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September 11, 2019
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.
September 6, 2019
As NASA struggles to return humans to the Moon by 2024, it's worth asking: why did it stop in the first place?
September 4, 2019
Update on the Mars Helicopter, and a top-level review of the amazing science sent home from comet 67P by Rosetta.
August 28, 2019
Astrobotic is one of several companies that are building small, robotic landers to take commercial payloads to the surface of the Moon.
August 21, 2019
Rick Davis is the perfect person to co-lead NASA’s Mars Human Landing Sites Study
August 14, 2019
Host Mat Kaplan in a long and fascinating conversation with Nicholas de Monchaux, author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo
August 7, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
August 2, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 31, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 24, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 17, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 10, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 5, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 3, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 26, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 19, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 12, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 7, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 5, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 29, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 22, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 17, 2019
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 15, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 8, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 3, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 1, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 24, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 17, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 10, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 5, 2019
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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 3, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 27, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 20, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 13, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 6, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 1, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 27, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 20, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 13, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 6, 2019
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 1, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 30, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 23, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 18, 2019
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\Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 16, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 9, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 2, 2019
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
December 26, 2018
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
December 19, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
December 12, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
December 7, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
December 5, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
November 28, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
November 21, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
November 16, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
November 14, 2018
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
November 7, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 31, 2018
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 24, 2018
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 17, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 10, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 5, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 3, 2018
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
September 26, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
September 19, 2018
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
September 12, 2018
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
September 7, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
September 5, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
August 29, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
August 22, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
August 15, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
August 8, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
August 3, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
August 1, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 25, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 18, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 11, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 6, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 4, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 27, 2018
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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 20, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 13, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 6, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 1, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 30, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 23, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 16, 2018
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.htmlGuests include: Filmmaker Nicholas Agnew, creator of Seat 25Consultant Jeff Bingham, former NASA Associate Administrator for Legislative AffairsJim Garvin, Chief Scientist, Goddard Space Flight CenterJanet Ivey, Emmy award-winning creator of Janet’s Planet“Astronaut Abby” Abigail HarrisonKeri Kukral, Raw Science and the Raw Science Film FestivalSaralyn Mark, MD, iGiant founder and presidentArtemis Westenberg, Explore Mars president, director and co-founderLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 9, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 4, 2018
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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 2, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 25, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 18, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 11, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 6, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 4, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 28, 2018
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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 21, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 14, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 7, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 2, 2018
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.htmlLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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