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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.

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.

10 Years A Roving: A.J.S. Rayl on the Mars Exploration Rovers

December 23, 2013 • 53:17

What a long, wonderful trip it has been for Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rovers. Planetary Society reporter A.J.S. Rayl has been writing about their adventure every month for ten years. She looks back on this week’s show.

Saving Science Education With Pamela Gay AND Creating the Blackest Black

June 10, 2013 • 35:12

A Planetary Radio double header includes a visit with CosmoQuest’s Pamela Gay. She and colleagues are working to replace vital federal funds for science education and citizen science programs. We also go to the dark side with David Carnahan of NanoLab, developer of carbon nanotubes that may help us discover Earth-like planets.

Mars Rover Project Manager John Callas

February 01, 2010 • 0:28:52

John Callas tells us why an end to Spirit's roving does not mean the end of her work on the red planet. Emily Lakdawalla looks to the other side of Mars where Opportunity is rolling up to a baby crater, and Bill Nye is head over heels for the highest ever skydive.

Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas

July 27, 2009 • 0:30:00

John Callas reports on Spirit and Opportunity, Bill Nye debates the future of humans on the Moon, and Bruce Betts looks to the Perseid meteor shower in his What's Up review of the night sky.

A Mars Exploration Rover Update with Project Scientist Bruce Banerdt

May 04, 2009 • 0:28:52

Bruce Banerdt provides a status report on Spirit and Opportunity. Bill Nye has something old and something new to talk about, and Bruce Betts returns from the Planetary Defense Conference in Spain with news of Near Earth Objects and other things in the night sky.

Celebrate the Mars Rovers With Jim Bell

January 19, 2009 • 0:28:52

Jim Bell and Bill Nye talk Spirit and Opportunity in celebration of 5 years on Mars. Emily Lakdawalla's Q&A looks forward to a Mars flyby by the Dawn spacecraft.

A Mars Rover Update From Steve Squyres

April 14, 2008 • 0:28:52

Steve Squyres gives us a status report on Spirit and Opportunity, and Bill Nye comments on the rings that appear to surround one of Saturn's small moons. Last week Emily Lakdawalla told us why objects in space are round, but this time her Q&A explains why they're not.

Mars Exploration Rover Program Manager John Callas

November 19, 2007 • 0:28:52

John Callas provides a status report on Spirit and Opportunity. Emily Lakdawalla is looking at brilliant Comet Holmes in her Q&A report, and Bruce Betts also makes room for Holmes in his What's Up! review of the night sky.

A Visit With Spirit Mission Manager Mark Adler

January 19, 2005 • 0:28:47

As the incredibly successful Mars Exploration Rover mission continues, Planetary Radio talks with Spirit's manager about what is being accomplished. We also hear from the second pair of Student Astronauts.

A Year of Roving Across Mars

January 03, 2005 • 0:28:50

We celebrate one (Earth) year of Mars Exploration Rovers on the red planet with Principal Investigator Steve Squyres and Project Manager Jim Erickson; Emily Lakdawalla goes where no spacecraft has gone before.

Magnets Roving on Mars

April 19, 2004 • 0:25:15

This week we hear about the strategically located magnets on the Mars Exploration Rovers and how are telling us more about the red planet.

Celebrate With The Mars Exploration Rover Team

April 12, 2004 • 0:22:40

With lots to celebrate, The Planetary Society threw a party for the scientists and engineers who have made Spirit and Opportunity such amazing successes, and you're invited!

Jim Bell, The Pancam Man!

March 01, 2004 • 0:29:22

Planetary Radio talks with the developer of the Pancam on the Mars Exploration Rovers, Jim Bell. We also feature the last pair of Student Astronauts, and another visit with Astrobots Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust.

The Astrobots are Back on Our Show!

February 09, 2004 • 0:26:19

After a long hiatus, Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust return to the air. You'll also hear from Mars Exploration Rover Entry, Descent and Landing Chief Engineer Wayne Lee, and from two more of the Student Astronauts.

Mars Exploration Rover Flight Director Chris Lewicki

February 02, 2004 • 0:29:11

Opportunity is on a roll and Spirit is almost back to full health as we visit with the young Flight Director for the mission. We also hear from two more of the Student Astronauts.

Opportunity Lands and Hope Builds for Spirit

January 26, 2004 • 0:34:16

We celebrate the perfect landing of Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity with special guest Rob Manning, plus lots more, including two more Student Astronauts, and a "name that outcropping" contest from Bruce Betts.

Spirit Lands on Mars!

January 05, 2004 • 0:30:35

Follow the incredibly exciting and finally triumphant arrival on Mars of the Mars Exploration Rover as it happened at Wild About Mars, the Planetary Society's big weekend event at the Pasadena Convention Center.

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