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NASA has approved development of the NEO Surveyor space telescope. Project lead Amy Mainzer shares her hopes for this vital planetary defense tool.
Atmospheric scientist Mark Lemmon discusses the beautiful clouds on Mars imaged by NASA's Curiosity rover.
Planetary Society grants have enabled amateur astronomers to discover and track asteroids that cross Earth’s path. We’ll meet two of them.
Six planetary defense leaders report on progress toward protecting Earth from near-Earth objects.
We talk with two of our 2019 Shoemaker NEO Grant winners, who received funding to help find, track, and characterize potentially hazardous asteroids.
As the 2010s come to a close, Marcia Smith, the founder of Space Policy Online, rejoins the show to explore the most significant and impactful space policy decisions of the 2010s.
How can a simple report—just words on a page—lead to creation of a spacecraft? We explore how a 2019 report on the need for a dedicated, space-based telescope to find threatening near-Earth asteroids motivated NASA to pursue that very mission.
Planetary scientist Vishnu Reddy studies space objects ranging from satellite debris to planet-killing asteroids. He shares the status of our effort to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs in a conversation with host Mat Kaplan. Did you know fruit flies were first in space? That’s just one of the random space facts you’ll absorb in this week’s What’s Up segment with Bruce.
Leaders of the global effort to avoid a catastrophic Near Earth Object impact gathered at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference. On the evening of May 1st, The Planetary Society partnered in an exciting PDC public event at the University of Maryland College Park. Presentations by Society CEO Bill Nye and NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green were followed by Planetary Radio Live.
A rare alignment of planets and other objects will enable the solar-powered Lucy spacecraft to examine seven asteroids, six of which are among the thousands of Trojan asteroids that orbit ahead of and behind Jupiter. The mission team, include Hal Levison, Cathy Olkin and Mike Sekerak, hope to unlock secrets of our solar system’s origin through these ancient artifacts.
Why did the dinosaurs die? They didn’t have a space program! The upcoming DART mission will test our best thinking about how we may someday deflect a Near Earth Object that is speeding toward fiery Armageddon on Earth. Nancy Chabot of the JHU Applied Physics Lab is the mission’s Coordination Lead.
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?
One of the Planetary Society’s 2018 Shoemaker Near-Earth Object grants has gone to astronomers searching the sky from a mountaintop in the North African nation of Morocco.
The dinosaurs regret their lack of a space program. 200 million years later, humans are gearing up to defend themselves from a species-ending rock.
After taking over 10 million images of more than 30,000 solar system objects, the NEOWISE mission is finally in its last months. Principal Investigator Amy Mainzer returns with an update on this phenomenal success and a look ahead toward a much more powerful asteroid and comet hunter called NEOCam.
Seven astronomers have been selected to receive Shoemaker NEO (Near Earth Object) grants from the Planetary Society. They and their observatories span the planet. We’ll meet an American and an Australian. Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts provides an overview of the grant program and later returns for this week’s edition of What’s Up. The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells reports on the outlook for space funding in Canada’s newly-released federal budget. She and Society CEO Bill Nye also met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
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.
Asteroid Day, June 30th, marks the anniversary of the great Tunguska impact that leveled a Siberian forest. It reminds us that a Near Earth Object can destroy a city or even a civilization. Former Minor Planet Center Director Tim Spahr reviews our efforts to find and understand these bodies.
How do you keep a dazzlingly complex spacecraft in good health after 20 years in space? That’s the challenge for Julie Webster and her team of engineers supporting the Cassini mission at Saturn.
The human journey to the Red Planet is long and hard, but Mat’s conversation with three NASA Associate Administrators at the Humans to Mars Summit was filled with cautious optimism.