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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China on the Final Frontier

China has big plans for a space station, exploration of the Moon and Mars, and possibly a mission that will follow Voyager beyond the edge of the solar system.

Staying Alive in Space

Are we learning how to keep men and women alive on a 3-year round trip to Mars?

Crew Dragon Thrills While Mars Chills

After a special message we present highlights of the successful arrival at the International Space Station of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, followed by a visit to chilly Mars with planetary scientist Edgard Rivera-Valentin.

Looking for Life in Alien Oceans

JPL scientist Kevin Hand is endlessly fascinated by the possibility of life in the hidden oceans of the outer solar system’s moons, and now he has written a great book about the quest to discover it.

Space Policy Edition: Our Moral Obligation to Explore Space

Philosopher James Schwartz shares his thoughts about the ethics of space exploration, commercialization, and settlement.

Space Policy Edition: Our Equinox Space Policy Briefing

Join The Planetary Society’s policy team, including Bill Nye, for highlights of a members-only live briefing that shared our analysis of how the coronavirus pandemic may affect space exploration.

Space Policy Edition: NASA's 2021 Budget Request Brings Billions

NASA’s fiscal year 2021 budget request contains lots of good news along with a few disappointments. How will Congress weigh in?

Space Policy Edition: Is the Moon a Stepping-Stone or a Cornerstone for Mars? (with Laura Seward Forczyk)

Casey and his guest discuss a bill working its way through the US House of Representatives that challenges the Artemis plan adopted by NASA for human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Space Policy Edition: Houston, We Have a Space Force (with Brian Weeden)

Legislation signed by President Trump in December formally established the 6th branch of the U.S. armed services, the first such expansion in 72 years. What exactly will the new Space Force do?

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: Happy Fiscal New Year!

October 1st kicked off federal fiscal year 2020—a day that should also have kicked off a new budget for NASA. But Congress has not funded the space agency yet, instead passing a temporary stopgap measure to keep the government open until November 21st. Brendan Curry, The Planetary Society's Chief of D.C. Operations, joins the show to discuss the latest political developments in Washington, good news for planetary defense, and how the funding delay could spell trouble for the space agency's 2024 lunar goal.

Space Policy Edition: Why Apollo Ended (with John Logsdon)

As NASA struggles to return humans to the Moon by 2024, it's worth asking: why did it stop in the first place? Space historian John Logsdon joins the show to discuss the politics behind the decision to abandon the Moon in 1972. Casey and Mat also discuss the proposal to offer a $2 billion prize for sending humans back to the Moon and establishing a base there, and why that's not good public policy.

NASA’s Red Planet Rick and Putting Humans on Mars

Rick Davis is the perfect person to co-lead NASA’s Mars Human Landing Sites Study. No one is more devoted to putting human bootprints on the Red Planet. He returns to Planetary Radio for this inspiring and informative conversation about our progress. Bruce Betts leads off What’s Up with another brief LightSail 2 update. The Planetary Society’s solar sailing cubesat continues to raise its orbit.

Reflections of Humanity in a Spacesuit for Moonwalkers

Host Mat Kaplan in a long and fascinating conversation with Nicholas de Monchaux, author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo. This great book is about much more than creation of the suits that allowed humans to walk and work on the Moon. Jason Davis shares pointers on looking for LightSail 2 overhead, while Bruce Betts provides a solar sail update in this week’s What’s Up. And you might win a Planetary Radio t-shirt!

Space Policy Edition: The Home Front During Apollo (with Emily Margolis)

Did the public support Project Apollo? Dr. Emily Margolis joins the show to explore the domestic politics and cultural impact of the space age throughout the 1960s. Despite the success of the lunar landings, there was more opposition to Apollo than we generally remember.

A Helicopter for Mars and a Major LightSail Announcement

It will be the first flying machine on another world. Mars Helicopter Project Manager MiMi Aung shares her plans. There’s big news about The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2!

Apollo 11 and the Woman Who Helped Get It Home

Poppy Northcutt was a pioneer—the first woman to work as an engineer in Apollo Mission Control. The program she helped to create got the astronauts back to Earth. Fifty years later, she sits down with Mat Kaplan for a look back.

We’re Sending a Flying Machine to Titan

NASA has given the go-ahead for Dragonfly, a flying rotorcraft that will explore Saturn’s mysterious moon Titan. Mission Principal Investigator Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle helps us celebrate.

Space Policy Edition: Why Apollo Happened (with Roger Launius)

Space historian Dr. Roger Launius joins the show to explain why Apollo happened the way it did, how a moonshot briefly became a solution to a national security problem, and why it is unlikely to happen again.

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.

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