Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science

By The Planetary Society

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 Aug 19, 2020


 Dec 15, 2019


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 Oct 29, 2019


 May 27, 2019

Description

Planetary Radio brings you the human adventure across our solar system and beyond. We visit each week with the scientists, engineers, leaders, advocates and astronauts who are taking us across the final frontier. Regular features raise your space IQ while they put a smile on your face. Join host Mat Kaplan and Planetary Society colleagues including Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bruce Betts, and Emily Lakdawalla as they dive deep into the latest space news. The monthly Space Policy Edition takes you inside the DC beltway where the future of the US space program hangs in the balance. Visit planetary.org/radio for the space trivia contest, an episode guide, and much more.


Episode Date
A Deep Dive into Asteroid Bennu With Dante Lauretta
00:44:58

We are joined by the leader of the OSIRIS-REx mission that sampled an asteroid last week. Dante reveals just how brilliantly successful the encounter was, and describes preparations for the journey back to Earth. Space journalist Nancy Atkinson tells us about Orbilander, a mission that would orbit and then descend to Saturn’s moon Enceladus in a search for life. Space headlines from The Downlink and our weekly visit with Chief Scientist Bruce Betts round out this week’s show. Explore more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1028-2020-dante-lauretta-osiris-rex

Oct 28, 2020
We Have Sampled an Asteroid! And the Search for Life Above Venus
00:50:10

OSIRIS-REx has done it! We have special coverage of the spacecraft’s successful collection of a sample from asteroid Bennu. Then we talk with Jane Greaves, leader of the team that found evidence of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus. Has this put us on the road to discovery of life above that hellish world? Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan offer a copy of Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight in the new space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1021-2020-jane-greaves-venus-phosphine

Oct 21, 2020
Beyond Earth’s Edge: A Celebrity Space Poetry Jam!
01:07:56

Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight is the new and outstanding collection of poems edited by Julie Swarstad Johnson and Christopher Cokinos. They’ll join us to hear poems in the collection read by Bill Nye, Robert Picardo, Sasha Sagan, astronauts, scientists and others. Bruce Betts looks away from the night sky long enough to pen his own poetic contribution. We’ve also got space headlines from The Downslink, and a new space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1014-2020-poetry-johnson-cokinos

Oct 14, 2020
Protectors of Earth! (and Other Worlds)
01:09:53

Protecting worlds like Earth and Mars from microscopic invaders carried by human and robot visitors was just one of the scores of topics covered at this year’s Humans to Mars summit. Mat Kaplan moderated a panel featuring planetary scientist and New Horizons mission principal investigator Alan Stern, NASA associate administrator Mike Gold, and NASA planetary protection officer Lisa Pratt. Planetary Society digital editor Jason Davis shares the fascinating 40-year timeline that can be found in the Society’s September equinox edition of The Planetary Report, and Mars shines bright in our What’s Up segment. Great slinks and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1007-2020-h2m-planetary-protection-panel

Oct 07, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Divining Biden's Space Policy with Jeff Foust
00:53:24

A month before the U.S. election Joe Biden's campaign has yet to state its goals for space and NASA. We asked Jeff Foust, one of the best space reporters in the business, to help us piece together a working model of a potential Biden Administration space policy. We comb through the available evidence, combining insights from Biden's history in the Senate, his 8 years as vice president, and current activities in the Democratic House of Representatives and party platform to create a prediction of what might be the same, and what might differ from the Trump Administration's approach to NASA. Explore more here.  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1002-2020-spe-jeff-foust

Oct 02, 2020
Exploring the Cosmos With Heidi Hammel and AURA
00:58:54

AURA, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, is the organization that oversees operation of many of our world’s most powerful telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope.  Veteran astronomer and planetary scientist Heidi Hammel is its Vice President for Science. Listen to her passionate argument for exploration by ground and space-based instruments and what they may tell us about ourselves. Only one cat has gone to space! You might win a tribute to that feline in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0930-2020-heidi-hammel-aura

Sep 30, 2020
A Fond Farewell: Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla
01:10:43

Emily Lakdawalla was on the very first episode of Planetary Radio, and has been heard on hundreds since then. The planetary evangelist returns for a conversation like no other. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye shares his thoughts after we hear from Emily. Got Mars? Bruce Betts tells us it’s brighter than Jupiter in the evening sky. He’ll tell you where to look during What’s Up. Much more of Emily can be heard at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0923-2020-emily-lakdawalla-farewell-nye

Sep 23, 2020
Have We Found Evidence of Life on Venus?
00:48:26

An international team has detected phosphine gas in the clouds above Venus. Naturally-produced phosphine on Earth is created by anaerobic bacteria. We’ll listen to portions of the media briefing at which this result was announced. Then we’ll get perspective on the find from the Planetary Society’s Casey Dreier. Astrophysicist and Venus atmosphere expert Javier Peralta will share his reaction and a big find of his own on our nearest planetary neighbor. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0916-2020-venus-phosphine-discovery-casey-dreier

Sep 16, 2020
Space Policy Edition: The Moon-to-Mars Strategy, with Dr. Scott Pace
00:51:41

How spacefaring nations prioritize funding can be just as important, if not more so, than the capabilities of the commercial sector, says Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. She joins the show to talk how these complement each other, and why the SLS and Orion programs deserve support along with work by companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. Mat and Casey also catch up on the dizzying amount of space news in July, including important progress on NASA’s budget from the U.S. House of Representatives. Explore more here.  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0911-2020-spe-scott-pace

Sep 11, 2020
A Planetary Mystery is Solved, and it’s Bill Nye’s Anniversary!
00:56:06

JPL’s Marc Rayman, former Dawn mission director, reveals the secrets of those bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres. First though we celebrate Bill Nye’s 10th anniversary as CEO of The Planetary Society. Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Vaughn is followed by the Science Guy himself. And there’s a Nye invention at the heart of this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0909-2020-marc-rayman-ceres-bill-nye-jennifer-vaughn-10th-anniversary

Sep 09, 2020
The Sirens of Mars Call to Us
00:52:39

Georgetown University planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson has written a beautiful book that chronicles our long quest for life on the Red Planet. That search may finally be reaching a climax with the new Perseverance rover and the beginnings of sample return. A copy of The Sirens of Mars will go to the winner of yet another What’s Up space trivia contest. In a nice coincidence, Bruce Betts will tell us where to find a brilliantly bright Mars in the night sky. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0902-2020-sarah-stewart-johnson-sirens-of-mars

Sep 02, 2020
Katie Mack and The End of Everything
00:48:10

Known as Astrokatie to her 370 thousand Twitter followers, astrophysicist and cosmologist Katie Mack has written a funny, fantastic guide to the end of the universe. The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) explores five major scenarios for the big finish of the cosmos that scientists currently consider to be possible. We’ll award a copy of Katie’s book to the winner of this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0826-2020-katie-mack-end-of-everything

Aug 26, 2020
Make Room! Worlds May Crowd Some Habitable Zones
00:57:16

Newly-published research led by Stephen Kane finds room for as many as 6 habitable zone planets around some stars. Why then is Earth on its own? The UC Riverside planetary scientist and astrobiologist will explain. Host Mat Kaplan is not prepared in the least for the latest space trivia contest question posed by Planetary Society chief scientist Bruce Betts. Do you read The Downslink? The Planetary Society’s great newsletter includes space headlines we review. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0819-2020-stephen-kane-habitable-zone-worlds

Aug 19, 2020
Another Ray Gun Heads for Mars. We Hear It Working.
00:48:42

First there was ChemCam on Mars rover Curiosity. Now, SuperCam is on its way to the Red Planet aboard Perseverance. We’ll talk with principal investigator Roger Wiens about the new and improved, laser-firing instrument that delivers rock spectra and other science from a distance. SuperCam’s microphone will finally let us listen to the Martian wind and more. Mastcam-Z is right next to SuperCam on the Perseverance mast. You’ve turned it into great acronyms that we’ll share in What’s Up. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0812-2020-roger-wiens-supercam-mars-microphone

Aug 12, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Why the SLS is a National Asset, and Why That Matters
01:31:29

How spacefaring nations prioritize funding can be just as important, if not more so, than the capabilities of the commercial sector, says Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. She joins the show to talk how these complement each other, and why the SLS and Orion programs deserve support along with work by companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. Mat and Casey also catch up on the dizzying amount of space news in July, including important progress on NASA’s budget from the U.S. House of Representatives. Learn more here.

Aug 07, 2020
Crew Dragon Triumphant, and a Planetary Society Founder Remembers
01:18:12

Astronaut and former SpaceX director of space operations Garrett Reisman returns to help us celebrate and appreciate the just-completed first crewed mission by a Crew Dragon capsule. Then we settle in with Planetary Society Emeritus Executive Director Lou Friedman for great stories from his new memoir, Planetary Adventures: From Moscow to Mars. Chase Chief Scientist Bruce Betts down the rotating black hole and get ready for the Perseid meteor shower in this week’s What’s Up. Great slinks and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0805-2020-reisman-crew-dragon-friedman-planetary-adventures

Aug 05, 2020
Hope Leads the Way to Mars
00:58:30

An exclusive conversation with science lead Sarah Al Amiri and project director Omran Sharaf of the Emirates Mars Mission. Their Hope orbiter is now on its way to the red planet. NASA Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen has praise for the Emirates mission and looks forward to the beginning of the Perseverance rover’s own journey. Are you as good as NASA at creating acronyms? Take your best shot in the new What’s Up contest, as Bruce Betts waves farewell to comet NEOWISE. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0729-2020-amiri-sharaf-emm-hope

Jul 29, 2020
A Mars Mission Begins, a Comet Exits, and the Future of Planetary Science
01:09:04

The United Arab Emirates Hope spacecraft has begun its journey to Mars. We’ll join a virtual launch party attended by mission leaders, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, National Air and Space Museum director Ellen Stofan and others. Comet NEOWISE is still putting on a show! Learn more about it from NEOWISE principal investigator Amy Mainzer, NASA planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson and JPL scientist Emily Kramer. Our own Casey Dreier provides an overview of three far-sighted white papers submitted as part of the new planetary science decadal survey. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0722-2020-hope-mission-comet-neowise-white-papers.html

Jul 22, 2020
3 Billion Years Ago: Was Mars Alive?
01:03:36

Perseverance, NASA’s 2020 rover, leaves for the Red Planet in just days. Deputy project scientist Ken Williford tells us how it will look for signs of past life where there was once a Martian lake. He’ll also take us through his Jet Propulsion Lab facility where scientists are learning how to recognize the evidence of long ago biology here on Earth. Comet NEOWISE is still lighting up the northern hemisphere sky. Bruce Betts knows where to find it. We’ve also got great new prizes for the space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0715-2020-ken-williford-perseverance.html

Jul 15, 2020
To Pluto and Beyond with Alan Stern
00:52:05

It has been 5 years since the New Horizons probe revealed beautiful, surprising Pluto, and 18 months since it showed us the odd little body now known as Arrokoth. Principal Investigator Alan Stern shares the latest science, and tells us what the spacecraft is up to now as it races toward the edge of our solar system. Have you seen the new comet? Bruce Betts tells you where and how to look in this week’s What’s Up. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0708-2020-alan-stern-new-horizons.html

Jul 08, 2020
Space Policy Edition: A Trillion-Dollar Space Economy?
01:04:05

Dr. Bhavya Lal joins the show to discuss the size of the space economy, where it's going, and how the term itself can mean many different things to many different people. In a world filled with breathless claims about trillion-dollar economies, we dive down into the fundamental assumptions about space commerce, its potential for growth, and the pitfalls of motivated thinking in the hyper-optimistic space community. Learn more about this month’s topics through slinks on the show page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-51.html

Jul 03, 2020
Jim Bell Sends New Eyes to Mars
00:53:51

Mastcam-Z is the main camera system that will soon leave for Mars as part of the Perseverance rover. Mastcam-Z Principal Investigator Jim Bell is back to tell us about what the most powerful set of eyes to reach the surface of the Red Planet may show us. Planetary Society Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla explores four sample return missions headed out across our solar system. The Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient Greek computing device, anchors this week’s What’s Up segment with Bruce Betts. And someone will win one of Jim Bell’s books in the new space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0701-2020-jim-bell-mastcam-z.html

Jul 01, 2020
China on the Final Frontier
00:51:39

Low Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, even Neptune and the edge of the solar system--China’s ambitious plans for space exploration and development are laid out by Planetary Society contributing editor and Chinese space program expert Andrew Jones. Jason Davis provides a brief overview of what’s in the June Solstice edition of The Planetary Report, now available for free. And it’s time to give away ice cream on What’s Up! Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0624-2020-andrew-jones-china-space-program.html

Jun 24, 2020
LightSail 2: A Year of Solar Sailing
00:51:30

The LightSail 2 team and 50,000 supporters around the world will celebrate the little spacecraft’s first anniversary on orbit in a few days. Planetary Society Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Vaughn remembers the long road to this accomplishment. LightSail Program Manager Bruce Betts and LightSail Project Manager Dave Spencer tell us what we’ve learned over the last year and look to the future of solar sailing. Dave also reveals his exciting new job at the Jet Propulsion Lab. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0617-2020-light-sail-2-betts-spencer-vaughn.html

Jun 17, 2020
Staying Alive in Space
00:57:06

Keeping humans alive and well in space is hard enough. How will this be accomplished on a 3-year journey to Mars and back? Paragon President and CEO Grant Anderson shares the great progress we’ve made and the remaining challenges. Astronauts headed for the Red Planet may not need ice cream to stay alive, but will life be worth living without it? You may win a pint of Ben & Jerry’s moooony new flavor and a Netflix Space Force spoon to eat it with in this week’s space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0610-2020-grant-anderson-life-support.html

Jun 10, 2020
Space Policy Edition: NASA’s Gamble Pays Off
01:17:24

SpaceX's Crew Dragon safely carried 2 astronauts to the ISS, nearly a decade after NASA made a huge bet on commercial partnerships to solve a problem of access to the space station. Casey and Mat explore how NASA gained the political will to fundamentally re-imagine its relationship with the private sector. Will it spur a new market for sending humans into space? Chief of D.C. Operations Brendan Curry offers an update on Congress and the outlook for NASA's major programs in a period of unrest and uncertainty. Learn more about this month’s topics through slinks at  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-50.html

Jun 05, 2020
Crew Dragon Thrills While Mars Chills
00:48:06

This episode opens with a special message about The Planetary Society’s response to recent news, followed by a period of silence that marks the unjust loss of George Floyd and other black men and women. In our regular coverage, we celebrate the successful launch and arrival of the Crew Dragon spacecraft at the International Space Station. Then it’s off to Mars with planetary scientist Edgard Rivera-Valentin. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0603-2020-edgard-rivera-valentin-mars-brines-crew-dragon.html

Jun 03, 2020
Celebrating 30 Years of Hubble with Astronaut John Grunsfeld
01:01:51

Former astronaut and NASA Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld is often called the Hubble Repairman. He made three space shuttle trips to the space telescope to repair and upgrade it. Now he looks back over three decades of science, beautiful images, and inspiration delivered by the HST. Rubber asteroids are back, and you might win one in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Great links, including to Mat Kaplan’s live interview with John Grunsfeld, are at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0527-2020-john-grunsfeld-hubble-30th.html

May 27, 2020
Crew Dragon Deep Dive with Astronaut Garrett Reisman
00:43:46

Engineer and former astronaut Garrett Reisman spent four months on the International Space Station before moving to SpaceX. Ten years of work at the company are about to climax when a Crew Dragon capsule carries astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS. Garrett shares his excitement and inside knowledge about the mission and the groundbreaking spacecraft. We’ve also got headlines from The Downlink, and a night sky update as part of this week’s What’s Up. Great links, including the Crew Dragon ISS manual approach simulation app, are at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0513-2020-garrett-reisman-crew-dragon.html

May 20, 2020
Looking for Life in Alien Oceans
00:53:00

Jet Propulsion Lab astrobiologist Kevin Hand has just written Alien Oceans: The Search for Life in the Depths of Space. Kevin and Mat explore these seas and whether they may have nurtured organisms with no connection to life on Earth. You may win a copy of Kevin’s excellent book in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest with Bruce Betts. Take an even deeper dive at  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0513-2020-kevin-hand-alien-oceans.html

May 13, 2020
The Crew Dragon Countdown Begins, With Former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver
00:58:02

Lori Garver may have been the strongest advocate of commercial space development in her days at NASA. Now one of that program’s greatest goals is about to achieved with the flight of American astronauts to the International Space Station in a Crew Dragon spaceship. The Planetary Society’s Jason Davis previews what to expect from the SpaceX Demo-2 mission. Also, headlines from The Downlink, and Venus shining bright in What’s Up with Bruce Betts. Learn more about Lori Garver and the Crew Dragon mission at  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0506-2020-lori-garver-dm2-commercial-space.html

May 06, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Our Moral Obligation to Explore Space
01:11:16

