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Planetary Radio Show Archives: 2014

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2014: The Year in Space

December 30, 2014 • 28:50

Our annual review of the greatest events and accomplishments over the last year features analysis and commentary by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily Lakdawalla, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Bruce Betts, along with a special new year’s gift of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Where Did The Air Go? Bruce Jakosky on the MAVEN Mars Mission

December 23, 2014 • 28:50

Not just the air. Where is the water that was plentiful on the red planet billions of years ago? MAVEN may help answer these questions. Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky reports on the early, exciting science data.

Sara Seager and the Search for Earth’s Twin

December 16, 2014 • 29:42

MIT planetary scientist and astrophysicist Sara Seager is on a quest. She wants to find a warm, wet exoplanet with signs of life. It could be Earth 2.0.

Orion Launches Into History

December 09, 2014 • 28:50

NASA’s Orion spacecraft has taken its first step toward Mars and an asteroid mission. The Planetary Society’s Jason Davis was at the Kennedy Space Center for the December 5 mission.

Kip Thorne and the Science of Interstellar

December 02, 2014 • 28:50

Spoiler alert. Famed physicist Kip Thorne says you might be able to survive a plunge into a black hole after all! That’s just one molecule of the fascinating science behind the science fiction film he helped create. We’ll talk about the movie and Kip’s new book, “The Science of Interstellar.”

2014: The Year We Landed on a Comet

November 25, 2014 • 28:50

Not just landed. Orbited, too. European Space Agency Senior Science Advisor Mark McCaughrean helps us celebrate the Rosetta orbiter and the Philae lander.

Cassini Mission Update From Project Scientist Linda Spilker

November 18, 2014 • 28:50

Cassini is safe! Project scientist Linda Spilker returns with a regular update on Saturn, its moons and rings not long after learning that the mission is funded through its 2017 plunge into the planet.

Digging Deep With Kris Zacny and the Planetary Deep Drill

November 11, 2014 • 28:50

If there’s life on Mars, it’s probably deep beneath the surface. That’s just one reason we need a tool like Planetary Deep Drill on the red planet and other mysterious worlds around our solar system. Honeybee Robotics’ Kris Zacny introduces us to the innovative prototype.

The SpaceShipTwo and Antares Disasters: Special Coverage With John Logsdon

November 04, 2014 • 28:50

It was a terrible, tragic week for commercial space development. Historian and space policy analyst John Logsdon helps up understand the greater meaning of the SpaceShipTwo and Antares disasters on this special edition of Planetary Radio, with additional thoughts from Bill Nye.

A MESSENGER From Mercury—Principal Investigator Sean Solomon Returns

October 28, 2014 • 28:50

MESSENGER has been orbiting the innermost planet for more than three-and-half-years. Principal Investigator Sean Solomon returns with a status report as the mission enters its final phase.

Ancient Water Was Here Before the Sun

October 21, 2014 • 28:50

Ilse Cleeves is lead author of a paper that concludes up to half of our solar system’s water is older than the solar system itself. The implications for life across the galaxy are profound.

Yale’s Debra Fischer and the Ever More Precise Search for New Worlds

October 14, 2014 • 28:50

It’s terribly hard to find exoplanets that look like our homeworld. The search requires development of astoundingly powerful and precise instruments. That’s the job Debra Fischer and her team have taken on.

Planetary Radio Live! We See Thee Rise: The Canadian Space Program

October 07, 2014 • 28:50

We welcomed 1,600 Canadian space enthusiasts to the University of Toronto for our October 1st celebration of Canada in space! Join Mat Kaplan and Bill Nye with their guests, Canadian space writer Elizabeth Howell, University of Western Ontario planetary scientist Gordon “Oz” Osinski, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen. Bruce Betts appeared via Skype to lead a rousing Random Space Fact cheer on What’s Up.

A Conversation With Congressman Lamar Smith

September 30, 2014 • 28:50

The Chairman of the powerful Science, Space and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives joins us for a talk about planetary science, Europa, a human flyby of Mars and much more.

Planetary Radio Live: MAVEN Arrives at Mars!

