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


292 Pieces

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Caption: Orion spacecraft is recovered by the USS Anchorage, Credit: NASA
Our annual review of the greatest events and accomplishments over the last year features analysis and commentary by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily...

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


  • Added: Dec 30, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: The MAVEN spacecraft circling Mars., Credit: NASA/GSFC
Not just the air. Where is the water that was plentiful on the red planet billions of years ago? MAVEN may help answer these questions. Principa...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WSLR, and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Dec 22, 2014
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: MIT Astrophysicist and Planetary Scientist Sara Seager, Credit: Sara Seager/MIT
MIT planetary scientist and astrophysicist Sara Seager is on a quest. She wants to find a warm, wet exoplanet with signs of life. It could be Earth...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, and WYAP


  • Added: Dec 15, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Orion awaits launch atop its Delta IV Heavy rocket., Credit: Jason Davis/The Planetary Society
NASA’s Orion spacecraft has taken its first step toward Mars and an asteroid mission. The Planetary Society’s Jason Davis was at the Kennedy Space...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, and WTJU


  • Added: Dec 09, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 3
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Spoiler alert. Famed physicist Kip Thorne says you might be able to survive a plunge into a black hole after all! That’s just one molecule of the ...

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


  • Added: Dec 02, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Mark McCaughrean of the European Space Agency, Credit: Mark McCaughrean
Not just landed. Orbited, too. European Space Agency Senior Science Advisor Mark McCaughrean helps us celebrate the Rosetta orbiter and the Philae...

Bought by WFHB, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, and KVSC


  • Added: Nov 25, 2014
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Mighty Saturn and its rings, imaged by the Cassini spacecraft., Credit: JPL/NASA
Project scientist Linda Spilker returns with a regular update on Saturn, its moons and rings not long after learning that the mission is funded thr...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, and WYAP


  • Added: Nov 17, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Business end of Planetary Deep Drill, Credit: Mat Kaplan
If there’s life on Mars, it’s probably deep beneath the surface. That’s just one reason we need a tool like Planetary Deep Drill on the red planet ...

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


  • Added: Nov 11, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: First powered flight of SpaceShipTwo, Credit: Virgin Galactic
It was a terrible, tragic week for commercial space development. Historian and space policy analyst John Logsdon helps up understand the greater m...

Bought by KMUD, WYAP, and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Nov 03, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 3
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MESSENGER is the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging mission that has been orbiting the innermost planet for more than thr...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Oct 28, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Researchers have theorized that up to half of Earth's water is older than the sun. It likely formed in the cold molecular cloud that spawned our solar system., Credit: Bill Saxton, NSF/AUI/NRAO
Ilse Cleeves is lead author of a paper that concludes up to half of our solar system’s water is older than the solar system itself. The implication...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Oct 21, 2014
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: In this laser frequency comb, colorized for illustrative purposes, the solid lines are the star spectrum and the dots are the artificial laser spectrum. The dark gaps in the star spectrum represent different chemical elements in the starlight. Long-term s, Credit: European Southern Observatory
It’s terribly hard to find exoplanets that look like our homeworld. The search requires development of astoundingly powerful and precise instrumen...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Oct 13, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: "We See Thee Rise" University of Toronto Convocation Hall, October 1, 2014, Credit: The Planetary Society
We welcomed 1,600 Canadian space enthusiasts to the University of Toronto for our October 1st celebration of Canada in space! Join Mat Kaplan and ...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Oct 07, 2014
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 1
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The Chairman of the powerful Science, Space and Technology Committee in the US House of Representatives joins us for a talk about planetary science...

  • Added: Sep 29, 2014
  • Length: 28:50
Caption: Planetary Radio Live celebrates MAVEN's arrival at Mars in Southern California Public Radio's Crawford Family Forum, Credit: Loren Roberts
The latest guest of the Red Planet arrived in orbit on the evening of September 22, 2014. Planetary Radio Live was watching with fingers crossed in...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Sep 23, 2014
  • Length: 57:42
  • Purchases: 1
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Planetary Scientist Jim Bell of Arizona State University joined other experts in front of the US House of Representatives Space Committee on Septem...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Sep 16, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Theoretical/Computational Physicist Miguel Alcubierre, Credit: UNAM
Inspired by Star Trek, distinguished physicist Miguel Alcubierre developed the general relativity-based model for warp drive 20 years ago. Hear wh...

Bought by KFCF FM and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Sep 09, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 2
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Explore Mars wants to look for life on the Red Planet. Not past life. Life thriving under the Martian surface right now. Chris Carberry will tel...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Sep 01, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Artist's conception of New Horizons passing through the Pluto system., Credit: NASA/Thierry Lombry
New Horizons passed through the orbit of Neptune on August 25th. By cosmic coincidence, it was the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2’s flyby of that b...

Bought by KVSC


  • Added: Aug 26, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The interior of the target chamber at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The object entering from the left is the target positioner, on which a millimeter-scale target is mounted. Researchers recently used NIF to stu, Credit: Damien Jemison/LLNL
The most bizarre things happen to matter at pressures millions of times higher than what we feel on Earth’s surface. Physicist Rip Collins of the L...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Aug 19, 2014
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 1