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. The full show archive is available for free.

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Why Aren't There More Earth-Like Planets in our Solar System?

New research reveals why Earth is on its own in this solar system’s habitable zone where liquid surface water flows, but the same isn’t true across the galaxy.

The Slime Mold and the Universe

One of Earth’s lowliest creatures has inspired and guided a team of scientists toward an improved model for the distribution of galaxies and dark matter across the cosmos.

The Search for 100 Earths

The search for worlds like our own is underway, but the challenges are enormous according to astronomers Debra Fischer and Joe Llama.

Another Goldilocks World and the Space Telescope That Discovered It

Another near Earth-sized planet has been found in the habitable zone around a distant star, discovered by a powerful space telescope named TESS.

New Horizons Flyby: Join the Celebration!

Join us at the Applied Physics Lab in Maryland for the New Horizons encounter with the most distant object ever visited. You’ll meet mission leaders, friends and even a rock and roll star as we dive deep into this triumph of exploration.

Countdown to Ultima: Alan Stern and New Horizons

The New Horizons spacecraft will reach faraway Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 in the first minutes of 2019. Will the body informally known as Ultima Thule be as mysterious and exciting as Pluto?

Last Week, Mars. This week, An Asteroid Called Bennu.

The InSight lander has only just arrived on Mars. Now, OSIRIS REx has reached asteroid Bennu after traveling through deep space for a year and a half.

Celebrating Kepler

The Kepler mission has ended. Listen to highlights of the October 30th media briefing that included the father of the fantastically successful planet finder, William Borucki. Then catch the thoughts of Planetary Society editors and commentators Jason Davis and Emily Lakdawalla.

Celebrating Astronomy Day with the Giant Magellan Telescope

Happy Astronomy Day, October 13, 2018! We salute humankind’s long history of stargazing by checking in on what will be our planet’s largest telescope. Patrick McCarthy is an astronomer and a leader of the Giant Magellan Telescope project. He returns with a report on the instrument’s status, followed by a fascinating tour of the GMT facility.

Return to Fiery Mercury With BepiColombo

Elsa Montagnon is Spacecraft Operations Manager for the European/Japanese mission leaving for our solar system’s innermost planet very soon. She joins us to talk about the long journey ahead.

Big Science, Big Rocket at the Marshall Space Flight Center

Mat Kaplan’s Huntsville, Alabama trip wraps up with a tour of the historic and history-making Marshall Space Flight Center. Join him at the control center for research underway on the International Space Station, under a tent where a critical component of the Space Launch System rocket is getting finishing touches, in a conversation about the Fermi spacecraft’s search for the universe’s biggest explosions, and with the Center’s Associate Director for Technical efforts.

Giving Mysterious Venus the Love (and Science) She Deserves

We have so much to learn about Venus, says JPL scientist Sue Smrekar. What we learn will help us understand our own world and Mars.

A Conversation with Freeman Dyson

There’s so much more to Freeman Dyson than the Dyson Sphere. The mathematician, physicist, futurist and author is one of the greatest and most original minds of our era.

Visiting the Earth-Like Worlds of TRAPPIST-1

We have begun to understand the composition of worlds that are hundreds of trillions of kilometers from Earth. Astronomer Nikole Lewis is co-leader of a team that has used the Hubble Space Telescope to do this with the four Earth-like planets circling a star called TRAPPIST-1.

Going to Sea to Sail Through Space: Orion Ocean Recovery Testing

Join Mat Kaplan on a visit to Naval Base San Diego and the USS Anchorage, the amphibious ship that has just completed a round of Orion spacecraft recovery testing and practice.

Mysterious Tabby’s Star, With Tabby Herself

It may not host an alien “megastructure” but Tabby’s Star still guards many mysteries of science. Astronomer and astrophysicist Tabetha “Tabby” Boyajian leads the worldwide team that is revealing this strange light in the sky.

Pamela Gay and the Image Detective

Astronomer Pamela Gay tells us how anyone can work with images of Earth taken by astronauts, turning them into terrific scientific resources.

A Cosmic Voyage with Astronomer Sandra Faber

Veteran astronomer and cosmologist Sandra Faber has just been awarded the Gruber Prize for Cosmology, honoring more than forty years of pioneering work. She talks with Mat Kaplan on this week’s show.

Thomas Edison, Eclipse Chaser!

Former NPR science reporter David Baron discusses the stories of men and women who made their way across the American West to view and document the total solar eclipse of 1878.

The Worlds of TRAPPIST-1

The discovery of seven, Earth-sized planets in a nearby solar system was announced last week. Astrophysicist and planetary scientist Sara Seager joins us to share her excitement about this find that includes three planets in the habitable zone.

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