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Space Policy Edition #4: Near Earth Asteroids—Why we go, how we find them, and maybe mine them

In honor of OSIRIS-REx—NASA’s newest asteroid mission—we explore the policy and history of near-Earth Objects: why NASA explores them, how the government plans to find and defending the planet, and the how policy can keep up with ambitious plans to mine asteroids.

Could the Soviet Union Have Won the Space Race?

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

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.

OSIRIS REx: Ready for a Voyage to Bennu

OSIRIS-REx will launch toward Near Earth Asteroid Bennu soon. In an early celebration of Asteroid Day, mission leader Dante Lauretta tells us how learning about asteroids may teach us about our own origins, and help us avoid a cataclysmic impact.

Chris McKay, Larry Niven and Andy Weir at the Contact Conference

Space art and science fiction joined science fact at the 2016 Contact Conference in Sunnyvale, California. We talk with three well-known visionaries.

Getting Humans to Mars

Three NASA leaders talk with host Mat Kaplan about the progress we're making toward leaving footprints on the Red Planet.

NASA's Science Leader John Grunsfeld

John Grunsfeld closes our coverage of the Space Foundation’s 32nd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. We also meet the leaders of the New Generation Space Leaders Program.

Celebrating Yuri's Night 2016 with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

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.

Michel Mayor, Discoverer of the First Extrasolar World

Michel Mayor and his team rocked the astronomy world with their 1995 announcement, but this modest man says it was a discovery whose time had come.

Ashwin Vasavada, Leader of Scientists Roving Mars

The new Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist is not new to the mission. Ashwin Vasavada has worked on the Curiosity rover since 2004.

HERA Heroine Julielynn Wong and Printing Medical Tools in Deep Space

Julielynn Wong came directly from her 30-day long HERA IX deep space simulation to our microphone. We talk with her about the experience, and her progress toward 3D medical device printing solutions for astronauts and Earthbound humans.

NASA’s New Planetary Defense Office

Lindley Johnson has just been named NASA's first Planetary Defense Officer. He's joined on this week's PlanRad by astronomer Kelly Fast, the new manager of the Near Earth Object Observation Program.

Marc Rayman’s Dawn Mission Update

The Dawn Mission Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns for another report on the ion-engine powered mission, now orbiting 240 miles above dwarf planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt.

Planetary Radio Extra: Planetary Society Experts 2015 Review

Bruce Betts, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Emily Lakdawalla gather with Mat Kaplan for a fascinating and informative Planetary Radio Extra year-in-review roundtable discussion.

2015: A Great Year for Space Exploration

Our year-end review features the “best of 2015” lists from Jason Davis, Casey Dreier, Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye the Science Guy. What’s Up offers planets, a comet, and a nice prize package for the space trivia contest.

Congressman John Culberson on a Good Day for Space

The newly-approved federal budget includes great news for fans of space exploration and development. Texas Congressman John Culberson led the fight for a Europa mission, the SLS rocket, commercial crew and more. He tells us why on this week’s show.

Field Test: Planetary Deep Drill

Drilling through many meters of ice to Europa’s ocean or to the pristine sub-surface layers of Mars will be hard. The Planetary Deep Drill prototype has shown that it may be a practical approach. Join Mat Kaplan and Planetary Society colleagues at the field test site deep in California’s desert.

Solar System Revelations, and the World’s Biggest Telescope Threatened?

Emily Lakdawalla returns from the annual Division for Planetary Sciences meeting with big news from around the solar system. Then we talk with science journalist Traci Watson about the departure of the great Arecibo radio telescope’s Director and the funding challenge that could shut down the observatory.

A Conversation with Andy Weir of “The Martian”

“The Martian” has won universal acclaim from scientists, astronauts, NASA, science fiction fans, and people who thought they weren’t science fiction fans. Mat Kaplan talks with the author about his harrowing, uplifting, amazingly detailed and realistic tale.

OSIRIS-REx Readies for Asteroid Bennu

Dante Lauretta heads the most ambitious mission to an asteroid ever mounted. With one year left till launch, he returns to Planetary Radio with an update.

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