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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

Charley Kohlhase and the Greatest Voyage

10/18/2016 | 58:54


How did the Voyager spacecraft manage to weave their magnificent way through the outer planets of our solar system? Mission Design Manager Charley Kohlhase led the team that crunched the numbers to select the best possible trajectory from 10,000 candidates.

More Info & Listen »

Farewell Rosetta!

10/04/2016 | 30:38


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

The European Space Agency’s magnificent Rosetta mission ended last week as the spacecraft gently touched down on the comet it has revealed.

More Info & Listen »

Cassini at Saturn: The Final Year

09/20/2016 | 29:02


  • Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The great Cassini spacecraft has a year to go before it plunges into the ringed planet. Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with more amazing mission science.

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OSIRIS-REx: The Voyage to Bennu Begins, With Dante Lauretta

09/13/2016 | 28:50


  • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator, University of Arizona

In two years a Near Earth Asteroid now known as Bennu will have a visitor from Earth. OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta reports on his mission’s successful launch.

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Spinoffs! Sharing NASA Technology

09/06/2016 | 28:50


  • Daniel Lockney, Technology Transfer Program Executive, NASA Headquarters

In its nearly five decades, NASA has created or improved thousands of technologies, processes and innovations. Dan Lockney is in charge of making sure these solutions are found and utilized by industries and others in need.

More Info & Listen »

The Pale Red Dot: A Planet Called Proxima b

08/30/2016 | 35:32


  • Michael Endl, Research Scientist and Lecturer, McDonald Observatory, University of Texas at Austin

The announcement was made just days ago. Co-discoverer Michael Endl tells us about the discovery of a roughly Earth-mass planet orbiting in the habitable zone of the closest star to our own.

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Interstellar Dreams Turn Real

08/02/2016 | 1:26:01


  • Philip Lubin, Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Travis Brashears, Undergraduate Student, University of California, Berkeley

Philip Lubin and his former student Travis Brashears have had quite a year. Their bold plan to send tiny probes to nearby stars is now supported by NASA and the Breakthrough Starshot $100 million dollar initiative. Hear their amazing story.

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Anatomy of a Rover—Getting Down to Mars

07/26/2016 | 36:40


  • 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.

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The Eagle Has Landed: Remembering Neil Armstrong

07/19/2016 | 28:50


We celebrate the 47th anniversary of the first moon landing with the reprise of a conversation with author and NBC space reporter Jay Barbree about his trusted friend Neil Armstrong.

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Juno Reaches Jupiter!

07/12/2016 | 48:25


  • 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 »

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