Are we morally obligated to pursue space exploration? What ethical considerations should we consider when creating space policy? Philosopher James Schwartz joins the show to address these questions and talk about his new book, The Value of Science in Space Exploration. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the show page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-49.html

May 01, 2020
Life on Mars: Joining the Quest with Penny Boston and Jim Green
00:55:34

Mat Kaplan recently hosted the first of a series of Explore Mars live and interactive events. NASA astrobiologist Penelope Boston and NASA Chief Scientist James Green joined him for a thrilling conversation about the search for life on the Red Planet, and what may happen if or when we find it. The comet may be a bust, but Bruce Betts tells us there’s still plenty to see in the current night sky. Mat and Bruce also talk about the first ever What’s Up Live! See the live Mars discussion and explore our other topics at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0429-2020-life-on-mars-penny-boston-jim-green.html

Apr 29, 2020
The Royal Astronomical Society at 200
01:13:15

“The object of THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY shall be the encouragement and promotion of Astronomy, Solar-System Sciences, Geophysics and closely related branches of science.” That’s what you’ll find on the website of the RAS. Its mission has changed little in the two centuries since it was founded by some of Britain’s leading scientific minds. Don’t miss the UK Poet Laureate’s poem in honor of the RAS at the end of this week’s episode.  We also offer a tribute to the late Margaret Burbidge, one of the 20th century’s greatest astronomers. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0422-2020-ras-200th-margaret-burbidge.html

Apr 22, 2020
NASA Administrator James Bridenstine Returns
00:49:34

We talk with NASA’s leader about how the agency is meeting the challenge of the pandemic. He looks forward to the future with confidence as he offers updates on projects including the Perseverance Mars rover, the Artemis Moon program, and the effort to send U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station on U.S. commercial crew vehicles. Planetary Society Chief Advocate Casey Dreier marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13 and introduces us to his remarkable new planetary exploration budget dataset. What’s Up also celebrate the “successful failure” of Apollo 13 as Bruce Betts tours the night sky and presents a new space trivia contest. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0415-2020-nasa-admin-james-bridenstine.html

Apr 15, 2020
The Slime Mold and the Universe
00:50:58

How could a lowly slime mold help researchers understand the distribution of dark matter and galaxies across the cosmos? Joseph Burchett and Oskar Elek of the University of California Santa Cruz will tell us about their team’s groundbreaking work. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan announce the first live and interactive What's Up segment is coming on April 23rd. The guys provide their usual assortment of space oddities in this week’s regular segment. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0408-2020-slime-mold-universe.html

Apr 08, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Our Equinox Space Policy Briefing
01:06:37

The coronavirus pandemic reminds us that everything we do in space depends on what we do here on Earth. The impacts on space exploration are being felt already, with more challenges yet to come. The policy team at The Planetary Society, including CEO Bill Nye, recently provided a members-only live briefing to share our analysis of the impacts and to take questions about our work and the future. We share excerpts from that briefing with you on this month's episode. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the show page. https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-48.html

Apr 03, 2020
The Next 10 Years: Continuing our Solar System Tour
01:18:24

Our survey of the solar system in anticipation of the next planetary science decadal survey continues with Mars, the big outer planets, and the smaller bodies that share the neighborhood. Three more great scientists share their looks ahead. Staying responsibly stuck at home is easier when you can look up at a gorgeous night sky. Bruce Betts is here to help with another fun edition of What’s Up and a Random Space Fact or two. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0401-2020-next-10-years-part-2.html

Apr 01, 2020
The Next 10 Years…An Introduction to the Decadal Survey
01:09:04

Preparations at NASA are underway for creation of the next planetary science decadal survey, a roadmap intended to guide exploration of our solar neighborhood from 2023 to 2032. Six scientists, each considering a different world or class of objects, will share their thoughts and hopes. The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla offers fun and fascinating science education suggestions for housebound families. Some lucky (?) listener will be getting a special message from Bruce and Mat if he or she wins the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0325-2020-next-10-years.html

Mar 25, 2020
Building Our Future on Mars
00:57:32

How will we build the structures, roads and landing pads humans will someday need on Mars? Civil engineer Peter Carrato has been building grand structures on Earth for decades. He says the skills we’ve learned over thousands of years are well-suited for the much more challenging Martian environment. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy returns with a message of care, hope and vision for our troubled times. And a bacon asteroid is just one of the absurdities Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan discover on the way to a new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn and explore more at  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0318-2020-pete-carrato-mars-civil-engineering.html

Mar 18, 2020
The Return of Cosmos and Ann Druyan
00:47:02

Cosmos: Possible Worlds is the third season of the beautiful, groundbreaking television series helmed by the late Carl Sagan’s widow and partner, Ann Druyan. Ann returns to tell us about the show and her new companion book of the same name. You might win a hardcover copy in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. The equinox edition of The Planetary Report has arrived! Planetary Society Editorial Director Jason Davis provides an overview. Learn more on week’s show page:  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0311-2020-ann-druyan-cosmos.html

Mar 11, 2020
Space Policy Edition: NASA's 2021 Budget Request Brings Billions
01:06:40

It's officially budget season! NASA's fiscal year 2021 budget request is out, and it proposes billions of dollars of new funding for Project Artemis. But not every program is so lucky: the WFIRST space telescope, two Earth Science missions, two Mars missions, and NASA's STEM engagement program are slated for cancellation. Why is Artemis growing and science shrinking? Will Congress let those cuts happen? The Society's Chief of D.C. Operations, Brendan Curry, joins Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan to break down the details and political headwinds facing NASA funding in the coming year. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the show page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-47.html

Mar 06, 2020
African Eyes Look to the Cosmos
00:58:47

One people, one sky. That motto belongs to Astronomers Without Borders. Its founder and retired leader, Mike Simmons, recently brought a guest to Planetary Society headquarters. Olayinka Fagbemiro is with the Nigerian space agency and also heads Astronomers Without Borders in her nation. Emily Lakdawalla tells us about four exciting planetary science missions that are currently competing for selection by NASA. Bruce Betts tells us about the search for 100 earths as he also asks us to find a citizen of Middle Earth in space. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0304-2020-fagbemiro-simmons-awb-nigeria.html

Mar 04, 2020
The Search for 100 Earths
00:45:16

Yale astronomer Debra Fischer has spent decades hunting for exoplanets. Now she leads the 100 Earths project that includes the Lowell Observatory and astrophysicist Joe Llama. Debra and Joe join us for a conversation about this search for worlds that could be like our own. There’s big space news in this week’s edition of The Downlink at the top of the show, and Bruce Betts takes us on his weekly tour of the night sky, though it’s the pre-dawn sky that may hold the most wonder. Try your hand at the space trivia contest! Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0226-2020-debra-fischer-joe-llama-100-earths.html

Feb 26, 2020
Life=Matter+Information: Paul Davies and the Demon in the Machine
01:10:26

Physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and author Paul Davies’ new book explores what he believes to be the defining quality of life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. He talks about this and much more in a special, extended conversation. Paul’s book is one of the prizes in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0219-2020-paul-davies-demon-in-machine.html

Feb 19, 2020
Another Goldilocks World and the Space Telescope That Discovered It
00:51:27

The planet has the less than romantic name TOI 700 d, but its discovery has generated passion among those searching for another Earth, including Emily Gilbert. The graduate student is lead author of a paper about the new world. TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, played a key role in its discovery. MIT planetary scientist and astrophysicist Sara Seager returns to tell us about this powerful tool and more. We also visit with the leader of NASA heliophysics research as she awaits launch of the Solar Orbiter. Look out! The rubber asteroids are back on What’s Up!  Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0212-2020-tess-toi700d-seager-gilbert.html

Feb 12, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Is the Moon a Stepping-Stone or a Cornerstone for Mars? (with Laura Seward Forczyk)
01:13:27

A new bill from the House of Representatives threatens to upend NASA's Artemis program and refocus the space agency on sending humans to Mars by 2033. Space policy expert Laura Seward Forczyk joins the show to share her critiques of this proposed legislation and what it would mean for NASA's human spaceflight program. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the episode page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-46.html

Feb 07, 2020
A Great Space Observatory Goes Dark: The Legacy of Spitzer
01:24:58

The Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA’s four great space observatories, was decommissioned on January 30. Mat Kaplan celebrates its discoveries and legacy with three leaders of the mission in this special extended episode. Mars has a supporting role in the new Star Trek: Picard streaming series. Planetary Society Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla says the Red Planet never looked better! And you’ll have a chance to win a great new book about the Spitzer Space Telescope in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0205-2020-spitzer-legacy-carey-hunt-werner.html

Feb 05, 2020
Mighty Jupiter Revealed
00:31:53

It’s more massive than all the other planets combined. In nearly four years at Jupiter the Juno spacecraft has returned science that is revolutionizing our understanding of this gigantic world. Principal investigator Scott Bolton shows us the mysterious cyclones at its poles and that famously persistent red spot. Casey Dreier says the United States House of Representatives has proposed legislation that is at odds with NASA’s current Moon and Mars plans. John Flamsteed almost discovered Uranus! Bruce Betts will tell us where he went wrong in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0115-2020-scott-bolton-juno.html

Jan 29, 2020
The Coming Descent to Asteroid Bennu
01:02:34

After a year of circling close to near-Earth asteroid Bennu, the OSIRIS REx spacecraft is almost ready to dip down and collect a surface sample for return to labs on our home planet. Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta prepares us for this exciting event and shares the great science already accomplished. Editorial Director Jason Davis stops by with a report on the successful test by SpaceX of its Crew Dragon escape system. Are we finally about to see astronauts using it to reach the International Space Station? Learn more and enter the weekly What’s Up space trivia contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0122-2020-dante-lauretta-osiris-rex.html

Jan 22, 2020
The MILO Institute: Opening the Solar System for Exploration by All
00:59:45

Planetary scientist and bestselling author Jim Bell is joined by space entrepreneur Lon Levin to tell us about the MILO Institute, a new collaboration by Arizona State University, Lockheed Martin and other organizations that hopes to make robotic exploration of our solar system much more accessible. Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla takes us to the newly-discovered habitable zone world that’s a mere 100 light years from Earth. What’s Up becomes the new home for space jokes! Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0115-2020-jim-bell-lon-levin-milo.html

Jan 15, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Houston, We Have a Space Force (with Brian Weeden)
01:08:10

Legislation signed by President Trump in December formally established the 6th branch of the U.S. armed services, the first such expansion in 72 years. What exactly will the new Space Force do? How big of a deal is this? What does this mean for the militarization of space? Dr. Brian Weeden from the Secure World Foundation joins the show to help us answer those questions. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the episode page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-45.html

Jan 10, 2020
In the Clean Room With the Mars 2020 Rover
00:47:33

Put on your bunny suit! You’re invited to join Mat Kaplan and Emily Lakdawalla in the Jet Propulsion Lab clean room with the Mars 2020 rover. You’ll hear JPL Director Michael Watkins and some of the engineers who have built the robotic explorer that will collect samples for eventual return to Earth. The What’s Up space trivia contest asks you to look for rhymes among our solar system’s many moons. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0108-2020-Mars-2020-rover-clean-room.html

Jan 08, 2020
Planetary Society All-Stars Look Back at 2019 and Ahead to 2020
01:17:08

Happy new year in space! Editorial Director Jason Davis, Chief Advocate Casey Dreier and Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla join Mat Kaplan for a review of 2019’s biggest news from the final frontier. Our experts then turn to the promise of 2020 for Mars exploration, humans in space and much more. The theme continues as Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts adds his highlights in a special What’s Up segment. Got a great joke that combines space and the new year? You might win this week’s contest! Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0101-2020-looking-back-looking-forward.html

Jan 01, 2020
What’s Next for Mars Exploration?
00:46:54

The Red Planet is slowly revealing its deepest secrets, but there’s much more to learn. The biggest mystery is whether it has ever been home to life. Caltech and JPL planetary scientist Bethany Ehlmann lays out the path ahead in a fascinating conversation. The holiday night sky is alive with stars, planets and even a meteor shower. Bruce Betts will tell all in What’s Up. Our last episode of the year opens with space exploration headlines from the Planetary Society’s news digest, The Downlink. Learn more and enter the space trivia contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1225-2019-bethany-ehlmann-mars.html

Dec 25, 2019
Meet the Planetary Society’s Newest Asteroid Hunters
00:38:50

Six amateur astronomers and small observatories around the world have just been named as the recipients of the 2019 Eugene Shoemaker Near Earth Object grants. You’ll meet an Italian who watches the skies in Sicily and a Minnesota high school teacher who remotely operates a telescope in Texas. Chief scientist Bruce Betts will tell us why the Society has proudly awarded this funding for 22 years. He’ll return for this week’s What’s Up. We’ve also got space exploration headlines from The Downlink. Learn more and enter the space trivia contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1218-2019-shoemaker-neo-winners.html

Dec 18, 2019
The Creators of The Expanse
01:04:55

Season 4 of The Expanse is about to begin on Amazon Prime. Host Mat Kaplan visits with the authors of the eight novels (so far) that are the basis of this outstanding hard science fiction series that begins with humankind having become a spacefaring species that spans the solar system. We’ve also got space headlines from The Downlink. Bruce Betts celebrates more recognition for the Planetary Society’s LightSail project in this week’s What’s Up. https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1211-2019-the-expanse-authors.html

Dec 11, 2019
Space Policy Edition: The Biggest Policy Moments of the Decade (with Marcia Smith)
01:37:01

As the 2010s come to a close, Marcia Smith, the founder of Space Policy Online, rejoins the show to explore the most significant and impactful space policy decisions of the 2010s. Mat and Casey also discuss the recently-approved European Space Agency budget, and what it means for planetary defense and Mars sample return efforts. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the episode page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-44.html

Dec 06, 2019
A Toast to Alcohol in Space
00:46:16

They are not for everyone, but there’s no doubt that alcoholic beverages have been part of human culture for as long as there has been human culture. And there’s no reason to think booze won’t follow us across the solar system. Host Mat Kaplan talks with Chris Carberry about his comprehensive and eye-opening book, Alcohol in Space: Past, Present and Future. The December Solstice edition of The Planetary Report has just been published online. Editor-in-chief Emily Lakdawalla provides an enticing overview of its contents. We’ve also got headlines from The Downlink, and a glance at the crowded night sky in What’s Up. Learn more at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1204-2019-chris-carberry-alcohol.html

Dec 04, 2019
Seeking the Killer Space App with Space Tango
00:51:01

Organizations are using the microgravity environment of the International Space Station to develop unique new products. One of them is Kentucky-based Space Tango. We’ll meet its chairman and co-founder and the woman who manages its Tangolab. Also, a NASA rep who works with these pioneers. Time magazine has named the Planetary Society’s LightSail its aerospace invention of the year! Society CEO Bill Nye is grateful to all who have been part of the project. Bruce Betts provides a solar sail update at the top of this week’s What’s Up, and wishes Mat a happy 17th anniversary of Planetary Radio. Learn more and go inside Space Tango at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1127-2019-space-tango.html

Nov 27, 2019
Space Books and Gifts for Space Kids of all Ages
00:49:32

Our own Emily Lakdawalla, Planetary Society senior editor and book lover, shares her 2019 list of space books for everyone, from infant to adult. She also presents a list of cool space gifts recommended by scientists and engineers. Bruce Betts provides a tantalizing tease for what could be a brief but massive shower of meteors. And there’s much more to look for in the fall sky. You’ll find links to the complete lists of Emily’s recommended space books and gifts at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1120-2019-lakdawalla-books.html

Nov 20, 2019
A Passionate Conversation with Carolyn Porco
01:27:40

The outspoken planetary scientist who led the Cassini imaging team finally sits down with Mat Kaplan for a revealing, fun conversation. We also talk with astronomer Jay Pasachoff while he watches tiny Mercury crawl across the face of the Sun. Chief scientist Bruce Betts was in the Planetary Society parking lot enjoying the November 11th transit of Mercury. He joins us from there for What’s Up. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1113-2019-carolyn-porco.html

Nov 13, 2019
Our Mysterious Sister: Venus
00:49:53

Astrophysicist Javier Peralta takes us deep into the thick, fast-moving clouds of the world that is still called Earth's sister by some. Venus is slow to reveal its secrets. Jason Davis helps us celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 12. The Planetary Society wants to hear your space goals, accomplishments and dreams! And Bruce Betts reveals the identity of the first gourmet in space. Space headlines from The Downlink, too. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1106-2019-javier-peralta.html

Nov 06, 2019
Space Policy Edition: How a Report Can Move Mountains
01:30:27

How can a simple report—just words on a page—lead to creation of a spacecraft? We explore how a 2019 report on the need for a dedicated, space-based telescope to find threatening near-Earth asteroids motivated NASA to pursue that very mission. We speak with Dr. Jay Melosh, planetary scientist and chair of the National Academies committee behind that report, on how it came together and how the process works behind the scenes. We also check on NASA's budget process in Congress and news from the International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C. More resources about this month’s topics are at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-43.html

