Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science

By The Planetary Society

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Subscribers: 1956
Reviews: 11

bp
 Sep 10, 2021


 Apr 2, 2021

Greg
 Mar 23, 2021
Love the enthusiasm for science.

Rudy
 Jan 15, 2021
The 1/15/21 show demonstrates this is nothing more than a liberal hack show. Our dully elected President Trump, his supporters, and our beloved Democracy have been under assault from the left for four years. Industrial scale election fraud.


 Aug 19, 2020

Description

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

Episode Date
Space Policy Edition: Astronomy Goes Big, with Heidi Hammel
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The search for biosignatures on hundreds of exoplanets is the top goal for U.S. astronomers. That's the conclusion from the new, once-per-decade report from the National Academy of Sciences: Pathways to Discovery. In it, the field of astrophysics is analyzed and prioritized: establishing the major scientific questions, the tools to answer them, and how to best engage the human talent necessary to enable our continued investigation of the cosmos. Dr. Heidi Hammel, astronomer, Vice-President for Science at the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, and Vice President of The Planetary Society joins us to discuss the new results and what it means for the future of astronomy. Discover more here:https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/heidi-hammel-astrophysics-decadal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 03, 2021
Discovering life elsewhere: How can we be sure?
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Is it life? NASA chief scientist Jim Green and Mary Voytek, leader of the agency’s astrobiology program, are two authors of a paper that calls for a system or scale that will allow scientists and others to evaluate the validity and importance of evidence that points to life elsewhere in the solar system or across the galaxy. Planetary Society communications strategy adviser Kate Howells shares our gift list for the space fan in your life, while Bruce Betts takes us across the night sky toward a new space trivia contest. There’s more to explore at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-jim-green-mary-voytek-astrobiology-scale See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 01, 2021
Into the anthropocosmos with Ariel Ekblaw
3522
Ariel Ekblaw and her Space Exploration Initiative colleagues believe we are at the cusp of interplanetary civilization. They are building the tools, environments and knowledge that will speed the transition and solve problems on Earth. Ariel has published Into the Anthropocosmos, a beautiful celebration of SEI’s fifth anniversary that presents many of its innovative projects. Someone will win a copy of the book in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. There’s more to explore at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-ariel-ekblaw-mit-space-exploration-initiative See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 24, 2021
The DART asteroid impact mission begins, with Nancy Chabot
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DART coordination lead Nancy Chabot and the rest of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test team will see their spacecraft rocket toward asteroids Didymos and Dimorphos in a few days. She returns to Planetary Radio with a preview of the mission and its difficult challenge. Planetary Society editor Rae Paoletta takes us on a brief tour of the solar system’s volcanoes, and a special guest joins Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan for What’s Up. There’s more to explore at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-dart-launch-nancy-chabot See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 17, 2021
Spacecraft communications and navigation with Badri Younes
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Badri Younes says that a spacecraft that can’t communicate or find its way is worthless. He leads SCaN, NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program, which manages resources like the agency’s Deep Space Network. SCaN is also preparing for a future that relies on optical communication and possibly even quantum computing. Younes takes us on an audio tour of SCaN’s work that extends beyond our solar system.  There’s more to explore at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-badri-younes-nasa-scan See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 10, 2021
Space Policy Edition: We're entering a new era of planetary defense (with Lindley Johnson)
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The first in-space test of asteroid deflection technology, DART, launches this month. Lindley Johnson, NASA's planetary defense coordination officer, joins the show to talk about how this mission represents a new era for the agency's Planetary Defense program, and how it took nearly 25 years to convince policymakers, international partners, and even NASA that asteroid detection and deflection is an important use of taxpayer dollars. Casey and Mat also highlight the new Astrophysics decadal survey report and the federal ruling against Blue Origin in its effort to secure funding for its lunar lander. Discover more here:https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/lindley-johnson-dart-planetary-defense See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 05, 2021
Sarah Al Amiri and the new UAE mission to the asteroid belt
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The chair of the United Arab Emirates space agency returns with news of an ambitious mission to explore seven asteroids. Sarah also shares the latest science from the Emirates Mars Mission Hope orbiter. The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells invites you to vote for the best space images and more from 2021. And we’ve got two space trivia contest winners to announce in the new What’s Up with Bruce Betts. There’s more to explore at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-sarah-al-amiri-uae-asteroid-mission See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 03, 2021
Sally Ride: Revisiting our 2005 conversation
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Host Mat Kaplan has wanted to reshare his first conversation with the great Sally Ride for years. Sally talks about women in space, the loss of space shuttle Challenger, and her devotion to sharing the wonders of science with young girls through Sally Ride Science. Planetary Society editor Rae Paoletta takes us to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Is it shrinking? We also celebrate the return of the space trivia contest. There’s more to explore at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-2005-sally-ride-interview See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 27, 2021
Amazing Technology at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Symposium
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Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan interviewed NIAC Fellows about their revolutionary projects as part of the 2021 virtual symposium. You’ll hear highlights including how we might grow structures on the Moon and Mars from fungi, and solar sails that will pass excruciatingly close to the Sun before they zoom out of our solar system. We’ll also check in with Society chief scientist Bruce Betts for another What’s Up.  Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-2021-niac-symposium See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 20, 2021
Leaders of the Lucy asteroid mission
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A delightful, exclusive conversation with principal investigator Hal Levison, deputy principal investigator Cathy Olkin and deputy project systems engineer Mike Sekerak on the eve of Lucy’s launch toward the asteroids that share Jupiter’s orbit. Don’t miss the cameo appearance by Ringo Starr! Bruce Betts offers another What’s Up space trivia contest with an extended deadline. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-lucy-levison-olkin-sekerak See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 13, 2021
Why didn’t Dawn land on dwarf planet Ceres?
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It started with a question from a listener. The answer comes from Dawn mission chief engineer and mission director Marc Rayman. Marc also tells us about his new job as chief engineer for mission operations and science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and shares his love of space exploration with Mat. LightSail 2 is still going strong! Program manager Bruce Betts opens this week’s What’s Up segment with a mission status report. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-mark-rayman-dawn-ceres See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 06, 2021
Space Policy Edition: NASA's Congressional Logjam
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A polarized U.S. Congress is juggling nearly half a dozen pieces of major legislation, several of which face time-sensitive deadlines that, if missed, could create significant disruption for major NASA programs. Brendan Curry, The Planetary Society's Chief of D.C. Operations, reports on the view from inside the beltway, and helps us understand how the current logjam of legislation could impact or delay NASA policymaking. Casey and Mat address NASA's major reorganization of its human spaceflight program and how scuba is a cheaper alternative to space tourism. Discover more here:https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/brendan-curry-fall-dc-update See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 01, 2021
Mars Beckons: The 2021 Humans to Mars Summit
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Mars all-stars gathered online for September’s annual Humans to Mars summit produced by Explore Mars. Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan moderated three intriguing panels with participants including leaders from space agencies throughout the world. Then we hear about the 19th century’s biggest telescope in this week’s What’s Up segment with Bruce Betts.  Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-humans-to-mars-summit-excerpts See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 29, 2021
The Wonderful: a new documentary about the International Space Station
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Clare Lewins has created a film that takes us inside the lives of people who have lived and worked on the International Space Station. Cady Coleman is one of the featured astronauts in this beautiful, intimate and very affecting documentary. Planetary Society contributor Jatan Mehta tells us about South Korea’s plans for a lunar orbiter with an amazing camera. Bruce Betts returns with yet another space trivia contest and a quick tour of the night sky. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/the-wonderful-film-clare-lewins-cady-coleman See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 22, 2021
The Case for a Return to Enceladus
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Morgan Cable of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is lead author of a paper that makes a compelling argument for a mission to Saturn’s small but dynamic moon Enceladus. She and her stellar co-authors believe it is among the best and easiest places in our solar system to look for evidence of life. Morgan has also been involved with the synthesis of organic crystals that could exist on Titan. What would they mean for possible biological activity on that big moon? Bruce Betts shares his excitement about the current night sky in What’s Up. https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/morgan-cable-enceladus-titan-co-crystals See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 15, 2021
An ESCAPADE to Mars, on the cheap
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NASA hopes to radically reduce the price tag for exploring Mars with a mission called ESCAPADE. Principal investigator Rob Lillis and his team will send two small probes to the Red Planet in 2024 for less than $80 million. They will work with orbiters already circling Mars to answer deep questions about the evolution of that world’s formerly thick atmosphere and the effects of solar radiation. Then we’ll check in with Planetary Society chief scientist Bruce Betts for another What’s Up. Discover more at  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/robert-lillis-escapade-mars See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 08, 2021
Space Policy Edition: The cultural rituals of space advocacy, with Linda Billings
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Communication is culture, says Dr. Linda Billings, an expert in social science and space outreach. So what culture is summed by the types of space advocacy that call for pioneering, colonization and conquest of nature? Linda talks about the importance of language and context when advocating for space, and how we should consider other cultural values and frameworks for effective public engagement. Discover more here:https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/linda-billings-space-advocacy-culture See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 03, 2021
Liquid Water Under the Martian Polar Ice? Maybe Not
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It was one of the most exciting planetary science announcements in 2018: Radar from an orbiting spacecraft might have found large pools of liquid water under the Martian south pole. But good science doesn’t end with first conclusions. Jeffrey Plaut and Isaac Smith are among the researchers who have found that a form of clay may better explain these reflections. We also talk with The Planetary Society’s Rae Paoletta about the Earth-like worlds found across our corner of the galaxy. Your chance to win the coveted Planetary Society rubber asteroid returns in this week’s What’s Up. Discover more at  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/jeffrey-plaut-isaac-smith-mars-polar-clay See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 01, 2021
Europa Clipper Sails Toward Launch
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Jupiter’s moon Europa hides a vast water ocean under a protective layer of ice. The Europa Clipper mission will send a powerful orbiter to investigate. Mission system manager L. Alberto (Al) Cangahuala tells us about the great strides made toward a planned 2024 launch and the challenges ahead. Bruce Betts faces one of the greatest challenges for any parent: getting a new college freshman installed in a distant university. Our chief scientist takes a break from the preparation to share the night sky and a new space trivia contest. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/al-cangahuala-europa-clipper-update See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 25, 2021
Cassini, Voyager and beyond with Linda Spilker
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Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker is back to describe how data from the Saturn mission that ended four years ago is behind new, trailblazing science. Linda has also rejoined the team behind NASA'S Voyager mission that is celebrating important anniversaries. She closes with convincing arguments for missions to Saturn’s moon Enceladus and the ice giants Uranus and Neptune. Bruce Betts gets on the Cassini train with this week’s space trivia contest. Discover more at  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/linda-spilker-cassini-voyager-outer-planets See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 18, 2021
How Perseverance drives itself around Mars
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NASA’s Perseverance is driving farther and faster than any previous Mars rover, thanks to its advanced AutoNav system. Vandi Verma, the mission’s chief engineer for robotics at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, takes us inside the speedy, six-wheeled robot for a look at its marvelous mechanics and software. Vandi also describes the complex process of sample collection. There’s a high-flying surprise for Bruce Betts in the space trivia contest. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/vandi-verma-perseverance-autonav-sample-collection See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 11, 2021
Space Policy Edition: Mars via the Nuclear Option
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Can nuclear propulsion fundamentally transform our ability to send humans to Mars? Bhavya Lal, a policy and nuclear engineering expert now working at NASA, helped write a new report on the topic for the National Academies of Sciences. She joins the show to talk about the advantages of various types of nuclear propulsion, the engineering and policy challenges that face them, and the role of government versus the private sector in developing and deploying transformational technologies. Discover more here: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0804-2021-spe-bhavya-lal-nuclear-propulsion See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 06, 2021
