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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.

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Recent Shows

A New Era For SETI Research: More on the Breakthrough Initiatives

08/11/2015 | 39:23


  • Karen O’Neil, Site Director and Assistant Director for Operations, Green Bank Telescope, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • Dan Werthimer, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, SETI@Home Project, UC Berkeley

We follow last week’s conversation with Ann Druyan about the $100 million funding of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by visiting with two of the scientists who will do the work: Dan Werthimer of UC Berkeley and Karen O’Neil of the Green Bank Telescope.

More Info & Listen »

Ann Druyan and the Breakthrough SETI Initiatives

08/04/2015 | 30:07


The Breakthrough Initiatives will pump $100 million into the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the next 10 years, vastly expanding humanity’s quest to learn if it has company in the universe. Among the leaders of this brave new project is Cosmos creator Ann Druyan. Join us for a special, extended conversation with Ann.

More Info & Listen »

All-Sky Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

11/04/2013 | 31:54


A burst of laser light could let humanity know it is not alone in the universe. Harvard’s Paul Horowitz and Curtis Mead will give us an update on the technological wonder of Optical SETI that watches the entire sky for billionth of a second pulses from the stars.

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Juno's Brief Home Visit on the Road to Jupiter

10/21/2013 | 28:50


Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton reviews the spacecraft's Earth flyby and previews its long stay at our solar system's king of planets.

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The New Horizons Initiative

10/07/2013 | 28:50


Carl Sagan’s longtime artistic collaborator, Jon Lomberg, designed the cover for the Voyager Interstellar Record. Now he wants to upload another message from Earth to New Horizons, the spacecraft on its way to Pluto.

More Info & Listen »

Gregory and James Benford on the "Starship Century"

09/30/2013 | 28:50


  • Gregory Benford, Physicist and Science Fiction Author, UC Irvine
  • James Benford, Physicist and President of Microwave Sciences, Microwave Sciences

“Starship Century—Toward the Grandest Horizon” is the new collection of fact and fiction assembled by Gregory and James Benford. The brothers are among the leaders of a renaissance in research and thinking about interstellar travel. They have returned to Planetary Radio to talk about this story of human destiny among the stars.

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One In A Million!

02/25/2013 | 37:45


UC Berkeley SETI researcher Andrew Siemion and his colleagues have put an upper limit on the number of civilizations in our galaxy that are capable of giving us a call. He’ll explain their reasoning and provide other search updates.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward: Beginning a New Year In Space

12/31/2012 | 28:50


  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Casey Dreier, Director of Advocacy, The Planetary Society
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer

Planetary Society experts review the challenges and triumphs of 2012 and look forward to a new and exciting year. You’ll hear Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily Lakdawalla on new missions, Casey Dreier on “Saving our Science,” and Bruce Betts’ review of great projects, as well as a musical rendition of “Random Space Fact.”

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SETI Scientist Jill Tarter Continues the Search

04/02/2012 | 28:50


  • Jill Tarter, Director of SETI Research, SETI Institute

The Director of the Center for SETI Research is thrilled to have the Allen Telescope Array back in the hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence. She also tells us about SETILive.

More Info & Listen »




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