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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Grounded: The director of the SOFIA flying observatory looks back

Director of SOFIA Science Mission Operations Margaret Meixner joins us to lament the end of the giant flying observatory and to celebrate its tremendous successes.

DART Impact and Judy Schmidt Interview

Listen as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft closes in on asteroid Dimorphos, followed by a triumphant conversation with DART Coordination Lead Nancy Chabot, and a visit with space image processor Judy Schmidt.

Countdown to DART: Will We Move an Asteroid?

The DART spacecraft’s impact on asteroid moonlet Dimorphos is days away, so we’ll check in with Mission Coordination Lead Nancy Chabot as well as Simone Pirrotta, program manager for the LICIACube probe that will be watching the smackdown.

The Voyager Mission: A 45th Anniversary Celebration

It’s a party for Voyager and the team of scientists, engineers and others who have followed it across our Solar System. Then we’ll visit with Ann Druyan, creative director for the Voyager Golden Record.

Pieces of Mars: How We’ll Get Them to Earth

Getting precious Mars rocks into Earthbound labs is an unprecedented challenge. We'll learn how a lander, a rocket, a big solar-powered transfer vehicle and two helicopters will take on this task.

Comets Stink! The Chemical Zoo Found at Comet Chury

Scientists have found a menagerie of complex organic compounds on the comet visited by the Rosetta spacecraft that connect it with the birth of our solar system.

Science from the Moon, and former NASA chief scientist Jim Green looks back

The former director of NASA’s Planetary Science division, Jim Green, retired as the agency’s chief scientist in January. This episode opens with a special announcement from host Mat Kaplan.

The JWST: An Awesome New Window on the Universe Opens Wide

NASA and its partners have revealed the first stunning images from the new space telescope. We’ll talk about them with Bill Nye and members of the JWST team.

A Hero of the New Space Age: Lori Garver and Escaping Gravity

Lori Garver went up against powerful forces inside and outside NASA to create the hugely successful commercial cargo and crew programs.

Space Policy Edition: Pathfinder and the Birth of the Discovery Program

Space exploration historian Michael Neufeld traces the fascinating history of one of NASA’s most successful programs of planetary exploration.

Asteroid Day! Earth Plays Defense

We Earthlings are making progress toward defending our planet from near-Earth objects, which is reason enough for the annual Asteroid Day celebration.

Sail on! Bill Nye and others celebrate LightSail 2’s three years in space

Celebrate the third anniversary of LightSail 2’s launch with Bill Nye and other leaders of The Planetary Society.

Portrait of a Scientist: A Conversation with Psyche mission leader Lindy Elkins-Tanton

Psyche asteroid mission principal investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton returns with her excellent new memoir, A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman.

Cassini’s Dramatic End: A Planetary Radio Reprise

We were there when the Cassini spacecraft ended 13 years of exploration and revelation at Saturn.

Perseverance Perseveres: A Mars rover update from Ken Farley

The Mars 2020 rover has rolled into an ancient river delta on the Red Planet. Will we find evidence of past life there?

Heavy Metal: An encounter with the Psyche spacecraft

Suit up for an up-close encounter with the Psyche spacecraft that will soon launch toward the asteroid belt.

Yuri’s Night: Join the party!

Thousands celebrated the 61st anniversary of the first human voyage into space. We’ll take you to the Los Angeles party under the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

X-raying the universe with Martin Weisskopf

X-ray astronomy is vital to solving some of the universe’s biggest mysteries. Martin Weisskopf’s brand new space telescope has joined the effort.

Legendary space physics pioneer Margaret Kivelson

A fascinating conversation with a space science and policy leader who is still hard at work in her 10th decade.

Space Policy Edition: Why are outer planets missions so expensive?

Casey talks with experts about the 50th anniversary of the Pioneer 10 launch toward Jupiter and beyond, and why most outer planets missions since then have been so costly.

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