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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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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.

First Earth-Sized Exoplanet is Next Door!

December 10, 2012 • 28:50

Xavier Dumusque is the young astronomer who was lead author for the announcement of the first exoplanet found in the Alpha Centauri system, just 4.3 light years from Earth. It's also the first Earth-sized world found outside our own system.

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.

Approaching Pluto, and Learning About Uwingu From Alan Stern

November 26, 2012 • 28:50

New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern returns with a Pluto mission update. He also introduces us to Uwingu.

Celebrating Carl Sagan With Lou Friedman, Lynda Obst, Kip Thorne and More

November 12, 2012 • 30:39

November 9 was Planetary Society founder Carl Sagan's birthday, so we gathered a few of his close friends and several young scientists he inspired in front of a live audience. They also helped us celebrate Planetary Radio's 10th anniversary!

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.

A Vacuum Cleaner on Mars

October 29, 2012 • 28:50

It’s called PlanetVac, and it’s an amazingly simple way to collect a soil sample on Mars. Or on the moon. Or on an asteroid. We’ll learn about it from Kris Zacny of Honeybee Robotics.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A Conversation With Telescope Inventor John Dobson

September 10, 2012 • 28:50

When John Dobson invented the Dobsonian telescope he changed the face of amateur astronomy. The 96-year old pioneer talks with Mat Kaplan. Emily Lakdawalla loves Curiosity’s self-portraits. Bill Nye the Science Guy is in London to host a youth webcast with International Space Station astronaut Sunita Williams. Bruce Betts keeps us from getting Lost in Space and helps Mat give away a cool Curiosity bumper sticker in What’s Up.

Author David Brin Considers and Writes "Existence"

September 03, 2012 • 28:50

Award-winning science fiction author, physicist and futurist David Brin returns to talk about his monumental new novel, Existence. Emily Lakdawalla previews a very busy month of great planetary science, while Bill Nye invites listeners to learn about a campaign to restore funding for the exploration of our solar system. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan give away another space pen in this week’s What’s Up look at the night sky, and a look back at this week in space history.

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.

Astronaut Tom Jones at SETIcon

August 06, 2012 • 43:01

Skywalker, scientist and author Tom Jones joins us in a fireside chat about Near Earth Objects and much more. Emily Lakdawalla tours the Applied Physics Lab in Maryland. Bill Nye the Science Guy put high value on the mission of Curiosity, the MSL Rover, even if it had not landed successfully. What’s Up in the night sky.

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