Alan Stern Says It’s Time for Suborbital Science
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An experiment rode next to Richard Branson when he rocketed to the edge of space on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo last month. Planetary scientist Alan Stern says we’ve begun a new era of affordable space research thanks to this vehicle and Blue Origin’s New Shepard. Alan also delivers an update on the New Horizons mission, including a new, definitive collection of everything we’ve learned about Pluto. Then it’s Olympic gold for Bruce Betts in our weekly What’s Up segment. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/alan-stern-suborbital-science-new-horizons-update See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 04, 2021
Andy Chaikin on Apollo 15 and the lessons of Apollo
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Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan said of Andy Chaikin’s book A Man on the Moon, “I’ve been there. Chaikin took me back.” Andy returns to help us mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 15 and the first use of the Lunar Rover. He also talks with Mat about what the Artemis generation should learn from Apollo, how astronauts have evolved, the challenge of putting humans on Mars, and much more. Bruce Betts picks up the Apollo 15 theme with this week in space history. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/andy-chaikin-apollo-15-and-more See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 28, 2021
Amy Mainzer and a New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope
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We may finally get the powerful telescope we’ve needed to find almost all of the near-Earth objects that are big enough to destroy a city. University of Arizona professor Amy Mainzer leads the NEO Surveyor project. She returns to Planetary Radio with the full story. Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos and three colleagues rode a rocket that briefly put them in space. We’ll hear from Bezos and 82-year-old Wally Funk. The pilot and former astronaut candidate is now the oldest person to have reached space. Discover more at  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/amy-mainzer-neo-surveyor See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 21, 2021
We’re Going Back to Venus
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Sue Smrekar and Jim Garvin woke up in June to some of the best news a planetary scientist can receive. Their complementary missions to Venus had just been given the green light by NASA. The VERITAS and DAVINCI principal investigators return to Planetary Radio for a celebration of this announcement and a deep dive into their spacecraft and the mysteries of Earth’s broiling-hot sister world. Bruce Betts adds yet another Venusian mystery when he offers this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/sue-smrekar-veritas-jim-garvin-davinci See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 14, 2021
Visiting the James Webb Space Telescope
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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is expected to be 100 times as powerful as its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope. We talk with three leaders of the effort to build, launch and deploy it as soon as November of this year. These conversations were recorded on the other side of a window facing the Northrop Grumman clean room in which technicians were putting the finishing touches on the observatory. Bruce Betts salutes Webb with a special What’s Up Random Space Fact.  Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/jwst-vila-ochs-robinson See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 07, 2021
Space Policy Edition: The Pentagon's UFO Report, Featuring Sarah Scoles
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The Pentagon finally released its hotly-anticipated briefing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. As expected, it provided little new information, saying only that there were a number of unexplainable observations. Sarah Scoles, author of the book They Are Already Here, that examines the culture and motivations behind ufology, joins the show to provide critical context. Why did it come about? What are the motivations of the people who pushed for its release? And how should we approach extraordinary claims with little information? Discover more here: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0702-2021-spe-sarah-scoles-pentagon-ufo-report See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 02, 2021
Finding Life by Looking for Complexity
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University of Glasgow chemist Lee Cronin and his collaborators have developed a new way to detect life. Their "assembly theory" could give us a reliable method for recognizing life or evidence of past life based on the complexity of molecules in any environment. The Planetary Society’s Rae Paoletta shares our favorite images of Saturn’s rings with Mat. Bruce Betts reveals which star takes up more of Earth’s night sky as he resolves another What’s Up space quiz.  Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/lee-cronin-assembly-theory See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 30, 2021
The Pearly Clouds of Mars
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Want to see wild colors on Mars? Look up! Planetary scientist Mark Lemmon studies planetary atmospheres at the Space Science Institute. He marvels at the images taken by Mastcam on the Curiosity rover of shimmering iridescent clouds high above the Martian surface. The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells looks back at the 1998 blockbuster movies that got a lot more people thinking about the near-Earth object threat. A few clouds won’t keep Bruce Betts from sharing his latest What’s Up look at the night sky. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/mark-lemmon-mars-clouds-and-dust See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 23, 2021
Amateur Astronomers Saving the World
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The Planetary Society has awarded more than 60 Shoemaker near-Earth object grants to astronomers around the world, enabling them to discover, track, and characterize thousands of asteroids. We’ll hear from two of these dedicated observers. The Society’s Rae Paoletta takes us to Venus where three new spacecraft will help answer big questions. Senior space policy adviser Casey Dreier helps us think about UFO claims. Chief scientist Bruce Betts offers a new What’s Up space trivia contest. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/shoemaker-neo-awardees-venus missions See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 16, 2021
Experimental Cosmologist Brian Keating
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How did the universe begin? Why do galaxies look the way the do? Can we see the vanishingly dim light of undiscovered worlds in the Kuiper Belt? These are some of the questions that drive Simons Observatory director Brian Keating. He also thinks deeply about the existential challenges faced by young scientists and how the Nobel Prize for Physics should be reformed. We’ll spend a fascinating hour with Brian after we visit his lab with fellow physicists James Benford and Paul Davies. Planetary Society chief scientist Bruce Betts joins us for an up-front What’s Up segment. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/brian-keating-simons-observatory-cosmology-nobel See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 09, 2021
Space Policy Edition: NASA's 2022 Budget Request Says "Yes"
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President Joe Biden's new budget proposal for NASA is very good, supporting nearly every major Planetary Society priority. It would fund science at record levels, maintain Artemis' 2024 lunar landing date, and make major investments in technology and education. Casey and Mat break down the details and discuss what's next for NASA as Congress takes up this request. They also explore the decision to fund two missions to Venus. Discover more here: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0604-2021-spe-venus-missions-biden-budget-request See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 04, 2021
Mighty Jupiter Revealed
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Scott Bolton leads the Juno mission that has been orbiting and revealing Jupiter for five years. NASA has granted an extension that will keep the spacecraft exploring till 2025.  Scott shares some of the most exciting recent science, and closes with the surprising tale of his first encounter with planetary scientist and Planetary Society founder Carl Sagan. Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts continues our Jovial theme and prepares us for an annular solar eclipse. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/scott-bolton-juno-update See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 02, 2021
The New Great Space Observatories
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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine will soon issue the Astro2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. It will rank four major proposals for exciting, expensive new space-based telescopes. Astrophysicist Grant Tremblay joins us to explain why all four competing instruments have been grouped as The New Great Observatories, hoping to repeat the marvelous success of a quartet of previous telescopes: Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra and Compton. Then we’ll join Bruce Betts on board the International Space Station for a space trivia contest about one of its commanders. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/grant-tremblay-new-great-observatories See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 26, 2021
Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Project Manager MiMi Aung
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The tiny Mars Helicopter Ingenuity has flown into our hearts. Project manager MiMi Aung and her team may have made it look easy, but Aung explains why it was anything but. Bruce Betts has tips for viewing the upcoming total lunar eclipse. Planetary Radio t-shirts are back as prizes in the space trivia contest! And we’ve got space headlines from The Downlink, our weekly newsletter. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/mimi-aung-ingenuity-update See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 19, 2021
Defenders of Earth on Planetary Radio
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The 2021 Planetary Defense Conference brought together the leading scientists, policymakers and other experts who are working to protect our planet from near-Earth objects (NEOs). The Planetary Society welcomed six of these heroes to a special virtual gathering in late April. You’ll hear their progress reports on this week’s show. One is our own Bruce Betts! He’ll stick around for a NEO-packed edition of What’s Up.  Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-pdc-public-event See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 12, 2021
Space Policy Edition: How Starship at the Moon Brings NASA Closer to Mars
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In a surprise move, NASA chose SpaceX's Starship as the sole winner of its 3 billion-dollar human lunar lander development contract. Within days, Blue Origin and Dynetics filed official protests, forcing NASA to delay the award. Casey and Mat discuss how this selection, if it stands, is a smart move for a space agency that is serious about a true "Moon-to-Mars" program. Should we stop thinking about SpaceX as a scrappy startup and instead treat it as the world's leading aerospace company? Discover more here: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0507-2021-spe-bill-nelson-spacex-lunar-lander See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 07, 2021
Author Andy Weir and Project Hail Mary
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It is always such fun to welcome back Andy Weir. The author of The Martian and Artemis has just published his most entertaining and inventive novel yet. Project Hail Mary gives an unlikely protagonist the job of saving humanity. Andy also shares his thoughts about the Mars helicopter Ingenuity, his hopes for NASA, and his low opinion of “the goldilocks zone” for life. Someone will win the book in Bruce Betts’ space trivia contest. We also introduce new Planetary Society editor Rae Paoletta. She has written about the mysteries of lightning on Jupiter. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/andy-weir-project-hail-mary See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 05, 2021
A Conversation with Kyoto Prize Recipient James Gunn
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There is no Nobel prize for astronomy, so the Kyoto Prize for Astronomy and Astrophysics may be the highest international recognition an astronomer can receive. Princeton University professor of astronomy Jim Gunn is the most recent recipient. Jim recently joined Mat Kaplan for a deep conversation about the wonder and beauty of deep space, about the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that Jim co-created and led, and much more. Is there an asteroid with Mat Kaplan’s name on it? That question is at the heart of the new space trivia contest from Bruce Betts.  Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/james-gunn-sdss See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 28, 2021
Is ‘Oumuamua a Piece of a Pluto-Like Planet? And Ingenuity’s First Flight on Mars
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We begin with a thrilling recap of the successful first flight of NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter on Mars. Then we meet two researchers who have come up with a fascinating explanation for the first interstellar object discovered as it passed through our solar system. Rock out with Planetary Society chief scientist Bruce Betts as we discover the ‘80s band that made a hit out of the first Space Shuttle flight. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/steven-desch-alan-jackson-oumuamua See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 21, 2021
The High Frontier: A New Documentary About Gerard K. O’Neill
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Physicist and space pioneer Gerard K. O’Neil gathered a community of followers as he led planning for vast, magnificent human settlements in space. Guests Dylan Taylor, Will Henry and Ryan Stuit have produced an inspiring, feature-length tribute to O’Neill that stars space luminaries including Jeff Bezos, Frank White, Lori Garver, Rick Tumlinson, and many others. Then Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan are joined by a special listener guest on What’s Up. Hear and discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/high-frontier-film-dylan-taylor See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 14, 2021
The First Space Shuttle Pilot: Bob Crippen on the 40th Anniversary of STS-1
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Pilot Bob Crippen and Commander John Young became the first astronauts to fly a Space Shuttle into orbit on April 12, 1981. Crippen tells host Mat Kaplan about that mission and shares many more stories from his adventurous life. Mat was standing on the dry lake bed in the California desert when STS-1 returned to Earth.  Planetary Society senior space policy advisor Casey Dreier brings additional perspective to this anniversary, and it’s a space poetry festival when Bruce Betts arrives with this week’s What’s Up segment. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/bob-crippen-40th-shuttle-anniversary See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 07, 2021
Space Policy Edition: Biden Names His NASA Administrator
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Bill Nelson, former Senator from Florida, congressional astronaut, and father of the Space Launch System, will likely be NASA's next administrator. Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan also discuss The Planetary Society's global Day of Action, which saw hundreds of Society members meet with elected officials in Washington D.C., along with the news that the National Space Council will continue, and the 40th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle launch, with new budget data. Discover more here:  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0402-2021-spe-day-of-action-bill-nelson-nomination See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 02, 2021
NASA’s TESS Exoplanet Mission Finds Over 2,000 Possible New Worlds