September 23, 2014 • 28:50

The latest guest of the Red Planet arrived in orbit on the evening of September 22, 2014. Planetary Radio Live was watching with fingers crossed in Pasadena, California.

Dr. Bell Goes to Washington

September 16, 2014 • 28:50

Planetary Scientist Jim Bell of Arizona State University joined other experts in front of the US House of Representatives Space Committee on September 10th. Get his report this week.

Miguel Alcubierre, Inventor of Warp Drive?

September 09, 2014 • 28:50

Inspired by Star Trek, distinguished physicist Miguel Alcubierre developed the general relativity-based model for warp drive 20 years ago. Hear why he doubts it will ever be a reality, and learn about his current research on gravitational waves.

Smashing Holes in Mars to Look for Life

September 02, 2014 • 28:50

Explore Mars wants to look for life on the Red Planet. Not past life. Life thriving under the Martian surface right now. Chris Carberry will tell us how the ExoLance project might find it.

Alan Stern and a Big Milestone on the Way to Pluto

August 26, 2014 • 28:50

New Horizons passed through the orbit of Neptune on August 25th. By cosmic coincidence, this was the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2’s flyby of that big, blue world. We catch Principal Investigator Alan Stern right after a celebration in Washington.

Journey to the Center of Jupiter: Creating Fantastic Pressure With the World’s Largest Lasers

August 19, 2014 • 29:52

Physicist Gilbert "Rip" Collins of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab will tell us about recent use of the world’s most powerful lasers to recreate conditions at the cores of giant planets.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Polluters?

August 12, 2014 • 28:50

Harvard’s Henry Lin led work that determined the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope may be able to detect an alien civilization by analyzing its atmosphere.

A Death-Defying Climax for Venus Express

August 05, 2014 • 28:50

Venus Express Project Scientist Håkan Svedhem tells us about the spacecraft’s harrowing descent into the Venusian atmosphere, what it is currently up to, and what he’d like to see next at that forbidding planet.

Jay Barbree on “Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight”

July 29, 2014 • 39:51

In his 55 years as NBC’s space correspondent, Jay Barbree has won the respect and friendship of many astronauts. Neil Armstrong stands above them all. Now Jay has created this very personal chronicle about his friend, with help from Neil and many of the other pioneering spacefarers.

Keith Cowing and the ISEE-3 Rebooters

July 22, 2014 • 28:50

They have generated excitement, enthusiasm and support throughout the world. The ISEE-3 Reboot Project has succeeded in gaining control over the 36-year old spacecraft, but will they be able to move it?

Planetary Radio Live: The LightSail Countdown Begins!

July 15, 2014 • 28:50

LightSail, the Planetary Society’s innovative solar sail cubesat, will ride into space on the huge SpaceX Falcon Heavy, now in development. Bill Nye and others join us for a live celebration of this announcement.

Discovered: Titan's Magic Island

July 08, 2014 • 29:50

Cornell grad student Jason Hofgartner reports on the discovery of what appears (and disappears!) to be an island on one of Titan’s frigid lakes.

Was a Natural Fuel Cell Key to the Origin of Life on Earth?

July 01, 2014 • 28:50

There’s so much we don’t know about the origin of life here or anywhere else in the universe. But there must have been an energy source. Researcher Laurie Barge led work that simulated the natural formation of a fuel cell that may have taken place in Earth’s primordial oceans.

Elisa Quintana on the Discovery of Earth 2.0

June 24, 2014 • 28:50

Kepler-186f is the very first exoplanet that is both the size of our own world and in the habitable zone surrounding its star. SETI Institute scientist Elisa Quintana is lead author of the paper announcing its existence.

Pathways To Exploration: John Logsdon Analyzes the Human Spaceflight Report

June 17, 2014 • 35:42

The National Research Council released its long-awaited report June 4th. Distinguished space policy analyst John Logsdon returns to Planetary Radio with his take on this latest attempt to determine the proper role of humans in space.

Astronomers Without Borders: Spreading the Wonder Worldwide

June 10, 2014 • 28:50

Astronomers Without Borders Founder and President Mike Simmons and his colleagues share the passion, beauty and joy of the night sky from Argentina to Zambia.