Nov 01, 2019
Finding Wonder and Meaning in a Book by Carl Sagan’s Daughter
00:50:37

Bill Nye says of Sasha Sagan’s new book, “Sagan finds the meaning of life everywhere—with her family, around the world, and especially among the stars of the cosmos. Read her work; you’ll have a deeper appreciation for your every step, every bite, and every breath.” Mat Kaplan talks with Sasha about For Small Creatures Such as We, and later joins Bruce Betts to offer the book in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1030-2019-sasha-sagan.html

Oct 30, 2019
How Long Was Mars Wet?
00:28:50

Planetary scientist Briony Horgan and her team want to know how long liquid water flowed on the surface of the Red Planet before that world froze. Long enough for life to appear and thrive? New work comparing Earth’s extremes may have provided clues. There’s gas in space, and some of it is inside astronauts. Bruce Betts shares the uncomfortable truth in this week’s What’s Up. Also, space headlines from The Downlink. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1023-2019-briony-horgan.html

Oct 23, 2019
NASA’s Home for the Bleeding Edge: The 2019 NIAC Symposium
01:17:57

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program gathers its “fellows” each year to share what they’ve learned about some of the most fascinating science and engineering imaginable. Mat Kaplan visits with Program Executive Jason Derleth and seven leaders of funded studies. Astronaut Mae Jemison also attended and returns to Planetary Radio. Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov passed away last week at 85. He is remembered and praised by space historian John Logsdon. All this, headlines from The Downlink, and Bruce Betts! Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1016-2019-niac-symposium-leonov.html

Oct 16, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Happy Fiscal New Year!
00:56:34

October 1st kicked off federal fiscal year 2020—a day that should also have kicked off a new budget for NASA. But Congress has not funded the space agency yet, instead passing a temporary stopgap measure to keep the government open until November 21st. Brendan Curry, The Planetary Society's Chief of D.C. Operations, joins the show to discuss the latest political developments in Washington, good news for planetary defense, and how the funding delay could spell trouble for the space agency's 2024 lunar goal. More resources about this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-42.html

Oct 11, 2019
Nobel Prize Winner Michel Mayor…and More
00:47:07

Astronomer and astrophysicist Michel Mayor has just been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for physics. Listen to Mat’s 2016 conversation with this revered scientist, the first to discover an exoplanet. The Beresheet mission’s Yoav Landsman recently visited Planetary Society HQ and spent a few minutes catching up with Mat. And Society Editorial Director Jason Davis introduces The Downlink, our weekly digest of planetary news. Bruce Betts takes us to a moon of Uranus to find the melancholy Dane. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1009-2019-michel-mayor-yoav-landsman.html

Oct 09, 2019
How to Defend Your Planet
00:45:26

Planetary scientist Vishnu Reddy studies space objects ranging from satellite debris to planet-killing asteroids. He shares the status of our effort to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs in a conversation with host Mat Kaplan. Did you know fruit flies were first in space? That’s just one of the random space facts you’ll absorb in this week’s What’s Up segment with Bruce. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0925-2019-vishnu-reddy-planetary-defense.html

Oct 02, 2019
Ad Astra: The Movie!
00:51:05

Brad Pitt sets out across the solar system to save Earth in the new space epic. Host Mat Kaplan enjoys a far-reaching conversation with the co-screenwriter of Ad Astra that touches on the film’s meaning, the mythic journey of its protagonist, its spectacular images, and where it strays from known science. Registration for the Planetary Society’s 2020 Day of Action in Washington DC is open! Chief Advocate Casey Dreier has the lowdown. You might win a beautiful, rotating MOVA Earth globe in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Hey! That’s LightSail 2 floating above our pale blue dot. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0925-2019-2019-ethan-gross-ad-astra.html

Sep 25, 2019
How to Build a Starship: The 2019 Starship Congress
01:07:44

The biannual Starship Congress attracts starry-eyed believers in humankind’s destiny among the stars. We talk with several of them about their ideas for technologies and science that may help pave the way. Science fiction author David Brin dropped by the Congress and spends a few fun and speculative minutes with us. The September Equinox edition of The Planetary Report is ready for all to read. Editor Emily Lakdawalla gives us a sneak peek. The Milky Way has at least 54 satellite galaxies? Who knew? Bruce Betts, that’s who. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0918-2019-2019-starship-congress.html

Sep 18, 2019
The Unexpected Space Center: Los Alamos National Laboratory
00:49:00

This US research center has been part of more than 200 space missions, but it’s not a NASA facility! The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico gave the Voyager spacecraft their power sources, is building nuclear generators for future Martians, and accidentally invented the field of High Energy Astrophysics. That’s just some of what we’ll learn from Lab historian Alan Carr and longtime Lab astrophysicist Ed Fenimore. The Planetary Society’s Jason Davis has the latest news about India’s lunar lander, while Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan go where no acronym has gone before. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0911-2019-carr-fenimore-los-alamos.html

Sep 11, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Why Apollo Ended (with John Logsdon)
01:49:13

As NASA struggles to return humans to the Moon by 2024, it's worth asking: why did it stop in the first place? Space historian John Logsdon joins the show to discuss the politics behind the decision to abandon the Moon in 1972. Casey and Mat also discuss the proposal to offer a $2 billion prize for sending humans back to the Moon and establishing a base there, and why that's not good public policy. More resources about this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-41.html

Sep 06, 2019
A Comet’s Legacy, and a Helicopter is Ready for Mars
01:01:11

First we return to JPL for an update on the Mars Helicopter that has just been attached to the belly of the 2020 Mars Rover. Then it’s across the pond for a review of the amazing science coming from the Rosetta mission that spent years exploring comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We wrap things up with another What’s Up view across the solar system and beyond. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0904-2019-balaram-helicopter-rubin-tubiana-rosetta.html

Sep 04, 2019
What Will You Send to the Moon?
00:44:20
Aug 28, 2019
NASA’s Red Planet Rick and Putting Humans on Mars
01:04:19
Aug 21, 2019
Reflections of Humanity in a Spacesuit for Moonwalkers
01:07:40
Aug 14, 2019
Planetary Radio Live at Science Museum Oklahoma
01:14:46
Aug 07, 2019
Planetary Radio Live with Bill Nye at Science Museum Oklahoma
01:14:46
Join Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and host Mat Kaplan as they visit Oklahoma City’s outstanding public science museum.  You’ll meet University of Oklahoma researchers who are exploring Mars and learning how solar systems form across the universe. And we’ll hear about the Sooner state’s huge role in our exploration of the final frontier. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0807-2019-planetary-radio-live-science-museum-oklahoma.html 

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Aug 07, 2019
Space Policy Edition: The Home Front During Apollo (with Emily Margolis)
01:23:25
Did the public support Project Apollo? Dr. Emily Margolis joins the show to explore the domestic politics and cultural impact of the space age throughout the 1960s. Despite the success of the lunar landings, there was more opposition to Apollo than we generally remember. Chief Advocate Casey Dreier also provides an update on some important developments in the U.S. Congress on the eve of their August recess—including some potentially good budget news for NASA. More resources about this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-40.html 

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Aug 02, 2019
A Helicopter for Mars and a Major LightSail Announcement
00:37:39
It will be the first flying machine on another world. Mars Helicopter Project Manager MiMi Aung shares her plans. There’s big news about The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2! You’ll hear it from embedded reporter Jason Davis and from LightSail Program Manager Bruce Betts, along with Bruce’s regular What’s Up look at the night sky. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0731-2019-mars-helicopter-lightsail-2-success.html

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Jul 31, 2019
Ready to Sail! LightSail 2 Deploys its Silvery Wings
00:39:28
Join us as the little cubesat successfully unfurls its solar sail. You’ll hear from members of the LightSail 2 mission team on the morning of July 23, 2019, when the critical command was sent to the spacecraft.  Then we’ll congratulate Kris Zacny of Honeybee Robotics on the selection by NASA of the radically-simple PlanetVac sample collection system for a trip to the Moon. Learn more about both of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0724-2019-lightsail2-deployment-kris-zacny-planetvac.html

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Jul 24, 2019
Apollo 11 and the Woman Who Helped Get It Home
00:55:26
Poppy Northcutt was a pioneer—the first woman to work as an engineer in Apollo Mission Control. The program she helped to create got the astronauts back to Earth.  Fifty years later, she sits down with Mat Kaplan for a look back. They are joined by JPL planetary scientist Rosaly Lopes who was inspired to become a STEM professional by Poppy.  You’ll also hear Apollo moonwalkers Buzz Aldrin and Charlie Duke at a 50th anniversary celebration, along with Casey Dreier’s introduction to The Planetary Society’s comprehensive Apollo at 50 resource. And we’ll get a LightSail 2 update from Bruce Betts. Learn more about all of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0717-2019-poppy-northcutt-apollo.html 

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Jul 17, 2019
We’re Sending a Flying Machine to Titan
00:56:44
NASA has given the go-ahead for Dragonfly, a flying rotorcraft that will explore Saturn’s mysterious moon Titan. Mission Principal Investigator Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle helps us celebrate. Troy Hudson tells us about the ongoing effort to rescue the Mole on Mars lander InSight. And Bruce Betts provides the latest on LightSail 2’s attempt to sail on the light of the sun. Learn more about all of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0710-2019-troy-hudson-zibi-turtle-ls2.html 

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Jul 10, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Why Apollo Happened (with Roger Launius)
01:45:16
Half a century has passed since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin imprinted humanity's first footsteps upon another world. Apollo 11 was the culmination of a decade's worth of fervent activity in which the United States marshaled resources and manpower at a pace not seen outside of warfare. Space historian Dr. Roger Launius joins the show to explain why Apollo happened the way it did, how a moonshot briefly became a solution to a national security problem, and why it is unlikely to happen again. Casey Dreier also provides a space policy update.  More resources about this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-39.html

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Jul 05, 2019
LightSail Takes Flight!
00:50:28
A giant SpaceX Falcon Heavy lifted off in the early hours of June 25th. One week later, the LightSail 2 solar sail was released to begin its epic mission. You’ll join the thrilling launch, meet LightSail team members and leaders of other missions, and get a solar sail update in this very special episode. You’ll also get the chance to win an ISS Above system in the What’s Up space trivia contest! Learn more about all of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0703-2019-light-sail-2-launch.html 

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Jul 03, 2019
The News From Saturn-With Linda Spilker
00:38:28
It has been many months since the great Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere and fiery death.  Yet the mission lives on as the reams of data and images reveal much more of this beautiful world, its rings and its moons.  Project Scientist Linda Spilker is back with Mat to provide a fascinating update. We close with Bruce Betts and and a What’s Up segment that anticipates the mission of LightSail 2. Learn more about all of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0626-2019-cassini-update-spilker.html

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Jun 26, 2019
Flight by Light: A LightSail 2 Mission Preview
00:48:21
The day is almost here. With the launch of a Falcon Heavy rocket, The Planetary Society will begin its mission to prove that a tiny, orbiting spacecraft can be propelled by the light of the Sun. Society Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Vaughn provides a passionate history of our efforts and reviews the opportunities for everyone to get involved. Then LightSail Program Manager Bruce Betts and Digital Editor Jason Davis will dig into this amazing mission and spacecraft. Society CEO Bill Nye will make the basics of solar sailing fun in his special presentation, right after this week’s What’s Up segment. Learn more about all of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0619-2019-lightsail-2-preview.html 

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Jun 19, 2019
Quasars and Quanta: Exploring Einstein’s Quantum Riddle
00:58:15
Even though his own work led to it, Albert Einstein never cared for quantum mechanics concepts like entanglement, which he called “spooky action at a distance.” While there’s no doubt it is real, could something even more mysterious be hiding under it? We’ll talk with three eminent physicists and physicist/science fiction author David Brin about the Nova documentary on this subject.  Planetary Society Chief Advocate Casey Dreier analyzes President Donald Trump’s recent tweet about the Moon and Mars, and Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla introduces a new edition of The Planetary Report, now available to all. You can learn more about all of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0612-2019-quantum-riddle.html

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Jun 12, 2019
Space Policy Edition: The Soviet Moonshot (with Asif Siddiqi)
02:03:53
The U.S. won the space race in July of 1969 with the success of Apollo 11. But was the Soviet Union even racing? How close were they to beating the United States to the Moon? Soviet space historian Dr. Asif Siddiqi discusses the other side of the space race as we kick off our multi-part series of interviews celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  Planetary Society Chief of Washington Operations, Brendan Curry, also joins the show to catch up on the latest news about the White House proposal to return to the Moon by 2024. More resources about this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-38.html

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Jun 07, 2019
Starchaser: Extraordinary Astronomer Jay Pasachoff
01:01:21
Jay Pasachoff visits Planetary Society headquarters for a conversation about the latest edition of his and Alex Filippenko’s monumental textbook The Cosmos.  But that’s just the start of a discussion that explores solar astronomy, art and science, the history of astronomy and Jay’s nearly 60-year history of total solar eclipse observations.  The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 may look like LightSail 1, but Jason Davis tells us there are important differences between these spacecraft, beginning with their missions. What’s Up brings another opportunity to win Alan Stern’s great book, Chasing New Horizons in the space trivia contest.  You can learn more about all of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0529-2019-jay-pasachoff.html

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Jun 05, 2019
Sharing a Passion for Mars at the Humans to Mars Summit
00:55:13
This year’s Humans to Mars Summit in Washington DC once again ended with a panel of Martian all-stars talking about their hopes for a future that includes the Red Planet. Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan leads the inspiring and entertaining discussion. Emily Lakdawalla shows us the beautiful, sunlit clouds of Mars, while this week’s What’s Up segment gives Mat the job of singing the answer to our latest space trivia quiz.  You can learn more about all of this week’s topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0529-2019-2019-h2m-closing-panel.html

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May 29, 2019
Talking with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
00:45:08
The former Oklahoma congressman and Navy aviator stepped into the leadership role barely a year ago. Now he wants to see humans back on the Moon by 2024 as a vital stepping stone to Mars. Join us for a wide-ranging conversation about this ambitious plan and much more. Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts continues the countdown to launch of LightSail 2 before he takes us across the heavens in What’s Up. You can learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0522-2019-2019-jim-bridenstine.html 

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May 22, 2019
BONUS: Introducing Science Rules! with Bill Nye
00:04:04
Host Mat Kaplan has a special announcement to share about Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye.  The Science Guy is on a mission to change the world— one phone call at a time. On his new podcast, Science Rules!, he tackles the curliest questions on just about anything in the universe. Perhaps you’ve wondered: Should I stop eating cheeseburgers to combat climate change? How often should I really be washing my pillowcase? Can I harvest energy from all those static-electricity shocks I get in the winter? Science Rules! Is out NOW - find it in your favorite podcast app. 