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The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) team has just announced more than 2,200 new exoplanet candidates. Natalia Guerrero of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology manages these discoveries and still finds time to write plays, collaborate on musical performances and host radio shows that dig into the deeper meaning of our expanding universe. The Venusian phosphine debate continues! Space journalist Nancy Atkinson provides an update. Bruce Betts returns to expand our knowledge of the night sky and present a new space trivia contest in What’s Up. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/natalia-guerrero-tess-2200-exoplanet-candidates See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 31, 2021
The Perseverance Rover and a Great First Month on Mars
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Deputy project scientists Katie Stack Morgan and Ken Williford are living on Mars time and living for Mars. We get an update from them on the work of the Mars 2020 rover. Perseverance is already accomplishing terrific science after just 5 weeks on the Red Planet. Katie and Ken also tell us what’s ahead, including launch of Mars helicopter Ingenuity. Then it’s checkmate as Bruce Betts makes his next move across the night sky in What’s Up. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/katie-morgan-ken-williford-perseverance-first-month See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 24, 2021
Return From Ryugu: The Hayabusa2 Leader on His Mission’s Success
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Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda and his team learned a lot from Hayabusa1, Japan’s troubled-though-successful mission that returned a sample from asteroid Itokawa. Now they are celebrating the recovery of a much larger sample from a different world: asteroid Ryugu. Dr. Tsuda joins Mat Kaplan for a fascinating, exclusive conversation about the mission’s 5-billion-kilometer journey and the great science to come. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/yuichi-tsuda-hayabusa2 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 17, 2021
InSight’s Mole: A Martian Science Odyssey
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Troy Hudson and a brilliant international team created a device that would hammer its way below the surface of Mars. Mars had other ideas. The Jet Propulsion Lab engineer and scientist returns to tell us the heroic tale of the InSight lander’s Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, also known as the mole.  Stay with us for a tour of the current night sky and a new space trivia contest from Bruce Betts. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/troy-hudson-insight-mole See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 10, 2021
Space Policy Edition: SpaceX's Early, Desperate Days (with Eric Berger)
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The SpaceX of today reuses rockets and launches people into space. But 15 years ago, the future of the company was in doubt as its Falcon 1 rocket repeatedly failed to reach orbit. Eric Berger, Senior Space Editor at Ars Technica, joins the show to discuss his new book, Liftoff, which chronicles these early, formative years of the company in which it nearly collapsed. Discover more here:  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0305-2021-spe-eric-berger See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 05, 2021
Spinoffs: How NASA Technologies Benefit Life on Earth
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Cleaning up water pollution, inventing inexpensive ventilators for hospitals, turning waste plastic into sidewalks, and making baby formula more nutritious—these and thousands of other innovations have come directly from research and development for space exploration. NASA technology transfer program executive Daniel Lockney takes us on a tour of Spinoff 21, the agency’s fascinating new report.  Bruce Betts reminds us that a spin past Venus is sometimes the best way to head to far more distant worlds.  That’s the inspiration for this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. There’s much more to hear and discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/dan-lockney-nasa-spinoff-21 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 03, 2021
Touchdown! The Sights and Sounds of Perseverance on Mars
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The Mars 2020 rover is on Mars. We have collected the most thrilling moments from the landing and the revelations that followed, including the first sounds recorded on the Red Planet. Bill Nye congratulates the entire Perseverance team and explains why this audacious mission is so important. Then Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan welcome special guests as they read the winners of the What’s Up Mars poetry contest. There’s more to discover at  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/perseverance-landing-highlights See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 24, 2021
Planetfest ’21: To Mars and Back Again
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The Planetary Society’s Planetfest ’21 celebrated Mars and the newest visitors to the Red Planet.  Mat Kaplan shares some of his Planetfest conversation with Andy Weir, author of The Martian. We also sit down with the leader of the United Arab Emirates’ Hope mission that entered Mars orbit a few days ago. Planetary Society contributing editor Andrew Jones provides an update on China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft that arrived within hours of Hope.  We’ll also join preparations for the landing of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover Perseverance as we hear a media briefing from mission leaders. There’s more to discover at  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/planetfest-andy-weir-omran-sharaf-andrew-jones See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 17, 2021
The Big Book of Mars: Our Obsession with the Red Planet
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Mars has commanded our attention and stimulated our imaginations for millenia. Now, as 3 more spacecraft arrive, we talk with author Marc Hartzman about his new book that documents the fascination and fancy generated by the Red Planet. Planetary Society Chief Advocate Casey Dreier gives us a taste of the Society’s recommendations for the Biden administration regarding space exploration. Bruce Betts provides one more opportunity to win a Planetfest ’21 t-shirt! There’s more to discover, including a link to Planetfest ’21, at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/marc-hartzman-big-book-of-mars See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 10, 2021
Space Policy Edition: The Big Picture on U.S. Science Funding
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Matt Hourihan is perhaps the world's most knowledgeable expert in how the U.S. government funds basic science and development activities. He joins the show to talk about the big picture of where the money goes, how the focus has changed over time, and the consequences of budget cuts to critical science investments. Discover more here:  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0205-2021-spe-matt-hourihan See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 05, 2021
A Cosmic Odyssey: Decades of Discovery at the Palomar Observatory
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Astronomer Linda Schweizer spent countless hours interviewing the explorers who revolutionized astronomy through observations made at California’s Palomar Observatory. She tells their fascinating stories and shares their science in her new book Cosmic Odyssey: How Intrepid Astronomers at Palomar Observatory Changed our View of the Universe. Attention space poets! You might win a Planetfest ’21 t-shirt as Mat and Bruce invite your best efforts in the new What’s Up contest. Hey, it could be verse! There’s more to discover, including a link to Planetfest ’21, at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0203-2021-linda-schweizer-cosmic-odyssey See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 03, 2021
‘Oumuamua: Avi Loeb says it may have been artificial
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Could the first object shown to have originated outside our solar system be a light sail built by an alien civilization? That’s the very controversial hypothesis put forward by distinguished Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb in his new book Extraterrestrial. The book is about much more than ‘Oumuamua, and so is Avi’s conversation with Mat Kaplan. Bill Nye pays tribute to a fallen member of The Planetary Society’s space family, and the biggest coincidence in the history of Planetary Radio surfaces during What’s Up.There’s more to discover, including a link to Planetfest ’21, at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0127-2021-avi-loeb-extraterrestrial See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 27, 2021
7 More Minutes of Terror: Perseverance Arrives at Mars
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The 2020 Mars Rover will reach the Red Planet on February 18th after many months in the relative quiet of space. It will then undergo a true trial by fire as it descends to the surface. Jet Propulsion Lab systems engineer and his colleagues hope it will arrive as successfully as its sister Curiosity did in 2012. He tells host Mat Kaplan what to expect. Planetary Radio listeners prove once again that they are awesome as they go to amazing and unnecessary lengths (oops!) to answer the space trivia quiz. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0120-2021-gregory-villar-perseverance-edl See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 20, 2021
Space Policy Edition: A Mob at the U.S. Capitol
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This is not your normal episode of the Space Policy Edition, but these are not normal times. The centuries-old U.S. tradition of the peaceful transfer of power ended on 6 January 2021, as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building during the certification of the electoral college vote, leaving 5 dead. Hours later, more than one hundred members of Congress voted to object to the certified electoral results of Arizona and Pennsylvania. Jared Zambrano-Stout, former congressional staffer and chief of staff of the National Space Council, joins the show to help process these events. We’ll return to our usual space policy content in February. Discover more here:  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0115-2021-spe-jared-zambrano-stout See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 15, 2021
A Symphony for 7 Moons
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Composer Amanda Lee Falkenberg has created The Moons Symphony. You’ll hear excerpts from each of its 7 movements. They are inspired by and evoke 7 of our solar system’s smaller, unique worlds. Joining Amanda are her advisors and friends, artist and International Space Station astronaut Nicole Stott and Cassini mission project scientist Linda Spilker. Bruce Betts arrives with a new space trivia question based on a visitor to one of these moons. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0113-2021-moons-symphony-falkenberg-spilker-stott See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 13, 2021
Solar Cruiser: A Giant Sail Prepares for Space
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It is many times larger than any previous solar sail, and it will pave the way for even bigger spacecraft propelled by light. Solar Cruiser principal investigator Les Johnson tells us about his latest project and looks to humanity crossing the gulfs of interstellar space. Stellaris: People of the Stars is a collection of science fact and fiction co-edited by Les. Mat and Bruce offer a copy in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0106-2021-les-johnson-solar-cruiser See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 06, 2021
Planetary Society All-Stars Review 2020 Space Milestones
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Chief Scientist Bruce Betts, Editorial Director Jason Davis, Chief Advocate and Senior Space Policy Advisor Casey Dreier, and Communications Strategy and Canadian Space Policy Advisor Kate Howells join host Mat Kaplan for our annual look back at the closing year’s accomplishments in space exploration. They also predict 2021’s biggest events on the final frontier. A very cool prize awaits the winner of the new What’s Up space trivia contest. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1230-2020-2020-review-betts-davis-dreier-howells See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 30, 2020
Astronaut Stephanie Wilson Might Walk on the Moon
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Engineer and astronaut Stephanie Wilson was a toddler when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin visited the Moon. She may someday almost literally walk in their footsteps. Stephanie is one of 18 astronauts--9 women and 9 men--chosen for the Artemis Team. We also welcome back Cassini-Huygens project scientist Linda Spilker for another update on the discoveries still being made thanks to that flagship mission. Linda also looks ahead toward more missions in the outer solar system. Did you catch the great conjunction? Mat and Bruce did, and they’ll talk about it in What’s Up. There’s more to discover at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1223-2020-stephanie-wilson-artemis-linda-spilker See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 23, 2020
What Do You Need to Make Martian Oxygen? MOXIE!
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Mike Hecht is in charge of the MOXIE experiment on NASA’s Perseverance rover, arriving on Mars in February. The tiny device will test our ability to turn the Red Planet’s plentiful carbon dioxide into oxygen. Someday a scaled-up version may make the oxidizer that will get astronauts back to Earth. Mike also helps lead the groundbreaking Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration that captured the first image of a black hole. Want to win a Planetary Society baseball cap? Your opportunity arrives with What’s Up. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1216-2020-mike-hecht-moxie See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 16, 2020
Welcoming a New Leader, and China on the Final Frontier
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Carl Sagan was first in the job. Now it has been handed to Caltech planetary scientist Bethany Ehlmann. We’ll talk with the Planetary Society’s new president about her Moon mission and more. Society CEO Bill Nye and president emeritus Jim Bell also join in. Then we welcome back China space program expert Andrew Jones for an update on the nation’s lunar sample return effort and a survey of many other missions and developments. The new Planetary Society baseball cap will go with a great new book about the Apollo program to the winner of a new space trivia contest. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1209-2020-ehlmann-transition-nye-bell-andrew-jones See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 09, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Operation Moonglow and the Global Impact of Apollo
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Apollo was seen as a triumph of,not for, all mankind, argues Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, author of the new book Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Apollo. She joins the show to talk about how this was not an accident, but the outcome of a carefully managed public relations campaign by the United States to promote its interests abroad. Discover more here.  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1202-2020-spe-teasel-muir-harmony See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 04, 2020
Observatory Director Francisco Córdova on the Devastating Loss of Arecibo
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The 900-ton instrument platform suspended high above the giant Arecibo dish crashed downward in the early morning hours of December 1st. Host Mat Kaplan had recorded a conversation with the leader of the observatory just hours before the disaster. You’ll hear it here, along with a reflection on the magnificent radio telescope by Bill Nye, and further comments by Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts. We’ve also got space headlines and a brand-new prize for a brand-new space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1202-2020-francisco-cordova-loss-arecibo-observatory See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 02, 2020
More Moon Water and an Update from Venus on Our 18th Anniversary!
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We celebrate 18 years of Planetary Radio with two great features and 10 personal questions for host Mat Kaplan from Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts. Astronomer Jane Greaves is back with an update on the phosphine gas detected above Venus. Then we find water right out under the Sun on our own Moon. Research leader Casey Honnibal tells us how her team found it using the SOFIA telescope on a 747. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1125-2020-greaves-phosphine-honnibal-lunar-water See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 25, 2020
Revealing Mars From Above, and Crew Dragon is Go!
