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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.

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

Recent Shows

The Launch of LightSail

05/26/2015 | 28:50

Guests

This special edition takes you behind the scenes on May 20, 2015 as LightSail is lifted into orbit. You’ll hear the thrilling launch, meet key team members as they prepare for the big moment, and hear a special status report from Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye.

More Info & Listen »

Spiraling Closer to Ceres With the Dawn Mission’s Marc Rayman

05/19/2015 | 33:59

Guests

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

It’s the biggest dwarf planet between here and Pluto, and it has a new permanent resident. The Dawn spacecraft is orbiting Ceres in the asteroid belt, revealing it as never before. What are those bright spots anyway? We spend time with Dawn’s Chief Engineer and Director, Marc Rayman.

More Info & Listen »

Alan Stern and the Rise of Pluto

05/12/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Alan Stern, New Horizons Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Humankind’s arrival at Pluto is barely two months away. The science and images have already started to flow from New Horizons, according to the mission’s Principal Investigator, Alan Stern. Alan returns to Planetary Radio this week.

More Info & Listen »

Sean Solomon on the Climactic End of the MESSENGER Mission to Mercury

05/05/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Sean Solomon, Principal Investigator for MESSENGER, Columbia University

We open with the countdown to destruction—the MESSENGER spacecraft’s impact on Mercury ended its spectacularly successful mission. Principal Investigator Sean Solomon joins us immediately after this big finish.

More Info & Listen »

Countdown to LightSail: An Update

04/28/2015 | 28:50

Guests

The road to space has been a rocky one for most spacecraft, and LightSail is no different. Challenges remain even with the May 20th launch of a test mission approaching. Embedded LightSail reporter Jason Davis checks in with the latest news.

More Info & Listen »

Saving the Planet at the Planetary Defense Conference

04/21/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • William Ailor, Distinguished Engineer, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Fabrizio Bernardi, Chief Executive Officer, SpaceDyS
  • Paul Chodas, Manager, NASA NEO Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Lindley Johnson, Near Earth Object Programs Executive, NASA
  • Detlef Koschny, Co-Manager, Near-Earth Object Segment of the Space Situational Awareness Programme (SSA-NEO), ESA/ESTEC
  • Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE Principal Investigator, Jet Propulsion Lab

Planetary Radio Live was the only public event at the just-completed Planetary Defense Conference in Italy. Join us for excerpts from an all-star celebration of worldwide efforts to find, track, characterize and eventually deflect killer Near-Earth Objects.

More Info & Listen »

Rob Manning and Landing on Mars

04/14/2015 | 39:56

Guests

  • Rob Manning, Chief Engineer, Mars Exploration Directorate, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Landing on Mars is hard, and the bigger you are, the harder it gets. Rob Manning returns to tell us about one of NASA’s best hopes for getting much bigger spacecraft down there—spacecraft that may one day carry humans.

More Info & Listen »

Humans Orbiting Mars: Report on the Workshop

04/07/2015 | 37:28

Guests

A human mission to orbit Mars might be possible by 2033, and it might be accomplished at reasonable cost and with existing or nearly-ready technology. Three leaders of a recent Washington DC conference on this topic provide a report.

More Info & Listen »

Robert Bigelow and His Expandable Space Habs

03/31/2015 | 28:50

Guests

Bigelow Aerospace’s BEAM expandable/inflatable space module will be attached to the International Space Station later this year. Mat travels to the company’s headquarters for a conversation with founder and CEO Robert Bigelow.

More Info & Listen »

Big News From Little Worlds

03/24/2015 | 28:50

Guests

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

Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla has returned from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas with the latest revelations about our solar system. She shares them in an extended report.

More Info & Listen »

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