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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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The Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the Quest for Longitude

July 28, 2015 • 43:09

Come with us on a visit to the home of the prime meridian for a conversation with the curator of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich about the race to create a practical means for determining longitude.

Found! Beagle 2 on Mars

February 17, 2015 • 28:50

The Beagle 2 Mars lander disappeared after it separated from the Mars Express orbiter on Christmas Day, 2003. Eleven years later, it has been found, partially-deployed on the Martian surface. Longtime Beagle 2 mission leader Mark Sims tells the story.

The Gemini Planet Imager: Worlds Made Visible

January 13, 2014 • 31:19

Principal Investigator and physicist Bruce Macintosh joins astronomer Franck Marchis to celebrate first light from the most powerful instrument for imaging exoplanets.

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.

Amy Mainzer Is Hunting Asteroids With NEOWISE

December 30, 2013 • 34:11

Take a spacecraft that can no longer survey the realm of galaxies and repurpose it to discover thousands of much nearer asteroids and comets. Put it to sleep for 2.5 years, then wake it up and start discovering even more! JPL’s Amy Mainzer is Principal Investigator for NEOWISE, the mission using this amazing space telescope.

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.

Comet ISON: Much More Than a Memory

December 09, 2013 • 28:50

Maybe it wasn’t “the comet of the century,” but ISON has left a scientific legacy that is beyond compare. That’s according to Karl Battams of NASA’s Comet ISON Observing Campaign on this week’s show.

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 Celebrates the Launch of MAVEN

November 18, 2013 • 28:50

The successful launch of MAVEN was covered by Mat Kaplan, Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla, with special, launch site reports from Jim Bell and Bill Nye.

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).

Gregory and James Benford on the "Starship Century"

September 30, 2013 • 28:50

“Starship Century—Toward the Grandest Horizon” is the new collection of fact and fiction assembled by Gregory and James Benford. The brothers are among the leaders of a renaissance in research and thinking about interstellar travel. They have returned to Planetary Radio to talk about this story of human destiny among the stars.

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.

The Ancient Snows of Mars

August 05, 2013 • 28:50

When she was learning to forecast the weather in Hawaii, Brown University grad student Kat Scanlon didn’t suspect it would help her uncover evidence for rain or, more likely, snow that helped shape the surface of Mars billions of years ago.

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 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.

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.

Exploring the XDF, The Deepest Image of Our Universe, With Garth Illingworth

October 08, 2012 • 28:50

UC Santa Cruz astronomer and XDF Principal Investigator Garth Illingworth takes us on a tour of this magnificent new image.

Live at PATS With OSIRIS REx!

September 24, 2012 • 37:42

We're live at the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show, with JPL astrodynamicist Steve Chesley and Planetary Society Director of Projects Bruce Betts. Steve and Bruce reveal the exciting OSIRIS REx mission to an asteroid and then back to Earth with a precious soil sample. Enter the contest to name the asteroid! Bill Nye and Emily Lakdawalla check in, and one listener will win a Celestron FirstScope telescope.

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.

Big News All Around the Solar System From Emily Lakdawalla

March 26, 2012 • 28:50

The 2012 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference attracted many of the world's finest planetary scientists. This year it also attracted Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye the Planetary Guy. Emily provides a special report on amazing new discoveries about our solar system.

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