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


296 Pieces

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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
Caption: The Saturn V moon rocket on display inside the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Credit: Mat Kaplan
Host Mat Kaplan begins a two-episode visit to Huntsville and the Marshall Space Flight Center, recorded this week at the US Space and Rocket Center...

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


  • Added: Aug 29, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption:  At the Lake Henshaw Overlook preparing for the Pluto occultation with an Unistellar eVscope prototype and a large Celestron C14 telescope. From left to right: Martin Costa, Franck Marchis, Joana Oliveira Marques and Mat Kaplan, Credit: Chris Hendren
Pluto passed in front of a star on the evening of August 14. Mat Kaplan joined pro and amateur astronomers on a mountain to observe this rare event...

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


  • Added: Aug 22, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: A radar view of Venus reveals the surface of the cloud-shrouded planet., Credit: Mattias Malmer/NASA/JPL
We have so much to learn about Venus, says JPL scientist Sue Smrekar. What we learn will help us understand our own world and Mars. Sue joins us ...

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


  • Added: Aug 15, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: This large scale simulation of galaxies represents the large-scale light distribution in the Universe., Credit: Max Planck Institute
It has been 20 years since we learned the expansion of the universe is accelerating due to the mysterious force called dark energy. Saul Perlmutter...

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


  • Added: Aug 07, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: This beautiful image of Mars’ south pole was captured by the Mars Express orbiter in 2015.  Now there’s good evidence for liquid water 1.5 kilometers below it., Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/Bill Dunford
Our world was rocked by last week’s announcement of good radar evidence for a liquid water “lake” under the Red Planet’s south pole. Senior Edito...

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


  • Added: Jul 31, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Asteroid Ryugu imaged by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, Credit: JAXA
Japan’s Hayabusa2 is just 6 kilometers from asteroid Ryugu as it prepares to snatch samples of the space rock for return to Earth. Mission Project...

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


  • Added: Jul 25, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: A view of Oukaïmeden Observatory, with the Morocco Oukaïmeden Sky Survey (MOSS) dome in the foreground., Credit: Morocco Oukaïmeden Sky Survey
One of the Planetary Society’s 2018 Shoemaker Near-Earth Object grants has gone to the astronomers searching the sky from a mountaintop in the Nort...

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


  • Added: Jul 18, 2018
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8