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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.

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Recent Shows

Countdown to LightSail: An Update

04/28/2015 | 28:50


The road to space has been a rocky one for most spacecraft, and LightSail is no different. Challenges remain even with the May 20th launch of a test mission approaching. Embedded LightSail reporter Jason Davis checks in with the latest news.

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 »

Humans Orbiting Mars: Report on the Workshop

04/07/2015 | 37:28


A human mission to orbit Mars might be possible by 2033, and it might be accomplished at reasonable cost and with existing or nearly-ready technology. Three leaders of a recent Washington DC conference on this topic provide a report.

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 »

Big News From Little Worlds

03/24/2015 | 28:50


  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society

Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla has returned from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas with the latest revelations about our solar system. She shares them in an extended report.

More Info & Listen »

Jim Bell Welcomes “The Interstellar Age”

03/03/2015 | 46:07


  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society

Planetary scientist and author Jim Bell has just written “The Interstellar Age—Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission.” He talks with Mat Kaplan about the magnificent grand tour of the outer solar system that is now headed toward the stars.

More Info & Listen »

Jonathan Goff Says Let’s Redirect an Asteroid

02/24/2015 | 28:50


ARM is the Asteroid Redirect Mission, and sometimes it seems that it doesn’t have a friend in the world. But it does, and Jonathan Goff of Altius Space Machines is one.

More Info & Listen »

Found! Beagle 2 on Mars

02/17/2015 | 28:50


  • Mark Sims, Professor of Astrobiology and Spacecraft Instrumentation, University of Leicester

The Beagle 2 Mars lander disappeared after it separated from the Mars Express orbiter on Christmas Day, 2003. Eleven years later, it has been found, partially-deployed on the Martian surface. Longtime Beagle 2 mission leader Mark Sims tells the story.

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Tales From a 4 Billion Year Old Piece of Mars...On Earth

02/03/2015 | 28:50


  • Mark Thiemens, Professor and Dean, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California San Diego
  • Robina Shaheen, Project Scientist, University of California San Diego

Robina Shaheen and Mark Thiemens tell us how an ancient Mars meteorite has revealed much about the red planet. Mat holds a tiny fragment of the rock in their UC San Diego lab.

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LightSail Prepares to Take Flight

01/27/2015 | 28:50


The Planetary Society has just announced that LightSail will be launched into orbit on its first test flight in May. We’ll talk with Project Manager Doug Stetson and embedded LightSail reporter Jason Davis about what to expect.

More Info & Listen »

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