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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Jim Bell Sends New Eyes to Mars

The leader of the Mastcam-Z team talks about how the best cameras ever on the surface of Mars will help us explore a region that could once have supported life.

The Next 10 Years: Continuing our Solar System Tour

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.

Meet the Planetary Society’s Newest Asteroid Hunters

We talk with two of our 2019 Shoemaker NEO Grant winners, who received funding to help find, track, and characterize potentially hazardous asteroids.

Ready to Sail! LightSail 2 Deploys its Silvery Wings

Join us as the little cubesat successfully unfurls its solar sail! You’ll hear from members of the LightSail 2 mission team on the morning of July 23, 2019, when the critical command was sent to the spacecraft.

LightSail Takes Flight!

A giant SpaceX Falcon Heavy lifted off in the early hours of June 25th. One week later, the LightSail 2 solar sail was released to begin its epic mission. You’ll join the thrilling launch, meet LightSail team members and leaders of other missions, and get a solar sail update in this very special episode.

Flight by Light: A LightSail 2 Mission Preview

The day is almost here. With the launch of a Falcon Heavy rocket, The Planetary Society will begin its mission to prove that a tiny, orbiting spacecraft can be propelled by the light of the Sun.

Planetary Radio Live Defends Planet Earth!

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.

An African Observatory Hunts Killer Asteroids

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.

It’s Rocket Science: Testing PlanetVac in the Mojave Desert

Join Mat Kaplan in California’s Mojave Desert for special coverage of not one but two rocket flights and a real world test of PlanetVac, the innovative, radically simple way to collect surface samples from other worlds.

Amateur Astronomers Work To Save Earth From Asteroids!

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.

Visiting the Birthplace of PlanetVac

Space is hard. Sample collection and return is harder still. That’s why the radically-simplified PlanetVac system from Honeybee Robotics is so intriguing.

Experience A Message From Earth - Inspired by the Voyager Golden Record

It has been 40 years since Carl Sagan and others shared the best of humanity with the stars. A new online multimedia project has been created as a 21st century homage to the Golden Record.

The Eyes of a New Mars Rover: Mastcam-Z

Mat Kaplan attended a meeting of the science team for the zoom lens camera that will be atop the Mars 2020 rover mast. Planetary Scientist Jim Bell tells us how this new system will show us the Red Planet as we’ve never seen it before.

Exploring the Latest Planetary Science Discoveries With Emily Lakdawalla

A holiday edition of Planetary Radio welcomes the Planetary Society’s Senior Editor back from the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Emily reports on amazing developments in planetary science she discovered at the huge conference.

Searching for ET With Pete Worden

Are we alone? The nearly sixty-year effort to answer that question has gotten a big boost from the Breakthrough Initiatives, funded by Yuri Milner and led by former NASA Ames Research Center director Pete Worden, who is our guest this week.

Sailing on the Light of the Sun With Lou Friedman

The co-founder and Executive Director Emeritus of The Planetary Society returns for a conversation about the allure of sailing through space.

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.

Happy Asteroid Day!

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.

Spectacular Jupiter!

Have you seen its stunning image of Jupiter’s south pole? The Juno orbiter is surpassing expectations and delivering surprising science. Scott Bolton, the mission’s Principal Investigator, is back with a thrilling report.

Ready for Space: LightSail 2 Update

The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 solar sail spacecraft is ready to be packed away for its ride to orbit on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Mat Kaplan checks the mission’s status with team members.

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