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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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The Final Countdown at Saturn

January 31, 2017 • 46:17

Planetary Radio’s most frequent guest, Project Scientist Linda Spilker, returns with another update on the Cassini mission that is approaching its grand finale.

Alan Stern and a Triumph at Pluto

October 25, 2016 • 38:02

Alan Stern of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond was in Pasadena for the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences. He joined Mat Kaplan for a very special conversation down the street at Planetary Society HQ.

Could the Soviet Union Have Won the Space Race?

August 23, 2016 • 46:49

Space historian and policy expert John Logsdon joins Mat Kaplan for a fascinating conversation about how the US could have lost the race to the moon.

Sailing the Canyons of Titan

August 16, 2016 • 38:39

Steep canyons on Saturn's moon Titan are filled with liquid methane. That's the discovery just announced by an international team of Cassini scientists, including Alex Hayes.

Celebrating Yuri?��s Night 2016 with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

April 12, 2016 • 28:50

Happy Yuri’s Night! We’re partying under Space Shuttle Endeavour in the first of two shows featuring interviews from the worldwide celebration of space. Star Trek’s Robert Picardo will talk about his new video newsletter, the Planetary Post, and we’ll visit with Samantha Cristoforetti, who returned last June from 200 days aboard the International Space Station.

Neil Gehrels and WFIRST—A Space Telescope for the 2020s

March 15, 2016 • 35:30

NASA has given the go-ahead for creation of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope. It might help reveal the nature of dark energy and point the way to life among the stars.

Interstellar Dreams: Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Aurora”

March 01, 2016 • 1:08:15

Famed science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson is back with Aurora, a cautionary tale about just how difficult interstellar travel may be.

A 35th Anniversary Party With Neil Tyson!

November 03, 2015 • 31:47

It was a grand night at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. CEO Bill Nye led the Planetary Society’s 35th anniversary party with guests including Neil deGrasse Tyson and Deputy NASA Administrator Dava Newman. We present a very brief sampling of the celebration.

Big News From Little Worlds

March 24, 2015 • 28:50

Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla has returned from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas with the latest revelations about our solar system. She shares them in an extended report.

Year of the Icy Worlds

February 10, 2015 • 28:50

We’ll visit the Jet Propulsion Lab on its Icy Worlds Day to learn more about spacecraft exploring Ceres, Enceladus and Europa from leaders of these missions.

A Second Earth, and OSIRIS REx is Go for Asteroid Bennu

April 22, 2014 • 28:50

Finally found: an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. You’ll hear lead scientist Elisa Quintana make the announcement. Then OSIRIS REx mission Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta will tell us how the spacecraft will return a sample of material from the birth of the solar system.

Planetary Radio Live at Yuri’s Night—Under Space Shuttle Endeavour

April 15, 2014 • 31:53

Join the party as we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of humanity’s transition to spacefaring species with Yuri’s Night Executive Director Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, Virgin Galactic CEO and Yuri’s Night co-founder George Whitesides, and astronaut Ron Garan, who heads Fragile Oasis.

Planetary Radio Live Celebrates the Mars Rovers

January 28, 2014 • 28:50

Opportunity has been rolling across Mars for 10 years! We celebrate the Mars Exploration Rovers and their sisters on the red planet at Planetary Radio Live, this week featuring MER Principal Investigator Steve Squyres. Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye join Mat in front of a capacity crowd at Southern California Public Radio’s Crawford Family Forum. Bruce Betts closes the show with a live Random Space Fact and rover trivia contest.

Planetary Radio Live Celebrates the Launch of MAVEN

November 18, 2013 • 28:50

The successful launch of MAVEN was covered by Mat Kaplan, Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla, with special, launch site reports from Jim Bell and Bill Nye.

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.

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.

Live at the Space Tech Expo with Bill Nye, Xcor and Zero-G

May 27, 2013 • 34:38

PlanRad Live takes to the road again, this time visiting the Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, California for a conversation with enthusiastic team members at Xcor Aerospace, where they are building the Lynx spaceplane, and the Zero Gravity Corporation, whose “G-Force One” plane has allowed thousands of men and women to experience weightlessness. Bill Nye joined the fun on stage, and Bruce Betts arrived with t-shirts for the winners of the live What’s Up space trivia contest.

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.

Yuri's Night 2013 Under Space Shuttle Endeavour

April 15, 2013 • 30:30

Planetary Radio Live was on stage at the World Space Party with guests George and Loretta Whitesides and Bobak "Mohawk Guy" Ferdowsi.

Ann Druyan on New Honors for Carl Sagan

September 22, 2008 • 0:28:52

Longtime partner Ann Druyan is proud of NASA's new Carl Sagan Fellowships. Bill Nye has a tribute for his old professor.

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