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 Deep Dive into Asteroid Bennu With Dante Lauretta

The leader of the OSIRIS REx asteroid sample return mission shares more details of last week’s encounter in an exclusive interview, while we also learn about the proposed mission to look for life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Protectors of Earth! (and Other Worlds)

NASA’s planetary protection officer joined Mat Kaplan’s Humans to Mars summit panel for a great conversation about protecting worlds throughout the solar system from what could be devastating contamination.

Have We Found Evidence of Life on Venus?

It could be a profound and historic discovery made on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor.

The Sirens of Mars Call to Us

Georgetown University planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson chronicles the long history of our fascination with Mars and the possibility of life there, culminating with Perseverance, the new rover now headed there.

Why Aren't There More Earth-Like Planets in our Solar System?

New research reveals why Earth is on its own in this solar system’s habitable zone where liquid surface water flows, but the same isn’t true across the galaxy.

Space Policy Edition: Why the SLS is a National Asset, and Why That Matters

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration’s Mary Lynne Dittmar talks with Casey Dreier about how and why spacefaring nations prioritize funding for space development and exploration.

Celebrating 30 Years of Hubble with Astronaut John Grunsfeld

Astrophysicist and former astronaut John “Hubble Repairman” Grunsfeld looks back over three decades of beautiful science and inspiration delivered by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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.

Life on Mars: Joining the Quest with Penny Boston and Jim Green

The search for life on Mars is at a critical stage. What will come next if we find it?

Life=Matter+Information: Paul Davies and the Demon in the Machine

Physicist and author Paul Davies returns to talk about his new book that explores the defining role information plays in life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere.

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.

How to Defend Your Planet

Planetary scientist Vishnu Reddy studies space objects ranging from satellite debris to planet-killing asteroids. He shares the status of our effort to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs in a conversation with host Mat Kaplan. Did you know fruit flies were first in space? That’s just one of the random space facts you’ll absorb in this week’s What’s Up segment with Bruce.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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