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Jeffrey Plaut and Richard Zurek are the project scientists for two of the most successful and long-lived Mars missions. Their orbiters, Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, are still delivering great science, even after 19 years above the Red Planet for Odyssey. We’ve also condensed the first 29 hours of the first operational Crew Dragon mission into 98 thrilling seconds. You’ll get a chance to win The Spacefarer’s Handbook in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1118-2020-crew-dragon-odyssey-mro See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 18, 2020
Space Policy Edition: NASA's Post-Election Landscape
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The United States' 2020 elections are over. What do the results mean for NASA in the years ahead? To help answer that question, we welcome back Brendan Curry, The Planetary Society's Chief of D.C. Operations. Join us as we review the changes in Congress and the White House that will impact the direction of the U.S. space program. Explore more here.  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1002-2020-spe-brendan-curry-election-review See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 13, 2020
A Rogue World Wanders as PlanetVac Heads for the Moon and Mars
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In a jam-packed episode, we’ll talk to a discoverer of a distant, lonely planet that wanders the galaxy, and then turn to plans to send a radically-simple sample collection system to the Moon and Mars’ moon Phobos. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye will add his congratulations for the PlanetVac team. We’ve also got a signed copy of Bill’s latest book for the winner of the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1111-2020-poleski-rogue-planet-zacny-planetvac See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 11, 2020
A Return to Asteroid Mining, and Digging Into Space Ethics with Joel Sercel
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At least two ambitious, smart asteroid mining companies have gone bust. Joel Sercel makes the case that his new effort comes at a much better time, and with a better approach. He’ll also share his audacious plan for mining water on the Moon, along with his concerns regarding humanity’s spread across the solar system. Can we avoid the mistakes made in past eras of exploration and expansion? You’ve got one more chance to win your own asteroid—a small, rubber one—in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1104-2020-joel-sercel See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 04, 2020
A Deep Dive into Asteroid Bennu With Dante Lauretta
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We are joined by the leader of the OSIRIS-REx mission that sampled an asteroid last week. Dante reveals just how brilliantly successful the encounter was, and describes preparations for the journey back to Earth. Space journalist Nancy Atkinson tells us about Orbilander, a mission that would orbit and then descend to Saturn’s moon Enceladus in a search for life. Space headlines from The Downlink and our weekly visit with Chief Scientist Bruce Betts round out this week’s show. Explore more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1028-2020-dante-lauretta-osiris-rex See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 28, 2020
We Have Sampled an Asteroid! And the Search for Life Above Venus
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OSIRIS-REx has done it! We have special coverage of the spacecraft’s successful collection of a sample from asteroid Bennu. Then we talk with Jane Greaves, leader of the team that found evidence of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus. Has this put us on the road to discovery of life above that hellish world? Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan offer a copy of Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight in the new space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1021-2020-jane-greaves-venus-phosphine See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 21, 2020
Beyond Earth’s Edge: A Celebrity Space Poetry Jam!
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Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight is the new and outstanding collection of poems edited by Julie Swarstad Johnson and Christopher Cokinos. They’ll join us to hear poems in the collection read by Bill Nye, Robert Picardo, Sasha Sagan, astronauts, scientists and others. Bruce Betts looks away from the night sky long enough to pen his own poetic contribution. We’ve also got space headlines from The Downlink, and a new space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1014-2020-poetry-johnson-cokinos See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 14, 2020
Protectors of Earth! (and Other Worlds)
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Protecting worlds like Earth and Mars from microscopic invaders carried by human and robot visitors was just one of the scores of topics covered at this year’s Humans to Mars summit. Mat Kaplan moderated a panel featuring planetary scientist and New Horizons mission principal investigator Alan Stern, NASA associate administrator Mike Gold, and NASA planetary protection officer Lisa Pratt. Planetary Society digital editor Jason Davis shares the fascinating 40-year timeline that can be found in the Society’s September equinox edition of The Planetary Report, and Mars shines bright in our What’s Up segment. Great links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1007-2020-h2m-planetary-protection-panel See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 07, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Divining Biden's Space Policy with Jeff Foust
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A month before the U.S. election Joe Biden's campaign has yet to state its goals for space and NASA. We asked Jeff Foust, one of the best space reporters in the business, to help us piece together a working model of a potential Biden Administration space policy. We comb through the available evidence, combining insights from Biden's history in the Senate, his 8 years as vice president, and current activities in the Democratic House of Representatives and party platform to create a prediction of what might be the same, and what might differ from the Trump Administration's approach to NASA. Explore more here.  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/1002-2020-spe-jeff-foust See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 02, 2020
Exploring the Cosmos With Heidi Hammel and AURA
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AURA, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, is the organization that oversees operation of many of our world’s most powerful telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope.  Veteran astronomer and planetary scientist Heidi Hammel is its Vice President for Science. Listen to her passionate argument for exploration by ground and space-based instruments and what they may tell us about ourselves. Only one cat has gone to space! You might win a tribute to that feline in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0930-2020-heidi-hammel-aura See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 30, 2020
A Fond Farewell: Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla
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Emily Lakdawalla was on the very first episode of Planetary Radio, and has been heard on hundreds since then. The planetary evangelist returns for a conversation like no other. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye shares his thoughts after we hear from Emily. Got Mars? Bruce Betts tells us it’s brighter than Jupiter in the evening sky. He’ll tell you where to look during What’s Up. Much more of Emily can be heard at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0923-2020-emily-lakdawalla-farewell-nye See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 23, 2020
Have We Found Evidence of Life on Venus?
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An international team has detected phosphine gas in the clouds above Venus. Naturally-produced phosphine on Earth is created by anaerobic bacteria. We’ll listen to portions of the media briefing at which this result was announced. Then we’ll get perspective on the find from the Planetary Society’s Casey Dreier. Astrophysicist and Venus atmosphere expert Javier Peralta will share his reaction and a big find of his own on our nearest planetary neighbor. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0916-2020-venus-phosphine-discovery-casey-dreier See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 16, 2020
Space Policy Edition: The Moon-to-Mars Strategy, with Dr. Scott Pace
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How spacefaring nations prioritize funding can be just as important, if not more so, than the capabilities of the commercial sector, says Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. She joins the show to talk how these complement each other, and why the SLS and Orion programs deserve support along with work by companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. Mat and Casey also catch up on the dizzying amount of space news in July, including important progress on NASA’s budget from the U.S. House of Representatives. Explore more here.  https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0911-2020-spe-scott-pace See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 11, 2020
A Planetary Mystery is Solved, and it’s Bill Nye’s Anniversary!
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JPL’s Marc Rayman, former Dawn mission director, reveals the secrets of those bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres. First though we celebrate Bill Nye’s 10th anniversary as CEO of The Planetary Society. Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Vaughn is followed by the Science Guy himself. And there’s a Nye invention at the heart of this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0909-2020-marc-rayman-ceres-bill-nye-jennifer-vaughn-10th-anniversary See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 09, 2020
The Sirens of Mars Call to Us
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Georgetown University planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson has written a beautiful book that chronicles our long quest for life on the Red Planet. That search may finally be reaching a climax with the new Perseverance rover and the beginnings of sample return. A copy of The Sirens of Mars will go to the winner of yet another What’s Up space trivia contest. In a nice coincidence, Bruce Betts will tell us where to find a brilliantly bright Mars in the night sky. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0902-2020-sarah-stewart-johnson-sirens-of-mars See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 02, 2020
Katie Mack and The End of Everything
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Known as Astrokatie to her 370 thousand Twitter followers, astrophysicist and cosmologist Katie Mack has written a funny, fantastic guide to the end of the universe. The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) explores five major scenarios for the big finish of the cosmos that scientists currently consider to be possible. We’ll award a copy of Katie’s book to the winner of this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0826-2020-katie-mack-end-of-everything See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 26, 2020
Make Room! Worlds May Crowd Some Habitable Zones
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Newly-published research led by Stephen Kane finds room for as many as 6 habitable zone planets around some stars. Why then is Earth on its own? The UC Riverside planetary scientist and astrobiologist will explain. Host Mat Kaplan is not prepared in the least for the latest space trivia contest question posed by Planetary Society chief scientist Bruce Betts. Do you read The Downlink? The Planetary Society’s great newsletter includes space headlines we review. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0819-2020-stephen-kane-habitable-zone-worlds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 19, 2020
Another Ray Gun Heads for Mars. We Hear It Working.
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First there was ChemCam on Mars rover Curiosity. Now, SuperCam is on its way to the Red Planet aboard Perseverance. We’ll talk with principal investigator Roger Wiens about the new and improved, laser-firing instrument that delivers rock spectra and other science from a distance. SuperCam’s microphone will finally let us listen to the Martian wind and more. Mastcam-Z is right next to SuperCam on the Perseverance mast. You’ve turned it into great acronyms that we’ll share in What’s Up. Links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0812-2020-roger-wiens-supercam-mars-microphone See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 12, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Why the SLS is a National Asset, and Why That Matters
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How spacefaring nations prioritize funding can be just as important, if not more so, than the capabilities of the commercial sector, says Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. She joins the show to talk how these complement each other, and why the SLS and Orion programs deserve support along with work by companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. Mat and Casey also catch up on the dizzying amount of space news in July, including important progress on NASA’s budget from the U.S. House of Representatives. Learn more here. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 07, 2020
Crew Dragon Triumphant, and a Planetary Society Founder Remembers
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Astronaut and former SpaceX director of space operations Garrett Reisman returns to help us celebrate and appreciate the just-completed first crewed mission by a Crew Dragon capsule. Then we settle in with Planetary Society Emeritus Executive Director Lou Friedman for great stories from his new memoir, Planetary Adventures: From Moscow to Mars. Chase Chief Scientist Bruce Betts down the rotating black hole and get ready for the Perseid meteor shower in this week’s What’s Up. Great links and more are at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0805-2020-reisman-crew-dragon-friedman-planetary-adventures See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 05, 2020
Hope Leads the Way to Mars
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An exclusive conversation with science lead Sarah Al Amiri and project director Omran Sharaf of the Emirates Mars Mission. Their Hope orbiter is now on its way to the red planet. NASA Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen has praise for the Emirates mission and looks forward to the beginning of the Perseverance rover’s own journey. Are you as good as NASA at creating acronyms? Take your best shot in the new What’s Up contest, as Bruce Betts waves farewell to comet NEOWISE. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/0729-2020-amiri-sharaf-emm-hope See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 29, 2020
A Mars Mission Begins, a Comet Exits, and the Future of Planetary Science
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The United Arab Emirates Hope spacecraft has begun its journey to Mars. We’ll join a virtual launch party attended by mission leaders, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, National Air and Space Museum director Ellen Stofan and others. Comet NEOWISE is still putting on a show! Learn more about it from NEOWISE principal investigator Amy Mainzer, NASA planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson and JPL scientist Emily Kramer. Our own Casey Dreier provides an overview of three far-sighted white papers submitted as part of the new planetary science decadal survey. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0722-2020-hope-mission-comet-neowise-white-papers.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 22, 2020
3 Billion Years Ago: Was Mars Alive?
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Perseverance, NASA’s 2020 rover, leaves for the Red Planet in just days. Deputy project scientist Ken Williford tells us how it will look for signs of past life where there was once a Martian lake. He’ll also take us through his Jet Propulsion Lab facility where scientists are learning how to recognize the evidence of long ago biology here on Earth. Comet NEOWISE is still lighting up the northern hemisphere sky. Bruce Betts knows where to find it. We’ve also got great new prizes for the space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0715-2020-ken-williford-perseverance.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 15, 2020
To Pluto and Beyond with Alan Stern
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It has been 5 years since the New Horizons probe revealed beautiful, surprising Pluto, and 18 months since it showed us the odd little body now known as Arrokoth. Principal Investigator Alan Stern shares the latest science, and tells us what the spacecraft is up to now as it races toward the edge of our solar system. Have you seen the new comet? Bruce Betts tells you where and how to look in this week’s What’s Up. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0708-2020-alan-stern-new-horizons.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 08, 2020
Space Policy Edition: A Trillion-Dollar Space Economy?
