Time flies when you're exploring the solar system and the vast universe beyond. It was in November of 2002 that Planetary Radio, the Society's half-hour public radio and podcast series, took to the air on a single station--KUCI in Irvine, California. Even at that humble outset, we featured the leading scientists, engineers, astronauts and other big thinkers who are leading our exploration of the solar system and beyond.
Ten years later, "PlanRad" is on about 150 stations, stretching from New Zealand to Sweden. Sirius XM Satellite Radio makes it available to millions of other listeners across North America, and the podcast is at the top of its genre on sites like iTunes and Stitcher. The show won the coveted 2011 Parsec Award for best "Fact Behind the Fiction" science podcast.
I've always believed there are two primary factors that have contributed to our success. First, we try to share the fun and excitement that is so much a part of space science and development. But the big reason, the one that too few media people understand, is that there are so many of us all over the planet who are thrilled to learn about space exploration and science directly from the men and women who are doing it.
I also give credit to my Society colleagues who are regular contributors to the show. Emily Lakdawallla and Bill Nye are such delights to talk with each week. And I hope it sounds like Bruce Betts and I are having the time of our lives doing What's Up. We are!
I also have to give credit to the people who really make the show possible--our members. Please consider joining us, if you haven't already. We're also very grateful to the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation for their generous support that allows us to do even more with the show, including our Planetary Radio Live episodes.
Our special anniversary show will air during the week of November 12. Will you help us celebrate? We've set up a special line for you to record your anniversary greetings and congratulations. Just call the Planetary Society's main number: 626-793-5100, and either ask for or punch in extension 226. You'll be asked to record your brief message. We look forward to hearing from you, even though we won't be able to use all of the recorded messages on the air.
Want to improve your chances? Be creative! Sing us a quick song, teach your dog to say "Random Space Fact," recite a (clean) limerick. You know the drill. We look forward to hearing from you! Got a major production in mind? Send it to me as an email attached MP3 at firstname.lastname@example.org .
And if you'd like to hear Planetary Radio on your local public station, let them know about us! It won't cost them a cent. We've created a webpage for radio stations that want to check out the show or contact us.
Stay tuned! We'll have more to say about the 10th anniversary show soon, including the special prize package we'll have for that week's space trivia contest. Thanks for listening, thanks for your much-needed support, and clear skies!