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May 17, 2019
A Last Visit With LightSail 2 at the Cubesat Developers Workshop
00:45:05
Mat Kaplan visits Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for a last, clean room visit with LightSail 2, the Planetary Society’s solar sailing cubesat.  While there, Mat also talked to attendees at the Cubesat Developers Workshop, including the creator of the tiny “Pocket Rocket” engine for small spacecraft. LightSail2 is now at the Air Force Research Lab for launch preparation, as we hear from Bruce Betts in this week’s What’s Up. You can learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0515-2019-2019-lightsail2-cubesat-developers.html 

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May 15, 2019
Planetary Radio Live Defends Planet Earth!
00:53:29
Leaders of the global effort to avoid a catastrophic Near Earth Object impact gathered at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference. On the evening of May 1st, The Planetary Society partnered in an exciting PDC public event at the University of Maryland College Park. Presentations by Society CEO Bill Nye and NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green were followed by Planetary Radio Live. Join Mat Kaplan and his outstanding guests who are trying to save the world. The evening rolled on through a live version of What’s Up with Bruce Betts.You can learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0508-2019-2019-pdc-planetary-radio-live.html

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May 08, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Lessons From the Moonshot That Never Was-With Mark Albrecht
01:29:20
Thirty years ago, Dr. Mark Albrecht led the National Space Council when President George H.W. Bush announced the Space Exploration Initiative, an ambitious effort to send humans to the Moon and then on to Mars. Political divisions and a budget-busting cost estimate grounded the effort before it ever got off the ground. A new NSC is attempting to implement a new lunar plan from the Trump Administration. Can the lessons of a failed moonshot help today's lunar ambitions succeed? More resources about this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-37.html 

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May 03, 2019
The Skies of Super-Earths and Mini-Neptunes
00:55:29
There appear to be more mini-Neptunes (also known as Super Earths) across our galaxy than any other type of planet.  Hannah Wakeford wants to learn if some of them support life, and she’s doing this by exploring their skies. Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, has reached an exciting and critical part of its mission of discovery. Senior editor Emily Lakdawalla provides an update. The beautiful Pasadena Public Library hosted Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan for a special afternoon that included recording this week’s What’s Up. You can learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0501-2019-hannah-wakeford-mini-neptunes.html

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May 01, 2019
Lucy in the Sky With Asteroids
00:47:22
A rare alignment of planets and other objects will enable the solar-powered Lucy spacecraft to examine seven asteroids, six of which are among the thousands of Trojan asteroids that orbit ahead of and behind Jupiter. The mission team, include Hal Levison, Cathy Olkin and Mike Sekerak, hope to unlock secrets of our solar system’s origin through these ancient artifacts. Planetary Society correspondent Andrew Jones helps us celebrate China’s Space Day with an update on the Chang’e 4 lunar mission. The space trivia contest returns as just one cog in the universe-spanning machine called What’s Up. You can learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0424-2019-lucy-levison-olkin-sekerak.html

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Apr 24, 2019
The Triumph of a Failed Moon Landing
00:37:59
The Beresheet lunar lander failed in the last few kilometers of its descent to the Moon. Two days later we learned that its team would try again. Deputy Mission Director Yoav Landsman is back with an inspiring and revealing look behind the scenes. Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis looks forward to the launch of LightSail2 now that a second SpaceX Falcon Heavy has enjoyed spectacular success. And your guide to the busy night sky is provided by Bruce Betts. Special program note: Catch Mat Kaplan on the Discovery Channel documentary about Beresheet, Return to the Moon, Sunday, April 21st at 11:00am Eastern. You can learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0417-2019-yoav-landsman-beresheet.html 

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Apr 17, 2019
Celebrating Yuri’s Night with Legendary Astronaut Story Musgrave
00:44:06
The Los Angeles celebration of Yuri’s Night came six days early this year. It attracted hundreds of space party animals, along with celebrities like Bill Nye and Story Musgrave. Host Mat Kaplan talked with both under the wing of space shuttle Endeavour. Jason Davis is counting down to Space IL’s attempt to soft land Beresheet on the Moon. “Where We Are” is a great new visual feature of the Planetary Society. Emily Lakdawalla introduces us to it. There’s a lot to see in the night sky! Get a What’s Up preview from Bruce Betts. You can learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0410-2019-yuris-night-musgrave.html

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Apr 10, 2019
Space Policy Edition: T-minus Five Years and Counting
01:01:17
Can NASA return astronauts to the Moon by 2024? Vice President Mike Pence shocked the space community by announcing this ambitious new goal just weeks after the Trump Administration proposed a half-billion dollar cut to the space agency. Is the Administration fed up with the mounting delays to the Space Launch System rocket? How seriously should we take this declaration? Is it even possible given budget cuts and political dysfunction? Brendan Curry, Chief of Washington Operations for The Planetary Society, joins the show to explore these questions.

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Apr 05, 2019
Ice Worlds, Landing on the Moon and Blasting an Asteroid
00:41:44
When will we return to Uranus and Neptune? Planetary scientist Amy Simon explains why a mission to the so-called ice giants is a high priority as she tells us about these mysterious, blue worlds. Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis takes us through what promises to be a very busy month in space, with the launch of the second Falcon Heavy, a moon landing by Israel’s Beresheet probe, and how Hayabusa2 will blow a hole in asteroid Ryugu, complete with sound effects. Then join us for another round of What’s Up in the Solar System. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0403-2019-amy-simon.html 

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Apr 03, 2019
Dunes, Walnut Shells, Alien Impostors and Other Worlds: A Visit with Sarah Hörst
01:33:38
A very special, extended conversation with Johns Hopkins University planetary scientist Sarah Hörst is capped by a tour of her fascinating lab. That’s where Sarah and her team simulate decidedly un-Earthlike atmospheres and more. Emily Lakdawalla has returned from this year’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference with news from around the solar system. Caffeine! It’s on Saturn’s moon Titan AND in the espresso made on the International Space Station! More about the latter in What’s Up. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/03027-2019-sarah-horst.html

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Mar 27, 2019
Bill Nye and Planetary Radio Live at Extreme STEAM
01:10:22
Planetary Radio Live goes on stage at the first ever Fairplex Extreme STEAM Festival in Pomona, California. Host Mat Kaplan and Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye are joined by four young space scientists and engineers in front of hundreds of families.  Chief Scientist Bruce Betts is also on hand for a live edition of What’s Up. The Amoeba People perform the Planetary Radio theme, along with their tribute to Carl Sagan.  Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/03020-2019-planetary-radio-live-extreme-steam.html 

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Mar 20, 2019
Boosters, Breakthroughs and Budgets: Canada and the US Look Toward Space
00:35:13
The last few days have seen developments that will shape the space exploration plans of Canada and the USA. The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells is a member of Canada’s Space Advisory Board. She reviews the nation’s new space policy. Planetary Society Chief Advocate Casey Dreier takes us through highlights of the just-released NASA budget proposal from the White House. He also looks back at the Day of Action that brought citizen space advocates to Capitol Hill. Bruce Betts smells the coffee on the International Space Station in What’s Up. We close with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s passionate message for the Day of Action volunteers. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/03013-2019-howells-dreier-bridenstine.html 

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Mar 13, 2019
China on the Final Frontier
00:51:32
With missions like Chang’e 4 on the far side of the Moon, China has firmly established itself as a leader in space exploration. Space journalist Andrew Jones helps us explore the nation’s ambitious near and long-term plans. Emily Lakdawalla says Mars lander InSight’s Mole has hit an obstacle, while Jason Davis shows us how Japan’s Hayabusa2 has blasted asteroid Ryugu for a sample and celebrates the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Chief Scientist Bruce Betts gets a polite dressing down from an impeccable source. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0306-2019-andrew-jones-china.html 

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Mar 06, 2019
Space Policy Edition: When a (Space) Cowboy Came to Washington
01:29:56
Historian John Logsdon discusses his new book, Ronald Reagan and the Space Frontier. It explores the legacy of the 40th president’s major space policy decisions. We look at four major topics: early efforts at commercializing space, the survival crisis for planetary exploration, the Space Shuttle, and the decision to build the space station. Casey also shares good news about NASA's newest budget and how a battle between rocket companies could spell trouble for NASA's Lucy mission.  More resources to explore this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-35.html 

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Mar 01, 2019
An Israeli Lander Launches Toward the Moon
00:48:02
Non-profit SpaceIL’s Beresheet is on its way to the Moon. Only China, the Soviet Union and the United States have safely landed there before.  Host Mat Kaplan talks with SpaceIL Senior Systems Engineer Yoav Landsman, while MaryLiz Bender hears from a team member who attended the launch.  Digital editor Jason Davis shares news about Hayabusa2’s successful touchdown on an asteroid. Want a rubber asteroid? You’ve got another chance to win one on this week’s What’s Up with Bruce Betts. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0227-2019-yoav-landsman-spaceil.html 

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Feb 27, 2019
A Fond Farewell to Spirit and Opportunity
01:08:44
The Mars Exploration Rover mission was declared complete on February 13, 2019.  On the very next day, MER Project Manager John Callas and Deputy Project Scientist Abigail Fraeman came to Planetary Society headquarters for an extended and emotional conversation with Mat Kaplan and Emily Lakdawalla. They talked about the beloved rovers and the women and men of the team that has guided them for so many years. What’s Up offers another opportunity to win a coveted rubber asteroid as we learn about the night sky and more. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0220-2019-mer-callas-fraeman-lakdawalla.html

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Feb 20, 2019
Watching the Births of Solar Systems
00:40:34
Radio telescopes are delivering stunning images that, in some cases, current optical telescopes can’t equal. Witness the 20 beautiful protoplanetary disks imaged by the DSHARP team using the ALMA radio telescope in Chile. The diversity of these proto-solar systems is astounding. Principal investigator Sean Andrews will tell us how the pictures were created, and why they are surprising and delighting astronomers. Senior editor Emily Lakdawalla is literally looking back on objects around our own solar system. She tells us how backlit images reveal their secrets. The rubber asteroids have returned! You can win one in this week’s space trivia contest. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0213-2019-sean-andrews-dsharp-protoplanetary.html 

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Feb 13, 2019
The DART Mission: Learning How to Swat Dangerous Asteroids
00:47:17
Why did the dinosaurs die? Because they didn’t have a space program! The upcoming DART mission will test our best thinking about how we may someday deflect a Near Earth Object that is speeding toward fiery Armageddon on Earth. Nancy Chabot of the JHU Applied Physics Lab is the mission’s Coordination Lead. The Curiosity rover has reached an exciting new region of Mars. Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla will give us the lowdown. The night sky is full of treasures according to Bruce Betts. Join Bruce and Mat for this week’s What’s Up. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0206-2019-nancy-chabot-dart.html 

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Feb 06, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Should the U.S. be in a space race with China?
01:06:00
China's space program notched an impressive "first" last month when its Chang'e 4 spacecraft landed on the far side of the Moon. The U.S. space program, in contrast, was in the midst of an extended shutdown. Some observers expect China's growing space capability and lunar ambitions to trigger a new space race. Not Dr. Roger Handberg, Professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida. He discusses how the current geopolitical situation differs from the Cold War standoff between two superpowers, and how we shouldn't expect dollars to flow back to the U.S. space program as a consequence of China's space successes. Cooperation, or even friendly competition, is a much more likely outcome than a new space race. More resources to explore this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-34.html

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Feb 01, 2019
Where Do We Come From? The Origin of Life
00:54:42
Astrobiology is the discipline that explores the origin of life in the universe, and whether life exists anywhere other than Earth. It’s an increasingly exciting field according to University of Washington Research Associate Michael Wong. Mike reviews the current thinking and provides some of the chemical basis for life as we know it, and possibly as we don’t know it. Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla explains why we don’t see stars in many images of bodies across the solar system, while Society CEO Bill Nye marks the end of the US government shutdown that has hampered so much science. Five more winners will receive copies of First Man in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0130-2019-michael-wong-life-origin.html

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Jan 30, 2019
Asteroid Bennu’s Visitor From Earth
00:31:32
Spacecraft OSIRIS REx is now orbiting a 260-meter asteroid named Bennu.  Principal investigator Dante Lauretta returns to tell us what has already been learned, and to preview the excitement that is still to come, including the probe’s descent to the surface for collection of a pristine sample. Want one of five  Blu-ray copies of First Man, the movie about Neil Armstrong? Consider entering this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest that also offers Dante Lauretta’s two great board games about space exploration and astronomy. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0123-2019-dante-lauretta-osiris-rex.html

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Jan 23, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Shutdown
00:58:53
In a government shutdown seemingly without end, we bring you two stories from individuals directly impacted by the crisis. NASA scientist and union representative Lee Stone discusses the missed paychecks, loss of science, and lasting negative consequences to the public sector scientific workforce. Rob Hoyt, CEO of Tethers Unlimited, a small business in Washington state that was forced to lay off 20% of its workforce due to unpaid NASA contracts, describes the impact on contractors that may never see repayment or reimbursements. The Planetary Society has a petition to end the shutdown. More resources to explore this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-33.html\

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Jan 18, 2019
Flying the Skies of Saturn’s Moon Titan
00:45:46
Imagine soaring over what may be the solar system’s most Earth-like world, if you ignore the chill. If funded, the nuclear electric-powered Dragonfly will do exactly this. Principal Investigator Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle shares her enthusiasm. Emily Lakdawalla reports on Chang’e 4, China’s pioneering lander and rover on the far side of the Moon.  Bruce and Mat answer a question that had no answer till New Horizons flew by Ultima Thule days ago. That’s part of this week’s What’s Up. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0116-2019-elizabeth-turtle-dragonfly-clipper.html

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Jan 16, 2019
New Horizons Flyby: Join the Celebration!
01:02:18
Join us at the Applied Physics Lab in Maryland for the New Horizons encounter with the most distant object ever visited. You’ll meet mission leaders, friends and even a rock and roll star as we dive deep into this triumph of exploration.  Then Bruce Betts helps us prepare for the total lunar eclipse. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0109-2019-new-horizons-ultima-apl.html

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Jan 09, 2019
A Mission to Earth: OSIRIS-REx
00:37:00
Why do so many spacecraft that are headed across our solar system turn their instruments back to Earth during flybys?  OSIRIS-REx was no exception. The answers come from mission scientist Vicky Hamilton.  She has also written about the topic in The Planetary Report. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye helps us ring in the new year, while Bruce Betts leads the first What’s Up of 2019 with exciting news about the night sky. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0102-2019-vicky-hamilton-osiris-rex.html

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Jan 02, 2019
Countdown to Ultima: Alan Stern and New Horizons
00:42:28
The New Horizons spacecraft will reach faraway Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 in the first minutes of 2019.  Will the body informally known as Ultima Thule be as mysterious and exciting as Pluto? We’ll hear from the mission’s Principal Investigator, Alan Stern. Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla takes us through 2018’s biggest planetary science and exploration moments.  The coolest asteroid defense stickers in the solar system could be yours if you win the new What’s Up space trivia contest.  Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1226-2018-alan-stern-new-horizons.html 

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Dec 26, 2018
Earthrise! The 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8
00:50:51
This is the 50th anniversary of the most audacious space mission in history. Apollo 8 blazed a path for the first moon landing seven months later, and gave a troubled nation reason for hope and pride.  Author Robert Kurson has written Rocket Men as a tribute to--and chronicle of—the mission and the people who made it happen. The new edition of The Planetary Report is now available to all, according to Senior editor Emily Lakdawalla.  Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts also celebrates Apollo 8 in this week’s What’s Up.  Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1219-2018-robert-kurson-apollo-8.html

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Dec 19, 2018
At the Space Settlement Summit With Former NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden
00:50:06
He led NASA for eight years, but not till he had flown on four Space Shuttle missions and enjoyed a long military career. Charlie Bolden talks with Mat about his time at the space agency and where we’re headed on the final frontier.  Space station designer Al Globus says a city in space may be much easier to achieve than was thought.  Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla has news about five planetary science missions.  Mat has a surprise for Bruce Betts and more great prizes for the space trivia contest. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1212-2018-bolden-space-settlement-summit.html

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Dec 12, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Canada's Uncertain Future in Space (with Kate Howells)
01:07:55
Canada was the third country in history to launch a satellite into space, but now lags in its space ambitions, capability, and spending. What happened? Kate Howells, who serves on the Canadian Space Advisory Board, joins the podcast to talk about the challenges facing Canada's future in space and how the nation needs to do a better job of communicating the benefits of space exploration to its citizens. Casey and Mat also look at the latest machinations of the U.S. congress, which has yet to fund NASA for 2019 and is rapidly running out of time to do so. More resources to explore this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-32.html

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Dec 07, 2018
Last Week, Mars. This week, An Asteroid Called Bennu.
00:40:16
The InSight lander has only just arrived on Mars. Now, OSIRIS REx has reached asteroid Bennu after traveling through deep space for a year and a half. We’ll talk with the Planetary Society’s Jason Davis about this mission that will bring a sample of Bennu back to Earth after it has learned all it can over the next 19 months. We’ll also hear from the young student who gave the asteroid its name. Then we’ll return to the Red Planet for a conversation with the leader of the InSight mission, Bruce Banerdt. We’ve got very special prizes for this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1205-2018-osiris-rex-bruce-banerdt-insight-pi.html

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Dec 05, 2018
A Great Day for Space Explorers: The Landing of InSight
00:59:36
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 with Bill Nye and Emily Lakdawalla at the Jet Propulsion Lab.  Then we’ll hold our breath as the spacecraft hurtles down through the Martian atmosphere in its seven minutes of terror, climaxing in a glorious touchdown on the Red Planet. This is a very special episode. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1128-2018-insight-landing-event.html

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Nov 28, 2018
We Know Where the 2020 Rover Will Look for Martian Life
00:42:34
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 signature of past life. The selection process took five years, and Briony Horgan of Purdue University was part of it all. She joins us to talk about this exciting and enticing target on the Red Planet. Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla prepares us for the much more imminent Mars landing of InSight. Orion in the northern hemisphere’s night sky can only mean winter is coming. Just ahead of it is a new What’s Up segment from Bruce and Mat. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1121-2018-briony-horgan-2020-rover-jezero.html

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Nov 21, 2018
Space Policy Edition: After the Midterms—Looking Ahead with Marcia Smith
00:50:08
The counting continues as we publish this month’s special episode, with a handful of seats in the US Senate and House still up for grabs.  But with the Democratic takeover of the House assured, and several longtime space advocates turned out, change is certainly coming.  Dealing with the nation’s huge deficit also threatens NASA’s budget.  Planetary Society Chief Advocate Casey Dreier welcomes back space policy expert Marcia Smith for an insider’s look at the aftermath and what may be ahead. More resources to explore this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-31.html

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Nov 16, 2018
Moon Mission 3D from Queen Guitarist Brian May and David Eicher
00:35:12
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 astrophysicist Brian May is also mad about stereoscopic imagery.  He worked with this week’s guest, Astronomy Magazine Editor-in-Chief David Eicher, to create this beautiful new book that contains 150 startling 3D images, along with clear 3D glasses. A copy of Moon Mission 3D will go to the winner of the new What’s Up space trivia contest.  Also, Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis introduces SpaceIL’s lunar lander, heading for the moon in 2019. Learn more at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1114-2018-eicher-moon-mission-3d.html 

