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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

Cassini at Saturn: The Final Year

09/20/2016 | 29:02

Guests

  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

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

09/13/2016 | 28:50

Guests

  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

Spinoffs! Sharing NASA Technology

09/06/2016 | 28:50

Guests

  • 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 »

Space Policy Edition #4: Near Earth Asteroids—Why we go, how we find them, and maybe mine them

09/02/2016 | 1:04:18

Guests

In honor of OSIRIS-REx—NASA’s newest asteroid mission—we explore the policy and history of near-Earth Objects: why NASA explores them, how the government plans to find and defending the planet, and the how policy can keep up with ambitious plans to mine asteroids.

More Info & Listen »

The Pale Red Dot: A Planet Called Proxima b

08/30/2016 | 35:32

Guests

  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

Could the Soviet Union Have Won the Space Race?

08/23/2016 | 46:49

Guests

Space historian and policy expert John Logsdon joins Mat Kaplan for a fascinating conversation about how the US could have lost the race to the moon.

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Sailing the Canyons of Titan

08/16/2016 | 38:39

Guests

Steep canyons on Saturn's moon Titan are filled with liquid methane. That's the discovery just announced by an international team of Cassini scientists, including Alex Hayes.

More Info & Listen »

Subcontractors: Making Space Happen

08/09/2016 | 28:50

Guests

  • Dion Jackson, Program Director, USC Center for Economic Development
  • G. Marie Talnack, Director of Technology Transfer, Cal Poly Pomona
  • Bill Galary, Senior Engineer, Nye Lubricants
  • Bob Hoffman, Regional Engineering Manager, Western Regional Sales, Nye Lubricants

You may never hear their names, but there are thousands of small to medium-sized companies without which space exploration and development wouldn’t happen.

More Info & Listen »

Space Policy Edition #3: Plutonium-238, Europa via SLS, Cost of the Next Mars Rover Rises

08/05/2016 | 1:03:06

Guests

In our third episode, we debate the risks and rewards of tying the future of a Europa mission to the fate of NASA's massive Space Launch System rocket. Also, NASA just announced that the next Mars rover will cost $2.4 billion—$900 million more than initially thought. But the mission is not considered over budget. Why not? Lastly, the U.S. just generated 50 grams of Plutonium-238, the largest amount in nearly thirty years. We celebrate the successful effort to create this critically important, though highly toxic, power source for deep space spacecraft.

More Info & Listen »

Interstellar Dreams Turn Real

08/02/2016 | 1:26:01

Guests

  • 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.

More Info & Listen »

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