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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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A Fond Farewell to Spirit and Opportunity

February 20, 2019 • 68:44

The Mars Exploration Rover mission was declared complete on February 13, 2019. On the very next day, MER Project Manager John Callas and Deputy Project Scientist Abigail Fraeman came to Planetary Society headquarters for an extended and emotional conversation with Mat Kaplan and Emily Lakdawalla.

Flying the Skies of Saturn’s Moon Titan

January 16, 2019 • 45:47

magine soaring over what may be the solar system’s most Earth-like world, if you ignore the chill. If funded, the nuclear electric-powered Dragonfly will do exactly this. Principal Investigator Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle shares her enthusiasm.

New Horizons Flyby: Join the Celebration!

January 09, 2019 • 62:18

Join us at the Applied Physics Lab in Maryland for the New Horizons encounter with the most distant object ever visited. You’ll meet mission leaders, friends and even a rock and roll star as we dive deep into this triumph of exploration.

A Great Day for Space Explorers: The Landing of InSight

November 28, 2018 • 59:36

Join 1,000 anxious yet thrilled space fans at Caltech for our live InSight landing party. You’ll meet Mat Kaplan’s onstage experts and check in with Bill Nye and Emily Lakdawalla at the Jet Propulsion Lab.

Visiting the Earth-Like Worlds of TRAPPIST-1

April 11, 2018 • 31:23

We have begun to understand the composition of worlds that are hundreds of trillions of kilometers from Earth. Astronomer Nikole Lewis is co-leader of a team that has used the Hubble Space Telescope to do this with the four Earth-like planets circling a star called TRAPPIST-1.

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.

A Big Week for Space Science at the AGU and Beyond

December 16, 2013 • 28:50

The annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union revealed lots of science, some of it astounding. Emily Lakdawalla was there with Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator Casey Dreier, whose news was not quite as good.

Alyssa Rhoden and the Rise of the Europa Underground

November 25, 2013 • 30:20

Alyssa Rhoden studies Jupiter’s moon Europa…from a distance. She, many other scientists and millions of space exploration fans around the globe want to see a mission to this ice world that hides a vast, warm ocean. That’s why she and several colleagues have created Destination: Europa, and they want your help.

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.

Landing On Mars With JPL's Matt Golombek

June 17, 2013 • 38:05

Join us at JPL for a conversation with Mars landing site selection leader Matt Golombek. Matt is also now Project Scientist for the Mars Exploration Rover program, and shares the great news from Opportunity about its latest discovery. Emily Lakdawalla presents a guest blog entry that features splendid images from Mars Express, while Bill Nye traces the convoluted ways of space science funding in Washington. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan are at a legendary Pasadena eatery for this week’s What’s Up. Cosmic hot dog, anyone?

Drill Baby Drill! On Mars

March 11, 2013 • 28:50

With the first use of its drill and delivery of samples to its internal instruments, Curiosity is now a fully-functioning science station on Mars. JPL Sampling System Scientist Luther Beegle provides an update.

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.

All Together Now! The News From Curiosity

December 03, 2012 • 28:50

Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist John Grotzinger's fascinating comments at the December 3 press conference, followed by analysis from Emily Lakdawalla.

Curiosity Sniffs Martian Air/Shuttle Endeavour Opens to the World

November 05, 2012 • 30:58

Scientists have revealed the first data gathered by Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory Rover, about the Martian atmosphere, while Space Shuttle Endeavour has opened to the public.

A Vacuum Cleaner on Mars

October 29, 2012 • 28:50

It’s called PlanetVac, and it’s an amazingly simple way to collect a soil sample on Mars. Or on the moon. Or on an asteroid. We’ll learn about it from Kris Zacny of Honeybee Robotics.

Amazing Science at the 2012 DPS Meeting

October 22, 2012 • 28:50

The 44th Annual Meeting of the AAS Division of Planetary Sciences hosted hundreds of researchers and revealed volumes of scientific results. Join us at the conference.

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.

Remembering Neil Armstrong/ChemCam is Zapping Martian Rocks!

August 27, 2012 • 32:11

Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye the Science Guy join Mat Kaplan for a special remembrance of Neil Armstrong. Then we visit with the principal investigator for the first ray gun on Mars. Roger Wiens leads the ChemCam team that is using its powerful laser to zap and analyze Martian rocks. It’s just one of the Curiosity Rover success stories. Win a ChemCam bumper sticker and a Planetary Radio t-shirt in the weekly What’s Up space trivia contest!

Fire and Ice With Volcanologist Rosaly Lopes

July 16, 2012 • 45:56

JPL volcanologist Rosaly Lopes has discovered more volcanos than anyone else, including 71 on Jupiter’s moon Io. She is fascinated by these fiery (and sometimes frigid) features of our dynamic solar system, and shared her love at the recent SETIcon.

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