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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

Fighting for Space: Former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver

07/05/2016 | 38:08


She has spent most of her life working toward a bright future for humanity in space, and Lori Garver has lost none of her passion. She visited the Planetary Society for a wide-ranging conversation with Mat Kaplan.

More Info & Listen »

Countdown to Jupiter

06/28/2016 | 40:14


Juno will enter Jupiter orbit on July 4th. Mat Kaplan talks with the mission’s Principal Investigator, Scott Bolton at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bill Nye helps prepare us for this exciting encounter and the science that will follow.

More Info & Listen »

OSIRIS REx: Ready for a Voyage to Bennu

06/21/2016 | 34:17


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

OSIRIS-REx will launch toward Near Earth Asteroid Bennu soon. In an early celebration of Asteroid Day, mission leader Dante Lauretta tells us how learning about asteroids may teach us about our own origins, and help us avoid a cataclysmic impact.

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JunoCam, The People’s Jupiter Camera

06/14/2016 | 31:46


The Juno spacecraft will enter orbit at Jupiter on July 4th. It carries a camera that will send back spectacular images from just above the swirling clouds of that mighty planet. Planetary scientist Candy Hansen will tell us how we can help decide what it will view.

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Chris McKay, Larry Niven and Andy Weir at the Contact Conference

06/07/2016 | 32:32


Space art and science fiction joined science fact at the 2016 Contact Conference in Sunnyvale, California. We talk with three well-known visionaries.

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Getting Humans to Mars

05/31/2016 | 56:31


  • Stephen Jurczyk, Associate Administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Jim Free, Deputy Director of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Rick Davis, Assistant Director for Science and Exploration, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

Three NASA leaders talk with host Mat Kaplan about the progress we're making toward leaving footprints on the Red Planet.

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A Big Test for LightSail 2

05/24/2016 | 29:57


  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Jason Davis, Digital Editor, The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society’s solar sail spacecraft was in the middle of a critical test as we spoke with the Society’s Bruce Betts and Jason Davis.

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Dream Chaser: The Return of the Spaceplane

05/10/2016 | 28:50


  • Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President, Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems

We’re back at Space Symposium for a conversation with SNC’s Mark Sirangelo, leader of that company’s effort to build the Dream Chaser. We’ll also hear a few moments of Bill Nye’s session at the annual gathering as he hosted Bernard Foing and Amy Mainzer.

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A Death Valley Conversation About Life, The Universe and Everything With Tyler Nordgren and Jill Tarter

04/26/2016 | 1:11:38


Beautiful Death Valley National Park was the setting for a fascinating conversation with famed SETI researcher Jill Tarter and celebrated astronomer, artist and photographer Tyler Nordgren.

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Celebrating Yuri’s Night 2016 with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

04/12/2016 | 28:50


Happy Yuri’s Night! We’re partying under Space Shuttle Endeavour in the first of two shows featuring interviews from the worldwide celebration of space. Star Trek’s Robert Picardo will talk about his new video newsletter, the Planetary Post, and we’ll visit with Samantha Cristoforetti, who returned last June from 200 days aboard the International Space Station.

More Info & Listen »

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