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: 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...

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


  • 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 ...

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


  • 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...

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


  • 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...

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


  • 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...

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


  • 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...

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


  • 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...

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


  • 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...

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


  • Added: Jan 26, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Dawn had this view of Ceres at 86 degrees south latitude on Dec. 10, only three days after completing its descent to an average orbital altitude of 240 miles (385 kilometers). , Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA
The Dawn Mission Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns for another report on the ion-engine powered mission, now orbiting 240 miles above dwarf planet...

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


  • Added: Jan 19, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Host Mat Kaplan and moon rock curator Francis McCubbin, Credit: Mat Kaplan
Francis McCubbin is the new Astromaterials Curator at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the priceless collection includes the Apollo moonrocks. J...

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


  • Added: Jan 12, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Artist's concept of a VASIMIR-powered human interplanetary mission., Credit: Ad Astra Rocket Company
Mat Kaplan visits the Ad Astra Rocket Company in Texas where they are perfecting the VASIMIR electric rocket engine. Emily Lakdawalla has created a...

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


  • Added: Jan 05, 2016
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Enhanced color image of Pluto from New Horizons, Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI
Our year-end review features the “best of 2015” lists from Jason Davis, Casey Dreier, Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye the Science Guy. What’s Up offe...

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


  • Added: Dec 28, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: An artist imagines viewing a Europa water geyser from the surface of Jupiter’s moon., Credit: NASA/ESA/K. Retherford/SWRI
The newly-approved federal budget includes great news for fans of space exploration and development. Texas Congressman John Culberson led the fight...

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


  • Added: Dec 22, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Business End of Planetary Deep Drill, Credit: Bruce Betts
Drilling through many meters of ice to Europa’s ocean or to the pristine sub-surface layers of Mars will be hard. The Planetary Deep Drill prototyp...

Bought by KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR, 91.7 WHUS Storrs, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Dec 15, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Humans near Mars in this still image from Journey to Space 3D, Credit: K2 Films/Giant Screen Films
Journey to Space is both a new and spectacular IMAX movie and an exciting, hands-on exhibition at the California Science Center. We learn about bot...

Bought by KREV-LP, 91.7 WHUS Storrs, KMUD, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KWMR and more


  • Added: Dec 08, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Artist’s conception of Twinkle, the UK exoplanet atmosphere explorer, Credit: SSTL/Twinkle/DSS
A small but talented UK team is building Twinkle, a small spacecraft with a big mission—exploring the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars. ...

Bought by KREV-LP, 91.7 WHUS Storrs, WRGY, KMUD, KWMR and more


  • Added: Nov 30, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: NASA spacecraft models at SpaceCom Expo, Credit: Mat Kaplan
We join 1,600 space entrepreneurs and visionaries in Houston, and talk with Boeing, XCOR, Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa and more. Emily...

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


  • Added: Nov 24, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Credit: NAIC - Arecibo Observatory, a facility of the NSF
Emily Lakdawalla returns from the annual Division for Planetary Sciences meeting with big news from around the solar system. Then we talk with scie...

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


  • Added: Nov 16, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Lou Friedman’s new book offers an inspiring view of our future in space., Credit: University of Arizona Press
The founding Executive Director of the Planetary Society has just written “Human Spaceflight: From Mars to the Stars,” an optimistic view of humani...

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


  • Added: Nov 10, 2015
  • Length: 28:50
  • Purchases: 8