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Nov 14, 2018
Where Do We Come From? – Exploring the Origins of Life Lab
00:38:27
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 are working on these puzzles with their new Planetary Simulator, possibly edging toward the natural creation of self-replicating molecules. Bruce Betts’ new book, Astronomy for Kids, is just one of the prizes offered in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1107-2018-pudritz-rheinstadter-origins.html

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Nov 07, 2018
Celebrating Kepler
00:43:04
The Kepler mission has ended.  Listen to highlights of the October 30th media briefing that included the father of the fantastically successful planet finder, William Borucki.  Then catch the thoughts of Planetary Society editors and commentators Jason Davis and Emily Lakdawalla.  Director of Space Policy Casey Dreier explores what’s at stake in the US November 6th midterm election.  And we’ll give away another copy of Bruce Betts’ Astronomy for Kids in a spooky edition of What’s Up.  Learn more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1031-2018-kepler-celebration.html 

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Oct 31, 2018
Sailing to an Asteroid on the Light of the Sun
00:49:25
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 Scout on a long, light-propelled journey to a near Earth asteroid.  Principal Investigator Les Johnson shares his excitement about this interplanetary cubesat. Emily Lakdawalla reports in from southern France following the successful start of the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.  Don’t know a primorial from a primordial? No worries.  Bruce Betts will throw both into the soup as he ladles out a new space trivia contest. Learn more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1024-2018-les-johnson-nea-scout.html 

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Oct 24, 2018
Back to Saturn for Brand New Cassini Science
00:36:23
Our most frequent guest returns with exciting, just-published research enabled by the 20-year mission’s enormous success. Linda Spilker has served as Cassini Project Scientist for 8 years, and was Deputy Project Scientist for the previous 13.  You’ll also get the chance to win Bruce Betts’ great new intro to  astronomy book in this week’s space trivia contest. Learn more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1017-2018-linda-spilker-cassini-science.html

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Oct 17, 2018
Celebrating Astronomy Day with the Giant Magellan Telescope
01:00:36
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 telescope. Patrick McCarthy is an astronomer and a leader of the Giant Magellan Telescope project. He returns with a report on the instrument’s status, followed by a fascinating tour of the GMT facility. The MASCOT spacecraft has successfully completed its brief mission at asteroid Ryugu. Emily Lakdawalla provides an overview. And the space trivia contest has returned to What’s Up. See pics of our GMT visit and learn much more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1010-2018-patrick-mccarthy-gmt.html

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Oct 10, 2018
Space Policy Edition: How NASA Came to Be
01:09:26
Happy 60th, NASA. In celebration of the space agency’s birthday, we do the audio equivalent of pulling out NASA’s baby book and explore its origin story. Though legislation creating the space agency developed in the wake of Sputnik, it was built upon a rapidly changing relationship of the government to fundamental research and development in the decade before. We follow the threads of what makes NASA NASA, as well as how, in its early years, NASA looked quite different than the agency we know today.  We also discuss the current bill that partially funds the U.S. government and provides temporary funding for NASA and other agencies through December of 2018. More resources to explore this month’s topics are http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-30.html

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Oct 05, 2018
John Logsdon on the Dawn of the Space Age
00:48:47
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 of NASA to SpaceX.  Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye reports in from this year’s International Astronautical Congress in German, while Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla wraps up a working tour of New Zealand.  Then join Bruce and Mat for this week’s What’s Up.  Learn and hear more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/1003-2018-john-logsdon-outer-space-exploration-book.html 

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Oct 03, 2018
SpaceX Builds a Big Falcon Rocket
00:40:54
A mostly SpaceX episode as the ambitious company provides updated details regarding its huge new rocket and introduces its first astronauts. Mat Kaplan shares more from the company’s headquarters, while Planetary Society Digital Editor explains and explores the BFR.  Jason also celebrates the successful landing of two asteroid “rovers” from Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft.  And we’ll tell you What’s Up in the night sky as we offer another space trivia contest.  Learn and hear more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0926-2018-jason-davis-spacex.html

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Sep 26, 2018
Return to Fiery Mercury With BepiColombo
00:37:25
Elsa Montagnon is Spacecraft Operations Manager for the European/Japanese mission leaving for our solar system’s innermost planet very soon. She joins us to talk about the long journey ahead. Elsa also has the cover article in the brand new edition of The Planetary Report, the Planetary Society’s once exclusive magazine that is now available to everyone online, according to its editor, Emily Lakdawalla.  Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye is happy for a very happy Elon Musk. The leader of SpaceX just introduced his paying customer for a trip around the moon in 2023. All this, and What’s Up! Learn and hear more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0919-2018-elsa-montagnon-bepicolombo.html 

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Sep 19, 2018
Opportunity, Phone Home!
00:33:30
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 Project Manager John Callas returns with a realistic yet hopeful assessment.  He also tells us what Opportunity will be asked to do after we hear from her.  Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla returns with a preview of China’s next two missions to the Moon, one of which will make the first-ever farside landing. How close is the nearest black hole?  We’ll get the answer as Bruce and Mat explore the night sky in this week’s What’s Up.  Learn and hear more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0912-2018-john-callas-opportunity.html 

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Sep 12, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Did NASA Ace its Midterms? With Special Guest Louise Prockter
01:25:06
We talk with planetary scientist and Lunar and Planetary Institute Director Louise Prockter, who co-led creation of a new report evaluating the performance of NASA's planetary science division. This comes five years after the release of the influential decadal survey. Given the massive budget cuts over the past few years, how did NASA do? Where do these reports come from and who puts them together? Why are they important? All will be answered in this month’s SPE!  We also look into the report-within-a-report on the status of the robotic Mars Exploration Program, and find some recommendations that appear to have been inspired by a 2017 Planetary Society report. More resources to explore this month’s topics are http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-29.html

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Sep 07, 2018
Big Science, Big Rocket at the Marshall Space Flight Center
01:20:09
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 center for research underway on the International Space Station, under a tent where a critical component of the Space Launch System rocket is getting finishing touches, in a conversation about the Fermi spacecraft’s search for the universe’s biggest explosions, and with the Center’s Associate Director for Technical efforts. Then wrap up with Bruce Betts and the anniversaries of one fictional and one factual explorer of deep space. Learn and hear more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0905-2018-marshall-center.html

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Sep 05, 2018
Space, Rockets, and a Senatorial Encounter in Huntsville, Alabama
00:56:12
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 with astronaut Don Thomas, 94-year-old Apollo engineer Alex McCool, and Alabama Senator Doug Jones.  Bruce Betts sets us on a search for the nearest black hole in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn and hear more at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0829-2018-huntsville-doug-jones.html

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Aug 29, 2018
Pluto Occults! Join Us on the Mountain
00:36:24
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. It may reveal more about the dwarf planet’s tenuous atmosphere and other properties. Everyone hopes that Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity will phone home when the waning worldwide Martian dust storm allows the robot to charge its batteries. Digital Editor Jason Davis tells us about the online mistake that had some fans believing it had already happened. And it will be “raining fire in the sky” when Bruce Betts drops another What’s Up segment. Learn more here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0822-2018-franck-marchis-pluto-occultation.html

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Aug 22, 2018
Giving Mysterious Venus the Love (and Science) She Deserves
00:55:54
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 this week to make a great case for a new Venus orbiter. The Parker Solar Probe has begun its exciting journey to “touch the Sun.” Our MaryLiz Bender talks with mission leaders before and after the launch. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan have two great space trivia contests to wrap up right after they take us on another What’s Up tour of the solar system and back through the history of space exploration.  Learn more at:   http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0815-2018-sue-smrekar-venus-parker-solar-probe-launch.html

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Aug 15, 2018
Dark Energy’s Co-Discoverer and the Leader of Chinese Space Science
00:39:25
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 shared the Nobel Prize in Physics because of his contributions. Now he shares his thoughts with us.  Also at this year’s COSPAR Assembly in Pasadena was the Director General of China’s National Space Science Center, Wang Chi.  Have you played with Eyes on the Solar System?  JPL’s Kevin Hussey conceived of the NASA Eyes app that will take you across the solar system and beyond.  And you’ll hear Planetary Society co-founder Carl Sagan’s message to the Martians in our future.  That’s right after this week’s What’s Up.  Learn more at:   http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0808-2018-saul-permutter-wang-chi-nssc.html

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Aug 08, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Destination…Mars? Contradictions and Principles
01:00:00
The Senate just held a hearing on NASA's efforts to send humans to...Mars? A week later, the same committee advanced legislation to extend the life of the International Space Station to 2030, six years beyond the current end-date and two years beyond the current hardware safety ratings. Does that extension undermine efforts to get to Mars? What about the Moon? Casey and Jason also introduce The Planetary Society's new principles for human spaceflight, which provide a framework by which the organization will evaluate plans for human exploration.  More resources to explore this month’s topics are http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-28.html

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Aug 03, 2018
Diving Into That Lake on Mars
00:47:33
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 Editor Emily Lakdawalla introduces us to the story that is then taken up by two of host Mat Kaplan’s favorite Martians.  The Goddard Space Flight Center’s James Garvin headed NASA’s Mars exploration program, while NASA Ames astrobiologist Chris McKay co-founded the Mars Underground more than 35 years ago. Look up!  Mars is still close by, and the Perseid meteor shower is around the corner. Bruce Betts gives us the What’s Up lowdown. Learn more at:   http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0801-2018-garvin-mckay-mars-lake.html

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Aug 01, 2018
Hayabusa2 Reaches a Dark Diamond in Space
00:53:20
Japan’s Hayabusa2 is just 6 kilometers from asteroid Ryugu as it prepares to snatch samples of the space rock for return to Earth.  ISAS/JAXA Director General and former Hayabusa Mission Project Manager Hitoshi Kuninaka joins us for a conversation about the spacecraft and what’s ahead.  Then we hear from Hansjörg Dittus of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) about the German/French lander called MASCOT that was carried to Ryugu by Hayabusa2. Emily Lakdawalla is the new editor of the Planetary Society’s distinguished magazine, The Planetary Report.  Bruce Betts explains how to get the most out of a lunar eclipse and the closest Mars has come to Earth for many years.  We also give you an extra week to enter the space trivia contest! Learn more at:   http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0725-2018-kuninaka-dittus-hayabusa2.html

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Jul 25, 2018
An African Observatory Hunts Killer Asteroids
00:42:55
One of the Planetary Society’s 2018 Shoemaker Near-Earth Object grants has gone to astronomers searching the sky from a mountaintop in the North African nation of Morocco.  Observer Michel Ory tells us about their work.  Tim Spahr ran the Minor Planet Center for many years.  He has moved from that worldwide coordinator for asteroid and comet discoveries to NEO Sciences LLC, and served once again as chair of the Shoemaker NEO judging committee.  Wait till you hear what poor Yuri Gagarin had for lunch as he orbited Earth.  That’s just one thing you’ll learn from this week’s What’s Up segment.  Hear complete interviews and learn more at:   http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0718-2018-spahr-ory-shoemaker-neo.html

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Jul 18, 2018
Something Old and Something New: Exciting Research on the International Space Station
00:50:45
Sextants have helped sailors find their way across oceans for centuries. Now one is onboard the International Space Station so that astronauts can learn to find their way across the solar system even if other technologies fail. Reaching the ISS on the same supply mission was the Cold Atom Lab.  It may achieve the lowest temperatures in the universe, helping to unlock cosmic secrets.  Every naked eye planet is visible!  Bruce Betts will tell you where to look in What’s Up.  Learn more about all our topics and hear extended interviews:   http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0711-2018-sextant-and-cold-atom-lab-on-iss.html

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Jul 11, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Space Force! With Special Guest Brian Weeden
01:46:33
The President recently ordered the creation of Space Force—but what does that mean? What are the implications for militarization of space? National security expert Dr. Brian Weeden joins the show to explain the announcement. Weeden also breaks down Space Policy Directive #3, which directs the Department of Commerce to begin tracking space debris and other potential dangers to spacecraft in Earth orbit. Casey, Jason and Mat take a detour to discuss the James Webb Space Telescope's latest breach, which delays the launch until March of 2021. More resources to explore this month’s topics are athttp://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-27.html

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Jul 06, 2018
Dwarf Planet Ceres Thrills as a Dying Visitor Closes In
00:32:07
Ceres is the queen of the asteroid belt.  Her first Earthly visitor is nearing its last days in spectacular style.  Dawn Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns with stunning images taken from just 35 kilometers or 22 miles above the dwarf planet, and a preview of the spacecraft’s last days.  Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts has a summer guide to the night sky, looks back in space exploration history and delivers another Random Space Fact.  He and Mat Kaplan also have a new space trivia question for listeners.  Learn more about all our topics this week:   http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0704-2018-marc-rayman-dawn-ceres.html

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Jul 04, 2018
It’s Asteroid Week with NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer
00:40:44
The dinosaurs regret their lack of a space program.  200 million years later, humans are gearing up to defend themselves from a species-ending rock.  The many challenges involved are addressed in a new strategic action plan created by sixteen agencies of the US government.  NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer, Lindley Johnson, and his associate, Kelly Fast, take us inside the plan.  Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy applauds the growing worldwide attention to Near Earth Objects. By the time you read this Hayabusa2 will have reached asteroid Ryugu.  Senior editor Emily Lakdawalla has a mission update. And Bruce Betts is all over Asteroid Week in a new What’s Up segment.

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Jun 27, 2018
Kathryn Sullivan, Space Dentistry and More at the International Space Development Conference
00:45:50
Freeman Dyson wasn’t the only space star at the ISDC.  Mat talks with former astronaut and NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, leaders of the Cassini mission, innovative students and an expert on dental care in space.  Keep flossing!  Planetary Society Director of Space Policy Casey Dreier has the latest budget info from Washington and tells us about Space Policy Directive-3. Bruce and Mat have picked the name for the supermassive black hole that lurks at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.  Who has won?  Learn more about all our topics this week:   http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0620-2018-isdc.html

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Jun 20, 2018
A Conversation with Freeman Dyson
00:39:39
There’s so much more to Freeman Dyson than the Dyson Sphere.  The mathematician, physicist, futurist and author is one of the greatest and most original minds of our era.  He has much to say to Mat Kaplan about the future of space exploration and humanity in this week’s show.  NASA has announced two exciting papers based on discoveries by Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory Rover.  Emily Lakdawalla has the straight story.  And we’ve got one more signed copy of “Chasing New Horizons” to give away in this week’s new space trivia contest. Learn more about Freeman Dyson and everything else we cover here:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0613-freeman-dyson.html

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Jun 13, 2018
It’s Rocket Science: Testing PlanetVac in the Mojave Desert
00:48:58
Join Mat Kaplan in California’s Mojave Desert for special coverage of not one but two rocket flights and a real world test of PlanetVac, the innovative, radically simple way to collect surface samples from other worlds.  PlanetVac replaced one foot of a Masten Space Systems Xodiac rocket for back-to-back hops across a test site.  We also talk with Masten CEO Sean Mahoney. Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts also made the trip.  He’ll also open a super massive contest for PlanRad listeners in our What’s Up segment.  See images and video of the PlanetVac Xodiac flight test and learn more here:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0606-planetvac-xodiac-test.html

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Jun 06, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Space Policy Directive 2—This Time it's Commercial
01:11:48
President Trump just signed a new space policy directive targeting the regulations surrounding commercial spaceflight. Casey Dreier, Jason Davis and Mat Kaplan dive into the implications of the new directive and what it means for the relationship between government and space. They also break down all of the good news in the House's new funding bill for NASA, and highlight NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine's turnaround on climate change. More resources to explore this month’s topics are at  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-26.html

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Jun 01, 2018
A Sacred Place: The National Air and Space Museum with Ellen Stofan
00:35:00
Planetary geologist Ellen Stofan has just become Director of the most popular museum in the United States.  The NASM protects and shares the greatest collection of space and aviation treasures on Earth. Mat Kaplan talks with the former NASA Chief Scientist about her new job and how the museum serves to inspire and inform millions each year.  Senior editor Emily Lakdawalla prepares us for an exciting encounter between Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft and asteroid Ryugu.  Harry Potter fans, rejoice!  Bruce Betts corrects his correction of an astronomical observation by Harry and his classmates. We also offer another signed copy of Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto. Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0530-ellen-stofan-nasm.html

