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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The Space Race: Honoring the first African-American space explorers

This week on Planetary Radio, we take a peek behind the scenes at National Geographic's new documentary, “The Space Race,” which celebrates the triumphs and struggles of the first African-American space pioneers and astronauts.

Space Policy Edition: Space isn’t black — it’s grey

Space policy expert Laura Delgado López joins the show to break down the new paper, “Clearing the Fog: The Grey Zones of Space Governance” by Jessica West and Jordan Miller.

Blazing a trail to the Moon

We're celebrating lunar missions and the space advocacy that helps make them happen this week on Planetary Radio.

Space Policy Edition: India’s growing space ambitions

UK-based space writer Gurbir Singh, author of the book The Indian Space Programme: India’s Incredible Journey from the Third World towards the First, joins the show to help us understand India’s growing ambitions and capabilities in space.

Space Policy Edition: Was the Space Shuttle a policy failure?

Though the Space Shuttle program lasted 30 years and built the ISS, it fell short of NASA's goals for cost, reusability, and reliability. Can a program be both a worldly success and a policy failure? In this Space Policy Edition, we dissect a classic space policy paper and debate its relevance today.

Space Policy Edition: What went wrong with Mars Sample Return

NASA's Mars Sample Return mission is both a top priority and seriously troubled. Independent review board chair Orlando Figueroa joins us to talk about the challenges and what must be done.

Space Policy Edition: Why lunar exploration must be of enduring national interest

Scott Pace, the prior executive secretary of the National Space Council, discusses why Artemis is of strategic value to U.S. national interests — and why the Moon is unique as a destination to drive global space exploration.

Space Policy Edition: What’s Going on with: Congress, MSR, and FAA Reauthorization?

We check in on the congressional budget process for NASA, Mars Sample Return’s spiraling cost growth, and the impending end of the regulatory holiday for human commercial space launch companies.

Space Policy Edition: The policy implications of active SETI

Would meeting an extraterrestrial civilization be good or bad for humanity? Astronomer Dr. Jacob Haqq Misra argues that knowing the outcome in advance is fundamentally impossible.

Space Policy Edition: SpaceX's Starship vs. the environment, with Eric Roesch

Eric Roesch, an environmental policy expert, joins Planetary Radio to discuss SpaceX's Starship, environmental regulations' role in commercial space travel, and responsible space exploration.

Adventures at the 2023 Planetary Defense Conference

Planetary Radio creator Mat Kaplan shares a look behind the scenes at the 2023 Planetary Defense Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Juice mission liftoff: A new era in icy moon exploration begins

Join us as we celebrate the successful launch of the European Space Agency's Juice mission with project scientist Olivier Witasse.

Space Policy Edition: The motives behind NASA's billions — Jean Toal Eisen on how Congress funds the final frontier

Jean Toal Eisen, former senior staff on the Senate Appropriations Committee, joins the show to reveal the decision-making process, priorities, and motivations of those who control the U.S. space program's funding.

Space Policy Edition: The Tricky Ethics of Space Settlement

Dr. Erika Nesvold, astrophysicist and author of the new book Off-Earth: Ethical Questions and Quandaries for Living in Outer Space explores the ethical challenges facing our species as it dips its toe into living beyond our home planet.

Space Policy Edition: The White House's Matt Daniels on the U.S.'s New Cislunar Strategy

Dr. Matt Daniels of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy joins the show to discuss the White House’s new cislunar space strategy, its ambitions, and implications for the future of lunar exploration and development.

Space Policy Edition: JPL Director wants "every brain" to have the chance to work in space exploration

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Laurie Leshin wants to give every brain in the country the opportunity to work in space exploration.

Planetary Society All-Stars Review the Year in Space

For his last episode as host, Mat Kaplan welcomes many of his Planetary Society colleagues for a review of a spectacular year of space exploration.

Space Policy Edition: NASA's Economic Impact with Alex MacDonald and Joshua Drucker

What is NASA’s return on investment? NASA chief economist Alex MacDonald and University of Illinois Chicago professor Joshua Drucker provide revealing answers from a new economic impact report.

Space Policy Edition: What the Congressional Midterms Mean for Space Science

Bethany Johns of the American Astronomical Society talks with Planetary Society Chief Advocate Casey Dreier about how changes in Washington after the midterm elections may affect support for science.

Space Policy Edition Bonus: Q&A with Casey Dreier and Bill Nye

A special Space Policy Edition featuring a recent policy and advocacy webcast that gave Planetary Society members the opportunity to query Chief Advocate Casey Dreier and Society CEO Bill Nye.

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