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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

A MESSENGER From Mercury—Principal Investigator Sean Solomon Returns

10/28/2014 | 28:50

Guests

  • Sean Solomon, Principal Investigator for MESSENGER, Columbia University

MESSENGER has been orbiting the innermost planet for more than three-and-half-years. Principal Investigator Sean Solomon returns with a status report as the mission enters its final phase.

More Info & Listen »

A Death-Defying Climax for Venus Express

08/05/2014 | 28:50

Guests

Venus Express Project Scientist Håkan Svedhem tells us about the spacecraft’s harrowing descent into the Venusian atmosphere, what it is currently up to, and what he’d like to see next at that forbidding planet.

More Info & Listen »

Elisa Quintana on the Discovery of Earth 2.0

06/24/2014 | 28:50

Guests

Kepler-186f is the very first exoplanet that is both the size of our own world and in the habitable zone surrounding its star. SETI Institute scientist Elisa Quintana is lead author of the paper announcing its existence.

More Info & Listen »

A Starlight Festival Cassini Mission Update

06/03/2014 | 42:38

Guests

Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker joins us at the first Starlight Festival in Big Bear Lake, California, and festival MC Andre Bormanis makes a bonus appearance on the show.

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

05/27/2014 | 34:47

Guests

  • 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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Planetary Radio Live at Yuri’s Night—Under Space Shuttle Endeavour

04/15/2014 | 31:53

Guests

Join the party as we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of humanity’s transition to spacefaring species with Yuri’s Night Executive Director Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, Virgin Galactic CEO and Yuri’s Night co-founder George Whitesides, and astronaut Ron Garan, who heads Fragile Oasis.

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Microbes in Orbit: Cheryl Nickerson’s Revealing Biomedical Research

04/08/2014 | 42:43

Guests

You may have heard that the sometimes deadly Salmonella bacterium becomes stronger in microgravity. Cheryl Nickerson tell us about this and other results her team has conducted in low Earth orbit.

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Talking with JPL's Blaine Baggett and Ed Stone About "The Stuff of Dreams"

02/25/2014 | 33:40

Guests

  • Ed Stone, Voyager Interstellar Mission Chief Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Blaine Baggett, Director of the Office of Communication and Education, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

JPL’s Blaine Baggett and former JPL director Ed Stone talk “The Stuff of Dreams,” a documentary about an era in planetary exploration that was both exhilarating and exasperating. Emily Lakdawalla explains why Curiosity has joined the fraternity of backward driving rovers on Mars, and Bill Nye considers the not-too-distant future when airliners and spaceliners will share the sky.

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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!

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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 »

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