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.

The Crew Dragon Countdown Begins With Former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver

American astronauts are about to fly from Florida to the International Space Station for the first time in nine years, thanks to the commercial space development initiative advocated for years by Lori Garver.

The Return of Cosmos and Ann Druyan

Cosmos has returned under the steady hand of Ann Druyan. We’ll talk with her about the third season of the television series and her companion book.

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.

Planetary Society All-Stars Look Back at 2019 and Ahead to 2020

Planetary Society experts Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Emily Lakdawalla join host Mat Kaplan to recap the big space moments of 2019 and explore what's ahead in 2020.

Exploring Venus, Earth's Mysterious Sister Planet

Astrophysicist Javier Peralta, a team member on Japan's Akatsuki mission, takes us deep into Venus's thick, fast-moving clouds.

The Unexpected Space Center: Los Alamos National Laboratory

This US research center has been part of more than 200 space missions, but it’s not a NASA facility! The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico gave the Voyager spacecraft their power sources, is building nuclear generators for future Martians, and accidentally invented the field of High Energy Astrophysics.

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!

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!

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.

The Triumph of a Failed Moon Landing

The Beresheet lunar lander failed in the last few kilometers of its descent to the Moon. Two days later we learned that its team would try again.

Celebrating Yuri’s Night with Legendary Astronaut Story Musgrave

The Los Angeles celebration of Yuri’s Night came six days early this year. It attracted hundreds of space party animals, along with celebrities like Bill Nye and Story Musgrave. Host Mat Kaplan talked with both under the wing of space shuttle Endeavour.

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.

China on the Final Frontier

With missions like Chang’e 4 on the far side of the Moon, China has firmly established itself as a leader in space exploration. Space journalist Andrew Jones helps us explore the nation’s ambitious near and long-term plans.

An Israeli Lander Launches Toward the Moon

Non-profit SpaceIL’s Beresheet is on its way to the Moon. Only China, the Soviet Union and the United States have safely landed there before. Host Mat Kaplan talks with SpaceIL Senior Systems Engineer Yoav Landsman, while MaryLiz Bender hears from a team member who attended the launch.

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.

Moon Mission 3D from Queen Guitarist Brian May and David Eicher

You haven’t seen the best pictures from the Apollo era and other great space achievements till you’ve seen them in 3D. Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May is also mad about stereoscopic imagery.

Celebrating Kepler

The Kepler mission has ended. Listen to highlights of the October 30th media briefing that included the father of the fantastically successful planet finder, William Borucki. Then catch the thoughts of Planetary Society editors and commentators Jason Davis and Emily Lakdawalla.

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.

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