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In spite of everything, 2020 was a good year for space exploration according to five of The Planetary Society’s experts.
Bill Nye helps us welcome the Planetary Society’s new president who also leads a new Moon mission, while China’s lunar sample return spacecraft is headed home.
China has big plans for a space station, exploration of the Moon and Mars, and possibly a mission that will follow Voyager beyond the edge of the solar system.
The Beresheet lunar lander failed in the last few kilometers of its descent to the Moon. Two days later we learned that its team would try again.
When will we return to Uranus and Neptune? Planetary scientist Amy Simon explains why a mission to the so-called ice giants is a high priority as she tells us about these mysterious, blue worlds.
With missions like Chang’e 4 on the far side of the Moon, China has firmly established itself as a leader in space exploration. Space journalist Andrew Jones helps us explore the nation’s ambitious near and long-term plans.
Non-profit SpaceIL’s Beresheet is on its way to the Moon. Only China, the Soviet Union and the United States have safely landed there before. Host Mat Kaplan talks with SpaceIL Senior Systems Engineer Yoav Landsman, while MaryLiz Bender hears from a team member who attended the launch.
China's space program notched an impressive "first" last month when its Chang'e 4 spacecraft landed on the far side of the Moon. The U.S. space program, in contrast, was in the midst of an extended shutdown. Some observers expect China's growing space capability and lunar ambitions to trigger a new space race. Not Dr. Roger Handberg, Professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida. He discusses how the current geopolitical situation differs from the Cold War standoff between two superpowers, and how we shouldn't expect dollars to flow back to the U.S. space program as a consequence of China's space successes. Cooperation, or even friendly competition, is a much more likely outcome than a new space race.
The New Horizons mission was a triumph, revealing Pluto as an utterly unique and beautiful world. But the mission first had to survive challenge after challenge, fighting to be developed, meeting a nearly impossible launch deadline, and then narrowly avoiding disaster when it was barely a week from its destination.
The first confirmed interstellar visitor to our solar system is a needle-shaped asteroid given the Hawaiian name ‘Oumuamua. Karen Meech leads the team that is learning as much about it as possible before it leaves our neighborhood, never to return.
Juno will enter Jupiter orbit on July 4th. Mat Kaplan talks with the mission’s Principal Investigator, Scott Bolton at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bill Nye helps prepare us for this exciting encounter and the science that will follow.
The annual Space Symposium in Colorado is a must-attend event for space leaders from around the world. Our coverage begins with United Arab Emirates Space Agency Director General Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, and then moves to ESA Director General Jan Woerner and Chief Scientist Bernard Foing.
Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin fully expect a new and undemotable ninth planet will be found in the outer reaches of the solar system. The Caltech researchers talk about their findings and much more.
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.
6,000 job-seekers came to the new Long Beach, California home of Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne rocket on a recent morning. We sit down with CEO George Whitesides for a conversation about this new effort and the return of SpaceShipTwo.
The Beagle 2 Mars lander disappeared after it separated from the Mars Express orbiter on Christmas Day, 2003. Eleven years later, it has been found, partially-deployed on the Martian surface. Longtime Beagle 2 mission leader Mark Sims tells the story.
Joe Liske, host of Hubblecast, is also the top scientist on the European Southern Observatory’s European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), now under construction on a Chilean mountaintop. “Dr. J” tells us what this largest ever telescope will help us discover.
It was a terrible, tragic week for commercial space development. Historian and space policy analyst John Logsdon helps up understand the greater meaning of the SpaceShipTwo and Antares disasters on this special edition of Planetary Radio, with additional thoughts from Bill Nye.
Principal Investigator and physicist Bruce Macintosh joins astronomer Franck Marchis to celebrate first light from the most powerful instrument for imaging exoplanets.
24 spacecraft are either busy exploring the solar system or speeding toward an exciting destination. The Planetary Society's Senior Editor takes us on a whirlwind advance tour.