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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 soundcloud
  Standard RSS Feed Space Policy Edition

Recent Shows

Space Policy Edition #2: Why Juno? Why Jupiter? Why Now?

07/01/2016 | 1:09:14


This month Jason Callahan, Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan ask whether the Moon vs. Mars human destination debate makes sense, highlight a new report on the science potential of CubeSats by the National Academies, and explain how a thrilling planetary science mission like Juno gets a thumbs up from NASA.

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Countdown to Jupiter

06/28/2016 | 40:14


Juno will enter Jupiter orbit on July 4th. Mat Kaplan talks with the mission’s Principal Investigator, Scott Bolton at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bill Nye helps prepare us for this exciting encounter and the science that will follow.

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At Space Symposium With the Leader of the European Space Agency

05/03/2016 | 31:22


The annual Space Symposium in Colorado is a must-attend event for space leaders from around the world. Our coverage begins with United Arab Emirates Space Agency Director General Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, and then moves to ESA Director General Jan Woerner and Chief Scientist Bernard Foing.

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Planet 9 From Outer Space!

02/09/2016 | 49:10


  • Mike Brown, Planetary Astronomer, California Institute of Technology
  • Konstantin Batygin, Assistant Professor of Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology

Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin fully expect a new and undemotable ninth planet will be found in the outer reaches of the solar system. The Caltech researchers talk about their findings and much more.

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Master of the Moon Rocks: NASA Astromaterials Curator Francis McCubbin

01/12/2016 | 38:18


Francis McCubbin is the new Astromaterials Curator at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the priceless collection includes the Apollo moonrocks. Join host Mat Kaplan's visit.

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A Conversation With Congressman Lamar Smith

09/30/2014 | 28:50


  • Lamar Smith, Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

The Chairman of the powerful Science, Space and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives joins us for a talk about planetary science, Europa, a human flyby of Mars and much more.

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At Spacefest VI With Apollo Astronaut Gene Cernan and a Host of Proud Space Geeks

05/27/2014 | 34:47


  • Dan Durda, Near Earth Object astronomer and astronomical painter
  • Marc Rayman, Dawn Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Commander, NASA
  • Laura Danly, Astrophysicist and Curator, Griffith Observatory

Planetary Radio visited Spacefest in Pasadena to talk with planetary scientist and space artist Dan Durda, Marc Rayman of the Dawn asteroid mission, and a guy who calls himself the Space Cowboy. We also eavesdrop on Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan and his lifelong fan, Griffith Observatory Curator Laura Danly.

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Verified: More Than 700 New Worlds

03/04/2014 | 28:50


SETI Institute researcher and member of the Kepler team Jason Rowe helps us dig into the latest big announcement about hundreds of planets in solar systems like our own.

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Getting Humans to Mars Without Breaking the Bank

02/18/2014 | 28:50


NASA scientist Harley Thronson tells us about a new initiative that is figuring out how we will get men and women to the red planet at a reasonable price. You can read their initial report. Emily Lakdawalla reports on Curiosity’s passage over dunes that made engineers nervous. Bill Nye reveals NASA’s plans for a lunar rover that may launch in 2018. Mat Kaplan joins Bruce Betts in a TV studio to record this week’s What’s Up segment. You can watch!

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The Gemini Planet Imager: Worlds Made Visible

01/13/2014 | 31:19


  • Bruce Macintosh, Gemini Planet Imager Principal Investigator, Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Stanford University
  • Franck Marchis, Exoplanets Research Thrust Chair, SETI Institute

Principal Investigator and physicist Bruce Macintosh joins astronomer Franck Marchis to celebrate first light from the most powerful instrument for imaging exoplanets.

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