A Starlight Festival Cassini Mission Update

June 03, 2014 • 42:38

Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker joins us at the first Starlight Festival in Big Bear Lake, California, and festival MC Andre Bormanis makes a bonus appearance on the show.

At Spacefest VI With Apollo Astronaut Gene Cernan and a Host of Proud Space Geeks

May 27, 2014 • 34:47

Planetary Radio visited Spacefest in Pasadena to talk with planetary scientist and space artist Dan Durda, Marc Rayman of the Dawn asteroid mission, and a guy who calls himself the Space Cowboy. We also eavesdrop on Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan and his lifelong fan, Griffith Observatory Curator Laura Danly.

Living and Working on Mars—A Conversation at the International Space Development Conference

May 20, 2014 • 56:44

Planetary Radio visits the 33rd ISDC to talk with three explorers who’ve set their sights on the Red Planet: MD and space medicine researcher Susan Jewell, Meteorite Man Geoff Notkin, and Mars Program Formulation Office Manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Charles Whetsel.

Spinoff 2013: Bringing Space Technology Home

May 13, 2014 • 32:43

NASA has just published "Spinoff 2013," the latest of its annual reports on outstanding innovations developed for space that are solving problems and improving lives here on Earth. Technology Transfer Program Executive Daniel Lockney is our guest.

Special Planetary Radio Advocacy Report From Casey Dreier: A Good Week in Washington

May 13, 2014 • 23:49

Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan learns why Director of Advocacy Casey Dreier is cautiously optimistic about the budget outlook for planetary science and exploration, so long as Planetary Society members and others keep making their voices heard in the nation's capitol.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

May 06, 2014 • 39:55

The host of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, returns to our show with a behind the scenes look at the spectacular television series.

Planetary Radio Live at the USA Science and Engineering Festival with Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs

April 29, 2014 • 52:29

Join us at the world’s biggest public science event in Washington DC, where we talk about dirty jobs in space with television’s terrific Mike Rowe.

A Second Earth, and OSIRIS REx is Go for Asteroid Bennu

April 22, 2014 • 28:50

Finally found: an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. You’ll hear lead scientist Elisa Quintana make the announcement. Then OSIRIS REx mission Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta will tell us how the spacecraft will return a sample of material from the birth of the solar system.

Planetary Radio Live at Yuri’s Night—Under Space Shuttle Endeavour

April 15, 2014 • 31:53

Join the party as we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of humanity’s transition to spacefaring species with Yuri’s Night Executive Director Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, Virgin Galactic CEO and Yuri’s Night co-founder George Whitesides, and astronaut Ron Garan, who heads Fragile Oasis.

Microbes in Orbit: Cheryl Nickerson’s Revealing Biomedical Research

April 08, 2014 • 42:43

You may have heard that the sometimes deadly Salmonella bacterium becomes stronger in microgravity. Cheryl Nickerson tell us about this and other results her team has conducted in low Earth orbit.

Rocketing Into the Aurora With Neal Brown

April 01, 2014 • 28:50

It’s back to Alaska, this time to the Poker Flat Research Range, where former Director Neal Brown and his staff launched sounding rockets into the heart of the Aurora Borealis. Emily Lakdawalla explores newly-discovered and very distant dwarf planets, and Bill Nye the Science guy has the latest on NASA’s planetary science budget.

Emily Lakdawalla At Her Favorite Conference While Alan Stern Stirs Up the Solar System

March 25, 2014 • 28:50

Emily shares highlights from last week’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, and Alan Stern provides updates on the Rosetta comet mission and his New Horizons probe that is nearing Pluto, and addresses the controversy around Uwingu’s Name a Martian Crater project.

Alaskan Aurora Adventure!

March 18, 2014 • 28:50

Join Mat Kaplan and other Aurora “virgins” as they seek the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska, and meet retired rocketeer and Director of the Poker Flat Research Range, Neal Brown

Exploring Black Holes and Supernovae With NuSTAR

March 11, 2014 • 35:00

Principal Investigator Fiona Harrison provides an X-ray tour of some of the universe's most fascinating objects, Casey Dreier has analysis of NASA's 2015 budget plans, and Bill Nye sees the inherent optimism of science in the verification of another 715 exoplanets.

