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


456 Pieces

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Caption: Astronomer and planetary scientist Britney Schmidt braves the Antarctic cold to prepare us for exploring ice worlds., Credit: Britney Schmidt
Britney Schmidt is preparing us for the day when a submarine will slip into the seas of an ocean world like Europa to search for life.

Bought by KVSC, KWMR, WJCU, KRZA, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo. and more


  • Added: May 17, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Perseverance is joined by Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter, in Jezero crater., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
The Mars 2020 rover has rolled into an ancient river delta on the Red Planet. Will we find evidence of past life there?

Bought by KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., WFHB, KIYU-FM, WJCU, KVSC and more


  • Added: May 10, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Mat Kaplan talked with Psyche mission principal investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton with the spacecraft beside them in this JPL clean room., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Suit up for a clean room encounter with the Psyche spacecraft that will soon launch toward the asteroid belt.

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  • Added: May 04, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Will humans go beyond low Earth-orbit to explore destinations like Mars first-hand? Or will we leave this to robots?, Credit: NASA-JPL-Caltech
Britain’s Astronomer Royal Martin Rees and science writer Don Goldsmith question the value of putting astronauts in harm’s way at great expense in ...

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


  • Added: Apr 26, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Inspiration4 astronaut Sian Proctor greets the 2022 Yuri's Night audience., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Thousands celebrated the 51st anniversary of the first human voyage into space. We’ll take you to the Los Angeles party under the Space Shuttle End...

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


  • Added: Apr 19, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise's NASA portrait., Credit: NASA
Fred Haise takes us on board the mission that almost didn’t make it home from the Moon.

Bought by WFHB, WJCU, KIYU-FM, RadioStPete Florida, KWMR and more


  • Added: Apr 12, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: HIGH-RESOLUTION GLOBAL NEPTUNE MOSAIC WITH GREAT DARK SPOT This mosaic is composed of approximately 20 images taken through green or clear filters about 2 to 3 days prior to Voyager 2's closest approach. It has been colorized with lower-resolution data ta, Credit: NASA / JPL / Björn Jónsson
Leaders of the Neptune Odyssey study for the next planetary science and astrobiology decadal survey share their team’s exciting approach for an ice...

Bought by RadioStPete Florida, WFHB, KIYU-FM, WJCU, KWMR and more


  • Added: Apr 06, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: This is IXPE, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer Principal Investigator, a new and unique X-ray space telescope., Credit: NASA/MSFC
X-ray astronomy is vital to solving some of the universe’s biggest mysteries. Martin Weisskopf’s brand new space telescope has joined the effort.

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


  • Added: Mar 30, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Margaret Kivelson at JPL with a model of the Jupiter-orbiting Galileo spacecraft., Credit: NASA
A fascinating conversation with a space science and policy leader who is still hard at work in her 10th decade.

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


  • Added: Mar 23, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: The 100m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is used by Jean-Luc Margot to listen for technosignatures of extraterrestrial intelligence., Credit: NRAO Green Bank Observatory
The Planetary Society’s new Science and Technology Empowered by the Public (STEP) grant program will let citizens join the search for ET and enable...

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


  • Added: Mar 16, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: This image, from the Context Camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows chloride deposits within a channel in Bosporus Planum, Mars. For scale, the largest impact crater in the scene is 1.5 kilometers (about 1 mile) across., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
Water may have flowed on Mars for a billion more years than was previously thought, giving possible life an extra billion years to thrive.

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


  • Added: Mar 08, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Artist concept of the TESS spacecraft in position to search for distant worlds., Credit: NASA
MIT’s Michelle Kunimoto heads the TESS Faint Star Search that has revealed over 1,600 of the more than 5,000 TESS-discovered exoplanet candidates i...

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


  • Added: Mar 02, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: This map of the surface of Venus was created from observations accumulated during more than a decade of radar imaging of the planet. Observations made by NASA's Magellan spacecraft between 1990 and 1994 form the base of the image., Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS
Astrobiologist and author David Grinspoon shares his thoughts about the search for life, where we might find it and how planetary science works.

Bought by WFHB, KIYU-FM, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, KRZA and more


  • Added: Feb 22, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Višnjan Observatory in Croatia is one of eight recipients of Gene Shoemaker near-Earth object grants from the Planetary Society., Credit: Višnjan Observatory
Meet one of the just-announced recipients of Planetary Society Gene Shoemaker NEO grants. They search the skies for asteroids and comets that could...

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  • Added: Feb 15, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Artist’s conception of a brown dwarf, featuring the cloudy atmosphere of a planet and the residual light of an almost-star., Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL
Johanna Vos watches the weather on brown dwarf worlds while her colleague, Sam Grunblatt, finds giant planets spiraling toward their doom.

Bought by KVSC, WFHB, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KIYU-FM, WJCU and more


  • Added: Feb 08, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Artist's concept of the James Webb Space Telescope in space., Credit: NASA/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez
JWST senior project scientist John Mather has been looking forward to the new space telescope’s first light for more than 30 years. He joins us wit...

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  • Added: Feb 02, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: A true-color view of Enceladus' southern plumes. , Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / Kevin M. Gill
New research shows that the giant plumes of Saturn’s moon Enceladus may not be coming from the warm ocean deep below the icy surface.

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


  • Added: Jan 26, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: A Picture Postcard From Curiosity's Navcams: NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its black-and-white navigation cameras to capture panoramas of this scene at two times of day; blue, orange, and green color was added to a combination of both panoramas for an , Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Curiosity rover’s lead researcher reviews the latest findings and images from Mars’ Gale Crater.

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  • Added: Jan 19, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Artist’s impression of Parker Solar Probe approaching the Alfvén critical surface, which marks the end of the solar atmosphere and the beginning of the solar wind. Parker Solar Probe’s crossing into this zone in April 2021 means the spacecraft has “touche, Credit: NASA/Johns Hop
A spacecraft has penetrated the Sun’s corona for the first time, revealing unprecedented data and capturing a mind-blowing video.

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  • Added: Jan 11, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Host Mat Kaplan talks with USS John P. Murtha captain Gervy Alota next to the Orion capsule test article aboard the ship., Credit: Mat Kaplan
A shipboard update on how the Artemis 1 Orion capsule will be recovered from the Pacific Ocean.

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  • Added: Jan 05, 2022
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 14