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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.

Subscribe: Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science Standard RSS Feed

Recent Shows

Flying High on SOFIA

09/08/2015 | 32:25


  • SOFIA Team, The crew, scientists, engineers, educators and other aboard SOFIA

Planetary Radio returns to SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, but this time we fly in the giant 747 turned telescope platform. It was a night to remember.

More Info & Listen »

Zooming In On Mars With Mastcam-Z

09/01/2015 | 28:50


  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society
  • Justin Maki, Project Manager, Imaging Scientist and Instrument Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Planetary Radio talks with Jim Bell and Justin Maki, leaders of the development team for the most advanced camera ever planned for the surface of Mars.

More Info & Listen »

The Right Site: Choosing A Landing Spot on Mars

08/25/2015 | 33:33


  • Matt Golombek, Co-chair, Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site selection committee
  • Lindsay Hays, Science Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Ken Edgett, Senior Research Scientist, Malin Space Science Systems

The 2020 Mars Rover may be years away, but determining where it will land is already a hot topic among scientists and engineers. Many of the former gathered in early August for a site selection workshop. We talk with Co-Chair and Mars veteran Matt Golombek, JPL astrobiologist Lindsay Hays, and Ken Edgett of Malin Space Science Systems.

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Planetary Radio Extra: Checking in on NASA's Budget with the Planetary Society's Director of Advocacy Casey Dreier

08/18/2015 | 36:18


Mat Kaplan sits down with our Director of Advocacy, Casey Dreier, for a deep dive into current space policy.

More Info & Listen »

Living Under the Sea With NASA Aquanaut David Coan

08/18/2015 | 32:12


  • David Coan, NASA Engineer and NEEMO 20 Aquanaut, NASA Johnson Space Center

Mat Kaplan talked with engineer and NEEMO Expedition 20 team member David Coan while he was hard at work with astronauts and other engineers living in the Aquarius undersea habitat.

More Info & Listen »

A New Era For SETI Research: More on the Breakthrough Initiatives

08/11/2015 | 39:23


  • Karen O’Neil, Site Director and Assistant Director for Operations, Green Bank Telescope, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • Dan Werthimer, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, SETI@Home Project, UC Berkeley

We follow last week’s conversation with Ann Druyan about the $100 million funding of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by visiting with two of the scientists who will do the work: Dan Werthimer of UC Berkeley and Karen O’Neil of the Green Bank Telescope.

More Info & Listen »

Ann Druyan and the Breakthrough SETI Initiatives

08/04/2015 | 30:07


The Breakthrough Initiatives will pump $100 million into the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the next 10 years, vastly expanding humanity’s quest to learn if it has company in the universe. Among the leaders of this brave new project is Cosmos creator Ann Druyan. Join us for a special, extended conversation with Ann.

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The Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the Quest for Longitude

07/28/2015 | 43:09


Come with us on a visit to the home of the prime meridian for a conversation with the curator of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich about the race to create a practical means for determining longitude.

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Planetary Radio Live at the New Horizons Pluto Encounter

07/21/2015 | 28:50


  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society
  • Mike Brown, Planetary Astronomer, California Institute of Technology
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer
  • Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Join our live audience for highlights of an amazing evening, featuring Jim Bell, Bruce Betts, Mike Brown, Emily Lakdawalla, Linda Spilker, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

More Info & Listen »

A Small, Distant World: Kepler 138b

07/14/2015 | 28:50


SETI Institute scientist Jason Rowe returns to tell us about the smallest exoplanet so far that has had its size and mass determined. Jason also talks with Mat about our ever-expanding knowledge of these worlds that circle faraway stars.

More Info & Listen »

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