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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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Saving Science Education With Pamela Gay AND Creating the Blackest Black

June 10, 2013 • 35:12

A Planetary Radio double header includes a visit with CosmoQuest’s Pamela Gay. She and colleagues are working to replace vital federal funds for science education and citizen science programs. We also go to the dark side with David Carnahan of NanoLab, developer of carbon nanotubes that may help us discover Earth-like planets.

Tasting the Air of Distant Worlds

June 03, 2013 • 31:50

There will soon be one thousand confirmed exoplanets, but how do we learn more about such distant worlds? We talk to the leader of a team that has recently developed technology capable of revealing the spectra of these planets, which allows us to tease apart their composition. Emily Lakdawalla invites you to find the next “face” on Mars, while Bill Nye says another asteroid flyby is good news. Our special What’s Up space trivia contest prize will put your picture in orbit!

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.

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.

Sun Rings: Music of the Spheres From the Kronos Quartet

May 13, 2013 • 28:50

The internationally renown string quartet talk about creating and performing Terry Riley's Sun Rings, that incorporates Don Gurnett's space sounds.

Saving Earth: Asteroid Emergency Tabletop Exercise at the 2013 PDC

May 06, 2013 • 41:37

The last installment of our Planetary Defense Conference coverage makes a deep impact as hundreds of attendees participate in an asteroid mitigation exercise. You’ll hear from astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweikart, Near Earth Object expert Don Yeomans, Cathy Plesko of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and many more.

Kindred Spirits: Alison Gibbings and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Planetary Defense Conference

April 29, 2013 • 28:50

Our special coverage of the PDC continues with two planetary scientists separated by almost 60 years in age, but with similar dedication and enthusiasm for saving the planet.

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.

Basics of Interplanetary Flight With Dave Doody

April 08, 2013 • 28:50

JPL’s Dave Doody doesn’t just fly around the solar system, he teaches others how it's done. We talk about what students learn in his non-technical class, the Basics of Interplanetary Flight.

Saturn Update from Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker

April 01, 2013 • 30:14

We pay another visit to the queen of planets with Cassini Mission Project Scientist Linda Spilker. She always brings us fascinating news from Saturn, its moons and rings.

More of Our ALMA Adventure in Chile's Atacama Desert

March 25, 2013 • 28:50

Our special coverage of the ALMA Observatory inauguration continues, with the President of Chile, the incoming ALMA Director, and much more from the Atacama Desert.

ALMA Adventure

March 18, 2013 • 28:50

The first of two shows about Mat Kaplan's journey to Chile's Atacama Desert for the inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter small millimter Array, the most ambitious, Earth-based astronomy project in history.

Drill Baby Drill! On Mars

March 11, 2013 • 28:50

With the first use of its drill and delivery of samples to its internal instruments, Curiosity is now a fully-functioning science station on Mars. JPL Sampling System Scientist Luther Beegle provides an update.

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.

Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources: Mining Asteroids For Fun and Profit

February 18, 2013 • 31:25

Chris Lewicki is the passionate President of Planetary Resources. He leads the company's mission to find, capture and deliver asteroids to its space-resource hungry clients.

2012 DA14--Coming Soon to a Planet Near You!

February 11, 2013 • 28:50

The 45-meter Near Earth Asteroid flies by on February 15. NASA brought together asteroid experts to discuss it and others of its threatening kind.

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.

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