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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.

The Exciting Year Ahead on the Final Frontier

January 06, 2015 • 28:50

The Planetary Society’s experts look forward to a great year of firsts in the solar system and beyond.

2014: The Year in Space

December 30, 2014 • 28:50

Our annual review of the greatest events and accomplishments over the last year features analysis and commentary by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily Lakdawalla, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Bruce Betts, along with a special new year’s gift of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Where Did The Air Go? Bruce Jakosky on the MAVEN Mars Mission

December 23, 2014 • 28:50

Not just the air. Where is the water that was plentiful on the red planet billions of years ago? MAVEN may help answer these questions. Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky reports on the early, exciting science data.

Sara Seager and the Search for Earth’s Twin

December 16, 2014 • 29:42

MIT planetary scientist and astrophysicist Sara Seager is on a quest. She wants to find a warm, wet exoplanet with signs of life. It could be Earth 2.0.

Orion Launches Into History

December 09, 2014 • 28:50

NASA’s Orion spacecraft has taken its first step toward Mars and an asteroid mission. The Planetary Society’s Jason Davis was at the Kennedy Space Center for the December 5 mission.

Kip Thorne and the Science of Interstellar

December 02, 2014 • 28:50

Spoiler alert. Famed physicist Kip Thorne says you might be able to survive a plunge into a black hole after all! That’s just one molecule of the fascinating science behind the science fiction film he helped create. We’ll talk about the movie and Kip’s new book, “The Science of Interstellar.”

2014: The Year We Landed on a Comet

November 25, 2014 • 28:50

Not just landed. Orbited, too. European Space Agency Senior Science Advisor Mark McCaughrean helps us celebrate the Rosetta orbiter and the Philae lander.

Cassini Mission Update From Project Scientist Linda Spilker

November 18, 2014 • 28:50

Cassini is safe! Project scientist Linda Spilker returns with a regular update on Saturn, its moons and rings not long after learning that the mission is funded through its 2017 plunge into the planet.

Digging Deep With Kris Zacny and the Planetary Deep Drill

November 11, 2014 • 28:50

If there’s life on Mars, it’s probably deep beneath the surface. That’s just one reason we need a tool like Planetary Deep Drill on the red planet and other mysterious worlds around our solar system. Honeybee Robotics’ Kris Zacny introduces us to the innovative prototype.

The SpaceShipTwo and Antares Disasters: Special Coverage With John Logsdon

November 04, 2014 • 28:50

It was a terrible, tragic week for commercial space development. Historian and space policy analyst John Logsdon helps up understand the greater meaning of the SpaceShipTwo and Antares disasters on this special edition of Planetary Radio, with additional thoughts from Bill Nye.

A MESSENGER From Mercury—Principal Investigator Sean Solomon Returns

October 28, 2014 • 28:50

MESSENGER has been orbiting the innermost planet for more than three-and-half-years. Principal Investigator Sean Solomon returns with a status report as the mission enters its final phase.

Ancient Water Was Here Before the Sun

October 21, 2014 • 28:50

Ilse Cleeves is lead author of a paper that concludes up to half of our solar system’s water is older than the solar system itself. The implications for life across the galaxy are profound.

Yale’s Debra Fischer and the Ever More Precise Search for New Worlds

October 14, 2014 • 28:50

It’s terribly hard to find exoplanets that look like our homeworld. The search requires development of astoundingly powerful and precise instruments. That’s the job Debra Fischer and her team have taken on.

Planetary Radio Live! We See Thee Rise: The Canadian Space Program

October 07, 2014 • 28:50

We welcomed 1,600 Canadian space enthusiasts to the University of Toronto for our October 1st celebration of Canada in space! Join Mat Kaplan and Bill Nye with their guests, Canadian space writer Elizabeth Howell, University of Western Ontario planetary scientist Gordon “Oz” Osinski, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen. Bruce Betts appeared via Skype to lead a rousing Random Space Fact cheer on What’s Up.

A Conversation With Congressman Lamar Smith

September 30, 2014 • 28:50

The Chairman of the powerful Science, Space and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives joins us for a talk about planetary science, Europa, a human flyby of Mars and much more.

Planetary Radio Live: MAVEN Arrives at Mars!

September 23, 2014 • 28:50

The latest guest of the Red Planet arrived in orbit on the evening of September 22, 2014. Planetary Radio Live was watching with fingers crossed in Pasadena, California.

Dr. Bell Goes to Washington

September 16, 2014 • 28:50

Planetary Scientist Jim Bell of Arizona State University joined other experts in front of the US House of Representatives Space Committee on September 10th. Get his report this week.

Miguel Alcubierre, Inventor of Warp Drive?

September 09, 2014 • 28:50

Inspired by Star Trek, distinguished physicist Miguel Alcubierre developed the general relativity-based model for warp drive 20 years ago. Hear why he doubts it will ever be a reality, and learn about his current research on gravitational waves.

Smashing Holes in Mars to Look for Life

September 02, 2014 • 28:50

Explore Mars wants to look for life on the Red Planet. Not past life. Life thriving under the Martian surface right now. Chris Carberry will tell us how the ExoLance project might find it.

Alan Stern and a Big Milestone on the Way to Pluto

August 26, 2014 • 28:50

New Horizons passed through the orbit of Neptune on August 25th. By cosmic coincidence, this was the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2’s flyby of that big, blue world. We catch Principal Investigator Alan Stern right after a celebration in Washington.

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