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Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science

Science • Technology

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 hostRead more

Popular episodes

Into the anthropocosmos with Ariel Ekblaw

Nov 24 • 58:42

Ariel Ekblaw and her Space Exploration Initiative colleagues believe we are at the cusp of interplanetary civilization. They are building the tools, environments and knowledge that will speed the transition and solve problems on Earth. Ariel has published Into the Anthropocosmos, a beautiful celebration of SEI’s fifth anniversary that presents many of its innovative projec...

The DART asteroid impact mission begins, with Nancy Chabot

Nov 17 • 52:44

DART coordination lead Nancy Chabot and the rest of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test team will see their spacecraft rocket toward asteroids Didymos and Dimorphos in a few days. She returns to Planetary Radio with a preview of the mission and its difficult challenge. Planetary Society editor Rae Paoletta takes us on a brief tour of the solar system’s volcanoes, and a sp...

Spacecraft communications and navigation with Badri Younes

Nov 10 • 59:32

Badri Younes says that a spacecraft that can’t communicate or find its way is worthless. He leads SCaN, NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program, which manages resources like the agency’s Deep Space Network. SCaN is also preparing for a future that relies on optical communication and possibly even quantum computing. Younes takes us on an audio tour of SCaN’s work...

Space Policy Edition: We're entering a new era of planetary defense (with Lindley Johnson)

Nov 5 • 01:11:37

The first in-space test of asteroid deflection technology, DART, launches this month. Lindley Johnson, NASA's planetary defense coordination officer, joins the show to talk about how this mission represents a new era for the agency's Planetary Defense program, and how it took nearly 25 years to convince policymakers, international partners, and even NASA that asteroid dete...

Sarah Al Amiri and the new UAE mission to the asteroid belt

Nov 3 • 48:56

The chair of the United Arab Emirates space agency returns with news of an ambitious mission to explore seven asteroids. Sarah also shares the latest science from the Emirates Mars Mission Hope orbiter. The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells invites you to vote for the best space images and more from 2021. And we’ve got two space trivia contest winners to announce in the new...

Sally Ride: Revisiting our 2005 conversation

Oct 27 • 30:48

Host Mat Kaplan has wanted to reshare his first conversation with the great Sally Ride for years. Sally talks about women in space, the loss of space shuttle Challenger, and her devotion to sharing the wonders of science with young girls through Sally Ride Science. Planetary Society editor Rae Paoletta takes us to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Is it shrinking? We also celebrat...

Amazing Technology at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Symposium

Oct 20 • 01:18:02

Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan interviewed NIAC Fellows about their revolutionary projects as part of the 2021 virtual symposium. You’ll hear highlights including how we might grow structures on the Moon and Mars from fungi, and solar sails that will pass excruciatingly close to the Sun before they zoom out of our solar system. We’ll also check in with Society chief scien...

Leaders of the Lucy asteroid mission

Oct 13 • 01:02:35

A delightful, exclusive conversation with principal investigator Hal Levison, deputy principal investigator Cathy Olkin and deputy project systems engineer Mike Sekerak on the eve of Lucy’s launch toward the asteroids that share Jupiter’s orbit. Don’t miss the cameo appearance by Ringo Starr! Bruce Betts offers another What’s Up space trivia contest with an extended deadli...

Why didn’t Dawn land on dwarf planet Ceres?

Oct 6 • 38:37

It started with a question from a listener. The answer comes from Dawn mission chief engineer and mission director Marc Rayman. Marc also tells us about his new job as chief engineer for mission operations and science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and shares his love of space exploration with Mat. LightSail 2 is still going strong! Program manager Bruce Betts opens ...

Space Policy Edition: NASA's Congressional Logjam

Oct 1 • 57:42

A polarized U.S. Congress is juggling nearly half a dozen pieces of major legislation, several of which face time-sensitive deadlines that, if missed, could create significant disruption for major NASA programs. Brendan Curry, The Planetary Society's Chief of D.C. Operations, reports on the view from inside the beltway, and helps us understand how the current logjam of leg...

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