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


287 Pieces

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Caption: Fact and fiction Contact Conference all-stars.  Left to right: Carol Stoker, Michael Sims, Kim Stanley Robinson, Andy Weir, Penny Boston, Chris McKay and Larry Niven., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Space art and science fiction joined science fact at the 2016 Contact Conference in Sunnyvale, California. We talk with three well-known visionarie...

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


  • Added: Jun 07, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: NASA
Three NASA leaders talk with host Mat Kaplan about the progress we're making toward leaving footprints on the Red Planet. Emily Lakdawalla showcase...

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  • Added: May 31, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: LightSail 2 successfully deployed its sails in the May 23rd Day In The Life Test, Credit: Jason Davis
The Planetary Society’s solar sail spacecraft was in the middle of a critical test as we spoke with the Society’s Bruce Betts and Jason Davis. Mat...

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  • Added: May 23, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: NASA Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld and Mat Kaplan show off their space ties., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Astronaut and NASA Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld closes our coverage of the Space Foundation’s 32nd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Spr...

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  • Added: May 16, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Artist's rendering of SNC's Dream Chaser berthed with the International Space Station, Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation
We’re back at Space Symposium for a conversation with SNC’s Mark Sirangelo, leader of that company’s effort to build the Dream Chaser. We’ll also ...

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  • Added: May 09, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: A 2016 Space Symposium panel featuring the leaders of many national space agencies., Credit: Mat Kaplan
The annual Space Symposium in Colorado is a must-attend event for space leaders from around the world. Our coverage begins with ESA Director Genera...

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  • Added: May 03, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Mat Kaplan, Jill Tarter and Tyler Nordgren, Credit: Mat Kaplan
Beautiful Death Valley National Park was the setting for a fascinating conversation with famed SETI researcher Jill Tarter and celebrated astronome...

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  • Added: Apr 26, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: 2)	JPL’s Bob Pappalardo and Bobak Ferdowsi at Yuri’s Night, Credit: Mat Kaplan
Our special coverage from the Los Angeles Yuri’s Night party continues with Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources along with Bob Pappalardo and Boba...

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  • Added: Apr 19, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, Credit: Susan Karlin @SueKarlin
Happy Yuri’s Night! We’re partying under Space Shuttle Endeavour in the first of two shows featuring interviews from the worldwide celebration of s...

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  • Added: Apr 12, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Professor Emeritus Michel Mayor, discoverer of the first extrasolar planet, and recipient of a 2015 Kyoto Prize., Credit: UC San Diego
Michel Mayor and his team rocked the astronomy world with their 1995 announcement, but this modest man says it was a discovery whose time had come....

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  • Added: Apr 05, 2016
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Ashwin Vasavada of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory became the project scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory Project in January 2015., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The new Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist is not new to the mission. Ashwin Vasavada has worked on the Curiosity rover since 2004. Emily L...

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


  • Added: Mar 28, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Artistic rendering of Planet 9 with the distant Sun in the background., Credit: Caltech / R. Hurt (IPAC)
Our live conversation about “Planet 9” and the amazing diversity of our solar system, featuring Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of Caltech, Senio...

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  • Added: Mar 22, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), Credit: NASA/GSFC/Conceptual Image Lab
NASA has given the go-ahead for creation of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope. It might help reveal the nature of dark energy and point the ...

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  • Added: Mar 15, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Julielynn Wong and her alter ego, Dr. “J”, Credit: Jared Chambers
Julielynn Wong came directly from her 30-day long HERA IX deep space simulation to our microphone. We talk with her about the experience, and her p...

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  • Added: Mar 08, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: “Aurora” is the latest novel from Kim Stanley Robinson, Credit: Orbit
Famed science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson is back with Aurora, a cautionary tale about just how difficult interstellar travel may be. Emil...

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


  • Added: Mar 01, 2016
  • Length: 28:51
  • Purchases: 8
Piece image
Cassini Mission Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with the latest discoveries at the beautiful ringed planet, its moons and its rings. Emily...

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  • Added: Feb 23, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: The carefully-planned madness and joy of OK Go’s Upside Down and Inside Out Zero-G Video Shoot, Credit: OK Go
Have you seen it? OK Go has gone where no band has gone before to make a music video. Mat talks with Damian Kulash and Tim Nordwind about the hazar...

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  • Added: Feb 16, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: 2)	Planet 9 theorists Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin study the data in Mike’s Caltech office., Credit: Mat Kaplan
Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin fully expect a new and undemotable ninth planet will be found in the outer reaches of the solar system. The Calte...

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  • Added: Feb 08, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Chelyabinsk 2013 explodes over the city on February 15, 2013., Credit: YouTube
Lindley Johnson has just been named NASA's first Planetary Defense Officer. He's joined on this week's PlanRad by astronomer Kelly Fast, the new m...

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  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Messier 5 is a globular cluster containing hundreds of thousands of stars.  It is about 25,000 light years from our solar system., Credit: ESA/Hubble
New research indicates that globular clusters—collections of up to a million stars—could provide stable environments for life, along with opportuni...

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  • Added: Jan 26, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5