Planetary Radio

Series produced by Mat Kaplan

Series image

The Planetary Society's travel show that takes you to the final frontier, featuring commentary by Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Public radio's only long format, weekly series devoted to space exploration and the scientists, engineers, astronauts and visionaries who lead it. Most episodes include an in-depth interview along with regular segments that incude:

Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy's weekly commentaries...Emily Lakdawalla's Snapshots From Space...What's Up! (...in the night sky, with other fun and intriguing space info and a weekly contest.)

Several episodes each year are recorded live before an enthusiastic audience, often with live music. We also cover special space events, like the landing of the Curiosity Mars Rover, and take listeners to the places where scientists learn about the cosmos, like Chile's Atacama Desert.

Episodes are available from the PRSS each Tuesday on channel A68.5, from 1600-1630 Eastern. We also make a 128kb MP3 available to stations at our website.

Every week, Planetary Radio visits with a scientist, engineer, astronaut, project manager, advocate, visionary or writer who can provide a unique perspective on the quest for knowledge about our solar system and beyond. We also showcase regular features that raise your space IQ while they put a smile on your face.

Past guests have included Buzz Aldrin, Sally Ride, X Prize Founder Peter Diamandis, Ray Bradbury, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Steve Squyres of the Mars Exploration Rover Project, Galileo's Daughter author Dava Sobel, interplanetary volcano expert Rosaly Lopes, the European Space Agency's Bernard Foing and scores of other leaders.

Each episode also includes an irreverent look at the current night sky with astronomer and Planetary Society Director of Projects Bruce Betts. These "What's Up!" segments also include a Random Space Fact, This Week in Space History, and our popular weekly space trivia contest.

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Public radio's only long format, weekly series devoted to space exploration and the scientists, engineers, astronauts and visionaries who lead it. Most episodes include an in-depth interview along with regular segments that incude: Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy's weekly commentaries...Emily Lakdawalla's Snapshots From Space...What's Up! (...in the night sky, with other fun and intriguing space info and a weekly contest.) Several episodes each year are recorded live before an enthusiastic audience, often with live music. We also cover special space events, like the landing of the Curiosity Mars Rover, and take listeners to the places where scientists learn about the cosmos, like Chile's Atacama Desert. Episodes are available from the PRSS each Tuesday on channel... Show full description


346 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: An artist’s impression of the Lucy trojan asteroid explorer, launching in late 2021 for Jupiter., Credit: NASA
Our look ahead at the near-future of solar system exploration continues with Mars, the giant outer worlds, and the smaller bodies that can be found...

Bought by KMXT, WJFF, and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Apr 01, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Artist’s impression of NASA’s VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover), a planned robotic lunar rover that will prospect for natural lunar resources, especially water ice, within a permanently shadowed region near the lunar south pole., Credit: NASA Ames/Daniel Rutter
Six scientists give us a preview of where planetary science may be taken in the next 10 years by a new NASA decadal survey.

Bought by KVSC, WYAP, KBUT, KWMR, KMXT and more


  • Added: Mar 25, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Artist's rendering of a 3D-printed habitat on Mars., Credit: NASA/Clouds AO/SEArch
Civil engineer Peter Carrato believes we know how to use what’s available on Mars to build the human structures that will be needed by the first ex...

Bought by KVSC, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KBUT, KMXT, KWMR and more


  • Added: Mar 18, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: In a scene from Cosmos, astronauts, untethered and free to explore, make their descent to the moon of a possible world on a pioneering reconnaissance mission., Credit: Cosmos Studios
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.

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KCNP, KBUT, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Mar 11, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Astronomers Without Borders founder Mike Simmons, AWB National Coordinator for Nigeria Olayinka Fagbemiro and host Mat Kaplan after their conversation at the Planetary Society, Credit: Mat Kaplan/The Planetary Society
The founder of Astronomers Without Borders brings the organization’s leader in Nigeria to the Planetary Radio microphones.

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KVSC, KCNP, WYAP, KBUT and more


  • Added: Mar 03, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Planet Kepler 186f, seen in this artist's concept, is a nearly Earth-sized planet that orbits in its star's habitable zone, where water could be in liquid form., Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyl
The search for worlds like our own is underway, but the challenges are enormous according to astronomers Debra Fischer and Joe Llama.

Bought by KVSC, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KCNP, KWMR, KRZA and more


  • Added: Feb 26, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The double helix of DNA is the main carrier of the information of life, but far from the only one, according to Paul Davies and other scientists., Credit: Public Domain
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 ...