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Dr. Bhavya Lal joins the show to discuss the size of the space economy, where it's going, and how the term itself can mean many different things to many different people. In a world filled with breathless claims about trillion-dollar economies, we dive down into the fundamental assumptions about space commerce, its potential for growth, and the pitfalls of motivated thinking in the hyper-optimistic space community. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the show page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-51.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 03, 2020
Jim Bell Sends New Eyes to Mars
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Mastcam-Z is the main camera system that will soon leave for Mars as part of the Perseverance rover. Mastcam-Z Principal Investigator Jim Bell is back to tell us about what the most powerful set of eyes to reach the surface of the Red Planet may show us. Planetary Society Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla explores four sample return missions headed out across our solar system. The Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient Greek computing device, anchors this week’s What’s Up segment with Bruce Betts. And someone will win one of Jim Bell’s books in the new space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0701-2020-jim-bell-mastcam-z.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 01, 2020
China on the Final Frontier
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Low Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, even Neptune and the edge of the solar system--China’s ambitious plans for space exploration and development are laid out by Planetary Society contributing editor and Chinese space program expert Andrew Jones. Jason Davis provides a brief overview of what’s in the June Solstice edition of The Planetary Report, now available for free. And it’s time to give away ice cream on What’s Up! Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0624-2020-andrew-jones-china-space-program.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 24, 2020
LightSail 2: A Year of Solar Sailing
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The LightSail 2 team and 50,000 supporters around the world will celebrate the little spacecraft’s first anniversary on orbit in a few days. Planetary Society Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Vaughn remembers the long road to this accomplishment. LightSail Program Manager Bruce Betts and LightSail Project Manager Dave Spencer tell us what we’ve learned over the last year and look to the future of solar sailing. Dave also reveals his exciting new job at the Jet Propulsion Lab. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0617-2020-light-sail-2-betts-spencer-vaughn.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 17, 2020
Staying Alive in Space
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Keeping humans alive and well in space is hard enough. How will this be accomplished on a 3-year journey to Mars and back? Paragon President and CEO Grant Anderson shares the great progress we’ve made and the remaining challenges. Astronauts headed for the Red Planet may not need ice cream to stay alive, but will life be worth living without it? You may win a pint of Ben & Jerry’s moooony new flavor and a Netflix Space Force spoon to eat it with in this week’s space trivia contest. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0610-2020-grant-anderson-life-support.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 10, 2020
Space Policy Edition: NASA’s Gamble Pays Off
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SpaceX's Crew Dragon safely carried 2 astronauts to the ISS, nearly a decade after NASA made a huge bet on commercial partnerships to solve a problem of access to the space station. Casey and Mat explore how NASA gained the political will to fundamentally re-imagine its relationship with the private sector. Will it spur a new market for sending humans into space? Chief of D.C. Operations Brendan Curry offers an update on Congress and the outlook for NASA's major programs in a period of unrest and uncertainty.Learn more about this month’s topics through links at  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-50.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 05, 2020
Crew Dragon Thrills While Mars Chills
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This episode opens with a special message about The Planetary Society’s response to recent news, followed by a period of silence that marks the unjust loss of George Floyd and other black men and women. In our regular coverage, we celebrate the successful launch and arrival of the Crew Dragon spacecraft at the International Space Station. Then it’s off to Mars with planetary scientist Edgard Rivera-Valentin. Learn more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0603-2020-edgard-rivera-valentin-mars-brines-crew-dragon.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 03, 2020
Celebrating 30 Years of Hubble with Astronaut John Grunsfeld
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Former astronaut and NASA Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld is often called the Hubble Repairman. He made three space shuttle trips to the space telescope to repair and upgrade it. Now he looks back over three decades of science, beautiful images, and inspiration delivered by the HST. Rubber asteroids are back, and you might win one in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Great links, including to Mat Kaplan’s live interview with John Grunsfeld, are at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0527-2020-john-grunsfeld-hubble-30th.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 27, 2020
Crew Dragon Deep Dive with Astronaut Garrett Reisman
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Engineer and former astronaut Garrett Reisman spent four months on the International Space Station before moving to SpaceX. Ten years of work at the company are about to climax when a Crew Dragon capsule carries astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS. Garrett shares his excitement and inside knowledge about the mission and the groundbreaking spacecraft. We’ve also got headlines from The Downlink, and a night sky update as part of this week’s What’s Up. Great links, including the Crew Dragon ISS manual approach simulation app, are at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0513-2020-garrett-reisman-crew-dragon.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 20, 2020
Looking for Life in Alien Oceans
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Jet Propulsion Lab astrobiologist Kevin Hand has just written Alien Oceans: The Search for Life in the Depths of Space. Kevin and Mat explore these seas and whether they may have nurtured organisms with no connection to life on Earth. You may win a copy of Kevin’s excellent book in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest with Bruce Betts. Take an even deeper dive at  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0513-2020-kevin-hand-alien-oceans.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 13, 2020
The Crew Dragon Countdown Begins, With Former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver
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Lori Garver may have been the strongest advocate of commercial space development in her days at NASA. Now one of that program’s greatest goals is about to achieved with the flight of American astronauts to the International Space Station in a Crew Dragon spaceship. The Planetary Society’s Jason Davis previews what to expect from the SpaceX Demo-2 mission. Also, headlines from The Downlink, and Venus shining bright in What’s Up with Bruce Betts. Learn more about Lori Garver and the Crew Dragon mission at  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0506-2020-lori-garver-dm2-commercial-space.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 06, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Our Moral Obligation to Explore Space
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Are we morally obligated to pursue space exploration? What ethical considerations should we consider when creating space policy? Philosopher James Schwartz joins the show to address these questions and talk about his new book, The Value of Science in Space Exploration. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the show page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-49.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 01, 2020
Life on Mars: Joining the Quest with Penny Boston and Jim Green
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Mat Kaplan recently hosted the first of a series of Explore Mars live and interactive events. NASA astrobiologist Penelope Boston and NASA Chief Scientist James Green joined him for a thrilling conversation about the search for life on the Red Planet, and what may happen if or when we find it. The comet may be a bust, but Bruce Betts tells us there’s still plenty to see in the current night sky. Mat and Bruce also talk about the first ever What’s Up Live! See the live Mars discussion and explore our other topics at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0429-2020-life-on-mars-penny-boston-jim-green.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 29, 2020
The Royal Astronomical Society at 200
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“The object of THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY shall be the encouragement and promotion of Astronomy, Solar-System Sciences, Geophysics and closely related branches of science.” That’s what you’ll find on the website of the RAS. Its mission has changed little in the two centuries since it was founded by some of Britain’s leading scientific minds. Don’t miss the UK Poet Laureate’s poem in honor of the RAS at the end of this week’s episode.  We also offer a tribute to the late Margaret Burbidge, one of the 20th century’s greatest astronomers. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0422-2020-ras-200th-margaret-burbidge.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 22, 2020
NASA Administrator James Bridenstine Returns
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We talk with NASA’s leader about how the agency is meeting the challenge of the pandemic. He looks forward to the future with confidence as he offers updates on projects including the Perseverance Mars rover, the Artemis Moon program, and the effort to send U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station on U.S. commercial crew vehicles. Planetary Society Chief Advocate Casey Dreier marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13 and introduces us to his remarkable new planetary exploration budget dataset. What’s Up also celebrate the “successful failure” of Apollo 13 as Bruce Betts tours the night sky and presents a new space trivia contest. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0415-2020-nasa-admin-james-bridenstine.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 15, 2020
The Slime Mold and the Universe
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How could a lowly slime mold help researchers understand the distribution of dark matter and galaxies across the cosmos? Joseph Burchett and Oskar Elek of the University of California Santa Cruz will tell us about their team’s groundbreaking work. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan announce the first live and interactive What's Up segment is coming on April 23rd. The guys provide their usual assortment of space oddities in this week’s regular segment. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0408-2020-slime-mold-universe.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 08, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Our Equinox Space Policy Briefing
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The coronavirus pandemic reminds us that everything we do in space depends on what we do here on Earth. The impacts on space exploration are being felt already, with more challenges yet to come. The policy team at The Planetary Society, including CEO Bill Nye, recently provided a members-only live briefing to share our analysis of the impacts and to take questions about our work and the future. We share excerpts from that briefing with you on this month's episode. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the show page. https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-48.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 03, 2020
The Next 10 Years: Continuing our Solar System Tour
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Our survey of the solar system in anticipation of the next planetary science decadal survey continues with Mars, the big outer planets, and the smaller bodies that share the neighborhood. Three more great scientists share their looks ahead. Staying responsibly stuck at home is easier when you can look up at a gorgeous night sky. Bruce Betts is here to help with another fun edition of What’s Up and a Random Space Fact or two. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0401-2020-next-10-years-part-2.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 01, 2020
The Next 10 Years…An Introduction to the Decadal Survey
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Preparations at NASA are underway for creation of the next planetary science decadal survey, a roadmap intended to guide exploration of our solar neighborhood from 2023 to 2032. Six scientists, each considering a different world or class of objects, will share their thoughts and hopes. The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla offers fun and fascinating science education suggestions for housebound families. Some lucky (?) listener will be getting a special message from Bruce and Mat if he or she wins the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn and explore more at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0325-2020-next-10-years.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 25, 2020
Building Our Future on Mars
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How will we build the structures, roads and landing pads humans will someday need on Mars? Civil engineer Peter Carrato has been building grand structures on Earth for decades. He says the skills we’ve learned over thousands of years are well-suited for the much more challenging Martian environment. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy returns with a message of care, hope and vision for our troubled times. And a bacon asteroid is just one of the absurdities Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan discover on the way to a new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn and explore more at  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0318-2020-pete-carrato-mars-civil-engineering.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 18, 2020
The Return of Cosmos and Ann Druyan
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Cosmos: Possible Worlds is the third season of the beautiful, groundbreaking television series helmed by the late Carl Sagan’s widow and partner, Ann Druyan. Ann returns to tell us about the show and her new companion book of the same name. You might win a hardcover copy in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. The equinox edition of The Planetary Report has arrived! Planetary Society Editorial Director Jason Davis provides an overview. Learn more on week’s show page:  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0311-2020-ann-druyan-cosmos.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 11, 2020
Space Policy Edition: NASA's 2021 Budget Request Brings Billions
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It's officially budget season! NASA's fiscal year 2021 budget request is out, and it proposes billions of dollars of new funding for Project Artemis. But not every program is so lucky: the WFIRST space telescope, two Earth Science missions, two Mars missions, and NASA's STEM engagement program are slated for cancellation. Why is Artemis growing and science shrinking? Will Congress let those cuts happen? The Society's Chief of D.C. Operations, Brendan Curry, joins Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan to break down the details and political headwinds facing NASA funding in the coming year. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the show page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-47.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 06, 2020
African Eyes Look to the Cosmos
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One people, one sky. That motto belongs to Astronomers Without Borders. Its founder and retired leader, Mike Simmons, recently brought a guest to Planetary Society headquarters. Olayinka Fagbemiro is with the Nigerian space agency and also heads Astronomers Without Borders in her nation. Emily Lakdawalla tells us about four exciting planetary science missions that are currently competing for selection by NASA. Bruce Betts tells us about the search for 100 earths as he also asks us to find a citizen of Middle Earth in space. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0304-2020-fagbemiro-simmons-awb-nigeria.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 04, 2020
The Search for 100 Earths
