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


296 Pieces

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Caption: Artist's concept of MAVEN orbiting Mars, Credit: Lockheed Martin
MAVEN, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution orbiter, has gone a long way toward solving the mystery of the Red Planet’s missing water and air...

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Space artist Marilynn Flynn's "Titan's Southern Summer", Credit: tharsisartworks.com
Marilynn Flynn, Simon Kregar and Rick Sternbach are masters of space art. They talk about how their work furthers science and captures the imagina...

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


  • Added: Dec 20, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: John Glenn on his historic Friendship 7 orbital mission., Credit: NASA
Space historian John Logsdon remembers American hero John Glenn. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye was a big fan of the Friendship 7 astronaut. Then w...

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  • Added: Dec 13, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Astronomer and author Jay Pasachoff, Credit: Jay Pasachoff
No one is more excited about eclipses than famed solar astronomer and author Jay Pasachoff. He looks forward to the total solar eclipse in August ...

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  • Added: Dec 06, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: The SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array, Credit: SETI Institute
The SETI Institute is about much more than the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. President and CEO Bill Diamond of the Institute explains. ...

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  • Added: Nov 28, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: “Mars” is the new docudrama miniseries airing on the National Geographic Channel, Credit: National Geographic Channel
The National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” miniseries has begun. Mat Kaplan attended a kickoff for the ambitious docudrama last summer. You’ll hear ...

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  • Added: Nov 21, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The liquid methane lakes of Titan, Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI
Back to the annual meeting of the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences this week, where Mat Kaplan visited with experts on worlds of ice including T...

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  • Added: Nov 15, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Enrico Palermo and host Mat Kaplan pose in front of the “feathered” VSS Unity, SpaceShipTwo, Credit: Enrico Palermo for The Spaceship Company
Host Mat Kaplan traveled to California’s Mojave Desert for a tour of Virgin Galactic’s The Spaceship Company, where the second SpaceShipTwo was bu...

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  • Added: Nov 08, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Rosetta Mission Manager Patrick Martin and Project Scientist Matt Taylor simulate the spacecraft touchdown at Planetary Society HQ., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Last year it was New Horizons at Pluto. In 2016, the thrilling end of the Rosetta comet mission generated the greatest public interest and enthusia...

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  • Added: Nov 01, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: New Horizons enhanced color image of Pluto, Credit: NASA/JHUAPL
Alan Stern of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond was in Pasadena for the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division f...

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  • Added: Oct 24, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: James Blinn (l.) and a young Charley Kohlhase (r.) working at JPL on pioneering computer animations of the Voyager flybys., Credit: Charley Kohlhase
How did the Voyager spacecraft manage to weave their magnificent way through the outer planets of our solar system? Mission Design Manager Charley...

Bought by KMRE-LP, WMUU-LP, and KRZA


  • Added: Oct 17, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: One of many illustrations from "Star Trek, The Official Guide to Our Universe", Credit: CBS
The Night Sky Guy, Andrew Fazekas, talks about his beautiful new, Star Trek-inspired guide to the real wonders of astronomy. Emily Lakdawalla has ...

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


  • Added: Oct 10, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Comet 67P/Churyumov/Gerasimenko, Rosetta’s final resting place., Credit: ESA / Rosetta / MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS / UPD / LAM / IAA / SSO / INTA / UPM / DASP / IDA
The European Space Agency’s magnificent Rosetta mission ended last week as the spacecraft gently touched down on the comet it has revealed. You’ll ...

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  • Added: Oct 03, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Jason Davis at business end of the SLS RS-25 rocket motor., Credit: Casey Dreier
Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis returns with the story of the ten-day trek across the South he just completed with two Society colleag...

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  • Added: Sep 27, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Saturn and Cassini, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The great Cassini spacecraft has a year to go before it plunges into the ringed planet. Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with more amazing m...

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  • Added: Sep 19, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: OSIRIS REx departs for asteroid Bennu atop an Atlas V, Credit: Jason Davis/The Planetary Society
In two years a Near Earth Asteroid now known as Bennu will have a visitor from Earth. OSIRIS REx Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta reports on h...

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  • Added: Sep 12, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: NASA Spinoff 2016 Book, Credit: NASA
In its nearly five decades, NASA has created or improved thousands of technologies, processes and innovations. Dan Lockney is in charge of making ...

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  • Added: Sep 05, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist’s impression of planet Proxima b., Credit: European Southern Observatory
The announcement was made just days ago. Co-discoverer Michael Endl tells us about the discovery of a roughly Earth-mass planet orbiting in the hab...

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  • Added: Aug 30, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Scale rendering of the Soviet LK moon lander next to the US Lunar Module., Credit: Eberhard Marx
Space historian and policy expert John Logsdon joins Mat Kaplan for a fascinating conversation about how the US could have lost the race to the moo...

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  • Added: Aug 23, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Cassini radar image of flooded canyons on Titan, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell
Steep canyons on Saturn's moon Titan are filled with liquid methane. That's the discovery just announced by an international team of Cassini scient...

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  • Added: Aug 15, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8