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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A Planetary Mystery is Solved, and it’s Bill Nye’s Anniversary!

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.

To Pluto and Beyond with Alan Stern

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.

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.

The Coming Descent to Asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REx mission leader Dante Lauretta takes us to mysterious asteroid Bennu where a first sample collection site has been selected.

The MILO Institute: Opening the Solar System for Exploration by All

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.

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.

Space Policy Edition: The Biggest Policy Moments of the Decade (with Marcia Smith)

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.

Space Policy Edition: How a Report Can Move Mountains

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.

A Comet’s Legacy, and a Helicopter is Ready for Mars

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.

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.

Lucy in the Sky With Asteroids

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.

Ice Worlds, A Moon Landing and Blasting an Asteroid

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.

The DART Mission: Learning How to Swat Dangerous Asteroids

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.

Asteroid Bennu’s Visitor From Earth

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.

New Horizons Flyby: Join the Celebration!

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.

Countdown to Ultima: Alan Stern and New Horizons

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?

Last Week, Mars. This week, An Asteroid Called Bennu.

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.

Sailing to an Asteroid on the Light of the Sun

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.

SpaceX Builds a Big Falcon Rocket

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 Occults! Join Us on the Mountain

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.

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