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


291 Pieces

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Caption: Artist's conception of the view above Mars, Credit: NASA
Scott Hubbard and John Logsdon led the Humans Orbiting Mars Workshop last spring. They return with Casey Dreier as the report on that workshop is ...

Bought by WRGY, KMUD, KWMR, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KFCF FM and more


  • Added: Sep 29, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Ice Giant Neptune, Credit: NASA
They are the most neglected planets in our solar system, but that status may be changing. Planetary scientist Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle celebrates NA...

Bought by KMRE-LP, KMUD, KFCF FM, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR and more


  • Added: Sep 22, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: PI Dante Lauretta (r.) and Kevin Walsh in the Lockheed Martin clean room with OSIRIS-REx, Credit: Dante Lauretta
Dante Lauretta heads the most ambitious mission to an asteroid ever mounted. With one year left till launch, he returns to Planetary Radio with an ...

Bought by KMRE-LP, KMUD, KFCF FM, KWMR, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Sep 15, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: With the sliding door over its 17-ton infrared telescope wide open, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy – or SOFIA – soars over California's snow-covered Southern Sierras., Credit: NASA/Jim Ross
Planetary Radio returns to SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, but this time we fly in the giant 747 turned telescope plat...

Bought by KMRE-LP, KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Sep 08, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Early plan for the lenses in a Mastcam-Z camera planned for the 2020 Mars rover., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
Our reporting from the 2nd Mars 2020 Rover Landing Site Selection Workshop continues as we talk with Jim Bell and Justin Maki, leaders of the devel...

Bought by KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM, and KFCF FM


  • Added: Aug 31, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: This artist's sketch is based on the Curiosity rover in NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, with proposed modifications based on the science definition team's recommendations. , Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The 2020 Mars Rover may be years away, but determining where it will land is already a hot topic among scientists and engineers. Many of the former...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KMUD, KBBI, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Aug 25, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The NEEMO 20 crew poses for a group shot., Credit: NASA
NEEMO is a long-running NASA project that is helping to prepare us for mission to Mars and other destinations. Mat Kaplan talked with engineer and ...

Bought by KMUD, KFCF FM, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR, KRZA and more


  • Added: Aug 17, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Screen shot of SETI@Home at work, digging through data for ET’s call., Credit: SETI@Home
We follow last week’s conversation with Ann Druyan about the $100 million funding of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by visiting two o...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KMUD, WQCS, WXAV 88.3FM, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Aug 11, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The Green Bank Telescope is the world's largest, fully-steerable telescope. It will be used in the Breakthrough Listen SETI initiative over the next 10 years., Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF
The Breakthrough Initiatives will pump $100 million into the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the next 10 years, vastly expanding humani...

Bought by KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, KWMR, and KFCF FM


  • Added: Aug 04, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Piece image
Come with us on a visit to the home of the prime meridian for a conversation with the curator of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich about the race to...

Bought by WQCS, KMUD, WXAV 88.3FM, KFCF FM, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Jul 28, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Mat Kaplan and guests at KPCC waiting for New Horizons to phone home from Pluto., Credit: Southern California Public Radio
Join our live audience for highlights of an amazing evening, featuring Jim Bell, Bruce Betts, Mike Brown, Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye the Science...

Bought by KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KFCF FM, WXAV 88.3FM, and KWMR


  • Added: Jul 20, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: An artist’s conception of what Kepler 138b, its sister planets and its star might look like., Credit:  Danielle Futselaar, SETI Institute
SETI Institute scientist Jason Rowe returns to tell us about the smallest exoplanet so far that has had its size and mass determined. Jason also ta...

Bought by KPIK-LP, KMUD, KRZA, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR and more


  • Added: Jul 13, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: July 6, 2015 color image of Pluto from New Horizons., Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI
Two visits with the Planetary Society Senior Editor this week, as Emily first provides an update on the Rosetta comet mission and then returns with...

Bought by KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, KWMR, and KFCF FM


  • Added: Jul 06, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Some of the attendees at the 2015 Planetary Defense Conference in Frascati, Italy., Credit: ESA CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
We’ve already brought you Planetary Radio Live from the 2015 PDC near Rome, Italy. Now you’ll hear a small sampling of the scientists, engineers, p...

Bought by KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR, WXAV 88.3FM, and KFCF FM


  • Added: Jun 30, 2015
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: This artist's concept depicts Europa's "Great Lake." Researchers predict many more such lakes are scattered throughout the moon's icy shell., Credit: Britney Schmidt/Dead Pixel VFX/Univ. of Texas at Austin
We return to the beautiful Aquarium of the Pacific in southern California for a fascinating conversation about ocean science. What we learn down h...

Bought by KMUD, WXAV 88.3FM, KWMR, KFCF FM, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Jun 23, 2015
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: LightSail stretches its sails in low Earth orbit., Credit: The Planetary Society
After a roller coaster ride that included a maddening eight-day silence, the LightSail test mission finally achieved all of its major goals. Leader...

Bought by KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KFCF FM, WXAV 88.3FM, and KWMR


  • Added: Jun 14, 2015
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Cassini's last close-up view of Saturn's "creepy" moon, Hyperion., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Our most frequent guest, Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker, returns with another update on the magnificent mission at Saturn, including evide...

Bought by KMUD, KFCF FM, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR, and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Jun 09, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: The first human steps onto Mars in this illustration from the 2015 Humans to Mars Report., Credit: Explore Mars, Inc.
Explore Mars revealed the 2015 Humans to Mars Report at a recent conference in Washington. CEO Chris Carberry gives us a quick tour of this realist...

Bought by KMUD, WXAV 88.3FM, KWMR, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, and KFCF FM


  • Added: Jun 01, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Artist's conception of a LightSail in Earth orbit., Credit: The Planetary Society
This special edition takes you behind the scenes on May 20, 2015 as LightSail is lifted into orbit. You’ll hear the thrilling launch, meet key tea...

Bought by KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, KWMR, and KFCF FM


  • Added: May 25, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Image of Ceres and its mysterious “bright spots” taken by the Dawn spacecraft from 13,600 km (8,400 miles) above the surface., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
It’s the biggest dwarf planet between here and Pluto, and it has a new permanent resident. The Dawn spacecraft is orbiting Ceres in the asteroid be...

Bought by KMUD, KWMR, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, and KFCF FM


  • Added: May 18, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 4