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Yale astronomer Debra Fischer has spent decades hunting for exoplanets. Now she leads the 100 Earths project that includes the Lowell Observatory and astrophysicist Joe Llama. Debra and Joe join us for a conversation about this search for worlds that could be like our own. There’s big space news in this week’s edition of The Downlink at the top of the show, and Bruce Betts takes us on his weekly tour of the night sky, though it’s the pre-dawn sky that may hold the most wonder. Try your hand at the space trivia contest! Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0226-2020-debra-fischer-joe-llama-100-earths.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 26, 2020
Life=Matter+Information: Paul Davies and the Demon in the Machine
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Physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and author Paul Davies’ new book explores what he believes to be the defining quality of life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. He talks about this and much more in a special, extended conversation. Paul’s book is one of the prizes in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0219-2020-paul-davies-demon-in-machine.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 19, 2020
Another Goldilocks World and the Space Telescope That Discovered It
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The planet has the less than romantic name TOI 700 d, but its discovery has generated passion among those searching for another Earth, including Emily Gilbert. The graduate student is lead author of a paper about the new world. TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, played a key role in its discovery. MIT planetary scientist and astrophysicist Sara Seager returns to tell us about this powerful tool and more. We also visit with the leader of NASA heliophysics research as she awaits launch of the Solar Orbiter. Look out! The rubber asteroids are back on What’s Up!  Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0212-2020-tess-toi700d-seager-gilbert.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 12, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Is the Moon a Stepping-Stone or a Cornerstone for Mars? (with Laura Seward Forczyk)
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A new bill from the House of Representatives threatens to upend NASA's Artemis program and refocus the space agency on sending humans to Mars by 2033. Space policy expert Laura Seward Forczyk joins the show to share her critiques of this proposed legislation and what it would mean for NASA's human spaceflight program. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the episode page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/space-policy-edition-46.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 07, 2020
A Great Space Observatory Goes Dark: The Legacy of Spitzer
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The Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA’s four great space observatories, was decommissioned on January 30. Mat Kaplan celebrates its discoveries and legacy with three leaders of the mission in this special extended episode. Mars has a supporting role in the new Star Trek: Picard streaming series. Planetary Society Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla says the Red Planet never looked better! And you’ll have a chance to win a great new book about the Spitzer Space Telescope in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0205-2020-spitzer-legacy-carey-hunt-werner.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 05, 2020
Mighty Jupiter Revealed
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It’s more massive than all the other planets combined. In nearly four years at Jupiter the Juno spacecraft has returned science that is revolutionizing our understanding of this gigantic world. Principal investigator Scott Bolton shows us the mysterious cyclones at its poles and that famously persistent red spot. Casey Dreier says the United States House of Representatives has proposed legislation that is at odds with NASA’s current Moon and Mars plans. John Flamsteed almost discovered Uranus! Bruce Betts will tell us where he went wrong in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0115-2020-scott-bolton-juno.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 29, 2020
The Coming Descent to Asteroid Bennu
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After a year of circling close to near-Earth asteroid Bennu, the OSIRIS REx spacecraft is almost ready to dip down and collect a surface sample for return to labs on our home planet. Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta prepares us for this exciting event and shares the great science already accomplished. Editorial Director Jason Davis stops by with a report on the successful test by SpaceX of its Crew Dragon escape system. Are we finally about to see astronauts using it to reach the International Space Station? Learn more and enter the weekly What’s Up space trivia contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0122-2020-dante-lauretta-osiris-rex.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 22, 2020
The MILO Institute: Opening the Solar System for Exploration by All
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Planetary scientist and bestselling author Jim Bell is joined by space entrepreneur Lon Levin to tell us about the MILO Institute, a new collaboration by Arizona State University, Lockheed Martin and other organizations that hopes to make robotic exploration of our solar system much more accessible. Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla takes us to the newly-discovered habitable zone world that’s a mere 100 light years from Earth. What’s Up becomes the new home for space jokes! Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0115-2020-jim-bell-lon-levin-milo.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 15, 2020
Space Policy Edition: Houston, We Have a Space Force (with Brian Weeden)
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Legislation signed by President Trump in December formally established the 6th branch of the U.S. armed services, the first such expansion in 72 years. What exactly will the new Space Force do? How big of a deal is this? What does this mean for the militarization of space? Dr. Brian Weeden from the Secure World Foundation joins the show to help us answer those questions. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the episode page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-45.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 10, 2020
In the Clean Room With the Mars 2020 Rover
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Put on your bunny suit! You’re invited to join Mat Kaplan and Emily Lakdawalla in the Jet Propulsion Lab clean room with the Mars 2020 rover. You’ll hear JPL Director Michael Watkins and some of the engineers who have built the robotic explorer that will collect samples for eventual return to Earth. The What’s Up space trivia contest asks you to look for rhymes among our solar system’s many moons. Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0108-2020-Mars-2020-rover-clean-room.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 08, 2020
Planetary Society All-Stars Look Back at 2019 and Ahead to 2020
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Happy new year in space! Editorial Director Jason Davis, Chief Advocate Casey Dreier and Solar System Specialist Emily Lakdawalla join Mat Kaplan for a review of 2019’s biggest news from the final frontier. Our experts then turn to the promise of 2020 for Mars exploration, humans in space and much more. The theme continues as Planetary Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts adds his highlights in a special What’s Up segment. Got a great joke that combines space and the new year? You might win this week’s contest! Learn more and enter the contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2020/0101-2020-looking-back-looking-forward.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 01, 2020
What’s Next for Mars Exploration?
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The Red Planet is slowly revealing its deepest secrets, but there’s much more to learn. The biggest mystery is whether it has ever been home to life. Caltech and JPL planetary scientist Bethany Ehlmann lays out the path ahead in a fascinating conversation. The holiday night sky is alive with stars, planets and even a meteor shower. Bruce Betts will tell all in What’s Up. Our last episode of the year opens with space exploration headlines from the Planetary Society’s news digest, The Downlink. Learn more and enter the space trivia contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1225-2019-bethany-ehlmann-mars.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 25, 2019
Meet the Planetary Society’s Newest Asteroid Hunters
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Six amateur astronomers and small observatories around the world have just been named as the recipients of the 2019 Eugene Shoemaker Near Earth Object grants. You’ll meet an Italian who watches the skies in Sicily and a Minnesota high school teacher who remotely operates a telescope in Texas. Chief scientist Bruce Betts will tell us why the Society has proudly awarded this funding for 22 years. He’ll return for this week’s What’s Up. We’ve also got space exploration headlines from The Downlink. Learn more and enter the space trivia contest at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1218-2019-shoemaker-neo-winners.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 18, 2019
The Creators of The Expanse
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Season 4 of The Expanse is about to begin on Amazon Prime. Host Mat Kaplan visits with the authors of the eight novels (so far) that are the basis of this outstanding hard science fiction series that begins with humankind having become a spacefaring species that spans the solar system. We’ve also got space headlines from The Downlink. Bruce Betts celebrates more recognition for the Planetary Society’s LightSail project in this week’s What’s Up. https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1211-2019-the-expanse-authors.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 11, 2019
Space Policy Edition: The Biggest Policy Moments of the Decade (with Marcia Smith)
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As the 2010s come to a close, Marcia Smith, the founder of Space Policy Online, rejoins the show to explore the most significant and impactful space policy decisions of the 2010s. Mat and Casey also discuss the recently-approved European Space Agency budget, and what it means for planetary defense and Mars sample return efforts. Learn more about this month’s topics through links on the episode page.  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-44.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 06, 2019
A Toast to Alcohol in Space
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They are not for everyone, but there’s no doubt that alcoholic beverages have been part of human culture for as long as there has been human culture. And there’s no reason to think booze won’t follow us across the solar system. Host Mat Kaplan talks with Chris Carberry about his comprehensive and eye-opening book, Alcohol in Space: Past, Present and Future. The December Solstice edition of The Planetary Report has just been published online. Editor-in-chief Emily Lakdawalla provides an enticing overview of its contents. We’ve also got headlines from The Downlink, and a glance at the crowded night sky in What’s Up. Learn more at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1204-2019-chris-carberry-alcohol.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 04, 2019
Seeking the Killer Space App with Space Tango
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Organizations are using the microgravity environment of the International Space Station to develop unique new products. One of them is Kentucky-based Space Tango. We’ll meet its chairman and co-founder and the woman who manages its Tangolab. Also, a NASA rep who works with these pioneers. Time magazine has named the Planetary Society’s LightSail its aerospace invention of the year! Society CEO Bill Nye is grateful to all who have been part of the project. Bruce Betts provides a solar sail update at the top of this week’s What’s Up, and wishes Mat a happy 17th anniversary of Planetary Radio. Learn more and go inside Space Tango at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1127-2019-space-tango.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 27, 2019
Space Books and Gifts for Space Kids of all Ages
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Our own Emily Lakdawalla, Planetary Society senior editor and book lover, shares her 2019 list of space books for everyone, from infant to adult. She also presents a list of cool space gifts recommended by scientists and engineers. Bruce Betts provides a tantalizing tease for what could be a brief but massive shower of meteors. And there’s much more to look for in the fall sky. You’ll find links to the complete lists of Emily’s recommended space books and gifts at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1120-2019-lakdawalla-books.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 20, 2019
A Passionate Conversation with Carolyn Porco
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The outspoken planetary scientist who led the Cassini imaging team finally sits down with Mat Kaplan for a revealing, fun conversation. We also talk with astronomer Jay Pasachoff while he watches tiny Mercury crawl across the face of the Sun. Chief scientist Bruce Betts was in the Planetary Society parking lot enjoying the November 11th transit of Mercury. He joins us from there for What’s Up. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1113-2019-carolyn-porco.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 13, 2019
Our Mysterious Sister: Venus
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Astrophysicist Javier Peralta takes us deep into the thick, fast-moving clouds of the world that is still called Earth's sister by some. Venus is slow to reveal its secrets. Jason Davis helps us celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 12. The Planetary Society wants to hear your space goals, accomplishments and dreams! And Bruce Betts reveals the identity of the first gourmet in space. Space headlines from The Downlink, too. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at: https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1106-2019-javier-peralta.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 06, 2019
Space Policy Edition: How a Report Can Move Mountains
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How can a simple report—just words on a page—lead to creation of a spacecraft? We explore how a 2019 report on the need for a dedicated, space-based telescope to find threatening near-Earth asteroids motivated NASA to pursue that very mission. We speak with Dr. Jay Melosh, planetary scientist and chair of the National Academies committee behind that report, on how it came together and how the process works behind the scenes. We also check on NASA's budget process in Congress and news from the International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C. More resources about this month’s topics are at https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-43.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 01, 2019
Finding Wonder and Meaning in a Book by Carl Sagan’s Daughter
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Bill Nye says of Sasha Sagan’s new book, “Sagan finds the meaning of life everywhere—with her family, around the world, and especially among the stars of the cosmos. Read her work; you’ll have a deeper appreciation for your every step, every bite, and every breath.” Mat Kaplan talks with Sasha about For Small Creatures Such as We, and later joins Bruce Betts to offer the book in the new What’s Up space trivia contest. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1030-2019-sasha-sagan.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 30, 2019
How Long Was Mars Wet?
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Planetary scientist Briony Horgan and her team want to know how long liquid water flowed on the surface of the Red Planet before that world froze. Long enough for life to appear and thrive? New work comparing Earth’s extremes may have provided clues. There’s gas in space, and some of it is inside astronauts. Bruce Betts shares the uncomfortable truth in this week’s What’s Up. Also, space headlines from The Downlink. Learn more about this week’s guest and topics at: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1023-2019-briony-horgan.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 23, 2019
NASA’s Home for the Bleeding Edge: The 2019 NIAC Symposium
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The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program gathers its “fellows” each year to share what they’ve learned about some of the most fascinating science and engineering imaginable. Mat Kaplan visits with Program Executive Jason Derleth and seven leaders of funded studies. Astronaut Mae Jemison also attended and returns to Planetary Radio. Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov passed away last week at 85. He is remembered and praised by space historian John Logsdon. All this, headlines from The Downlink, and Bruce Betts! Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1016-2019-niac-symposium-leonov.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 16, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Happy Fiscal New Year!