A Planetary Radio Special Feature: NASA Unveils Its Proposed FY2015 Budget

March 05, 2014 • 35:47

NASA unveiled its 2015 budget plans in a March 4 media briefing. Minutes later, Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan got an enlightening and engaging analysis from Planetary Society Director of Advocacy Casey Dreier. You’ll hear about the winners, the losers, and the uncertain futures of many NASA initiatives and missions.

Verified: More Than 700 New Worlds

March 04, 2014 • 28:50

SETI Institute researcher and member of the Kepler team Jason Rowe helps us dig into the latest big announcement about hundreds of planets in solar systems like our own.

Talking with JPL's Blaine Baggett and Ed Stone About "The Stuff of Dreams"

February 25, 2014 • 33:40

JPL’s Blaine Baggett and former JPL director Ed Stone talk “The Stuff of Dreams,” a documentary about an era in planetary exploration that was both exhilarating and exasperating. Emily Lakdawalla explains why Curiosity has joined the fraternity of backward driving rovers on Mars, and Bill Nye considers the not-too-distant future when airliners and spaceliners will share the sky.

Getting Humans to Mars Without Breaking the Bank

February 18, 2014 • 28:50

NASA scientist Harley Thronson tells us about a new initiative that is figuring out how we will get men and women to the red planet at a reasonable price. You can read their initial report. Emily Lakdawalla reports on Curiosity’s passage over dunes that made engineers nervous. Bill Nye reveals NASA’s plans for a lunar rover that may launch in 2018. Mat Kaplan joins Bruce Betts in a TV studio to record this week’s What’s Up segment. You can watch!

Surprising Budget News for Planetary Exploration

February 11, 2014 • 28:50

Good news, for a change! Congress decided to provide $127 million more for planetary science than was requested by the President. Bill Adkins of Adkins Strategies in Washington and the Society’s Director of Advocacy, Casey Dreier say a battle has been won, but the war for science continues. Emily Lakdawalla helps us understand how an eye in the Martian sky helps track Curiosity on the surface. Bill Nye addresses the mastodon in the room, and there’s a new and cool prize for the winner of the What’s Up space trivia contest.

Back to Planetary Radio Live With the Mars Rovers

February 04, 2014 • 38:52

Our celebration of the Mars rovers continues from Southern California Public Radio’s Crawford Family Forum, this week featuring planetary scientist and author Jim Bell, Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger, JPL Mars Engineering Manager Rob Manning and Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye. Emily takes us to Curiosity’s latest find on the red planet, and Bruce Betts joins Mat to gaze at the night sky and give away ISS-Above, the little device that tells you when the International Space Station is overhead.

Planetary Radio Live Celebrates the Mars Rovers

January 28, 2014 • 28:50

Opportunity has been rolling across Mars for 10 years! We celebrate the Mars Exploration Rovers and their sisters on the red planet at Planetary Radio Live, this week featuring MER Principal Investigator Steve Squyres. Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye join Mat in front of a capacity crowd at Southern California Public Radio’s Crawford Family Forum. Bruce Betts closes the show with a live Random Space Fact and rover trivia contest.

From Earth to the Edge of the Universe: A New Edition of “The Cosmos”

January 21, 2014 • 30:50

Astronomers Jay Pasachoff and Alex Filippenko join us for a conversation about their newest version of their monumental textbook, "The Cosmos." Emily Lakdawalla helps us say good morning to the just-awakened Rosetta spacecraft, while Bill Nye is fascinated and puzzled by what looks like a jelly doughnut on the Martian surface.

The Gemini Planet Imager: Worlds Made Visible

January 13, 2014 • 31:19

Principal Investigator and physicist Bruce Macintosh joins astronomer Franck Marchis to celebrate first light from the most powerful instrument for imaging exoplanets.

A 2014 Preview From Emily Lakdawalla

January 06, 2014 • 28:50

24 spacecraft are either busy exploring the solar system or speeding toward an exciting destination. The Planetary Society's Senior Editor takes us on a whirlwind advance tour.

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