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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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It’s a Hard Rain on Titan

January 17, 2018 • 43:41

A computer model based on our best data about Saturn’s cloud-shrouded moon says that torrential liquid methane pounds the surface far more frequently than previously expected. Sean Faulk and Jonathan Mitchell of UCLA explain.

Ed Stone and Forty Years of Voyager in Space

August 16, 2017 • 32:00

It is most space fans’ favorite planetary science mission, and with good reason. We visit with the man who has been in charge of Voyager mission science for more than four decades.

An Eye on the Sun (In the Middle of a Lake)

August 02, 2017 • 52:28

The world’s most powerful solar telescope has just been renamed for the man responsible for its creation. We’ll meet astrophysicist and helioseismologist Phil Goode, and we’ll enjoy a tour of the Goode Solar Telescope.

Human Spaceflight: Coming Back to America

May 24, 2017 • 47:39

Astronauts may soon ride on US rockets and in US spaceships for the first time since the last Space Shuttle flight. Jon Cowart of NASA is working with SpaceX toward the first launch of a Dragon spacecraft with humans on board.

Visiting Worlds Fantastic with Bonnie Buratti

May 10, 2017 • 56:09

Veteran Jet Propulsion Lab planetary scientist Bonnie Buratti talks with Mat about the wonder of our solar neighborhood that she explores in "Worlds Fantastic, Worlds Familiar—A Guided Tour of the Solar System."

Bill Nye Saves the World…With Space

April 26, 2017 • 34:53

It was a big week for the Science Guy, and for science. Bill Nye served as honorary co-chair of the March for Science in Washington DC. His new Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the World, premiered the next day. Two of the show’s thirteen episodes are devoted to space science and exploration. Bill talks about all this in a special conversation with Mat Kaplan.

Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan Leaves NASA

January 17, 2017 • 50:22

For well over three years, planetary scientist Ellen Stofan has worked directly with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to help coordinate and expand the myriad science efforts by the agency. We talk with her as she ends this remarkable tenure.

Pluto and Titan and Iran, Oh My!

November 15, 2016 • 36:13

Back to the annual meeting of the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences this week, where Mat Kaplan visited with experts on worlds of ice including Titan and Pluto, with a side trip to the dunes of Iran.

Cassini at Saturn: The Final Year

September 20, 2016 • 29:02

The great Cassini spacecraft has a year to go before it plunges into the ringed planet. Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with more amazing mission science.

Sailing the Canyons of Titan

August 16, 2016 • 38:39

Steep canyons on Saturn's moon Titan are filled with liquid methane. That's the discovery just announced by an international team of Cassini scientists, including Alex Hayes.

Marc Rayman’s Dawn Mission Update

January 19, 2016 • 30:51

The Dawn Mission Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns for another report on the ion-engine powered mission, now orbiting 240 miles above dwarf planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt.

Rob Manning and Landing on Mars

April 14, 2015 • 39:56

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.

A Recipe for a Small Planet

January 20, 2015 • 28:50

Astronomer and planetary scientist Courtney Dressing is the lead author of research that may have found the formula for the mass and composition of Earth-like planets. She reveals the ingredients and why she spent time at JPL while in high school.

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.

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.

Emily Lakawalla's DPS Report

October 14, 2013 • 28:50

The Planetary Society’s Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist recaps this year’s revealing meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS).

Saturn Update from Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker

April 01, 2013 • 30:14

We pay another visit to the queen of planets with Cassini Mission Project Scientist Linda Spilker. She always brings us fascinating news from Saturn, its moons and rings.

Celebrating 35 Years of the Voyager Mission

September 17, 2012 • 28:50

Voyagers 1 and 2 just reached 35 years of travel in space. What a great reason to celebrate! Join Voyager Project Scientist Ed Stone, Ann Druyan, Emily Lakdawalla and Robert Picardo in this special live edition of our show. Bill Nye reports on a separate celebration in London and on the International Space Station, and Bruce Betts is back in fine form with Mat Kaplan for this week’s What’s Up.

Planetary Radio Live at the Aquarium of the Pacific

July 23, 2012 • 28:50

What better place to talk about Earth's oceans and the seas of other worlds?

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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