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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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Getting Humans to Mars Without Breaking the Bank

February 18, 2014 • 28:50

NASA scientist Harley Thronson tells us about a new initiative that is figuring out how we will get men and women to the red planet at a reasonable price. You can read their initial report. Emily Lakdawalla reports on Curiosity’s passage over dunes that made engineers nervous. Bill Nye reveals NASA’s plans for a lunar rover that may launch in 2018. Mat Kaplan joins Bruce Betts in a TV studio to record this week’s What’s Up segment. You can watch!

Surprising Budget News for Planetary Exploration

February 11, 2014 • 28:50

Good news, for a change! Congress decided to provide $127 million more for planetary science than was requested by the President. Bill Adkins of Adkins Strategies in Washington and the Society’s Director of Advocacy, Casey Dreier say a battle has been won, but the war for science continues. Emily Lakdawalla helps us understand how an eye in the Martian sky helps track Curiosity on the surface. Bill Nye addresses the mastodon in the room, and there’s a new and cool prize for the winner of the What’s Up space trivia contest.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Beginning a New Year In Space

December 31, 2012 • 28:50

Planetary Society experts review the challenges and triumphs of 2012 and look forward to a new and exciting year. You’ll hear Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily Lakdawalla on new missions, Casey Dreier on “Saving our Science,” and Bruce Betts’ review of great projects, as well as a musical rendition of “Random Space Fact.”

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.

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!

More From Planetfest With Andrew Chaikin and Scott Hubbard

August 20, 2012 • 1:00:02

Our Planetary Radio Live celebration of Mars rover Curiosity at Planetfest continues with more from space historian Andrew Chaikin, former NASA Mars czar Scott Hubbard and Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy. Emily breaks the news about NASA’s choice for a Discovery mission, and Bruce Betts joins Mat Kaplan for a What’s Up look at the night sky and a new space trivia contest.

Planetary Radio Live at Planetfest 2012!

August 13, 2012 • 29:46

PlanRad Live welcomes space historian and writer Andrew Chaikin, former NASA Mars Czar Scott Hubbard, and Bill Nye the Science Guy to a live conversation at Planetfest: Curiosity Knows No Bounds, just a few hours before the triumphant landing of the big new rover on Mars. Host Mat Kaplan is also joined by Emily Lakdawalla, Bruce Betts and award-winning barbershop quartet Hi-Fidelity.

More Planetary Radio Live at the Aquarium of the Pacific: Oceans Everywhere

July 30, 2012 • 28:50

We return to the Aquarium for much more of our conversation about seas on Earth and seas on other worlds, featuring Dave Bader, Kevin Hand and Bill Nye. Emily Lakdawalla concludes her video tour of Curiosity's cameras and instruments.

Planetary Radio LIVE Continues! With John Callas of the Mars Exploration Rovers and Joy Crisp of the Mars Science Laboratory

January 02, 2012 • 0:28:50

Here's the second half of our December show recorded in front of a live audience: Mars rover updates, two more spacey songs from KJ Williams, and the big finish of Emily Lakdawalla's proof that she is not covering up evidence of aliens in our solar system! You'll also hear a brand new What's Up segment from Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan.

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