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.
A burst of laser light could let humanity know it is not alone in the universe. Harvard’s Paul Horowitz and Curtis Mead will give us an update on the technological wonder of Optical SETI that watches the entire sky for billionth of a second pulses from the stars.
Casey Dreier tells the winding tale of Plutonium 238, the radioactive isotope that is vital for exploration of the solar system. The US came dangerously close to exhausting its supply. Even with production restarted, there are major challenges facing explorers.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
After decades of mystery and investigation, after the recovery of gigabyte after gigabyte of data stored in obsolete computer formats, the whatdunit surrounding Pioneers 10 and 11 has finally reached its conclusion.