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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

Ashwin Vasavada, Leader of Scientists Roving Mars

03/29/2016 | 38:02


  • Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The new Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist is not new to the mission. Ashwin Vasavada has worked on the Curiosity rover since 2004.

More Info & Listen »

Neil Gehrels and WFIRST—A Space Telescope for the 2020s

03/15/2016 | 35:30


  • Neil Gehrels, Chief, Astroparticle Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA has given the go-ahead for creation of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope. It might help reveal the nature of dark energy and point the way to life among the stars.

More Info & Listen »

HERA Heroine Julielynn Wong and Printing Medical Tools in Deep Space

03/08/2016 | 34:48


  • Julielynn Wong, Founding Director, Center for Innovative Technologies and Public Health

Julielynn Wong came directly from her 30-day long HERA IX deep space simulation to our microphone. We talk with her about the experience, and her progress toward 3D medical device printing solutions for astronauts and Earthbound humans.

More Info & Listen »

Exploring Saturn With Cassini

02/23/2016 | 32:24


  • Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Cassini Mission Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with the latest discoveries at the beautiful ringed planet, its moons and its rings.

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Marc Rayman’s Dawn Mission Update

01/19/2016 | 30:51


  • Marc Rayman, Dawn Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Dawn Mission Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns for another report on the ion-engine powered mission, now orbiting 240 miles above dwarf planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt.

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Congressman John Culberson on a Good Day for Space

12/22/2015 | 33:59


  • John Culberson, Chair of the House Commerce, Justice and Science Sub-Committee

The newly-approved federal budget includes great news for fans of space exploration and development. Texas Congressman John Culberson led the fight for a Europa mission, the SLS rocket, commercial crew and more. He tells us why on this week’s show.

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Field Test: Planetary Deep Drill

12/15/2015 | 28:50


  • Kris Zacny, Vice President and Director of Exploration Technology, Honeybee Robotics
  • Mike Malaska, Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Bill Abbey, Technical Staff, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Drilling through many meters of ice to Europa’s ocean or to the pristine sub-surface layers of Mars will be hard. The Planetary Deep Drill prototype has shown that it may be a practical approach. Join Mat Kaplan and Planetary Society colleagues at the field test site deep in California’s desert.

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A Journey to Space

12/08/2015 | 34:34


  • Shell Amega, Vice President, Communications, California Science Center Foundation
  • Devin Waller, Exhibit Project Manager, California Science Center Foundation
  • Mark Krenzien, Director/Writer, Journey to Space 3D IMAX Film

Journey to Space is both a new and spectacular IMAX movie and an exciting, hands-on exhibition at the California Science Center. We learn about both this week.

More Info & Listen »

Pluto Amazes!

10/20/2015 | 38:40


  • Hal Weaver, New Horizons Project Scientist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab

Hal Weaver is a very happy Project Scientist. His New Horizons spacecraft has shocked his fellow researchers with magnificent images and data. He shares the excitement this week.

More Info & Listen »

OSIRIS-REx Readies for Asteroid Bennu

09/15/2015 | 28:50


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

Dante Lauretta heads the most ambitious mission to an asteroid ever mounted. With one year left till launch, he returns to Planetary Radio with an update.

More Info & Listen »

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