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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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Can We Touch the Stars? Lou Friedman at the 100-Year Starship Symposium

September 23, 2013 • 30:31

Only days after Voyager 1 reached interstellar space, forward thinkers met in Houston, Texas to consider how humans can become a starfaring species. Planetary Society Emeritus Executive Director Lou Friedman reports from the meeting.

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.

Remembering Bruce Murray

September 02, 2013 • 49:32

The passing of Planetary Society co-founder and former JPL Director Bruce Murray has been marked around the world. Planetary Radio takes its turn with this special tribute.

Taikonauts on the Moon? A Conversation With Leonard David

August 26, 2013 • 28:50

Leonard David has been writing about space exploration for more than five decades. Now he has turned his attention to China’s ambitious plans.

NASA's Charlie Bolden Visits Earth Missions at JPL

August 19, 2013 • 28:50

Two missions are coming together in a high bay clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. SMAP and ISS RapidScat went on display for a visit by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. Mat Kaplan and Emily Lakdawalla provide special coverage.

Bleeding Edge--NIAC Chooses 12 New Out There Projects

August 12, 2013 • 31:25

They might be happy if one in ten of the projects they fund makes it in the real world…because that project just might change the world. We talk with Jay Falker, Program Executive for the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program about 12 crazy and not so crazy ideas that have just received early seed funding.

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.

Tim Spahr of the Minor Planet Center

July 08, 2013 • 28:50

There’s a place to go when you find a space rock headed our way, or headed any which way. Tim Spahr directs the Minor Planet Center, the global clearinghouse for all information about asteroids, comets and other relatively small bodies like moons.

Water on the Moon!

July 01, 2013 • 28:50

Amanda Hendrix looks for and studies water in our solar system, where it has been found in surprising locales. Earth's moon, for instance. She talks about Luna’s ice and the weathering of its ancient surface.

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.

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?

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.

Tasting the Air of Distant Worlds

June 03, 2013 • 31:50

There will soon be one thousand confirmed exoplanets, but how do we learn more about such distant worlds? We talk to the leader of a team that has recently developed technology capable of revealing the spectra of these planets, which allows us to tease apart their composition. Emily Lakdawalla invites you to find the next “face” on Mars, while Bill Nye says another asteroid flyby is good news. Our special What’s Up space trivia contest prize will put your picture in orbit!

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.

Sun Rings: Music of the Spheres From the Kronos Quartet

May 13, 2013 • 28:50

The internationally renown string quartet talk about creating and performing Terry Riley's Sun Rings, that incorporates Don Gurnett's space sounds.

Saving Earth: Asteroid Emergency Tabletop Exercise at the 2013 PDC

May 06, 2013 • 41:37

The last installment of our Planetary Defense Conference coverage makes a deep impact as hundreds of attendees participate in an asteroid mitigation exercise. You’ll hear from astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweikart, Near Earth Object expert Don Yeomans, Cathy Plesko of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and many more.

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.

Basics of Interplanetary Flight With Dave Doody

April 08, 2013 • 28:50

JPL’s Dave Doody doesn’t just fly around the solar system, he teaches others how it's done. We talk about what students learn in his non-technical class, the Basics of Interplanetary Flight.

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.

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