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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.

Subscribe: Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science Standard RSS Feed

Recent Shows

Movers and Shakers at SpaceCom Expo

11/24/2015 | 31:16


  • Chris Biddy, CEO and Founder, Aquila Space
  • James Causey, Executive Director, SpaceCom Expo
  • John Elbon, Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Space Exploration Division
  • Jeff Greason, CEO, XCOR Aerospace
  • Wendy Niemann, Associate Director of Industry Development, Destination Imagination
  • Ellen Ochoa, Director and Former Astronaut, NASA Johnson Space Center

We join 1,600 space entrepreneurs and visionaries in Houston, and talk with Boeing, XCOR, Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa and more.

More Info & Listen »

Rob Manning and Landing on Mars

04/14/2015 | 39:56


  • Rob Manning, Chief Engineer, Mars Exploration Directorate, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Landing on Mars is hard, and the bigger you are, the harder it gets. Rob Manning returns to tell us about one of NASA’s best hopes for getting much bigger spacecraft down there—spacecraft that may one day carry humans.

More Info & Listen »

Robert Bigelow and His Expandable Space Habs

03/31/2015 | 28:50


Bigelow Aerospace’s BEAM expandable/inflatable space module will be attached to the International Space Station later this year. Mat travels to the company’s headquarters for a conversation with founder and CEO Robert Bigelow.

More Info & Listen »

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

03/10/2015 | 28:50


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.

More Info & Listen »

Dr. J and the World’s Biggest Telescope

01/13/2015 | 36:11


  • 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 »

The Exciting Year Ahead on the Final Frontier

01/06/2015 | 28:50


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

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2014: The Year in Space

12/30/2014 | 28:50


Our annual review of the greatest events and accomplishments over the last year features analysis and commentary by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily Lakdawalla, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Bruce Betts, along with a special new year’s gift of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

More Info & Listen »

Kip Thorne and the Science of Interstellar

12/02/2014 | 28:50


  • Kip Thorne, Richard Feynman Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, CalTech

Spoiler alert. Famed physicist Kip Thorne says you might be able to survive a plunge into a black hole after all! That’s just one molecule of the fascinating science behind the science fiction film he helped create. We’ll talk about the movie and Kip’s new book, “The Science of Interstellar.”

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The SpaceShipTwo and Antares Disasters: Special Coverage With John Logsdon

11/04/2014 | 28:50


It was a terrible, tragic week for commercial space development. Historian and space policy analyst John Logsdon helps up understand the greater meaning of the SpaceShipTwo and Antares disasters on this special edition of Planetary Radio, with additional thoughts from Bill Nye.

More Info & Listen »

Ancient Water Was Here Before the Sun

10/21/2014 | 28:50


Ilse Cleeves is lead author of a paper that concludes up to half of our solar system’s water is older than the solar system itself. The implications for life across the galaxy are profound.

More Info & Listen »

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