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Preview: Planetary Radio - The Planetary Society

Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science

Space exploration, astronomy and planetary science. (Weekly)


Bill Nye Saves the World…With Space

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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.

Media Files:

McDonald Observatory and the Quest for Dark Energy

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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.

Media Files:

Aerospace Corporation President and CEO Steve Isakowitz

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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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Space Policy Edition #11 – Big Science and a Skinny Budget

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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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Mars’ Atmosphere…Lost in Space!

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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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Nancy Atkinson’s Incredible Stories from Space

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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."

Media Files:

Ready for Space: LightSail 2 Update

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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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The Great American Eclipse—Be Part of It!

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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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Hope for Pluto—Should We Re-Redefine Planets?

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Space Policy Edition #10 - Special Guest Laura Delgado Lopez, SpaceX to the Moon, looming budget cuts

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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The Worlds of TRAPPIST-1

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Planetary Radio Live: Near Earth Objects—The Killer Asteroid Threat

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Nazis in Space? Rod Pyle’s Amazing Stories of the Space Age

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Earth Microbes! Welcome to Mars

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Space Policy Edition #9 – Congress Plots New Space Legislation Amid Trump’s Tumultuous First Two Weeks

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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The Final Countdown at Saturn

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Ice, Snow and Lava: Exploring Antarctica’s Mount Erebus

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan Leaves NASA

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Ben Miller Says The Aliens are Coming!

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Space Policy Edition #8 - A Transition "Trumpdate", 2016 in Review, and Answering Your Questions

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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A Little Rocket Company Shoots for the Moon

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600

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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Marvelous Martian MAVEN

Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Art That Captures the Beauty and Science of Space

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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A Giant Telescope and Remembering John Glenn

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Running Before the Sun: Astronomer Jay Pasachoff

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Space Policy Edition #7 - The Trump Administration: What Can We Expect for Space?

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Leading the Search: Bill Diamond of the SETI Institute

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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To Mars! With National Geographic

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Pluto and Titan and Iran, Oh My!

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Inside Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Space Policy Edition #6: Election 2016! Where Do Clinton and Trump Stand on Space?

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Matt Taylor Rocks Rosetta

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Alan Stern and a Triumph at Pluto

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Charley Kohlhase and the Greatest Voyage

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Trekkin’ Across the Universe With Andrew Fazekas

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Space Policy Edition #5: The U.S. Senate takes on the politics of Mars

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Farewell Rosetta!

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Rocket Road Trip!

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Cassini at Saturn: The Final Year

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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OSIRIS-REx: The Voyage to Bennu Begins, With Dante Lauretta

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Spinoffs! Sharing NASA Technology

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Space Policy Edition #4: Near Earth Asteroids—Why we go, how we find them, and maybe mine them

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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The Pale Red Dot: A Planet Called Proxima b

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Could the Soviet Union Have Won the Space Race?

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Sailing the Canyons of Titan

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Subcontractors: Making Space Happen

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Space Policy Edition #3: Plutonium-238, Europa via SLS, Cost of the Next Mars Rover Rises

Fri, 05 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Interstellar Dreams Turn Real

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Anatomy of a Rover—Getting Down to Mars

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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The Eagle Has Landed: Remembering Neil Armstrong

Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Juno Reaches Jupiter!

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Fighting for Space: Former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Space Policy Edition #2: Why Juno? Why Jupiter? Why Now?

Fri, 01 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Countdown to Jupiter

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Planetary Radio Extra: Shining a Million Watt Flashlight on an Asteroid

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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OSIRIS REx: Ready for a Voyage to Bennu

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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JunoCam, The People’s Jupiter Camera

Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Chris McKay, Larry Niven and Andy Weir at the Contact Conference

Tue, 07 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Space Policy Edition #1: How We Got Here: Human Spaceflight at the End of the Obama Era

Fri, 03 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Getting Humans to Mars

Tue, 31 May 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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A Big Test for LightSail 2

Tue, 24 May 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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NASA’s Science Leader John Grunsfeld

Tue, 17 May 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Dream Chaser: The Return of the Spaceplane

Tue, 10 May 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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At Space Symposium With the Leader of the European Space Agency

Tue, 03 May 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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A Death Valley Conversation About Life, The Universe and Everything With Tyler Nordgren and Jill Tarter

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Exploring Europa and Mining Asteroids at Yuri’s Night

Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Celebrating Yuri’s Night 2016 with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

Tue, 12 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Michel Mayor, Discoverer of the First Extrasolar World

Tue, 05 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Ashwin Vasavada, Leader of Scientists Roving Mars

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Planetary Radio Live: All These Worlds…

Tue, 22 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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Neil Gehrels and WFIRST—A Space Telescope for the 2020s

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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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HERA Heroine Julielynn Wong and Printing Medical Tools in Deep Space

Tue, 08 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Interstellar Dreams: Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Aurora”

Tue, 01 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Planetary Radio Extra: Our Space Policy Experts Analyze NASA's Proposed 2017 Budget

Tue, 23 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Exploring Saturn With Cassini

Tue, 23 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Zero-G With OK Go!

Tue, 16 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Planet 9 From Outer Space!

Tue, 09 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Planetary Radio Extra: LightSail Update

Tue, 09 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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NASA’s New Planetary Defense Office

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Civilizations Among the Clustered Stars?

Tue, 26 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Marc Rayman’s Dawn Mission Update

Tue, 19 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Master of the Moon Rocks: NASA Astromaterials Curator Francis McCubbin

Tue, 12 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Ad Astra Builds “The Martian’s” Rocket Engine

Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Planetary Radio Extra: Ad Astra Rocket Company Audio Tour

Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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Planetary Radio Extra: Planetary Society Experts 2015 Review

Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0600

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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2015: A Great Year for Space Exploration

Tue, 29 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0600

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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Planetary Radio Extra: Casey Dreier on the 2016 NASA Budget

Tue, 22 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0600

Mat Kaplan sits down with our Director of Advocacy, Casey Dreier, for a discussion of NASA's 2016 budget.

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Congressman John Culberson on a Good Day for Space

Tue, 22 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0600

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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Field Test: Planetary Deep Drill

Tue, 15 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0600

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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A Journey to Space

Tue, 08 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0600

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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A Tiny Explorer Called Twinkle

Tue, 01 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0600

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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Movers and Shakers at SpaceCom Expo

Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0600

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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Solar System Revelations, and the World’s Biggest Telescope Threatened?

Tue, 17 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0600

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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From Mars to the Stars With Lou Friedman

Tue, 10 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0600

The founding Executive Director of the Planetary Society has just written “Human Spaceflight: From Mars to the Stars,” an optimistic view of humanity’s future in the solar system and beyond.

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A 35th Anniversary Party With Neil Tyson!

Tue, 03 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0600

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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A Conversation with Andy Weir of “The Martian”

Tue, 27 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0500

“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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Pluto Amazes!

Tue, 20 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0500

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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Big Rockets and Little LightSails

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0500

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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Imaging Hot Young Jupiters

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0500

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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Humans Orbiting Mars!

Tue, 29 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0500

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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