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Planetary Radio

Planetary Radio

Each week, Planetary Radio visits with a scientist, engineer, project manager, astronaut, advocate or writer who provides a unique and exciting perspective on the exploration of our solar system and beyond. We also showcase regular features that raise your space IQ while they put a smile on your face.  Host Mat Kaplan is joined by Planetary Society colleagues Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bruce Betts, and Emily Lakdawalla. We hit the road now and then to produce a Planetary Radio Live show in front of an audience.  Drop us a line or enter the weekly space trivia contest at

Please support your local public radio station that airs the show! Check the station's online schedule or review our online list of affiliates. Satellite radio listeners can hear us Sunday evenings on the Sirius XM Public Radio channel.  Want to hear Planetary Radio on your local station? Ask them to contact us or review our radio affiliate information page.

iTunes and other podcast aggregators like Stitcher make it easy to listen and subscribe. Just search for "Planetary Radio." or click the links below.

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Recent Shows

Leaving Behind a Life on Mars—Former Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger

03/17/2015 | 34:46


  • John Grotzinger, Curiosity Project Scientist, California Institute of Technology

The Mars Science Laboratory rover has accomplished its primary goals on the Red Planet, and John Grotzinger has left his central role to become Chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. He shares his thoughts about the ongoing mission and much more.

More Info & Listen »

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides on LauncherOne and the Return of SpaceShipTwo

03/10/2015 | 28:50


6,000 job-seekers came to the new Long Beach, California home of Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne rocket on a recent morning. We sit down with CEO George Whitesides for a conversation about this new effort and the return of SpaceShipTwo.

More Info & Listen »

Jim Bell Welcomes “The Interstellar Age”

03/03/2015 | 46:07


  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society

Planetary scientist and author Jim Bell has just written “The Interstellar Age—Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission.” He talks with Mat Kaplan about the magnificent grand tour of the outer solar system that is now headed toward the stars.

More Info & Listen »

Jonathan Goff Says Let’s Redirect an Asteroid

02/24/2015 | 28:50


ARM is the Asteroid Redirect Mission, and sometimes it seems that it doesn’t have a friend in the world. But it does, and Jonathan Goff of Altius Space Machines is one.

More Info & Listen »

Found! Beagle 2 on Mars

02/17/2015 | 28:50


  • Mark Sims, Professor of Astrobiology and Spacecraft Instrumentation, University of Leicester

The Beagle 2 Mars lander disappeared after it separated from the Mars Express orbiter on Christmas Day, 2003. Eleven years later, it has been found, partially-deployed on the Martian surface. Longtime Beagle 2 mission leader Mark Sims tells the story.

More Info & Listen »

Planetary Radio Extra: A Deep Dive into the New NASA Budget—A New Mission to Europa, But the End of Opportunity?

02/10/2015 | 40:02


The just-released budget for the US space agency has much that fans of planetary science can be grateful for, though the news is not all pos.

More Info & Listen »

Year of the Icy Worlds

02/10/2015 | 28:50


  • Bob Pappalardo, Principal Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Marc Rayman, Dawn Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

We’ll visit the Jet Propulsion Lab on its Icy Worlds Day to learn more about spacecraft exploring Ceres, Enceladus and Europa from leaders of these missions.

More Info & Listen »

Tales From a 4 Billion Year Old Piece of Mars...On Earth

02/03/2015 | 28:50


  • Mark Thiemens, Professor and Dean, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California San Diego
  • Robina Shaheen, Project Scientist, University of California San Diego

Robina Shaheen and Mark Thiemens tell us how an ancient Mars meteorite has revealed much about the red planet. Mat holds a tiny fragment of the rock in their UC San Diego lab.

More Info & Listen »

LightSail Prepares to Take Flight

01/27/2015 | 28:50


The Planetary Society has just announced that LightSail will be launched into orbit on its first test flight in May. We’ll talk with Project Manager Doug Stetson and embedded LightSail reporter Jason Davis about what to expect.

More Info & Listen »

A Recipe for a Small Planet

01/20/2015 | 28:50


Astronomer and planetary scientist Courtney Dressing is the lead author of research that may have found the formula for the mass and composition of Earth-like planets. She reveals the ingredients and why she spent time at JPL while in high school.

More Info & Listen »

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