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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JPL scientist Kevin Hand is endlessly fascinated by the possibility of life in the hidden oceans of the outer solar system’s moons, and now he has written a great book about the quest to discover it.
Our look ahead at the near-future of solar system exploration continues with Mars, the giant outer worlds, and the smaller bodies that can be found throughout the neighborhood.
Astrobotic is one of several companies that are building small, robotic landers to take commercial payloads to the surface of the Moon. With a new contract from NASA to support his company’s work, CEO John Thornton looks forward to touching down in 2021. Senior editor Emily Lakdawalla can’t wait for the Europa Clipper to reach Europa, one of Jupiter’s ocean moons. Who doesn’t want more cow bell? Chief scientist Bruce Betts gets his share as he helps us explore the current night sky in What’s Up.
Astrobiology is the discipline that explores the origin of life in the universe, and whether life exists anywhere other than Earth. It’s an increasingly exciting field according to University of Washington Research Associate Michael Wong. Mike reviews the current thinking and provides some of the chemical basis for life as we know it, and possibly as we don’t know it.
magine soaring over what may be the solar system’s most Earth-like world, if you ignore the chill. If funded, the nuclear electric-powered Dragonfly will do exactly this. Principal Investigator Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle shares her enthusiasm.
A computer model based on our best data about Saturn’s cloud-shrouded moon says that torrential liquid methane pounds the surface far more frequently than previously expected. Sean Faulk and Jonathan Mitchell of UCLA explain.
It is most space fans’ favorite planetary science mission, and with good reason. We visit with the man who has been in charge of Voyager mission science for more than four decades.
A new report builds the case for long overdue returns to Uranus and Neptune, while another proposal calls for exploration of the many bodies in our solar system that hide vast water oceans. Jason Callahan, Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan dive into the troubled waters that determine which planetary science missions will get the limited funds available.
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.
Rod Pyle reveals bizarre yet fascinating space projects of the past in his new book. Pyle also exposes previously classified information about missions and spacecraft you thought you knew.
Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis returns with the story of the ten-day trek across the South he just completed with two Society colleagues.
In our third episode, we debate the risks and rewards of tying the future of a Europa mission to the fate of NASA's massive Space Launch System rocket. Also, NASA just announced that the next Mars rover will cost $2.4 billion—$900 million more than initially thought. But the mission is not considered over budget. Why not? Lastly, the U.S. just generated 50 grams of Plutonium-238, the largest amount in nearly thirty years. We celebrate the successful effort to create this critically important, though highly toxic, power source for deep space spacecraft.
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.
Our special coverage from the Los Angeles Yuri’s Night party continues with Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources along with Bob Pappalardo and Boback “Mohawk Guy” Ferdowsi who are preparing an orbiter for Jupiter’s ocean world Europa.
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.
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.
We return to the beautiful Aquarium of the Pacific in southern California for a fascinating conversation about ocean science. What we learn down here is furthering our research around the solar system. William Patzert, Jerry Schubel and Steven Vance join Mat Kaplan on stage. Emily Lakdawalla tells us what Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, has been doing lately. Bruce Betts is keeping his eye on converging Jupiter and Venus.
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.
The Planetary Society’s experts look forward to a great year of firsts in the solar system and beyond.
The Chairman of the powerful Science, Space and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives joins us for a talk about planetary science, Europa, a human flyby of Mars and much more.