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


421 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: An artist's impression of the late Cassini spacecraft approaching the giant water plumes emanating from the icy surface of Enceladus., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Flying a spacecraft through geysers spewing from Saturn’s moon Enceladus might reveal the building blocks of life or even life itself.

Bought by WMUU-LP, KWMR, KRZA, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KICI Iowa City and more


  • Added: Sep 15, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: The ESCAPADE Mars mission will consist of two identical satellites — “Blue” and “Gold” — that will study how the planet’s ionosphere and magnetic field interact., Credit: Rocket Lab
Can NASA send robotic explorers to Mars for a tiny fraction of what most missions cost?

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


  • Added: Sep 08, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft captured the infrared, green, and blue-light images used to make pictures of the Martian south pole., Credit: ESA / G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet, Berlin) / Bill Dunford / Edited by The Planetary Society
New research indicates that what appeared to be liquid water hiding under Mars’ polar ice may actually be a form of clay.

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


  • Added: Sep 01, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: We are on the cusp of exploring what may be the best place in our solar system to look for life beyond Earth. That place is Jupiter’s moon Europa., Credit: NASA/ Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech
Mission system manager Al Cangahuala says the robotic explorer of Jupiter’s ocean moon is making steady progress toward a 2024 launch.

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  • Added: Aug 25, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The Cassini spacecraft flies through the plumes emanating from Saturn's moon Enceladus. This still image is from a computer-animated film that highligts the Cassini-Huygens mission accomplishments., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Cassini mission project scientist returns with new science from ocean moon Enceladus and anniversaries to celebrate with the Voyager mission.

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


  • Added: Aug 18, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The Perseverance rover looks back over the tracks is has laid across Jezero Crater on Mars., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Perseverance rover’s chief robotics engineer takes us for a spin across Mars.

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  • Added: Aug 10, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in its payload configuration, carrying science experiments into a microgravity environment., Credit: Virgin Galactic
Planetary scientist and New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern says great science will ride on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and Blue Orig...

Bought by KIYU-FM, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KWMR, WJCU, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Aug 03, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Jim Irwin with Apollo 15's Lunar Roving Vehicle. Developed in a breakneck 17 months, the LRV greatly extended the exploration range of final three Apollo missions., Credit: NASA/The Planetary Society
Space historian and author of A Man on the Moon Andy Chaikin returns as we celebrate Apollo 15’s 50th anniversary.

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  • Added: Jul 27, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: This artist's concept of NASA's Near-Earth Object Surveyor Mission shows the space telescope in front of a star field captured by the WISE telescope., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/The Planetary Society
NASA has approved development of the NEO Surveyor space telescope. Project lead Amy Mainzer will share her hopes for this vital planetary defense t...

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


  • Added: Jul 20, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Artist's concept of active volcanos on Venus, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Peter Rubin
Leaders of the DAVINCI and VERITAS missions tell us what their spacecraft will reveal about the planet that is so much like Earth and yet so terrib...

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


  • Added: Jul 14, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope sits with its five-layer sunshield fully deployed during testing at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California., Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn
Host Mat Kaplan visits the James Webb Space Telescope in California to see the observatory before it launches and speak with project leaders.

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


  • Added: Jul 07, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Chemical Space, Credit: Naomi Johnson and Lee Cronin
University of Glasgow chemist Lee Cronin believes he and his collaborators have found a way to recognize life as we know it and as we don’t know it.

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


  • Added: Jun 30, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: NASA's Curiosity Mars rover spotted these iridescent, or "mother of pearl," clouds on March 5, 2021, the 3,048th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. , Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Atmospheric scientist Mark Lemmon discusses the beautiful clouds on Mars imaged by NASA's Curiosity rover.

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  • Added: Jun 23, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Artist concept of a large asteroid crashing toward Earth., Credit: Getty Images
Planetary Society grants have enabled amateur astronomers to discover and track asteroids that cross Earth’s path. We’ll meet two of them.

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


  • Added: Jun 16, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The Simons Array will be located in Chile’s High Atacama Desert, at an elevation of about 17,000 feet. The site currently hosts the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (bowl-shaped structure at upper right) and the Simons Array (the three telescopes at bottom lef, Credit: University of Pennsylvania
A fascinating, wide-ranging conversation with Brian Keating, director of the Simons Observatory that will search for our cosmic origins from a moun...

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  • Added: Jun 09, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this stunning compilation image of Jupiter’s stormy northern hemisphere as it performed a close pass of the gas giant planet. Some bright-white clouds can be seen at high altitudes on the right side of Jupiter’s disk. Image, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
The Juno mission will continue its exploration of Jupiter till 2025, thanks to a four-year extension granted by NASA. Principal investigator Scott ...

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  • Added: Jun 02, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The New Great Observatories coalition has brought together the logos for the four projects proposed in the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey., Credit: The New Great Observatories Coalition
Astrophysicist Grant Tremblay describes how four proposed space telescopes could reveal our solar system and the universe as never before.

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  • Added: May 26, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: On April 30, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover made history as the first spacecraft to record sounds from another spacecraft on another planet. During Ingenuity’s fourth flight, a microphone included with the SuperCam instrument aboard Perseverance captured, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS/LANL/CNES/CNRS/ISAE-SUPAERO
The leader of the Mars Helicopter test mission celebrates her team’s success and explores the daunting challenges they overcame.

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  • Added: May 18, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Earth has a close call with a giant near-earth asteroid in this artist's concept., Credit: Getty Images
Six planetary defense leaders report on progress toward protecting Earth from near-Earth objects.

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  • Added: May 12, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Andy Weir's new science fiction novel sends an unlikely protagonist on a mission to save humanity from an interstellar threat., Credit: Ballantine
The author of The Martian introduces us to his terrific new novel and shares his thoughts about the current state of space exploration.

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  • Added: May 05, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12