Planetary Radio

Series produced by Mat Kaplan

Series image

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.

Join our family of 150 stations!
Hide full description

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


375 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: That's asteroid Bennu on the left. It's actually far smaller than Venus, revealed on the right by radar., Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft appears to have collected its first sample from asteroid Bennu, while a team led by Jane Greaves has discovered what coul...

Bought by KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KCNP, KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Oct 21, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The moon and Earth's edge, photgraphed from the International Space Station., Credit: NASA
Creators of an outstanding new collection of poems about spaceflight and exploration join Mat Kaplan to talk about the book as Bill Nye and other n...

Bought by WFHB, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., RadioStPete Florida, KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo. and more


  • Added: Oct 14, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: In this image taken on May 20, 2020 at the Kennedy Space Center, engineers and technicians insert 39 sample tubes into the belly of the Perseverance Mars rover. Each tube is sheathed in a gold-colored cylindrical enclosure to protect it from contamination, Credit: NASA/JPL-CALTECH
NASA’s planetary protection officer joined Mat Kaplan’s Humans to Mars summit panel for a great conversation about protecting worlds throughout the...

Bought by WFHB, KMXT, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KWMR, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Oct 06, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: An artist's impression of the fully-deployed James Webb Space Telescope, planned for launch in 2021., Credit: NASA
Astronomer and planetary scientist Heidi Hammel’s AURA shines bright across our solar system and beyond.

Bought by WFHB, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KCNP and more


  • Added: Sep 30, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla in the JPL clean room as Perseverance, the Mars 2020 rover, was being readied for launch., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Planetary Society Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla makes a big announcement, and share stories from her long history with the organization.

Bought by KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KWMR, KCNP, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KRZA and more


  • Added: Sep 23, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist's impression of Venus, with an inset showing a representation of the phosphine molecules detected in the high cloud decks., Credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser / L. Calçada & NASA / JPL / Caltech
It could be a profound and historic discovery made on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor.

Bought by KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KVSC, KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KRZA and more


  • Added: Sep 16, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Dwarf planet Ceres is shown in these false-color renderings, which highlight differences in surface materials., Credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Former Dawn mission director Marc Rayman of JPL reveals the secrets of the bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres, and we celebrate his 10 years as Pla...

Bought by WYAP, KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 09, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: A mosaic of 102 Viking orbiter images of Mars, showing a hemisphere of the planet centered on the immense Valles Marineris canyon system. Prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey. , Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS
Georgetown University planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson chronicles the long history of our fascination with Mars and the possibility of lif...

Bought by KDNK, WYAP, KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 02, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: The detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe created from nine years of WMAP data. The image reveals 13.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies., Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team
How will the universe end? That’s the question explored by cosmologist Katie Mack in her very entertaining new book.

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KCNP, KWMR, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Aug 26, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Jupiter's south pole, captured by the Juno orbiter., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
New research reveals why Earth is on its own in this solar system’s habitable zone where liquid surface water flows, but the same isn’t true across...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KMXT, KVSC, WYAP, KCNP and more


  • Added: Aug 19, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The two parts of the SuperCam instrument are shown mounted on an optical bench. The units are connected by electronic cables and an optical fiber., Credit: Los Alamos National Lab
SuperCam principal investigator Roger Wiens shares how his new and improved laser-based spectrometer will help look for past life in Jezero Crater,...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KCNP, KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Aug 12, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Douglas Hurley are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft onboard the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, Sunda, Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Splashdown! An astronaut and former leader of Dragon capsule development at SpaceX is back to celebrate the spacecraft’s successful mission, as a P...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KICI Iowa City, RadioStPete Florida, KCNP, KWMR and more


  • Added: Aug 04, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The Emirates Mars Mission Hope spacecraft undergoes testing., Credit: UAE Space Agency
Our special guests are the leaders of the Emirates Mars Mission whose Hope spacecraft is now headed for the Red Planet.

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KVSC, KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Jul 29, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Artist concept of the UAE Hope spacecraft in orbit above Mars., Credit: UAE Space Agency
The United Arab Emirates is headed for Mars as comet NEOWISE speeds back to the outer reaches of the solar system.

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, RadioStPete Florida, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KWMR, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Jul 22, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Perseverance, NASA's 2020 Mars rover, explores Jezero crater in this artist's concept., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Join a Perseverance mission deputy project scientist to learn how the rover will search for past life on the Red Planet.

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KWMR, WMUU-LP, WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and more


  • Added: Jul 15, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: False color image of Pluto taken by the New Horizons spacecraft., Credit: NASA/JHUAPL
Principal Investigator Alan Stern returns on the 5th anniversary of the New Horizons encounter with Pluto to tell us about the wealth of knowledge ...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KCNP, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KWMR, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Jul 08, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Mastcam-Z in the Malin Space Science Systems Clean Room, Credit: Briony Horgan
The leader of the Mastcam-Z team talks about how the best cameras ever on the surface of Mars will help us explore a region that could once have su...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KWMR, WMUU-LP, KCNP, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo. and more


  • Added: Jul 01, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: China's Yutu-2 rover on the Moon., Credit: CNSA
China has big plans for a space station, exploration of the Moon and Mars, and possibly a mission that will follow Voyager beyond the edge of the s...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KWMR, WMUU-LP, KMXT and more


  • Added: Jun 23, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: This image taken by LightSail 2's camera 2 on 9 February 2020 shows the Red Sea and the Nile River. North is approximately at right. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted, Credit: The Planetary Society
Sail on! Leaders of the LightSail 2 mission join 50,000 supporters in celebration of a year in space.

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KWMR, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., WMUU-LP, KCNP and more


  • Added: Jun 17, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: The Expedition 50 astronauts on board the International Space Station., Credit: NASA
Are we learning how to keep men and women alive on a 3-year round trip to Mars?

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, 'The Sea', KVSC, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., KWMR and more


  • Added: Jun 10, 2020
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10