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May 30, 2018
Chasing New Horizons to Pluto with Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
00:54:48
The New Horizons mission was a triumph, revealing Pluto as an utterly unique and beautiful world. But the mission first had to survive challenge after challenge, fighting to be developed, meeting a nearly impossible launch deadline, and then narrowly avoiding disaster when it was barely a week from its destination. The entire dramatic tale has now been told by Principal Investigator Alan Stern and his co-author, astrobiologist David Grinspoon.  They join Mat Kaplan to talk about their book, Chasing New Horizons—Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto.  A signed copy of the book will go to the winner of this episode’s space trivia contest.  Emily Lakdawalla has returned from an international gathering of Mercury scientists with a special report.  The Planetary Society’s Senior Editor also marks the launch of a Chinese lunar orbiter.  Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0523-stern-grinspoon-chasing-new-horizons.html

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May 23, 2018
Why Mars? We’ve Got the Answers
00:38:54
The great adventure awaits! Mat Kaplan hosts an entertaining panel discussion at the 2018 Humans to Mars Summit in Washington DC.  Eight guests provide their diverse and inspiring reasons for humans to visit the Red Planet.  Bruce Betts later joins Mat to explore the Demon Star.  Learn more about this week’s topic and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0516-h2m-why-mars-panel.html
Guests include:
  • Filmmaker Nicholas Agnew, creator of Seat 25
  • Consultant Jeff Bingham, former NASA Associate Administrator for Legislative Affairs
  • Jim Garvin, Chief Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Janet Ivey, Emmy award-winning creator of Janet’s Planet
  • “Astronaut Abby” Abigail Harrison
  • Keri Kukral, Raw Science and the Raw Science Film Festival
  • Saralyn Mark, MD, iGiant founder and president
  • Artemis Westenberg, Explore Mars president, director and co-founder


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May 16, 2018
Amy Mainzer: Asteroid Hunter
00:36:21
After taking over 10 million images of more than 30,000 solar system objects, the NEOWISE mission is finally in its last months.  Principal Investigator Amy Mainzer returns with an update on this phenomenal success and a look ahead toward a much more powerful asteroid and comet hunter called NEOCam.  It’s not just about defending our planet.  We are learning the origin story of Earth and other worlds.  Bruce Betts also shares a story or two, along with a new space trivia contest, in this week’s What’s Up segment.  Learn more about this week’s topic and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0509-amy-mainzer-neowise.html

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May 09, 2018
Space Policy Edition: A Commercial Future for the Space Station?
01:03:03
After announcing it intends to divest from the International Space Station in 2025, NASA quietly released a new report on its transition plans, laying out a series of principles that will set the future of U.S. astronauts in low-Earth orbit. Can a private entity really take over the space station? Where did this idea come from anyway? Will there be new commercial space stations in the near future, and will they serve NASA's needs? Also, the confirmation of Jim Bridenstine as NASA Administrator. More resources to explore this month’s topics are at  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-25.html 

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May 04, 2018
All Shook Up: The InSight Mission to Mars
01:21:50
No mission to Mars has done what InSight will do.  The lander’s spectacularly sensitive instruments will use the Red Planet’s heat and marsquakes to reveal its deep interior while also revealing secrets of other rocky worlds like our own Earth.  Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt came to Planetary Society headquarters barely a week before launch for a long and fascinating conversation. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye says the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft has mapped our galaxy as never before.  Bruce Betts will help us explore a bit of the Milky Way in this week’s What’s Up segment. Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0502-bruce-banerdt-insight.html

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May 02, 2018
Planetary Radio Live! – Celebrating Curiosity on Mars
01:35:21
Join us for an utterly fascinating live conversation with Emily Lakdawalla about her brand new book, The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job. Also joining us at Caltech were Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada and JPL Research Scientist Abigail Fraeman. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan close out the evening with a live edition of What’s Up, including the space trivia contest.  Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0425-2018-planetary-radio-live-lakdawalla-book-curiosity.html

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Apr 25, 2018
Yuri’s Night 2018!
00:54:38
Host Mat Kaplan once again attends the worldwide party for space.  Join him at the Los Angeles celebration under Space Shuttle Endeavour.  You’ll hear conversations with astronauts Nicole Stott and Anousheh Ansari, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides, Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy and others.  Then test your space history and trivia knowledge with Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts.  Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0418-2018-yuris-night.html

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Apr 18, 2018
Visiting the Earth-Like Worlds of TRAPPIST-1
00:31:23
We have begun to understand the composition of worlds that are hundreds of trillions of kilometers from Earth. Astronomer Nikole Lewis is co-leader of a team that has used the Hubble Space Telescope to do this with the four Earth-like planets circling a star called TRAPPIST-1. Host Mat Kaplan talks with Digital Editor Jason Davis about a new probe designed to discover thousands of additional exoplanets.  Want to win a Planetary Radio t-shirt? Answer this week’s space trivia question posed by Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts. Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0411-nikole-lewis-trappist-worlds.html

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Apr 11, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Lori Garver on what a NASA Administrator (and Deputy) actually does
01:17:06
Lori Garver, former Deputy Administrator of NASA, talks with Casey about what the Deputy and Administrator jobs are like day-to-day, how decisions actually get made at the top, and why the current lack of confirmed leadership hurts the space agency. Casey, Space Policy Advisor Jason Callahan and Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan also review the great news about the NASA budget, and reveal the possible fallout from the further delay in launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.More resources to explore this month’s topics are at  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-24.html

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Apr 06, 2018
AI, Space, and Humanity’s Future—A Conversation with David Brin
01:08:03
The multi-award winning science fiction author, futurist and speaker returns to Planetary Radio for a wide-ranging conversation about robots and humans in space, empathetic artificial intelligences, how we can survive the Singularity and much more.  Emily Lakdawalla recaps an astrobiology session at the just-completed Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.  There’s a great new book from National Geographic Kids waiting for the winner of the new What’s Up space trivia contest.  Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0404-david-brin-ai-space.html

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Apr 04, 2018
A Space Station Crashes to Earth
00:50:01
By the time you hear this week’s episode, China’s Tiangong-1 may have spectacularly re-entered our planet’s atmosphere, raining metal on an unpredictable location.  The Aerospace Corporation’s Bill Ailor, an expert on space debris, tells us there’s little to worry about, but bigger challenges are ahead in low Earth orbit. Bruce Betts also has his mind on the small space station.  Emily Lakdawalla is back from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference with much news to share. NASA finally has a budget for the year already underway!  Casey Dreier breaks it down.

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Mar 28, 2018
Stephen Hawking: Spaceflight Pioneer!
00:39:06
He is known for his breakthrough physics and popularizing of science, but Dr. Hawking also wanted to fly in space. Erik Viirre led the medical team that helped Stephen experience weightlessness.  He says the adventure helped open the possibility of spaceflight for many more people.  Planetary Society co-founder Louis Friedman and Society CEO Bill Nye share their memories of the great physicist.  Bruce Betts doesn’t let a bad cold get in the way of the What’s Up segment.  Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0321-stephen-hawking-zero-g.html

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Mar 21, 2018
Amateur Astronomers Work To Save Earth From Asteroids!
00:36:34
Seven astronomers have been selected to receive Shoemaker NEO (Near Earth Object) grants from the Planetary Society.  They and their observatories span the planet.  We’ll meet an American and an Australian.  Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts provides an overview of the grant program and later returns for this week’s edition of What’s Up. The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells reports on the outlook for space funding in Canada’s newly-released federal budget.  She and Society CEO Bill Nye also met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0314-shoemaker-newo-2018-winners.html

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Mar 14, 2018
Visiting the Birthplace of PlanetVac
00:44:53
Space is hard.  Sample collection and return is harder still.  That’s why the radically-simplified PlanetVac system from Honeybee Robotics is so intriguing.  Join Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts and host Mat Kaplan on a tour of Honeybee that includes a PlanetVac demo. Bruce returns for this week’s What’s Up jaunt around the night sky.  Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis share big news about the LightSail 2 solar sail and the next SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch. Learn more about this week’s topics and see images here: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/0307-planetvac-honeybee-tour.html

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Mar 07, 2018
Space Policy Edition #23 - Blitzing Congress: Planetary Society volunteers visit Capitol Hill
00:35:33
Society members from 21 states descended on the U.S. capitol for a "blitz" of 178 meetings in two days. Casey and special guest Matt Renninger explain why that is such an important activity, and blitzers Leah and Stefanie Griffith share their story of coming to Washington to speak for space.  More resources to explore this month’s topics are at  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2018/space-policy-edition-23-blitzing-congress.html

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Mar 02, 2018
Experience A Message From Earth - Inspired by the Voyager Golden Record
00:49:04
It has been 40 years since Carl Sagan and others shared the best of humanity with the stars. A new online multimedia project has been created as a 21st century homage to the Golden Record.

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Feb 28, 2018
The Eyes of a New Mars Rover: Mastcam-Z
00:49:32
Mat Kaplan attended a meeting of the science team for the zoom lens camera that will be atop the Mars 2020 rover mast. Planetary Scientist Jim Bell tells us how this new system will show us the Red Planet as we’ve never seen it before.

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Feb 21, 2018
Space Policy Edition Special: The 2019 President’s Budget Request Unveiled
00:53:12
As promised, Casey Dreier and Jason Callahan are back with a special review of the just-released FY 2019 President’s Budget Request (PBR) for NASA. It contains good news, bad news and odd news. What is likely to stand? What will Congress ignore, going its own way? NASA’s new lunar ambitions, Mars Sample Return, WFIRST and more hang in the balance. Let the debate begin.

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Feb 16, 2018
A New Congressional Caucus Backs Planetary Science
00:41:59
Republican Randy Hultgren and Democrat Derek Kilmer celebrate formation of the new bipartisan, bicameral caucus of US representatives and senators. They have united behind exploration of our and other solar systems. Bill Nye shares his eye and ear witness account of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch and landing. The new What’s Up space trivia contest takes its inspiration from the Tesla Roadster now on its way to Mars.

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Feb 14, 2018
Space, SETI, the Singularity and Shostak
00:59:05
Where is everybody? That was the question physicist Enrico Fermi asked when he wondered why we hadn’t yet met ET. What will happen if we do? Will humans lose the will to explore?

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Feb 07, 2018
Space Policy Edition #21: Bill Nye and the State of the Union
00:30:28
Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye attended the State of the Union address on January 30th, he also spent the day meeting with sixteen different members of Congress to promote science on Capitol Hill. In this special abbreviated show, Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan welcome their colleague Matt Renninger, who joined Bill on Capitol Hill, to discuss the goals of The Planetary Society and the reasons why it was important for Bill to attend.

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Feb 02, 2018
Going to Sea to Sail Through Space: Orion Ocean Recovery Testing
00:38:31
Join Mat Kaplan on a visit to Naval Base San Diego and the USS Anchorage, the amphibious ship that has just completed a round of Orion spacecraft recovery testing and practice.

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Jan 31, 2018
Living in Space!
00:37:56
Mat Kaplan talks with participants in the National Space Society’s recent Space Settlement Summit about human destiny in space.

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Jan 24, 2018
It’s a Hard Rain on Titan
00:43:41
A computer model based on our best data about Saturn’s cloud-shrouded moon says that torrential liquid methane pounds the surface far more frequently than previously expected. Sean Faulk and Jonathan Mitchell of UCLA explain.

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Jan 17, 2018
Mysterious Tabby’s Star, With Tabby Herself
00:44:46
It may not host an alien “megastructure” but Tabby’s Star still guards many mysteries of science. Astronomer and astrophysicist Tabetha “Tabby” Boyajian leads the worldwide team that is revealing this strange light in the sky.

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Jan 10, 2018
Space Policy Edition #20: Looking back on the year in space policy. Also, your questions!
01:03:48
It’s the space policy guys’ turn to look back at a year that saw great achievements in space. Were they matched by events in Washington DC?

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Jan 05, 2018
Looking Back, Looking Forward with the Planetary Society All-Stars
01:18:52
Mat’s first-ever four-way conversation with Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Emily Lakdawalla reviews the biggest 2017 events in space exploration and provides their predictions of what to look for in the new year.

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Jan 03, 2018
Flowing Water on Mars? Not So Much
00:30:58
Mars scientists dubbed them recurring slope lineae or RSLs. They sure looked like evidence of liquid water flowing down hillsides and ridges on the Red Planet. New research led by USGS Planetary Geologist Colin Dundas says otherwise.

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Dec 27, 2017
Exploring the Latest Planetary Science Discoveries With Emily Lakdawalla
00:37:56
A holiday edition of Planetary Radio welcomes the Planetary Society’s Senior Editor back from the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Emily reports on amazing developments in planetary science she discovered at the huge conference.

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Dec 20, 2017
President Trump Sets Course for the Moon
00:31:53
On December 11th President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that firmly points the US space effort toward the Moon, but without providing many details. Planetary Society Director of Space Policy Casey Dreier fills in some of the gaps left by this executive directive.

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Dec 13, 2017
A Visitor From the Stars: ‘Oumuamua
00:47:24
The first confirmed interstellar visitor to our solar system is a needle-shaped asteroid given the Hawaiian name ‘Oumuamua. Karen Meech leads the team that is learning as much about it as possible before it leaves our neighborhood, never to return.

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Dec 06, 2017
Space Policy Edition #19: When did the private space age begin? Much earlier than you think.
01:32:59
Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos. Richard Branson. These are the names we tend to associate with the current era of private space exploration. But what about John Quincy Adams, James Lick, or Charles Yerkes? Space economist and historian Dr. Alex MacDonald joins us to discuss his book, "The Long Space Age," which chronicles the history of private investment in U.S. space exploration all the way back to the 18th century. Jason and Casey also discuss the consequences of the House GOP tax plan, which could raise taxes on thousands of graduate students. Also, the coming budget showdown and possible consequences for NASA projects.

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Dec 01, 2017
Bob Richards of Moon Express
00:58:22
Moon Express Founder and CEO Bob Richards shares an inspiring vision for a return to the Moon. It includes introduction of a sophisticated line of robotic spacecraft, the first of which may make a soft landing next year.

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Nov 29, 2017
Canada Rises…And So Does the Sun
00:32:31
Canada has a new Space Advisory Board, and The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells is a member.

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Nov 22, 2017
The Honorable Adam Schiff: Another Congressional Space Enthusiast
00:36:08
Congressman Adam Schiff’s California district includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is as enthusiastic a fan of the final frontier as you are likely to find under the capitol dome in Washington D.C.

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Nov 15, 2017
Andy Weir’s New Novel Puts a City on the Moon
00:50:27
The author of #1 bestseller "The Martian" is back with "Artemis," a superbly-researched, rollicking adventure in the first city on the Moon.

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Nov 08, 2017
Space Policy Edition #18: Jim Bridenstine vs. the Senate and First Meeting of the National Space Council
00:59:46
The likely next Administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine, appeared before a somewhat skeptical Senate committee to defend his nomination. Casey and Jason recap the hearing and assess Congressman Bridenstine’s chance of moving forward.

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Nov 03, 2017
André Bormanis and Emily Lakdawalla on Life, the Universe and Everything
01:06:54
Join us for a wide-ranging, salon-style conversation about space exploration, science, art and more. Mat’s guests are astronomer, television producer/writer and former Star Trek science advisor André Bormanis and Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla.

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Nov 01, 2017
Searching for ET With Pete Worden
00:41:06
Are we alone? The nearly sixty-year effort to answer that question has gotten a big boost from the Breakthrough Initiatives, funded by Yuri Milner and led by former NASA Ames Research Center director Pete Worden, who is our guest this week.

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Oct 25, 2017
Pamela Gay and the Image Detective
00:38:44
Astronomer Pamela Gay tells us how anyone can work with images of Earth taken by astronauts, turning them into terrific scientific resources.

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Oct 18, 2017
Dawn: Ten Years of Exploration
00:59:04
Dawn Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman helps us salute the ion-engine powered spacecraft that first orbited asteroid Vesta in the main asteroid belt and then moved to dwarf planet Ceres, revealing two fascinating worlds.

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Oct 11, 2017
Space Policy Edition #17: The 75th Anniversary of the Rocket Age, with Dr. Michael Neufeld
01:30:20
Fifteen years before Sputnik, on a bright 1942 afternoon in northern Germany, a thundering machine of metal and fire pierced the sky, ultimately touching the edge of space for the first time in history. It opened a new era of opportunity and terror with rocket technology. Dr. Michael Neufeld joins us discuss the significance of this test and how it happened.

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Oct 06, 2017
Australia Gets Serious About Space
00:44:08
The Australian government announced that it would create a national space agency at the 68th annual International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide. We’ll talk with IAC 2017 CEO Brett Biddington about what this means for his country.

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Oct 04, 2017
Celebrating Cassini…Live!
01:28:49
More than 1,100 fans of the just-completed 20-year mission to Saturn joined us for a live tribute.

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Sep 27, 2017
Long Live Cassini!
01:00:03
Join us at JPL and Caltech on the bittersweet morning the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn.

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Sep 20, 2017
Science Fiction Greats on Humanity’s Destiny in Space
01:10:40
Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society talks with Gregory Benford, David Brin, Geoffrey Landis and Larry Niven about terraforming Mars, the origin of life, the drive to explore and more.

