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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Former Dawn mission director Marc Rayman of JPL reveals the secrets of the bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres, and we celebrate 10 years as Planetary Society CEO with Bill Nye.
Principal Investigator Alan Stern returns on the 5th anniversary of the New Horizons encounter with Pluto to tell us about the wealth of knowledge the spacecraft is still sending home from across the solar system.
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.
OSIRIS-REx mission leader Dante Lauretta takes us to mysterious asteroid Bennu where a first sample collection site has been selected.
Planetary Scientist Jim Bell and space entrepreneur Lon Levin are founders of a new non-profit that aims to make robotic space exploration much more achievable by institutions around the world.
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.
First we return to JPL for an update on the Mars Helicopter that has just been attached to the belly of the 2020 Mars Rover. Then it’s across the pond for a review of the amazing science coming from the Rosetta mission that spent years exploring comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We wrap things up with another What’s Up view across the solar system and beyond.
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.
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.
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.
Spacecraft OSIRIS REx is now orbiting a 260-meter asteroid named Bennu. Principal investigator Dante Lauretta returns to tell us what has already been learned, and to preview the excitement that is still to come, including the probe’s descent to the surface for collection of a pristine sample.
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.
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?
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.
LightSail 2 is not the only solar sail in the universe. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Lab are preparing to send NEA Scout on a long, light-propelled journey to a near Earth asteroid.
A mostly SpaceX episode as the ambitious company provides updated details regarding its huge new rocket and introduces its first astronauts. Mat Kaplan shares more from the company’s headquarters, while Planetary Society Digital Editor explains and explores the BFR.
Pluto passed in front of a star on the evening of August 14. Mat Kaplan joined pro and amateur astronomers on a mountain to observe this rare event. It may reveal more about the dwarf planet’s tenuous atmosphere and other properties.