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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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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.

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.

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.

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.

Advocating for Planetary Science/Star Trek Meets Spacefarers

May 20, 2013 • 30:45

The director and cast of Star Trek: Into Darkness meet up with real space travelers. Also: Planetary science funding from NASA is in trouble, so a delegation led by Bill Nye the Science Guy descended on Washington DC last week to sound the alarm. Planetary Society Advocacy chief Casey Dreier provides a report, and comments on the Society’s support for NASA’s Asteroid Retrieval Mission.

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.

Alan Stern's Golden Spike Sets Sights on the Moon

March 04, 2013 • 28:50

Alan Stern is back to tell us about Golden Spike, his new company that plans to put human clients on the surface of the moon by the end of this decade.

One In A Million!

February 25, 2013 • 37:45

UC Berkeley SETI researcher Andrew Siemion and his colleagues have put an upper limit on the number of civilizations in our galaxy that are capable of giving us a call. He’ll explain their reasoning and provide other search updates.

An Imminent Asteroid Encounter

February 04, 2013 • 28:50

Spain’s La Sagra Observatory discovered Asteroid 2012 DA14 just a year ago. Now it’s nearing Earth once again. Jaime Nomen of La Sagra is back to prepare us for this very close flyby.

Debra Fischer Hunts for a Second Earth at Alpha Centauri

January 28, 2013 • 28:53

Yale Professor of Astronomy Debra Fischer is one of our planet’s most successful discoverers of exoplanets. She has set her sights on Alpha Centauri, where she hopes to find a Earth-sized world in the habitable zone: not too hot, not too cold for life.

The Gigantic ALMA Radio Telescope in Chile

January 21, 2013 • 28:50

ALMA will make sharper images than the Hubble Space Telescope, yet it’s a radio telescope! ALMA scientists Alison Peck and Al Wooten tell us about this array of 66 huge dishes in Chile’s Atacama desert.

Listening Once Again to Amateur Astronomy Pioneer John Dobson

January 07, 2013 • 28:50

A reprise of our very popular conversation with the delightful 97-year old John Dobson, inventor of the Dobsonian telescope that brings the universe within everyone’s reach.

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.

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