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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

2014: The Year in Space

12/30/2014 | 28:50


Our annual review of the greatest events and accomplishments over the last year features analysis and commentary by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily Lakdawalla, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Bruce Betts, along with a special new year’s gift of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

More Info & Listen »

Where Did The Air Go? Bruce Jakosky on the MAVEN Mars Mission

12/23/2014 | 28:50


  • Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN Principal Investigator, University of Colorado Boulder

Not just the air. Where is the water that was plentiful on the red planet billions of years ago? MAVEN may help answer these questions. Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky reports on the early, exciting science data.

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A MESSENGER From Mercury—Principal Investigator Sean Solomon Returns

10/28/2014 | 28:50


  • 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.

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A Death-Defying Climax for Venus Express

08/05/2014 | 28:50


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.

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Elisa Quintana on the Discovery of Earth 2.0

06/24/2014 | 28:50


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.

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A Starlight Festival Cassini Mission Update

06/03/2014 | 42:38


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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

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