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October 1st kicked off federal fiscal year 2020—a day that should also have kicked off a new budget for NASA. But Congress has not funded the space agency yet, instead passing a temporary stopgap measure to keep the government open until November 21st. Brendan Curry, The Planetary Society's Chief of D.C. Operations, joins the show to discuss the latest political developments in Washington, good news for planetary defense, and how the funding delay could spell trouble for the space agency's 2024 lunar goal. More resources about this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-42.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 11, 2019
Nobel Prize Winner Michel Mayor…and More
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Astronomer and astrophysicist Michel Mayor has just been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for physics. Listen to Mat’s 2016 conversation with this revered scientist, the first to discover an exoplanet. The Beresheet mission’s Yoav Landsman recently visited Planetary Society HQ and spent a few minutes catching up with Mat. And Society Editorial Director Jason Davis introduces The Downlink, our weekly digest of planetary news. Bruce Betts takes us to a moon of Uranus to find the melancholy Dane. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1009-2019-michel-mayor-yoav-landsman.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 09, 2019
How to Defend Your Planet
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Planetary scientist Vishnu Reddy studies space objects ranging from satellite debris to planet-killing asteroids. He shares the status of our effort to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs in a conversation with host Mat Kaplan. Did you know fruit flies were first in space? That’s just one of the random space facts you’ll absorb in this week’s What’s Up segment with Bruce. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0925-2019-vishnu-reddy-planetary-defense.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 02, 2019
Ad Astra: The Movie!
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Brad Pitt sets out across the solar system to save Earth in the new space epic. Host Mat Kaplan enjoys a far-reaching conversation with the co-screenwriter of Ad Astra that touches on the film’s meaning, the mythic journey of its protagonist, its spectacular images, and where it strays from known science. Registration for the Planetary Society’s 2020 Day of Action in Washington DC is open! Chief Advocate Casey Dreier has the lowdown. You might win a beautiful, rotating MOVA Earth globe in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest. Hey! That’s LightSail 2 floating above our pale blue dot. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0925-2019-2019-ethan-gross-ad-astra.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 25, 2019
How to Build a Starship: The 2019 Starship Congress
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The biannual Starship Congress attracts starry-eyed believers in humankind’s destiny among the stars. We talk with several of them about their ideas for technologies and science that may help pave the way. Science fiction author David Brin dropped by the Congress and spends a few fun and speculative minutes with us. The September Equinox edition of The Planetary Report is ready for all to read. Editor Emily Lakdawalla gives us a sneak peek. The Milky Way has at least 54 satellite galaxies? Who knew? Bruce Betts, that’s who. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0918-2019-2019-starship-congress.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 18, 2019
The Unexpected Space Center: Los Alamos National Laboratory
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This US research center has been part of more than 200 space missions, but it’s not a NASA facility! The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico gave the Voyager spacecraft their power sources, is building nuclear generators for future Martians, and accidentally invented the field of High Energy Astrophysics. That’s just some of what we’ll learn from Lab historian Alan Carr and longtime Lab astrophysicist Ed Fenimore. The Planetary Society’s Jason Davis has the latest news about India’s lunar lander, while Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan go where no acronym has gone before. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0911-2019-carr-fenimore-los-alamos.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 11, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Why Apollo Ended (with John Logsdon)
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As NASA struggles to return humans to the Moon by 2024, it's worth asking: why did it stop in the first place? Space historian John Logsdon joins the show to discuss the politics behind the decision to abandon the Moon in 1972. Casey and Mat also discuss the proposal to offer a $2 billion prize for sending humans back to the Moon and establishing a base there, and why that's not good public policy. More resources about this month’s topics are at http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/space-policy-edition-41.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 06, 2019
A Comet’s Legacy, and a Helicopter is Ready for Mars
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First we return to JPL for an update on the Mars Helicopter that has just been attached to the belly of the 2020 Mars Rover. Then it’s across the pond for a review of the amazing science coming from the Rosetta mission that spent years exploring comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We wrap things up with another What’s Up view across the solar system and beyond. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0904-2019-balaram-helicopter-rubin-tubiana-rosetta.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 04, 2019
What Will You Send to the Moon?
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Astrobotic is one of several companies that are building small, robotic landers to take commercial payloads to the surface of the Moon. With a new contract from NASA to support his company’s work, CEO John Thornton looks forward to touching down in 2021. Senior editor Emily Lakdawalla can’t wait for the Europa Clipper to reach Europa, one of Jupiter’s ocean moons. Who doesn’t want more cow bell? Chief scientist Bruce Betts gets his share as he helps us explore the current night sky in What’s Up. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0828-2019-john-thornton-astrobotic.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 28, 2019
NASA’s Red Planet Rick and Putting Humans on Mars
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Rick Davis is the perfect person to co-lead NASA’s Mars Human Landing Sites Study. No one is more devoted to putting human bootprints on the Red Planet. He returns to Planetary Radio for this inspiring and informative conversation about our progress. Bruce Betts leads off What’s Up with another brief LightSail 2 update. The Planetary Society’s solar sailing cubesat continues to raise its orbit. Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0821-2019-rick-davis-humans-on-mars.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 21, 2019
Reflections of Humanity in a Spacesuit for Moonwalkers
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Host Mat Kaplan in a long and fascinating conversation with Nicholas de Monchaux, author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo. This great book is about much more than creation of the suits that allowed humans to walk and work on the Moon. Jason Davis shares pointers on looking for LightSail 2 overhead, while Bruce Betts provides a solar sail update in this week’s What’s Up. And you might win a Planetary Radio t-shirt! Learn more about this week’s guests and topics at:  http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0814-2019-spacesuit-nicholas-de-monchaux.html See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 14, 2019
Planetary Radio Live at Science Museum Oklahoma
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 07, 2019
Planetary Radio Live with Bill Nye at Science Museum Oklahoma
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 07, 2019
Space Policy Edition: The Home Front During Apollo (with Emily Margolis)
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 02, 2019
A Helicopter for Mars and a Major LightSail Announcement
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 31, 2019
Ready to Sail! LightSail 2 Deploys its Silvery Wings
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 24, 2019
Apollo 11 and the Woman Who Helped Get It Home
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 17, 2019
We’re Sending a Flying Machine to Titan
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 10, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Why Apollo Happened (with Roger Launius)
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 05, 2019
LightSail Takes Flight!
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 03, 2019
The News From Saturn-With Linda Spilker
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 26, 2019
Flight by Light: A LightSail 2 Mission Preview
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 19, 2019
Quasars and Quanta: Exploring Einstein’s Quantum Riddle
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 12, 2019
Space Policy Edition: The Soviet Moonshot (with Asif Siddiqi)
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 07, 2019
Starchaser: Extraordinary Astronomer Jay Pasachoff
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 05, 2019
Sharing a Passion for Mars at the Humans to Mars Summit
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 29, 2019
Talking with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 22, 2019
BONUS: Introducing Science Rules! with Bill Nye
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 17, 2019
A Last Visit With LightSail 2 at the Cubesat Developers Workshop
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 15, 2019
Planetary Radio Live Defends Planet Earth!
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 08, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Lessons From the Moonshot That Never Was-With Mark Albrecht
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 03, 2019
The Skies of Super-Earths and Mini-Neptunes
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 01, 2019
Lucy in the Sky With Asteroids
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 24, 2019
The Triumph of a Failed Moon Landing
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 17, 2019
Celebrating Yuri’s Night with Legendary Astronaut Story Musgrave
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 10, 2019
Space Policy Edition: T-minus Five Years and Counting
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 05, 2019
Ice Worlds, Landing on the Moon and Blasting an Asteroid
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 03, 2019
Dunes, Walnut Shells, Alien Impostors and Other Worlds: A Visit with Sarah Hörst
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 27, 2019
Bill Nye and Planetary Radio Live at Extreme STEAM
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 20, 2019
Boosters, Breakthroughs and Budgets: Canada and the US Look Toward Space
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 13, 2019
China on the Final Frontier
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 06, 2019
Space Policy Edition: When a (Space) Cowboy Came to Washington
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 01, 2019
An Israeli Lander Launches Toward the Moon
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 27, 2019
A Fond Farewell to Spirit and Opportunity
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 20, 2019
Watching the Births of Solar Systems
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 13, 2019
The DART Mission: Learning How to Swat Dangerous Asteroids
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 06, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Should the U.S. be in a space race with China?
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2019
Where Do We Come From? The Origin of Life
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 30, 2019
Asteroid Bennu’s Visitor From Earth
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 23, 2019
Space Policy Edition: Shutdown
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 18, 2019
Flying the Skies of Saturn’s Moon Titan
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 16, 2019
New Horizons Flyby: Join the Celebration!
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 09, 2019
A Mission to Earth: OSIRIS-REx
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 02, 2019
Countdown to Ultima: Alan Stern and New Horizons
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 26, 2018
Earthrise! The 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 19, 2018
At the Space Settlement Summit With Former NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 12, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Canada's Uncertain Future in Space (with Kate Howells)
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 07, 2018
Last Week, Mars. This week, An Asteroid Called Bennu.
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 05, 2018
A Great Day for Space Explorers: The Landing of InSight
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 28, 2018
We Know Where the 2020 Rover Will Look for Martian Life
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 21, 2018
Space Policy Edition: After the Midterms—Looking Ahead with Marcia Smith
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 16, 2018
Moon Mission 3D from Queen Guitarist Brian May and David Eicher
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 14, 2018
Where Do We Come From? – Exploring the Origins of Life Lab
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 07, 2018
Celebrating Kepler
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 31, 2018
Sailing to an Asteroid on the Light of the Sun
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 24, 2018
Back to Saturn for Brand New Cassini Science
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 17, 2018
Celebrating Astronomy Day with the Giant Magellan Telescope
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 10, 2018
Space Policy Edition: How NASA Came to Be
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 05, 2018
John Logsdon on the Dawn of the Space Age
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 03, 2018
SpaceX Builds a Big Falcon Rocket
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 26, 2018
Return to Fiery Mercury With BepiColombo
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 19, 2018
Opportunity, Phone Home!
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 12, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Did NASA Ace its Midterms? With Special Guest Louise Prockter
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 07, 2018
Big Science, Big Rocket at the Marshall Space Flight Center
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 05, 2018
Space, Rockets, and a Senatorial Encounter in Huntsville, Alabama
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 29, 2018
Pluto Occults! Join Us on the Mountain
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 22, 2018
Giving Mysterious Venus the Love (and Science) She Deserves
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 15, 2018
Dark Energy’s Co-Discoverer and the Leader of Chinese Space Science
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 08, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Destination…Mars? Contradictions and Principles
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 03, 2018
Diving Into That Lake on Mars
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 01, 2018
Hayabusa2 Reaches a Dark Diamond in Space
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 25, 2018
An African Observatory Hunts Killer Asteroids
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 18, 2018
Something Old and Something New: Exciting Research on the International Space Station
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 11, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Space Force! With Special Guest Brian Weeden
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 06, 2018
Dwarf Planet Ceres Thrills as a Dying Visitor Closes In
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 04, 2018
It’s Asteroid Week with NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 27, 2018
Kathryn Sullivan, Space Dentistry and More at the International Space Development Conference
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 20, 2018
A Conversation with Freeman Dyson
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 13, 2018
It’s Rocket Science: Testing PlanetVac in the Mojave Desert
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 06, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Space Policy Directive 2—This Time it's Commercial
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 01, 2018
A Sacred Place: The National Air and Space Museum with Ellen Stofan
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 30, 2018
Chasing New Horizons to Pluto with Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 23, 2018
Why Mars? We’ve Got the Answers
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 16, 2018
Amy Mainzer: Asteroid Hunter
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 09, 2018
Space Policy Edition: A Commercial Future for the Space Station?