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Sep 13, 2017
Sailing on the Light of the Sun With Lou Friedman
00:49:22
The co-founder and Executive Director Emeritus of The Planetary Society returns for a conversation about the allure of sailing through space.

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Sep 06, 2017
Space Policy Edition #16: NASA's Flagship Missions: Are They Worth It?
01:26:01
The multi-billion dollar, multi-decade Cassini mission is about to end. A new report tries to answer an important question: are flagship science missions like Cassini worth the effort and expense? And how can NASA maximize the value of these endeavours? Dr. Ralph McNutt, co-chair of the National Academies study, reviews the report’s recommendations.

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Aug 31, 2017
Planetary Radio Live on the Eve of the Eclipse
01:14:01
With hours to go before the Great American Eclipse, nine outstanding guests joined host Mat Kaplan for Planetary Radio Live in front of 1,100 rowdy eclipse and space science fans.

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Aug 30, 2017
Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker’s Last Appearance Before the Grand Finale
00:35:08
It’s the Grandest Finale. The spectacular Cassini mission’s exploration of Saturn will end on September 15th when the spacecraft plunges into the planet. Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker is back with one last mission update.

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Aug 23, 2017
Ed Stone and Forty Years of Voyager in Space
00:32:01
It is most space fans’ favorite planetary science mission, and with good reason. We visit with the man who has been in charge of Voyager mission science for more than four decades.

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Aug 16, 2017
Dark Energy Attracts? Astrophysicists Jason Rhodes and Alina Kiessling
01:00:16
JPL astrophysicists Alina Kiessling and Jason Rhodes were brought together by their fascination over the mystery of dark energy. They talk with Planetary Radio about their research and the many missions they are contributing to, including WFIRST, a unique new space telescope.

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Aug 09, 2017
Space Policy Edition #15 – Congressman Rick Larsen, Could Russia Exit the ISS?
01:23:08
New U.S. sanctions against Russia have reignited speculation that global politics could undermine cooperation in the International Space Station. Could Russia cut off rides for US astronauts to the ISS? Later, Casey Dreier joins Spark Science host Dr. Regina Barber Degraaff for a conversation with U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen, Democratic representative of Washington state’s 2nd District. We also check in on NASA's 2018 budget, which is currently moving through the Senate. Did they provide funding for a new Mars orbiter?

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Aug 04, 2017
An Eye on the Sun (In the Middle of a Lake)
00:52:29
The world’s most powerful solar telescope has just been renamed for the man responsible for its creation. We’ll meet astrophysicist and helioseismologist Phil Goode, and we’ll enjoy a tour of the Goode Solar Telescope.

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Aug 02, 2017
Planetary Radio Live! Living on Mars
01:26:44
Will humans live, work and thrive on Mars? What challenges must be met before we can become Martians? On July 20th, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Mat Kaplan welcomed an outstanding panel of experts for conversation in front of a Pasadena, California audience.

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Jul 26, 2017
Emily Lakdawalla on the Last Orbits of Cassini
00:28:51
The Cassini Mission has less than two months to go before it ends with a spectacular plunge into the beautiful ringed world. Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla has prepared a guide to the last orbits by the historic spacecraft.

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Jul 19, 2017
20 Years on Mars with Matt Golombek
00:49:45
When the Pathfinder lander reached Mars 20 years ago it began a Martian renaissance that has never paused. JPL scientist Matt Golombek was the mission’s Project Scientist. He looks back and to the future of our explorations at the Red Planet.

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Jul 12, 2017
Space Policy Edition #14 – Ice Giants and Ocean Worlds Beckon
01:04:41
A new report builds the case for long overdue returns to Uranus and Neptune, while another proposal calls for exploration of the many bodies in our solar system that hide vast water oceans. Jason Callahan, Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan dive into the troubled waters that determine which planetary science missions will get the limited funds available.

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Jul 07, 2017
A Cosmic Voyage with Astronomer Sandra Faber
01:04:13
Veteran astronomer and cosmologist Sandra Faber has just been awarded the Gruber Prize for Cosmology, honoring more than forty years of pioneering work. She talks with Mat Kaplan on this week’s show.

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Jul 05, 2017
Happy Asteroid Day!
00:39:08
Asteroid Day, June 30th, marks the anniversary of the great Tunguska impact that leveled a Siberian forest. It reminds us that a Near Earth Object can destroy a city or even a civilization. Former Minor Planet Center Director Tim Spahr reviews our efforts to find and understand these bodies.

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Jun 28, 2017
Thomas Edison, Eclipse Chaser!
01:02:38
Former NPR science reporter David Baron discusses the stories of men and women who made their way across the American West to view and document the total solar eclipse of 1878.

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Jun 21, 2017
Julie Webster and the Art of Spacecraft Endurance
00:47:53
How do you keep a dazzlingly complex spacecraft in good health after 20 years in space? That’s the challenge for Julie Webster and her team of engineers supporting the Cassini mission at Saturn.

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Jun 14, 2017
Spectacular Jupiter!
00:42:46
Have you seen its stunning image of Jupiter’s south pole? The Juno orbiter is surpassing expectations and delivering surprising science. Scott Bolton, the mission’s Principal Investigator, is back with a thrilling report.

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Jun 07, 2017
Space Policy Edition #13 – The 2018 Budget Proposal and Is Mars Exploration in Retrograde?
01:10:28
The Trump Administration released its proposed FY2018 budget just days ago. Casey Dreier, Jason Callahan and Mat Kaplan dive deep into what this controversial plan means for NASA and how it has been received by Congress.

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Jun 02, 2017
Buzz Aldrin and Other Martians
00:58:27
He walked with Neil Armstrong on the moon, but that may not be his greatest legacy. Buzz Aldrin was joined by other space stars at the recent Humans To Mars Summit.

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May 31, 2017
Human Spaceflight: Coming Back to America
00:47:38
Astronauts may soon ride on US rockets and in US spaceships for the first time since the last Space Shuttle flight. Jon Cowart of NASA is working with SpaceX toward the first launch of a Dragon spacecraft with humans on board.

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May 24, 2017
NASA Leaders on Getting Humans to Mars
01:04:29
The human journey to the Red Planet is long and hard, but Mat’s conversation with three NASA Associate Administrators at the Humans to Mars Summit was filled with cautious optimism.

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May 17, 2017
Visiting Worlds Fantastic with Bonnie Buratti
00:56:09
Veteran Jet Propulsion Lab planetary scientist Bonnie Buratti talks with Mat about the wonder of our solar neighborhood that she explores in "Worlds Fantastic, Worlds Familiar—A Guided Tour of the Solar System."

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May 10, 2017
Space Policy Edition #12 – Is Space Policy Stagnant? With Special Guest Marcia Smith
01:27:25
Moon or Mars? Should NASA depend on private companies? What’s the goal of human spaceflight? These questions were debated three decades ago, yet are just as relevant today. Does that mean space policy is stagnant?

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May 05, 2017
Be There! The Great American Eclipse
00:53:59
Our ongoing coverage of preparation for the Great American Eclipse takes us to Southern Illinois University Carbondale where a huge celebration is planned.

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May 03, 2017
Bill Nye Saves the World…With Space
00:34:53
It was a big week for the Science Guy, and for science. Bill Nye served as honorary co-chair of the March for Science in Washington DC. His new Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the World, premiered the next day. Two of the show’s thirteen episodes are devoted to space science and exploration. Bill talks about all this in a special conversation with Mat Kaplan.

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Apr 26, 2017
McDonald Observatory and the Quest for Dark Energy
00:48:20
The University of Texas at Austin’s observatory is high in the hills of west Texas. In this special episode, Mat Kaplan joins the tens of thousands who visit it each year. The occasion was the dedication of the vastly upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope, third largest on Earth.

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Apr 19, 2017
Aerospace Corporation President and CEO Steve Isakowitz
00:58:09
The Aerospace Corporation has been innovating since 1960. Now it’s headed by a former leader of “New Space” company Virgin Galactic. President and CEO Steve Isakowitz talks about the evolving culture of the space industry.

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Apr 12, 2017
Space Policy Edition #11 – Big Science and a Skinny Budget
01:19:06
Whether it’s discovering gravity waves, curing cancer or building a space station, the biggest science challenges increasingly require investments that are beyond what private industry can afford and collaborations that include many nations. Casey, Jason and Mat look at the history of big science and the outlook for future efforts. The team also reviews the 2018 budget proposed for NASA by the Trump Administration, and shares other space policy news from Washington.

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Apr 07, 2017
Mars’ Atmosphere…Lost in Space!
00:33:16
Mars was once a warm and wet world. Then its dense, protective atmosphere mostly vanished. Learning why was one of the greatest mysteries in planetary science. The answer has just been delivered by the MAVEN orbiter.

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Apr 05, 2017
Nancy Atkinson’s Incredible Stories from Space
00:47:08
The longtime editor of outstanding online space news source Universe Today has just written about nine robotic missions of exploration in "Incredible Stories From Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos."

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Mar 29, 2017
Ready for Space: LightSail 2 Update
00:34:49
The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 solar sail spacecraft is ready to be packed away for its ride to orbit on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Mat Kaplan checks the mission’s status with team members.

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Mar 22, 2017
The Great American Eclipse—Be Part of It!
00:36:26
It’s coming! Will you be in the path of totality? Astronomers Without Borders President Mike Simmons says be there if you can.

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Mar 15, 2017
Hope for Pluto—Should We Re-Redefine Planets?
00:33:50
Planetary geologist Kirby Runyon is lead author of an abstract that proposes a new, geophysical definition of what a planet is.

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Mar 08, 2017
Space Policy Edition #10 - Special Guest Laura Delgado Lopez, SpaceX to the Moon, looming budget cuts
01:19:24
Laura Delgado Lopez from the Harris Corporation joins us to talk about the growing number of countries getting into the space business, particularly in Latin America. Casey, Jason, and Mat also take stock of SpaceX's plans to send humans around the Moon in 2018, and how the newly-announced Trump budget cuts could hurt NASA.

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Mar 03, 2017
The Worlds of TRAPPIST-1
00:33:56
The discovery of seven, Earth-sized planets in a nearby solar system was announced last week. Astrophysicist and planetary scientist Sara Seager joins us to share her excitement about this find that includes three planets in the habitable zone.

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Mar 01, 2017
Planetary Radio Live: Near Earth Objects—The Killer Asteroid Threat
01:38:52
Leaders of the quest to find, understand and protect ourselves from the asteroids and comets called Near Earth Objects gathered with host Mat Kaplan for a live conversation about this existential threat from space.

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Feb 22, 2017
Nazis in Space? Rod Pyle’s Amazing Stories of the Space Age
00:52:54
Rod Pyle reveals bizarre yet fascinating space projects of the past in his new book. Pyle also exposes previously classified information about missions and spacecraft you thought you knew.

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Feb 15, 2017
Earth Microbes! Welcome to Mars
00:33:41
University of Arkansas grad student Rebecca Mickol and her team have demonstrated that some Earth bacteria can survive in the extremely thin atmosphere of Mars. Could Martian bacteria thrive under the same conditions?

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Feb 07, 2017
Space Policy Edition #9 – Congress Plots New Space Legislation Amid Trump’s Tumultuous First Two Weeks
00:48:33
It’s still too early to say where the Trump Administration will take NASA, but there are a few hints. Congress is not waiting. Casey, Jason and Mat review a draft of the space agency’s authorization bill and a separate act that asks NASA to lay out its plans for humans to reach Mars.

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Feb 06, 2017
The Final Countdown at Saturn
00:46:16
Planetary Radio’s most frequent guest, Project Scientist Linda Spilker, returns with another update on the Cassini mission that is approaching its grand finale.

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Jan 31, 2017
Ice, Snow and Lava: Exploring Antarctica’s Mount Erebus
00:42:27
Earth’s southernmost active volcano may also be its most remote. Rosaly Lopes and Michael Carroll recently spent a few frigid days on the slopes of Antarctica’s Mount Erebus. What they learned may help us understand volcanos on other worlds.

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Jan 24, 2017
Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan Leaves NASA
00:50:22
For well over three years, planetary scientist Ellen Stofan has worked directly with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to help coordinate and expand the myriad science efforts by the agency. We talk with her as she ends this remarkable tenure.

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Jan 17, 2017
Ben Miller Says The Aliens are Coming!
01:13:11
We are joined by British physicist turned comedian and actor Ben Miller, author of The Aliens are Coming! The Extraordinary Science Behind our Search for Life in the Universe.

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Jan 10, 2017
Space Policy Edition #8 - A Transition "Trumpdate", 2016 in Review, and Answering Your Questions
01:19:19
After an opening update on the presidential transition, Casey, Jason and Mat share their nominees for the biggest space exploration events of 2016. Then they take on fascinating questions submitted by listeners. You’ll also hear the surprising early announcement of NASA’s next Discovery missions.

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Jan 05, 2017
A Little Rocket Company Shoots for the Moon
00:57:32
CEO Randa Milliron introduces us to Interorbital Systems, which wants to put your payload in orbit for as little as $8,000. Can they do it?

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Jan 03, 2017
Marvelous Martian MAVEN
00:38:31
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. The University of Colorado’s Nick Schneider says it is also revealing gorgeous clouds, auroras and glowing skies.

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Dec 27, 2016
Art That Captures the Beauty and Science of Space
00:44:51
Marilynn Flynn, Simon Kregar and Rick Sternbach are masters of space art. They talk about how their work furthers science and captures the imagination.

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Dec 20, 2016
A Giant Telescope and Remembering John Glenn
00:49:22
Space historian John Logsdon remembers American hero John Glenn. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye was a big fan of the Friendship 7 astronaut—less so the new Star Wars movie. Then we get an update on the Giant Magellan Telescope from Patrick McCarthy.

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Dec 13, 2016
Running Before the Sun: Astronomer Jay Pasachoff
00:39:58
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 of 2017.

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Dec 06, 2016
Space Policy Edition #7 - The Trump Administration: What Can We Expect for Space?
01:01:51
The SPE team reviews the outlook for human spaceflight, planetary science, Earth observation and much more under the upcoming Trump administration.

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Dec 02, 2016
Leading the Search: Bill Diamond of the SETI Institute
00:31:43
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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Nov 29, 2016
To Mars! With National Geographic
00:46:14
The National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” miniseries has begun. Mat Kaplan attended a kickoff for the ambitious docudrama last summer. You’ll hear from series technical advisor Bobby Braun, author of “The Martian” Andy Weir, Cosmos creator Ann Druyan and more.

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Nov 22, 2016
Pluto and Titan and Iran, Oh My!
00:36:13
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 Titan and Pluto, with a side trip to the dunes of Iran.

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Nov 15, 2016
Inside Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo
00:45:42
Host Mat Kaplan traveled to California’s Mojave Desert for a tour of Virgin Galactic’s The Spaceship Company, where the second SpaceShipTwo was built and is undergoing flight tests. TSC Executive VP Enrico Palermo was his guide.

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Nov 08, 2016
Space Policy Edition #6: Election 2016! Where Do Clinton and Trump Stand on Space?
01:02:15
Just in time for election day in the USA, we take stock of the major candidates' space policies (as far as they go), comparing statements and policy op-eds put out by both campaigns. We also look at the broader implications and challenges of the coming Presidential transition for NASA.

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Nov 04, 2016
Matt Taylor Rocks Rosetta
00:30:13
Mat Kaplan talks with Matt Taylor, the Rosetta Project Scientist, just two weeks after the spacecraft touched down on 67/P.

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Nov 01, 2016
Alan Stern and a Triumph at Pluto
00:38:02
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 for Planetary Sciences. He joined Mat Kaplan for a very special conversation down the street at Planetary Society HQ.

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Oct 25, 2016
Charley Kohlhase and the Greatest Voyage
00:58:53
How did the Voyager spacecraft manage to weave their magnificent way through the outer planets of our solar system? Mission Design Manager Charley Kohlhase led the team that crunched the numbers to select the best possible trajectory from 10,000 candidates.

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Oct 18, 2016
Trekkin’ Across the Universe With Andrew Fazekas
00:46:05
The Night Sky Guy, Andrew Fazekas, talks about his beautiful new, Star Trek-inspired guide to the real wonders of astronomy.

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Oct 11, 2016
Space Policy Edition #5: The U.S. Senate takes on the politics of Mars
01:03:18
We take a deep dive into new space legislation working its way through the US Senate. It embraces Mars and NASA's big rocket. But Elon Musk and SpaceX just announced an ambitious new plan to colonize Mars. Does this upset the political establishment? Or will they find a cold reception in the halls of Congress? Also, where does science fit into the politics of space?

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Oct 07, 2016
Farewell Rosetta!
00:30:37
The European Space Agency’s magnificent Rosetta mission ended last week as the spacecraft gently touched down on the comet it has revealed.

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Oct 04, 2016
Rocket Road Trip!
00:33:17
Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis returns with the story of the ten-day trek across the South he just completed with two Society colleagues.

