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.

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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


283 Pieces

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Caption: Dragonfly soars above Saturn's moon Titan on its way to a new science site in this artist's impression., Credit: JHUAPL
Imagine soaring over what may be the solar system’s most Earth-like world, if you ignore the chill. If funded, the nuclear electric-powered Dragonf...

Bought by KWMR, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KRZA, WMUU-LP, KNVC Carson City Community Radio and more


  • Added: Jan 15, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Millions around the world watched as the New Horizons spacecraft encounters the most distant object ever visited., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Join us at the Applied Physics Lab in Maryland for the New Horizons encounter with the most distant object ever visited. You’ll meet mission leader...

Bought by KDNK, KBUT, KWMR, WMUU-LP, KRZA and more


  • Added: Jan 09, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist concept of the OSIRIS REx spacecraft passing Earth on its way to asteroid Bennu., Credit: NASA/GSFC/UA
Why do so many spacecraft that are headed across our solar system turn their instruments back to Earth during flybys? OSIRIS-REx was no exception....

Bought by KDNK, KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KWMR, KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Jan 01, 2019
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, target for the New Horizons flyby, is seen here in an artist's concept., Credit: NASA/SwRI
The New Horizons spacecraft will reach faraway Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 in the first minutes of 2019. Will the body informally known as Ultima...

Bought by KDNK, KVSC, KWMR, KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Dec 26, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The timeless "Earthrise" image captured by the Apollo 8 astronauts as they circled the Moon., Credit: NASA/Sean Doran
This is the 50th anniversary of the most audacious space mission in history. Apollo 8 blazed a path for the first moon landing seven months later, ...

Bought by KDNK, KWMR, KRZA, WMUU-LP, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Dec 18, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: •	Former NASA Administrator Charles “Charlie” Bolden asks a question at the NSS Space Settlement Summit., Credit: Mat Kaplan
He led NASA for eight years, but not till he had flown on four Space Shuttle missions and enjoyed a long military career. Charlie Bolden talks with...

Bought by KDNK, KWMR, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Dec 12, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Asteroid Bennu in an image captured by OSIRIS REx at its arrival., Credit: NASA/University of Arizona
The InSight lander has only just arrived on Mars. Now, OSIRIS REx has reached asteroid Bennu after traveling through deep space for a year and a ha...

Bought by KDNK, KMRE-LP, KWMR, KRZA, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle and more


  • Added: Dec 05, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: InSight Launch Party at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium.  L to R: Bruce Betts, Troy Hudson, Mat Kaplan and Jennifer Jackson, Credit: Andrew Pauly, The Planetary Society
Join 1,000 anxious yet thrilled space fans at Caltech for our live InSight landing party. You’ll meet Mat Kaplan’s onstage experts and check in wi...

Bought by KBBI, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KVSC, KDNK, KWMR and more


  • Added: Nov 28, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: The landing site of Mars 2020 will be in Jezero crater, on the northwest edge of the basin. , Credit: NASA / MIT / Goudge et al 2017
NASA announced on November 19th that the multi-billion dollar 2020 Mars rover will land in Jezero crater, where it will begin the search for the si...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KDNK, WXAV 88.3FM, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR and more


  • Added: Nov 20, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Moon Mission 3D: A New Perspective on the Space Race, Credit: MIT Press
You haven’t seen the best pictures from the Apollo era and other great space achievements till you’ve seen them in 3D. Queen guitarist and astroph...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KDNK, KWMR, KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Nov 14, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Ralph Pudritz, an astrophysicist and professor in McMaster’s Department of Physics and Astronomy; Maikel Rheinstadter, a biophysicist and professor in McMaster’s Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Yingfu Li, a biochemist and professor in McMaster’s , Credit: Sarah Janes
They may be the most important questions in all of science: Where do we come from? Are we alone? Researchers Ralph Pudritz and Maikel Rheinstadter...

Bought by KDNK, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM, KRZA, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Nov 06, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist concept of Kepler spacecraft observing a vast, oil-painted universe., Credit: NASA / Wendy Stenzel / Daniel Rutter
The Kepler mission has ended. Listen to highlights of the October 30th media briefing that included the father of the fantastically successful pla...

Bought by KDNK, KWMR, WMUU-LP, KRZA, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Oct 31, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Piece image
LightSail 2 is not the only solar sail in the universe. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Lab are preparing to send NEA Sc...

Bought by KDNK, KMRE-LP, KWMR, WMUU-LP, KRZA and more


  • Added: Oct 23, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: This illustration shows NASA's Cassini spacecraft about to make one of its dives between Saturn and its innermost rings as part of the mission's Grand Finale., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Our most frequent guest returns with exciting, just-published research enabled by the 20-year mission’s enormous success. Linda Spilker has served ...

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


  • Added: Oct 17, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Artist concept of the Giant Magellan Telescope at sunset, Credit: GMTO
Happy Astronomy Day, October 13, 2018! We salute humankind’s long history of stargazing by checking in on what will be our planet’s largest telesc...

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


  • Added: Oct 09, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: America's "Right Stuff" men, the Mercury 7 astronauts., Credit: NASA
The Dean of space policy, John Logsdon, returns with stories and a new book of original documents that shaped the US space program from the birth o...

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


  • Added: Oct 03, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist concept of a performance aboard a SpaceX Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS), Credit: SpaceX
A mostly SpaceX episode as the ambitious company provides updated details regarding its huge new rocket and introduces its first astronauts. Mat Ka...

Bought by KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KMRE-LP, KDNK, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR and more


  • Added: Sep 26, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: BepiColombo approaches Mercury in this artist's concept., Credit: Airbus
Elsa Montagnon is Spacecraft Operations Manager for the European/Japanese mission leaving for our solar system’s innermost planet very soon. She jo...

Bought by KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KDNK, KMRE-LP, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR and more


  • Added: Sep 19, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Mars on a clear day compared with the height of the now diminishing, planet wide dust storm., Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS
The dust is settling on the Red Planet. Is the remaining Mars Exploration Rover about to rise and shine after three months of slumber? MER Projec...

Bought by KNVC Carson City Community Radio, KDNK, KCSB-FM, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Sep 11, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: The Space Launch System leaves Earth in this artist's concept., Credit: NASA
Mat Kaplan’s Huntsville, Alabama trip wraps up with a tour of the historic and history-making Marshall Space Flight Center. Join him at the control...

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


  • Added: Sep 05, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8