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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

Anatomy of a Rover—Getting Down to Mars

07/26/2016 | 36:40

Guests

  • DJ Byrne, Lead Software Designer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Don Heyer, Digital Design Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Raul Perez, Technical Staff, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

It takes a lot of terrific components to create a successful spacecraft like Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory. We’ll visit JPL to learn about the Terminal Descent Sensor radar that will once again help land a rover on the Red Planet.

More Info & Listen »

Juno Reaches Jupiter!

07/12/2016 | 48:25

Guests

  • Fran Bagenal, Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences,, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado
  • Guy Beutelschies, Director of Interplanetary Missions, Lockheed Martin Space Systems
  • Scott Bolton, Principal Investigator for JUNO
  • Elsa Jensen, JunoCam Instrument Operations Engineer, Malin Space Science Systems
  • Candice Hansen, Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
  • Jonathan Nichols, Reader, University of Leicester
  • Rick Nybakken, Juno Project Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer

Return with us to the evening of July 4, 2016 and the exciting arrival at Jupiter of the Juno orbiter. You’ll hear the moment of successful orbital insertion. Several of the mission’s key contributors reveal how Juno accomplished this feat, along with what they hope the spacecraft will tell us about the giant planet.

More Info & Listen »

Countdown to Jupiter

06/28/2016 | 40:14

Guests

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.

More Info & Listen »

Chris McKay, Larry Niven and Andy Weir at the Contact Conference

06/07/2016 | 32:32

Guests

Space art and science fiction joined science fact at the 2016 Contact Conference in Sunnyvale, California. We talk with three well-known visionaries.

More Info & Listen »

Getting Humans to Mars

05/31/2016 | 56:31

Guests

  • Stephen Jurczyk, Associate Administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Jim Free, Deputy Director of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Rick Davis, Assistant Director for Science and Exploration, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

Three NASA leaders talk with host Mat Kaplan about the progress we're making toward leaving footprints on the Red Planet.

More Info & Listen »

A Big Test for LightSail 2

05/24/2016 | 29:57

Guests

  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Jason Davis, Digital Editor, The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society’s solar sail spacecraft was in the middle of a critical test as we spoke with the Society’s Bruce Betts and Jason Davis.

More Info & Listen »

Dream Chaser: The Return of the Spaceplane

05/10/2016 | 28:50

Guests

  • Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President, Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems

We’re back at Space Symposium for a conversation with SNC’s Mark Sirangelo, leader of that company’s effort to build the Dream Chaser. We’ll also hear a few moments of Bill Nye’s session at the annual gathering as he hosted Bernard Foing and Amy Mainzer.

More Info & Listen »

A Death Valley Conversation About Life, The Universe and Everything With Tyler Nordgren and Jill Tarter

04/26/2016 | 1:11:38

Guests

Beautiful Death Valley National Park was the setting for a fascinating conversation with famed SETI researcher Jill Tarter and celebrated astronomer, artist and photographer Tyler Nordgren.

More Info & Listen »

Exploring Europa and Mining Asteroids at Yuri’s Night

04/19/2016 | 41:05

Guests

Our special coverage from the Los Angeles Yuri’s Night party continues with Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources along with Bob Pappalardo and Boback “Mohawk Guy” Ferdowsi who are preparing an orbiter for Jupiter’s ocean world Europa.

More Info & Listen »

Ashwin Vasavada, Leader of Scientists Roving Mars

03/29/2016 | 38:02

Guests

  • Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The new Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist is not new to the mission. Ashwin Vasavada has worked on the Curiosity rover since 2004.

More Info & Listen »

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