguel Alcubierre, Inventor of Warp Drive?

09/09/2014 | 28:50

Guests

  • Miguel Alcubierre, Theoretical Physicist, Nuclear Sciences Institute, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Inspired by Star Trek, distinguished physicist Miguel Alcubierre developed the general relativity-based model for warp drive 20 years ago. Hear why he doubts it will ever be a reality, and learn about his current research on gravitational waves.

More Info & Listen »

Alan Stern and a Big Milestone on the Way to Pluto

08/26/2014 | 28:50

Guests

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

New Horizons passed through the orbit of Neptune on August 25th. By cosmic coincidence, this was the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2’s flyby of that big, blue world. We catch Principal Investigator Alan Stern right after a celebration in Washington.

More Info & Listen »

The Search for Extraterrestrial Polluters?

08/12/2014 | 28:50

Guests

  • Henry Lin, Student, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard’s Henry Lin led work that determined the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope may be able to detect an alien civilization by analyzing its atmosphere.

More Info & Listen »

Pathways To Exploration: John Logsdon Analyzes the Human Spaceflight Report

06/17/2014 | 35:42

Guests

The National Research Council released its long-awaited report June 4th. Distinguished space policy analyst John Logsdon returns to Planetary Radio with his take on this latest attempt to determine the proper role of humans in space.

More Info & Listen »

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