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


403 Pieces

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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: 11
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.

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


  • Added: May 05, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The Sloan Foundation 2.5 meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory, Credit: The Sloan Foundation
Jim Gunn co-created and led the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that has revealed the universe as never before.

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  • Added: Apr 28, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Artist's impression of interstellar object 'Oumuamua, Credit: William Hartmann
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter makes a successful first flight on the Red Planet, while two researchers offer new insights on the first interstel...

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  • Added: Apr 21, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Artist's concept of a giant O'Neill cylinder space settlement., Credit: NASA, Art by Rick Guidice
Gerard K. O’Neill envisioned vast, magnificent human settlements in space. His followers, including Jeff Bezos, are working to turn his vision into...

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


  • Added: Apr 14, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: THE BOLDEST TEST FLIGHT IN HISTORY John Young (left) and Bob Crippen pose for a crew portrait prior to STS-1, the first flight of space shuttle Columbia, in April 1981., Credit: NASA
Robert Crippen and John Young became the first humans to fly a space shuttle into orbit when Columbia launched on April 12, 1981.

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  • Added: Apr 07, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Artist's impression of the TESS spacecraft on orbit., Credit: NASA
Exoplanet hunter and artist Natalia Guerrero of MIT reveals the discovery of many more possible new worlds by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Sa...

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  • Added: Mar 31, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Taken on 5 March 2021, this color-calibrated image from a Navigation Camera aboard NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover shows tracks from the rover's first drive (darker marks in the foreground) and an area scoured by the Mars 2020 mission's descent stage , Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Perseverance rover deputy project scientists Katie Stack Morgan and Ken Williford share the latest developments from Mars’ newest robot resident.

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  • Added: Mar 23, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Hayabusa2 sees its shadow during the second touchdown rehearsal on 15 October 2018. The spacecraft was 47 meters above Ryugu., Credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST
Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda shares the exciting success of Japan’s sample return mission ti asteroid Ryugu.

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


  • Added: Mar 17, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: The heat-flow probe known as the mole sticks out of the Martian surface in this image captured by NASA's InSight spacecraft in February 2020. Engineers and scientists spent nearly two years using InSight's robotic arm to help the mole dig before formally , Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA engineer and scientist Troy Hudson shares the sad but ultimately inspiring story of a two-year attempt to dig deep beneath the surface of Mars.

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


  • Added: Mar 10, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Spinoff 21 has been published online by NASA., Credit: NASA
We examine a few of the thousands of technologies and innovations developed by NASA that are making lives better around our planet.

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  • Added: Mar 03, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The Mars 2020 rover Perseverance imaged as it is lowered to the Red Planet's surface by the sky crane., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Relive the most dramatic and awe-inspiring moments from NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars.

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  • Added: Feb 24, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Mars awaits.
Author of The Martian Andy Weir and the leader of the United Arab Emirates’ successful Hope Mars orbiter mission joined other Mars all-stars at Pla...

Bought by WFHB, KICI Iowa City, KWMR, KCNP, KIYU-FM and more


  • Added: Feb 17, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Marc Hartzman's fascinating and entertaining book about Mars in popular culture and more., Credit: Quirk Books
Author Marc Hartzman’s new book celebrates the wonder of the Red Planet and how it entered popular culture.

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  • Added: Feb 10, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: The Hale Telescope dome at the Palomar Observatory, Credit: Palomar/Caltech
How astronomers at California’s Palomar Observatory revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos.

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  • Added: Feb 03, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Harvard professor Avi Loeb takes issue with this cigar-like impression of interstellar object 'Oumuamua., Credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser
Is interstellar object ‘Oumuamua an alien artifact? Harvard professor Avi Loeb explores his hypothesis in a new book and in a fascinating conversat...

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  • Added: Jan 27, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: This illustration shows the events that occur in the final minutes of the nearly seven-month journey that NASA's Perseverance rover takes to Mars. Hundreds of critical events must execute perfectly and exactly on time for the rover to land on Mars safely , Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
JPL engineer Gregory Villar prepares us for the perilous descent and landing of the 2020 Mars rover on February 18th.

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  • Added: Jan 20, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Volcano Loki Patera erupts on Jupiter's moon Io. Io inspired the first movement of The Moons Symphony., Credit: NASA
Composer Amanda Lee Falkenberg is joined by Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker and retired astronaut Nicole Stott as she shares excerpts from ...

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  • Added: Jan 13, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist concept of the Solar Cruiser sail approaching the Sun, though it won't actually get nearly this close., Credit: NASA
NASA has given the green light to Principal Investigator Les Johnson and his team for construction of a solar sail that dwarfs all that have come b...

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  • Added: Jan 05, 2021
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley are all smiles after safely returning to Earth aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon on 2 August 2020. The mission, Demo-2, was the first crewed flight of NASA's Commercial Crew program., Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
In spite of everything, 2020 was a good year for space exploration according to five of The Planetary Society’s experts.

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  • Added: Dec 30, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9