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Sep 27, 2016
Cassini at Saturn: The Final Year
00:29:02
The great Cassini spacecraft has a year to go before it plunges into the ringed planet. Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with more amazing mission science.

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Sep 20, 2016
OSIRIS-REx: The Voyage to Bennu Begins, With Dante Lauretta
00:28:50
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 his mission’s successful launch.

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Sep 13, 2016
Spinoffs! Sharing NASA Technology
00:28:50
In its nearly five decades, NASA has created or improved thousands of technologies, processes and innovations. Dan Lockney is in charge of making sure these solutions are found and utilized by industries and others in need.

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Sep 06, 2016
Space Policy Edition #4: Near Earth Asteroids—Why we go, how we find them, and maybe mine them
01:04:18
In honor of OSIRIS-REx—NASA’s newest asteroid mission—we explore the policy and history of near-Earth Objects: why NASA explores them, how the government plans to find and defending the planet, and the how policy can keep up with ambitious plans to mine asteroids.

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Sep 02, 2016
The Pale Red Dot: A Planet Called Proxima b
00:35:32
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 habitable zone of the closest star to our own.

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Aug 30, 2016
Could the Soviet Union Have Won the Space Race?
00:46:49
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 moon.

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Aug 23, 2016
Sailing the Canyons of Titan
00:38:39
Steep canyons on Saturn's moon Titan are filled with liquid methane. That's the discovery just announced by an international team of Cassini scientists, including Alex Hayes.

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Aug 16, 2016
Subcontractors: Making Space Happen
00:28:50
You may never hear their names, but there are thousands of small to medium-sized companies without which space exploration and development wouldn’t happen.

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Aug 09, 2016
Space Policy Edition #3: Plutonium-238, Europa via SLS, Cost of the Next Mars Rover Rises
01:03:05
In our third episode, we debate the risks and rewards of tying the future of a Europa mission to the fate of NASA's massive Space Launch System rocket. Also, NASA just announced that the next Mars rover will cost $2.4 billion—$900 million more than initially thought. But the mission is not considered over budget. Why not? Lastly, the U.S. just generated 50 grams of Plutonium-238, the largest amount in nearly thirty years. We celebrate the successful effort to create this critically important, though highly toxic, power source for deep space spacecraft.

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Aug 05, 2016
Interstellar Dreams Turn Real
01:26:01
Philip Lubin and his former student Travis Brashears have had quite a year. Their bold plan to send tiny probes to nearby stars is now supported by NASA and the Breakthrough Starshot $100 million dollar initiative. Hear their amazing story.

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Aug 02, 2016
Anatomy of a Rover—Getting Down to Mars
00:36:40
It takes a lot of terrific components to create a successful spacecraft like Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory. We’ll visit JPL to learn about the Terminal Descent Sensor radar that will once again help land a rover on the Red Planet.

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Jul 26, 2016
The Eagle Has Landed: Remembering Neil Armstrong
00:28:50
We celebrate the 47th anniversary of the first moon landing with the reprise of a conversation with author and NBC space reporter Jay Barbree about his trusted friend Neil Armstrong.

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Jul 19, 2016
Juno Reaches Jupiter!
00:48:25
Return with us to the evening of July 4, 2016 and the exciting arrival at Jupiter of the Juno orbiter. You’ll hear the moment of successful orbital insertion. Several of the mission’s key contributors reveal how Juno accomplished this feat, along with what they hope the spacecraft will tell us about the giant planet.

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Jul 12, 2016
Fighting for Space: Former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver
00:38:08
She has spent most of her life working toward a bright future for humanity in space, and Lori Garver has lost none of her passion. She visited the Planetary Society for a wide-ranging conversation with Mat Kaplan.

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Jul 05, 2016
Space Policy Edition #2: Why Juno? Why Jupiter? Why Now?
01:09:15
This month Jason Callahan, Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan ask whether the Moon vs. Mars human destination debate makes sense, highlight a new report on the science potential of CubeSats by the National Academies, and explain how a thrilling planetary science mission like Juno gets a thumbs up from NASA.

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Jul 01, 2016
Countdown to Jupiter
00:40:13
Juno will enter Jupiter orbit on July 4th. Mat Kaplan talks with the mission’s Principal Investigator, Scott Bolton at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bill Nye helps prepare us for this exciting encounter and the science that will follow.

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Jun 28, 2016
Planetary Radio Extra: Shining a Million Watt Flashlight on an Asteroid
00:19:35
PlanRad’s celebration of Asteroid Day (June 30th) continues as we call UCLA grad student Adam Greenberg at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

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Jun 28, 2016
OSIRIS REx: Ready for a Voyage to Bennu
00:34:17
OSIRIS-REx will launch toward Near Earth Asteroid Bennu soon. In an early celebration of Asteroid Day, mission leader Dante Lauretta tells us how learning about asteroids may teach us about our own origins, and help us avoid a cataclysmic impact.

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Jun 21, 2016
JunoCam, The People’s Jupiter Camera
00:31:46
The Juno spacecraft will enter orbit at Jupiter on July 4th. It carries a camera that will send back spectacular images from just above the swirling clouds of that mighty planet. Planetary scientist Candy Hansen will tell us how we can help decide what it will view.

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Jun 14, 2016
Chris McKay, Larry Niven and Andy Weir at the Contact Conference
00:32:31
Space art and science fiction joined science fact at the 2016 Contact Conference in Sunnyvale, California. We talk with three well-known visionaries.

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Jun 07, 2016
Space Policy Edition #1: How We Got Here: Human Spaceflight at the End of the Obama Era
01:08:33
In the premiere of this new monthly series we briefly examine the latest move by the House of Representatives in the game of NASA's budget and then discuss what Lockheed Martin's new "Mars Base Camp" proposal takes from The Society's Humans Orbiting Mars workshop. Our featured discussion takes a deep dive into the story of President Obama's impact on human spaceflight--how NASA ended up with a mixed program of commercial systems and big government programs.

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Jun 03, 2016
Getting Humans to Mars
00:56:31
Three NASA leaders talk with host Mat Kaplan about the progress we're making toward leaving footprints on the Red Planet.

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May 31, 2016
A Big Test for LightSail 2
00:29:56
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.

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May 24, 2016
NASA’s Science Leader John Grunsfeld
00:28:50
John Grunsfeld closes our coverage of the Space Foundation’s 32nd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. We also meet the leaders of the New Generation Space Leaders Program.

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May 17, 2016
Dream Chaser: The Return of the Spaceplane
00:28:50
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 hear a few moments of Bill Nye’s session at the annual gathering as he hosted Bernard Foing and Amy Mainzer.

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May 10, 2016
At Space Symposium With the Leader of the European Space Agency
00:31:22
The annual Space Symposium in Colorado is a must-attend event for space leaders from around the world. Our coverage begins with United Arab Emirates Space Agency Director General Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, and then moves to ESA Director General Jan Woerner and Chief Scientist Bernard Foing.

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May 03, 2016
A Death Valley Conversation About Life, The Universe and Everything With Tyler Nordgren and Jill Tarter
01:11:37
Beautiful Death Valley National Park was the setting for a fascinating conversation with famed SETI researcher Jill Tarter and celebrated astronomer, artist and photographer Tyler Nordgren.

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Apr 26, 2016
Exploring Europa and Mining Asteroids at Yuri’s Night
00:41:05
Our special coverage from the Los Angeles Yuri’s Night party continues with Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources along with Bob Pappalardo and Boback “Mohawk Guy” Ferdowsi who are preparing an orbiter for Jupiter’s ocean world Europa.

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Apr 19, 2016
Celebrating Yuri’s Night 2016 with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti
00:28:50
Happy Yuri’s Night! We’re partying under Space Shuttle Endeavour in the first of two shows featuring interviews from the worldwide celebration of space. Star Trek’s Robert Picardo will talk about his new video newsletter, the Planetary Post, and we’ll visit with Samantha Cristoforetti, who returned last June from 200 days aboard the International Space Station.

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Apr 12, 2016
Michel Mayor, Discoverer of the First Extrasolar World
00:39:42
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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Apr 05, 2016
Ashwin Vasavada, Leader of Scientists Roving Mars
00:38:02
The new Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist is not new to the mission. Ashwin Vasavada has worked on the Curiosity rover since 2004.

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Mar 29, 2016
Planetary Radio Live: All These Worlds…
00:28:50
Our live conversation about “Planet 9” and the amazing diversity of our solar system, featuring Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of Caltech, Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla, Bill Nye the Science Guy and Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker.

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Mar 22, 2016
Neil Gehrels and WFIRST—A Space Telescope for the 2020s
00:35:30
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 way to life among the stars.

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Mar 15, 2016
HERA Heroine Julielynn Wong and Printing Medical Tools in Deep Space
00:34:47
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 progress toward 3D medical device printing solutions for astronauts and Earthbound humans.

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Mar 08, 2016
Interstellar Dreams: Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Aurora”
01:08:15
Famed science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson is back with Aurora, a cautionary tale about just how difficult interstellar travel may be.

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Mar 01, 2016
Planetary Radio Extra: Our Space Policy Experts Analyze NASA's Proposed 2017 Budget
01:03:36
Casey Dreier, the Planetary Society's Director of Space Policy, and Jason Callahan, the Society's Space Policy Advisor, talk with Mat Kaplan about the just-released "President's Budget Request" for the fiscal year starting in October of 2016.

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Feb 23, 2016
Exploring Saturn With Cassini
00:32:24
Cassini Mission Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with the latest discoveries at the beautiful ringed planet, its moons and its rings.

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Feb 23, 2016
Zero-G With OK Go!
00:38:49
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 hazards, thrill and promise of making art in free fall.

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Feb 16, 2016
Planetary Radio Extra: LightSail Update
00:21:10
The Planetary Society's Bruce Betts and Jason Davis join host Mat Kaplan for a status report on LightSail 2, the Society's next solar sail, now being prepared for launch as soon as late this year.

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Feb 09, 2016
Planet 9 From Outer Space!
00:49:10
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 Caltech researchers talk about their findings and much more.

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Feb 09, 2016
NASA’s New Planetary Defense Office
00:50:35
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 manager of the Near Earth Object Observation Program.

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Feb 02, 2016
Civilizations Among the Clustered Stars?
00:41:48
New research indicates that globular clusters—collections of up to a million stars—could provide stable environments for life, along with opportunities for interstellar civilizations. Lead author Rosanne Di Stefano joins us to explain.

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Jan 26, 2016
Marc Rayman’s Dawn Mission Update
00:30:50
The Dawn Mission Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns for another report on the ion-engine powered mission, now orbiting 240 miles above dwarf planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt.

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Jan 19, 2016
Master of the Moon Rocks: NASA Astromaterials Curator Francis McCubbin
00:38:17
Francis McCubbin is the new Astromaterials Curator at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the priceless collection includes the Apollo moonrocks. Join host Mat Kaplan's visit.

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Jan 12, 2016
Ad Astra Builds “The Martian’s” Rocket Engine
00:34:40
Mat Kaplan visits the Ad Astra Rocket Company in Texas where they are perfecting the VASIMIR electric rocket engine. Emily Lakdawalla has created a comprehensive timeline tracing missions throughout the solar system. Bill Nye salutes Planetary Society colleagues who gathered to record a Planetary Radio Extra year in review conversation. The new year’s sky is chock full of planets according to Bruce Betts.

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Jan 05, 2016
Planetary Radio Extra: Ad Astra Rocket Company Audio Tour
00:36:35
Ad Astra's Mark Carter took Planetary Radio Host Mat Kaplan on a great tour of the company's facility in mid-November of 2015. Space and science geeks are going to love this mostly unedited audio recording.

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Jan 05, 2016
Planetary Radio Extra: Planetary Society Experts 2015 Review
01:01:40
Bruce Betts, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Emily Lakdawalla gather with Mat Kaplan for a fascinating and informative Planetary Radio Extra year-in-review roundtable discussion.

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Jan 05, 2016
2015: A Great Year for Space Exploration
00:28:50
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 offers planets, a comet, and a nice prize package for the space trivia contest.

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Dec 29, 2015
Congressman John Culberson on a Good Day for Space
00:33:58
The newly-approved federal budget includes great news for fans of space exploration and development. Texas Congressman John Culberson led the fight for a Europa mission, the SLS rocket, commercial crew and more. He tells us why on this week’s show.

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Dec 22, 2015
Planetary Radio Extra: Casey Dreier on the 2016 NASA Budget
00:38:44
Mat Kaplan sits down with our Director of Advocacy, Casey Dreier, for a discussion of NASA's 2016 budget.

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Dec 22, 2015
Field Test: Planetary Deep Drill
00:28:50
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 prototype has shown that it may be a practical approach. Join Mat Kaplan and Planetary Society colleagues at the field test site deep in California’s desert.

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Dec 15, 2015
A Journey to Space
00:34:34
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 both this week.

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Dec 08, 2015
A Tiny Explorer Called Twinkle
00:28:50
A small but talented UK team is building Twinkle, a small spacecraft with a big mission—exploring the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars.

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Dec 01, 2015
Movers and Shakers at SpaceCom Expo
00:31:15
We join 1,600 space entrepreneurs and visionaries in Houston, and talk with Boeing, XCOR, Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa and more.

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Nov 24, 2015
Solar System Revelations, and the World’s Biggest Telescope Threatened?
00:28:50
Emily Lakdawalla returns from the annual Division for Planetary Sciences meeting with big news from around the solar system. Then we talk with science journalist Traci Watson about the departure of the great Arecibo radio telescope’s Director and the funding challenge that could shut down the observatory.

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Nov 17, 2015
From Mars to the Stars With Lou Friedman
00:28:50
Nov 10, 2015
A 35th Anniversary Party With Neil Tyson!
00:31:46
It was a grand night at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. CEO Bill Nye led the Planetary Society’s 35th anniversary party with guests including Neil deGrasse Tyson and Deputy NASA Administrator Dava Newman. We present a very brief sampling of the celebration.

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Nov 03, 2015
A Conversation with Andy Weir of “The Martian”
01:07:51
“The Martian” has won universal acclaim from scientists, astronauts, NASA, science fiction fans, and people who thought they weren’t science fiction fans. Mat Kaplan talks with the author about his harrowing, uplifting, amazingly detailed and realistic tale.

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Oct 27, 2015
Pluto Amazes!
00:38:40
Hal Weaver is a very happy Project Scientist. His New Horizons spacecraft has shocked his fellow researchers with magnificent images and data. He shares the excitement this week.

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Oct 20, 2015
Big Rockets and Little LightSails
00:28:50
Digital editor Jason Davis is a lucky guy. He follows and reports on human spaceflight progress, as well as the progress of the LightSail solar sail, which is about a year from its next flight.

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Oct 13, 2015
Imaging Hot Young Jupiters
00:28:50
Franck Marchis is on the team that has delivered an actual image of a young, hot world about 100 light years from Earth. We talk with him on the 20th anniversary of the first exoplanet discovery.

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Oct 06, 2015
Humans Orbiting Mars!
00:37:56
Scott Hubbard and John Logsdon led the Humans Orbiting Mars Workshop last spring. They return with Casey Dreier as the report on that workshop is released to the world.

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Sep 29, 2015
Zibi Turtle and a Mission to the Ice Giants
00:28:50
They are the most neglected planets in our solar system, but that status may be changing. Planetary scientist Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle celebrates NASA’s announcement that it will study a mission to Uranus or Neptune.

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Sep 22, 2015
OSIRIS-REx Readies for Asteroid Bennu
00:28:50
Dante Lauretta heads the most ambitious mission to an asteroid ever mounted. With one year left till launch, he returns to Planetary Radio with an update.

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Sep 15, 2015
Flying High on SOFIA
00:32:25
Planetary Radio returns to SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, but this time we fly in the giant 747 turned telescope platform. It was a night to remember.

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Sep 08, 2015
Zooming In On Mars With Mastcam-Z
00:28:50
Planetary Radio talks with Jim Bell and Justin Maki, leaders of the development team for the most advanced camera ever planned for the surface of Mars.

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Sep 01, 2015
The Right Site: Choosing A Landing Spot on Mars
00:33:33
The 2020 Mars Rover may be years away, but determining where it will land is already a hot topic among scientists and engineers. Many of the former gathered in early August for a site selection workshop. We talk with Co-Chair and Mars veteran Matt Golombek, JPL astrobiologist Lindsay Hays, and Ken Edgett of Malin Space Science Systems.

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Aug 25, 2015
Planetary Radio Extra: Checking in on NASA's Budget with the Planetary Society's Director of Advocacy Casey Dreier
00:36:18
Mat Kaplan sits down with our Director of Advocacy, Casey Dreier, for a deep dive into current space policy.

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Aug 18, 2015
Living Under the Sea With NASA Aquanaut David Coan
00:32:13
Mat Kaplan talked with engineer and NEEMO Expedition 20 team member David Coan while he was hard at work with astronauts and other engineers living in the Aquarius undersea habitat.

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Aug 18, 2015