Bought by KWMR, KBUT, WXAV 88.3FM, WMUU-LP, KRZA and more


  • Added: Feb 19, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Artist's impression of newly-discovered exoplanet TOI 700 d that is in its star's habitable zone., Credit: NASA/GSFC
Another near Earth-sized planet has been found in the habitable zone around a distant star, discovered by a powerful space telescope named TESS.

Bought by KVSC, KWMR, KBUT, KCNP, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Feb 15, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: This artist's concept depicts NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in space much as it would appear at the end of its mission on January 30, 2020. The backdrop depicts the sky in infrared light much as Spitzer would have seen it early in its mission., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)
Leaders of the just-ended Spitzer Space Telescope mission help us celebrate sixteen years of discoveries about our solar system, exoplanets and gal...

Bought by KCNP, KWMR, WMUU-LP, KBUT, KRZA and more


  • Added: Feb 05, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Jupiter and its Great Red Spot as seen by the Juno orbiter in 2019., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Juno mission principal investigator Scott Bolton provides an enticing taste of the Jupiter orbiter’s mind-bending discoveries.

Bought by WHCP-LP, KBUT, KVSC, KWMR, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Jan 29, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: This mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on Dec. 2 by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 km)., Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
OSIRIS-REx mission leader Dante Lauretta takes us to mysterious asteroid Bennu where a first sample collection site has been selected.

Bought by KVSC, KBUT, KWMR, WMUU-LP, KRZA and more


  • Added: Jan 22, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The MILO Institute was introduced at the 2018 International Astronautical Congress in Bremen., Credit: ASU/Antonio Stark
Planetary scientist Jim Bell and space entrepreneur Lon Levin are founders of a new non-profit that aims to make robotic space exploration much mor...

Bought by KBUT, KWMR, KRZA, WMUU-LP, KDNK and more


  • Added: Jan 15, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Planetary Society solar system specialist Emily Lakdawalla visits the Mars 2020 rover on 27 December 2019 during a media event held at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California., Credit: Father & Sun Productions/The Planetary Society
Host Mat Kaplan and Planetary Society solar system specialist Emily Lakdawalla go inside NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory clean room to see the Mar...

Bought by KVSC, KISU, KBUT, KWMR, KRZA and more


  • Added: Jan 08, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Hellas Basin from the Mars Express orbiter, Credit: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin / Justin Cowart
Planetary Society experts Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Emily Lakdawalla join host Mat Kaplan to explore what's ahead in 2020.

Bought by KBUT, KWMR, KCNP, WMUU-LP, KRZA and more


  • Added: Dec 31, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: This artist's rendition depicts NASA's Mars 2020 rover studying a martian rock outrcrop., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Red Planet is slowly revealing its deepest secrets, but there’s much more to learn. The biggest mystery is whether it has ever been home to lif...

Bought by KDNK, RadioFreePalmer, KBUT, KCNP, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Dec 24, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Astronomer Alessandro Nastasi at the GAL Hassin International Center for Astronomical Sciences in Sicily, winner of a 2019 Shoemaker NEO grant., Credit: Alessandro Nastasi
Six amateur astronomers and small observatories around the world have just been named as the recipients of the 2019 Eugene Shoemaker Near Earth Obj...

Bought by KDNK, KCNP, KBUT, KWMR, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Dec 17, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The crew of the spaceship Rocinante is at the center of The Expanse novels and TV series., Credit: Amazon
Season 4 of The Expanse is about to begin on Amazon Prime. Host Mat Kaplan visits with the authors of the eight novels (so far) that are the basis ...

Bought by KDNK, KBUT, KWMR, KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Dec 11, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Piece image
They are not for everyone, but there’s no doubt that alcoholic beverages have been part of human culture for as long as there has been human cultur...

Bought by KDNK, KCNP, KBUT, KWMR, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Dec 04, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Anheuser Busch barley seed experiment in development at Space Tango’s Tangolab before heading to the International Space Station as a modular CubeLab, Credit: Mat Kaplan
Organizations are using the microgravity environment of the International Space Station to develop unique new products. One of them is Kentucky-bas...

Bought by KDNK, KCNP, KWMR, KBUT, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Nov 27, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla visits Mars rover Curiosity at JPL., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Our own Emily Lakdawalla, Planetary Society senior editor and book lover, shares her 2019 list of favorite space books. She also presents a list of...

Bought by KDNK, KBUT, WMUU-LP, KWMR, KRZA and more


  • Added: Nov 20, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8