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


249 Pieces

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Caption: New Horizons PI Alan Stern, Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan and astrobiologist/science communicator David Grinspoon , Credit: Alan Stern
The New Horizons mission was a triumph, revealing Pluto as an utterly unique and beautiful world. The entire, surprisingly dramatic tale has now b...

Bought by KWMR, KRZA, WMUU-LP, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, and KNVC Carson City Community Radio


  • Added: May 23, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: “Why Mars?” closing panel at the 2018 Humans to Mars Summit.  (l. to r.) Mat Kaplan, Saralyn Mark, Jeff Bingham, Jim Garvin, Keri Kukral, Janey Ivey, Nicholas Agnew, “Astronaut Abby,” Artemis Westenberg, Credit: ©CherylNemazie.com
The great adventure awaits! Mat Kaplan hosts an entertaining panel discussion at the 2018 Humans to Mars Summit in Washington DC. Eight guests pro...

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  • Added: May 15, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Artist concept of NEOWISE spacecraft in Earth orbit, Credit: NASA/JPL
After taking over 10 million images of more than 30,000 solar system objects, the NEOWISE mission is finally in its last months. Principal Investi...

Bought by KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM, KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: May 08, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: InSight PI Bruce Banerdt in the cleanroom with the Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla and the spacecraft., Credit: The Planetary Society
No mission to Mars has done what InSight will do. The lander’s spectacularly sensitive instruments will use the Red Planet’s heat and marsquakes t...

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  • Added: May 02, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: The cover of Emily Lakdawalla's new and fascinating book about Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Credit: Springer Praxis
Join us for an utterly fascinating live conversation with Emily Lakdawalla about her brand new book, The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How t...

Bought by KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM, KMRE-LP, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Apr 24, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Yuri’s Night founder Loretta Whitesides presents an award to Anousheh Ansari, Credit: Mat Kaplan
Host Mat Kaplan once again attends the worldwide party for space. Join him at the Los Angeles celebration under Space Shuttle Endeavour. You’ll h...

Bought by KDNK, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Apr 18, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist concept of the planets circling the star known as Trappist-1, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
We have begun to understand the composition of worlds that are hundreds of trillions of kilometers from Earth. Astronomer Nikole Lewis is co-leader...

Bought by KDNK, KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KWMR, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Apr 10, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Author and futurist David Brin, Credit: Cheryl Brigham
The multi-award winning science fiction author, futurist and speaker returns to Planetary Radio for a wide-ranging conversation about robots and hu...

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  • Added: Apr 04, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist concept of the Tiangong-1 space station, Credit: CMSA
By the time you hear this week’s episode, China’s Tiangong-1 may have spectacularly re-entered our planet’s atmosphere, raining metal on an unpredi...

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  • Added: Mar 28, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Physicist Stephen Hawking enjoys zero gravity during a flight aboard a modified Boeing 727 aircraft owned by Zero Gravity Corp. (Zero G), Credit: Jim Campbell/Aero-News Network
He is known for his breakthrough physics and popularizing of science, but Dr. Hawking also wanted to fly in space. Erik Viirre led the medical team...

Bought by KDNK, KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Mar 21, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Australian astronomer Julian Oey has just been awarded a second Shoemaker Near Earth Object grant., Credit: Blue Mountains Observatory
Seven astronomers have been selected to receive Shoemaker NEO (Near Earth Object) grants from the Planetary Society. They and their observatories ...

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  • Added: Mar 13, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: 3D-printed PlanetVac prototypes at Honeybee Robotics., Credit: Bruce Betts
Space is hard. Sample collection and return is harder still. That’s why the radically-simplified PlanetVac system from Honeybee Robotics is so in...

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  • Added: Mar 07, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: •	The cover for the Voyager Golden Record, headed into interstellar space on Voyagers 1 and 2, Credit: NASA/JPL
It has been 40 years since Carl Sagan and others shared the best of humanity with the stars. A new online multimedia project has been created as a ...

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  • Added: Feb 28, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist Concept of the Mars 2020 Rover, with Mastcam-Z, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Mat Kaplan attended a meeting of the science team for the zoom lens camera that will be atop the Mars 2020 rover mast. Planetary Scientist Jim Bel...

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  • Added: Feb 21, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Starman in his Tesla Roadster bids farewell to Earth after being launched by the first SpaceX Falcon Heavy., Credit: SpaceX
Republican Randy Hultgren and Democrat Derek Kilmer celebrate formation of the new bipartisan, bicameral caucus of US representatives and senators....

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  • Added: Feb 14, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: The SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array in northern California searches the sky for radio signals from an alien intelligence., Credit: The SETI Institute
Where is everybody? That was the question physicist Enrico Fermi asked when he wondered why we hadn’t yet met ET. What will happen if we do? Will ...

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  • Added: Feb 07, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: US Navy divers assist NASA and the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD-23) in recovery of a mock-up capsule designed to roughly simulate the size, shape, mass and center of gravity of the Orion crew module., Credit: US Navy
Join Mat Kaplan on a visit to Naval Base San Diego and the USS Anchorage, the amphibious ship that has just completed a round of Orion spacecraft r...

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  • Added: Jan 30, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Will humans in the distant future build and live in tremendous space habitats like the one picture here?  The first steps are being taken by NASA, SpaceX and many other organizations., Credit: Skyframe Research & Development/Peter Rubin, Iron Rooster Studios
Mat Kaplan talks with participants in the National Space Society’s recent Space Settlement Summit about human destiny in space. There’s a consensus...

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  • Added: Jan 23, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Radar images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal many lakes on Titan's surface, some filled with liquid, and some appearing as empty depressions. The data were obtained by Cassini's radar instrument from 2004 to 2013., Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASI / USGS
A computer model based on our best data about Saturn’s cloud-shrouded moon says that torrential liquid methane pounds the surface far more frequent...

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  • Added: Jan 17, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist concept of uneven dust ring surrounding “Tabby’s Star” KIC 8462852, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
It may not host an alien “megastructure” but Tabby’s Star still guards many mysteries of science. Astronomer and astrophysicist Tabetha “Tabby” Boy...

Bought by KDNK, KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Jan 09, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9