Planetary Radio

Series produced by Mat Kaplan

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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


483 Pieces

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Caption: Planetary Radio host and his Mirror Lab tour guide Buell Jannuzi with one of the seven huge mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope. , Credit: Mat Kaplan
Join us for a tour of the University of Arizona’s Mirror Lab where they use a giant, spinning oven filled with molten glass to create the primary m...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KICI Iowa City, KWMR, KCNP, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Nov 21, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Linda Spilker and Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan check out the geysers emanating from a model of Saturn's moon Enceladus at JPL., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Cassini Mission Project Scientist Linda Spilker has now taken on the same job for the Voyager Interstellar Mission.

Bought by KIYU-FM, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KWMR, WJCU, KRZA and more


  • Added: Nov 16, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Carl Sagan was a co-founder of The Planetary Society., Credit: The Planetary Society
Celebrate Carl Sagan’s birthday with his longtime collaborator and life partner Ann Druyan.

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KIYU-FM, KWMR, WJCU, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Nov 09, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: This artist's concept shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth. In 2013, the mission was brought out of hibernation to hunt for more asteroids and comets in a project called NEOWISE., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test was a brilliant success. The leaders of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office tell us what’s next in th...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KIYU-FM, Key Radio KEYK 89.3 FM, KWMR, WJCU and more


  • Added: Nov 01, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: New host Sarah Al-Ahmed is introduced by current host and Planetary Radio creator Mat Kaplan in this week's episode.
After 20 years at the helm, Mat Kaplan introduces the person who will take over Planetary Radio when the new year begins.

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  • Added: Oct 25, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: One of the Catalina Sky Survey/Steward Observatory telescopes on Mt. Lemmon prepares for another night of asteroid hunting., Credit: CSS/Steward Observatory
Meet leaders of two of the most successful Earth-based searches for asteroids, including many thousands that could threaten Earth.

Bought by Key Radio KEYK 89.3 FM, KIYU-FM, WJCU, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and more


  • Added: Oct 19, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Artist's concept of an advanced, spaceship., Credit: NASA/MSFC
Join us at the 2022 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Symposium for a taste of projects that just might change the world.

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  • Added: Oct 12, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: With its giant infrared telescope open to the sky, SOFIA flies toward another night of observation, Credit: NASA/DLR
Director of SOFIA Science Mission Operations Margaret Meixner joins us to lament the end of the giant flying observatory and to celebrate its treme...

Bought by Key Radio KEYK 89.3 FM, KIYU-FM, WJCU, WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, KWMR and more


  • Added: Oct 05, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Asteroid Dimorphos imaged by the Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft seconds before the probe impacted., Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
Listen as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft closes in on asteroid Dimorphos, followed by a triumphant conversation with DART Coordina...

Bought by Key Radio KEYK 89.3 FM, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KIYU-FM, KWMR, KCNP and more


  • Added: Sep 27, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: The DART spacecraft races toward its impact on asteroid Dimorphos in this artist's concept., Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
The DART spacecraft’s impact on asteroid moonlet Dimorphos is set for Sept. 26. We’ll get a preview of this historic smackdown from the mission’s c...

Bought by Key Radio KEYK 89.3 FM, WFHB, KIYU-FM, KWMR, KCNP and more


  • Added: Sep 20, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: An Artemis astronaut collects a promising rock on the Moon., Credit: NASA
Host Mat Kaplan spends a few minutes talking with Josef Aschbacher, Director General of the European Space Agency, at the first attempt to launch A...

Bought by Key Radio KEYK 89.3 FM, KIYU-FM, WFHB, KWMR, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 14, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: The Sun rises on the morning of August 29, 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center as the countdown continues toward launch of Artemis 1., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Join Mat Kaplan and Planetary Society colleagues in Florida for the first attempt to launch the Space Launch System rocket on a mission to the Moon.

Bought by Key Radio KEYK 89.3 FM, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, WFHB, KIYU-FM, WJCU and more


  • Added: Sep 07, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: On board each Voyager spacecraft is a time capsule: a 12-inch, gold-plated copper disk carrying spoken greetings in 55 languages from Earth’s peoples, along with 115 images and myriad sounds representing our home planet., Credit: NASA/JPL
It’s a party for Voyager and the team of scientists, engineers and others who have followed it across our solar system. Then we’ll visit with Ann D...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, WFHB, RadioStPete Florida, KWMR, WJCU and more


  • Added: Aug 30, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: This illustration shows a concept for multiple robots that would team up to ferry to Earth samples collected from the Mars surface by NASA's Mars Perseverance rover., Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-CalTech
Getting precious Mars rocks into Earthbound labs is an unprecedented challenge. We’ll hear how a lander, a rocket, a big solar-powered transfer veh...

Bought by WFHB, KIYU-FM, WJCU, WMUU-LP, KWMR and more


  • Added: Aug 23, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: This false color radar image allows us to see through Venus' thick clouds to the broiling surface below., Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS
Delightful astronomer Jane Greaves is back with the latest evidence for phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus.

Bought by WFHB, KIYU-FM, KMUN, KCNP, WJCU and more


  • Added: Aug 16, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Rosetta and the Philae lander approach comet Chury., Credit: ESA
Scientists have found a menagerie of complex organic compounds on the comet visited by the Rosetta spacecraft that connect it with the birth of our...

Bought by KIYU-FM, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, WFHB, KWMR, WJCU and more


  • Added: Aug 09, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: NASA's Curiosity rover captured the images used to create this mosaic of Martian clouds over Mont Mercou on 19 March 2021., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Scientists need your help identifying clouds high above the surface of the red planet. The goal is figuring out where Mars’ water went.

Bought by WFHB, KIYU-FM, KWMR, WJCU, KRZA and more


  • Added: Aug 02, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Laurie Leshin formally assumes her roles as director of NASA JPL and vice president of Caltech in May., Credit: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Laurie Leshin has just become the tenth director of JPL and the first woman to run the fabled center for space science and robotic exploration.

Bought by WFHB, KIYU-FM, KWIT, KVSC, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo. and more


  • Added: Jul 27, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Former NASA chief scientist Jim Green, Credit: NASA
The former director of NASA’s Planetary Science division, Jim Green, retired as the agency’s chief scientist in January. This episode opens with a ...

Bought by WFHB, KIYU-FM, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., WJCU, KWMR and more


  • Added: Jul 20, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The James Webb Space Telescope's Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) captured this stunning view of the Carina Nebula, located about 7,500 light-years from Earth. Nicknamed the "cosmic cliffs," it is essentially a nursery for young stars., Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI
NASA and its partners have revealed the first stunning images from the new space telescope. We’ll talk about them with Bill Nye and members of the ...

Bought by WFHB, KIYU-FM, KUT, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KWMR and more


  • Added: Jul 13, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 14