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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

Getting Humans to Mars Without Breaking the Bank

02/18/2014 | 28:50

Guests

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!

More Info & Listen »

Surprising Budget News for Planetary Exploration

02/11/2014 | 28:50

Guests

Good news, for a change! Congress decided to provide $127 million more for planetary science than was requested by the President. Bill Adkins of Adkins Strategies in Washington and the Society’s Director of Advocacy, Casey Dreier say a battle has been won, but the war for science continues. Emily Lakdawalla helps us understand how an eye in the Martian sky helps track Curiosity on the surface. Bill Nye addresses the mastodon in the room, and there’s a new and cool prize for the winner of the What’s Up space trivia contest.

More Info & Listen »

Back to Planetary Radio Live With the Mars Rovers

02/04/2014 | 38:52

Guests

  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society
  • John Grotzinger, Curiosity Project Scientist, California Institute of Technology
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer
  • Rob Manning, Chief Engineer, Mars Exploration Directorate, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Our celebration of the Mars rovers continues from Southern California Public Radio’s Crawford Family Forum, this week featuring planetary scientist and author Jim Bell, Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger, JPL Mars Engineering Manager Rob Manning and Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye. Emily takes us to Curiosity’s latest find on the red planet, and Bruce Betts joins Mat to gaze at the night sky and give away ISS-Above, the little device that tells you when the International Space Station is overhead.

More Info & Listen »

Planetary Radio Live Celebrates the Mars Rovers

01/28/2014 | 28:50

Guests

  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
  • Steve Squyres, Mars Exploration Rover Principal Investigator, Cornell University

Opportunity has been rolling across Mars for 10 years! We celebrate the Mars Exploration Rovers and their sisters on the red planet at Planetary Radio Live, this week featuring MER Principal Investigator Steve Squyres. Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye join Mat in front of a capacity crowd at Southern California Public Radio’s Crawford Family Forum. Bruce Betts closes the show with a live Random Space Fact and rover trivia contest.

More Info & Listen »

From Earth to the Edge of the Universe: A New Edition of “The Cosmos”

01/21/2014 | 30:50

Guests

  • Alex Filippenko, Professor of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley
  • Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy, Williams College

Astronomers Jay Pasachoff and Alex Filippenko join us for a conversation about their newest version of their monumental textbook, "The Cosmos." Emily Lakdawalla helps us say good morning to the just-awakened Rosetta spacecraft, while Bill Nye is fascinated and puzzled by what looks like a jelly doughnut on the Martian surface.

More Info & Listen »

The Gemini Planet Imager: Worlds Made Visible

01/13/2014 | 31:19

Guests

  • Bruce Macintosh, Gemini Planet Imager Principal Investigator, Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Stanford University
  • Franck Marchis, Senior Planetary Astronomer, Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute

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

More Info & Listen »

A 2014 Preview From Emily Lakdawalla

01/06/2014 | 28:50

Guests

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

24 spacecraft are either busy exploring the solar system or speeding toward an exciting destination. The Planetary Society's Senior Editor takes us on a whirlwind advance tour.

More Info & Listen »

Amy Mainzer Is Hunting Asteroids With NEOWISE

12/30/2013 | 34:11

Guests

  • Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE Principal Investigator, Jet Propulsion Lab

Take a spacecraft that can no longer survey the realm of galaxies and repurpose it to discover thousands of much nearer asteroids and comets. Put it to sleep for 2.5 years, then wake it up and start discovering even more! JPL’s Amy Mainzer is Principal Investigator for NEOWISE, the mission using this amazing space telescope.

More Info & Listen »

10 Years A Roving: A.J.S. Rayl on the Mars Exploration Rovers

12/23/2013 | 53:17

Guests

What a long, wonderful trip it has been for Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rovers. Planetary Society reporter A.J.S. Rayl has been writing about their adventure every month for ten years. She looks back on this week’s show.

More Info & Listen »

A Big Week for Space Science at the AGU and Beyond

12/16/2013 | 28:50

Guests

The annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union revealed lots of science, some of it astounding. Emily Lakdawalla was there with Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator Casey Dreier, whose news was not quite as good.

More Info & Listen »

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