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Planetary Radio Episodes

For every week since 2002, Planetary Radio has visited with a scientist, engineer, project manager, advocate or writer who provides a unique perspective on the quest for knowledge about our solar system and beyond. We also showcase regular features that raise your space IQ while they put a smile on your face.

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The Pale Red Dot: A Planet Called Proxima b

August 30, 2016 • 35:32

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.

Anatomy of a Rover—Getting Down to Mars

July 26, 2016 • 36:40

It takes a lot of terrific components to create a successful spacecraft like Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory. We’ll visit JPL to learn about the Terminal Descent Sensor radar that will once again help land a rover on the Red Planet.

Zero-G With OK Go!

February 16, 2016 • 38:49

OK Go has gone where no band has gone before to make a music video. Mat talks with Damian Kulash and Tim Nordwind about the hazards, thrill and promise of making art in free fall.

A Conversation with Andy Weir of “The Martian”

October 27, 2015 • 1:07:51

“The Martian” has won universal acclaim from scientists, astronauts, NASA, science fiction fans, and people who thought they weren’t science fiction fans. Mat Kaplan talks with the author about his harrowing, uplifting, amazingly detailed and realistic tale.

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.

Planetary Radio Live Celebrates the Launch of MAVEN

November 18, 2013 • 28:50

The successful launch of MAVEN was covered by Mat Kaplan, Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla, with special, launch site reports from Jim Bell and Bill Nye.

PLANETARY RADIO LIVE: LADEE Launches for Luna

September 09, 2013 • 28:50

Planetary Radio returned to the Crawford Family Forum for live coverage of the LADEE launch on September 6th.

Europa Report--New Science Fiction Film Embraces the Science

July 29, 2013 • 28:50

If you’re willing to accept the premise, the thrilling new independent feature film presents one of the most scientifically and technically accurate tales ever put on screen. We’ll talk with the director and producer, and then ask science advisor Kevin Hand for a reality check.

JPL and England Wave at Saturn

July 22, 2013 • 28:50

Hundreds came out on the JPL mall on Friday, July 19th to salute the Cassini spacecraft as it captured a rare image of Earth from the outer solar system. Among them were the mission Deputy Project Scientist, Scott Edgington, and the Cassini Program Manager, Earl Maize.

A Cosmic Concert: Singer/Songwriter Peter Mayer on Planetary Radio Live

June 24, 2013 • 1:27:36

Join us at the intersection of science, nature, music and wonder for a very special Planetary Radio Live with the great Peter Mayer. Bill Nye is with host Mat Kaplan on stage in this unique episode, the longest we've ever presented. You'll hear eight of Pete's beautiful songs, including one that will be on his new CD.

Live at the Space Tech Expo with Bill Nye, Xcor and Zero-G

May 27, 2013 • 34:38

PlanRad Live takes to the road again, this time visiting the Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, California for a conversation with enthusiastic team members at Xcor Aerospace, where they are building the Lynx spaceplane, and the Zero Gravity Corporation, whose “G-Force One” plane has allowed thousands of men and women to experience weightlessness. Bill Nye joined the fun on stage, and Bruce Betts arrived with t-shirts for the winners of the live What’s Up space trivia contest.

Live at the Planetary Defense Conference!

April 22, 2013 • 28:50

Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan joined Bill Nye and four passionate planetary explorers on stage at the Planetary Defense Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Yuri's Night 2013 Under Space Shuttle Endeavour

April 15, 2013 • 30:30

Planetary Radio Live was on stage at the World Space Party with guests George and Loretta Whitesides and Bobak "Mohawk Guy" Ferdowsi.

Listening Once Again to Amateur Astronomy Pioneer John Dobson

January 07, 2013 • 28:50

A reprise of our very popular conversation with the delightful 97-year old John Dobson, inventor of the Dobsonian telescope that brings the universe within everyone’s reach.

PLANETARY RADIO LIVE: Special Curiosity Report Continues

December 24, 2012 • 28:50

Our fascinating, live conversation with Curiosity Project Manager Richard Cook and Project Scientist John Grotzinger continues. Richard and John are joined on stage by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily Lakdawalla and Mat Kaplan.

PLANETARY RADIO LIVE: Celebrating Rover Curiosity

December 17, 2012 • 28:50

The leaders of the Curiosity mission join Bill Nye, Emily Lakdawalla and host Mat Kaplan for a live conversation about the thrilling mission on Mars.

Celebrating Carl Sagan With Lou Friedman, Lynda Obst, Kip Thorne and More

November 12, 2012 • 30:39

November 9 was Planetary Society founder Carl Sagan's birthday, so we gathered a few of his close friends and several young scientists he inspired in front of a live audience. They also helped us celebrate Planetary Radio's 10th anniversary!

Curiosity Finds a Martian Stream Bed and Endeavour Flies Home

October 01, 2012 • 28:50

Emily Lakdawalla reports on Curiosity's discovery of an ancient stream bed, and Endeavour flies over the California plant where it was built.

Live at PATS With OSIRIS REx!

September 24, 2012 • 37:42

We're live at the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show, with JPL astrodynamicist Steve Chesley and Planetary Society Director of Projects Bruce Betts. Steve and Bruce reveal the exciting OSIRIS REx mission to an asteroid and then back to Earth with a precious soil sample. Enter the contest to name the asteroid! Bill Nye and Emily Lakdawalla check in, and one listener will win a Celestron FirstScope telescope.

Author David Brin Considers and Writes "Existence"

September 03, 2012 • 28:50

Award-winning science fiction author, physicist and futurist David Brin returns to talk about his monumental new novel, Existence. Emily Lakdawalla previews a very busy month of great planetary science, while Bill Nye invites listeners to learn about a campaign to restore funding for the exploration of our solar system. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan give away another space pen in this week’s What’s Up look at the night sky, and a look back at this week in space history.

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