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 04, 2018
All Shook Up: The InSight Mission to Mars
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 02, 2018
Planetary Radio Live! – Celebrating Curiosity on Mars
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 25, 2018
Yuri’s Night 2018!
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 18, 2018
Visiting the Earth-Like Worlds of TRAPPIST-1
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 11, 2018
Space Policy Edition: Lori Garver on what a NASA Administrator (and Deputy) actually does
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 06, 2018
AI, Space, and Humanity’s Future—A Conversation with David Brin
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 04, 2018
A Space Station Crashes to Earth
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 28, 2018
Stephen Hawking: Spaceflight Pioneer!
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 21, 2018
Amateur Astronomers Work To Save Earth From Asteroids!
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 14, 2018
Visiting the Birthplace of PlanetVac
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 07, 2018
Space Policy Edition #23 - Blitzing Congress: Planetary Society volunteers visit Capitol Hill
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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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 02, 2018
Experience A Message From Earth - Inspired by the Voyager Golden Record
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It has been 40 years since Carl Sagan and others shared the best of humanity with the stars. A new online multimedia project has been created as a 21st century homage to the Golden Record.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 28, 2018
The Eyes of a New Mars Rover: Mastcam-Z
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Mat Kaplan attended a meeting of the science team for the zoom lens camera that will be atop the Mars 2020 rover mast. Planetary Scientist Jim Bell tells us how this new system will show us the Red Planet as we’ve never seen it before.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 21, 2018
Space Policy Edition Special: The 2019 President’s Budget Request Unveiled
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As promised, Casey Dreier and Jason Callahan are back with a special review of the just-released FY 2019 President’s Budget Request (PBR) for NASA. It contains good news, bad news and odd news. What is likely to stand? What will Congress ignore, going its own way? NASA’s new lunar ambitions, Mars Sample Return, WFIRST and more hang in the balance. Let the debate begin.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 16, 2018
A New Congressional Caucus Backs Planetary Science
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Republican Randy Hultgren and Democrat Derek Kilmer celebrate formation of the new bipartisan, bicameral caucus of US representatives and senators. They have united behind exploration of our and other solar systems. Bill Nye shares his eye and ear witness account of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch and landing. The new What’s Up space trivia contest takes its inspiration from the Tesla Roadster now on its way to Mars.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 14, 2018
Space, SETI, the Singularity and Shostak
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Where is everybody? That was the question physicist Enrico Fermi asked when he wondered why we hadn’t yet met ET. What will happen if we do? Will humans lose the will to explore?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 07, 2018
Space Policy Edition #21: Bill Nye and the State of the Union
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Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye attended the State of the Union address on January 30th, he also spent the day meeting with sixteen different members of Congress to promote science on Capitol Hill. In this special abbreviated show, Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan welcome their colleague Matt Renninger, who joined Bill on Capitol Hill, to discuss the goals of The Planetary Society and the reasons why it was important for Bill to attend.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 02, 2018
Going to Sea to Sail Through Space: Orion Ocean Recovery Testing
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Join Mat Kaplan on a visit to Naval Base San Diego and the USS Anchorage, the amphibious ship that has just completed a round of Orion spacecraft recovery testing and practice.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 31, 2018
Living in Space!
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Mat Kaplan talks with participants in the National Space Society’s recent Space Settlement Summit about human destiny in space.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 24, 2018
It’s a Hard Rain on Titan
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A computer model based on our best data about Saturn’s cloud-shrouded moon says that torrential liquid methane pounds the surface far more frequently than previously expected. Sean Faulk and Jonathan Mitchell of UCLA explain.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 17, 2018
Mysterious Tabby’s Star, With Tabby Herself
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It may not host an alien “megastructure” but Tabby’s Star still guards many mysteries of science. Astronomer and astrophysicist Tabetha “Tabby” Boyajian leads the worldwide team that is revealing this strange light in the sky.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 10, 2018
Space Policy Edition #20: Looking back on the year in space policy. Also, your questions!
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It’s the space policy guys’ turn to look back at a year that saw great achievements in space. Were they matched by events in Washington DC?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 05, 2018
Looking Back, Looking Forward with the Planetary Society All-Stars
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Mat’s first-ever four-way conversation with Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Emily Lakdawalla reviews the biggest 2017 events in space exploration and provides their predictions of what to look for in the new year.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 03, 2018
Flowing Water on Mars? Not So Much
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Mars scientists dubbed them recurring slope lineae or RSLs. They sure looked like evidence of liquid water flowing down hillsides and ridges on the Red Planet. New research led by USGS Planetary Geologist Colin Dundas says otherwise.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 27, 2017
Exploring the Latest Planetary Science Discoveries With Emily Lakdawalla
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A holiday edition of Planetary Radio welcomes the Planetary Society’s Senior Editor back from the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Emily reports on amazing developments in planetary science she discovered at the huge conference.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 20, 2017
President Trump Sets Course for the Moon
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On December 11th President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that firmly points the US space effort toward the Moon, but without providing many details. Planetary Society Director of Space Policy Casey Dreier fills in some of the gaps left by this executive directive.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 13, 2017
A Visitor From the Stars: ‘Oumuamua
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The first confirmed interstellar visitor to our solar system is a needle-shaped asteroid given the Hawaiian name ‘Oumuamua. Karen Meech leads the team that is learning as much about it as possible before it leaves our neighborhood, never to return. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 06, 2017
Space Policy Edition #19: When did the private space age begin? Much earlier than you think.
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Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos. Richard Branson. These are the names we tend to associate with the current era of private space exploration. But what about John Quincy Adams, James Lick, or Charles Yerkes? Space economist and historian Dr. Alex MacDonald joins us to discuss his book, "The Long Space Age," which chronicles the history of private investment in U.S. space exploration all the way back to the 18th century. Jason and Casey also discuss the consequences of the House GOP tax plan, which could raise taxes on thousands of graduate students. Also, the coming budget showdown and possible consequences for NASA projects.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 01, 2017
Bob Richards of Moon Express
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Moon Express Founder and CEO Bob Richards shares an inspiring vision for a return to the Moon. It includes introduction of a sophisticated line of robotic spacecraft, the first of which may make a soft landing next year.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 29, 2017
Canada Rises…And So Does the Sun
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Canada has a new Space Advisory Board, and The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells is a member.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 22, 2017
The Honorable Adam Schiff: Another Congressional Space Enthusiast
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Congressman Adam Schiff’s California district includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is as enthusiastic a fan of the final frontier as you are likely to find under the capitol dome in Washington D.C.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 15, 2017
Andy Weir’s New Novel Puts a City on the Moon
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The author of #1 bestseller "The Martian" is back with "Artemis," a superbly-researched, rollicking adventure in the first city on the Moon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 08, 2017
Space Policy Edition #18: Jim Bridenstine vs. the Senate and First Meeting of the National Space Council
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The likely next Administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine, appeared before a somewhat skeptical Senate committee to defend his nomination. Casey and Jason recap the hearing and assess Congressman Bridenstine’s chance of moving forward.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 03, 2017
André Bormanis and Emily Lakdawalla on Life, the Universe and Everything
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Join us for a wide-ranging, salon-style conversation about space exploration, science, art and more. Mat’s guests are astronomer, television producer/writer and former Star Trek science advisor André Bormanis and Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 01, 2017
Searching for ET With Pete Worden
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Are we alone? The nearly sixty-year effort to answer that question has gotten a big boost from the Breakthrough Initiatives, funded by Yuri Milner and led by former NASA Ames Research Center director Pete Worden, who is our guest this week.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 25, 2017
Pamela Gay and the Image Detective
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Astronomer Pamela Gay tells us how anyone can work with images of Earth taken by astronauts, turning them into terrific scientific resources.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 18, 2017
Dawn: Ten Years of Exploration
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Dawn Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman helps us salute the ion-engine powered spacecraft that first orbited asteroid Vesta in the main asteroid belt and then moved to dwarf planet Ceres, revealing two fascinating worlds.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 11, 2017
Space Policy Edition #17: The 75th Anniversary of the Rocket Age, with Dr. Michael Neufeld
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Fifteen years before Sputnik, on a bright 1942 afternoon in northern Germany, a thundering machine of metal and fire pierced the sky, ultimately touching the edge of space for the first time in history. It opened a new era of opportunity and terror with rocket technology. Dr. Michael Neufeld joins us discuss the significance of this test and how it happened.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 06, 2017
Australia Gets Serious About Space
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The Australian government announced that it would create a national space agency at the 68th annual International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide. We’ll talk with IAC 2017 CEO Brett Biddington about what this means for his country. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 04, 2017
Celebrating Cassini…Live!
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More than 1,100 fans of the just-completed 20-year mission to Saturn joined us for a live tribute.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 27, 2017
Long Live Cassini!
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Join us at JPL and Caltech on the bittersweet morning the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 20, 2017
Science Fiction Greats on Humanity’s Destiny in Space
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Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society talks with Gregory Benford, David Brin, Geoffrey Landis and Larry Niven about terraforming Mars, the origin of life, the drive to explore and more.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 13, 2017
Sailing on the Light of the Sun With Lou Friedman
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The co-founder and Executive Director Emeritus of The Planetary Society returns for a conversation about the allure of sailing through space. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 06, 2017
Space Policy Edition #16: NASA's Flagship Missions: Are They Worth It?
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The multi-billion dollar, multi-decade Cassini mission is about to end. A new report tries to answer an important question: are flagship science missions like Cassini worth the effort and expense? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 31, 2017
Planetary Radio Live on the Eve of the Eclipse
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With hours to go before the Great American Eclipse, nine outstanding guests joined host Mat Kaplan for Planetary Radio Live in front of 1,100 rowdy eclipse and space science fans.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 30, 2017
Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker’s Last Appearance Before the Grand Finale
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It’s the Grandest Finale. The spectacular Cassini mission’s exploration of Saturn will end on September 15th when the spacecraft plunges into the planet. Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker is back with one last mission update.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 23, 2017
Ed Stone and Forty Years of Voyager in Space
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It is most space fans’ favorite planetary science mission, and with good reason. We visit with the man who has been in charge of Voyager mission science for more than four decades.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 16, 2017
Dark Energy Attracts? Astrophysicists Jason Rhodes and Alina Kiessling
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JPL astrophysicists Alina Kiessling and Jason Rhodes were brought together by their fascination over the mystery of dark energy. They talk with Planetary Radio about their research and the many missions they are contributing to, including WFIRST, a unique new space telescope.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 09, 2017
Space Policy Edition #15 – Congressman Rick Larsen, Could Russia Exit the ISS?
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New U.S. sanctions against Russia have reignited speculation that global politics could undermine cooperation in the International Space Station. Could Russia cut off rides for US astronauts to the ISS? Later, Casey Dreier joins Spark Science host Dr. Regina Barber Degraaff for a conversation with U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen, Democratic representative of Washington state’s 2nd District. We also check in on NASA's 2018 budget, which is currently moving through the Senate. Did they provide funding for a new Mars orbiter?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 04, 2017
An Eye on the Sun (In the Middle of a Lake)
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The world’s most powerful solar telescope has just been renamed for the man responsible for its creation. We’ll meet astrophysicist and helioseismologist Phil Goode, and we’ll enjoy a tour of the Goode Solar Telescope.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 02, 2017
Planetary Radio Live! Living on Mars
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Will humans live, work and thrive on Mars? What challenges must be met before we can become Martians? On July 20th, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Mat Kaplan welcomed an outstanding panel of experts for conversation in front of a Pasadena, California audience.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 26, 2017
Emily Lakdawalla on the Last Orbits of Cassini
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The Cassini Mission has less than two months to go before it ends with a spectacular plunge into the beautiful ringed world. Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla has prepared a guide to the last orbits by the historic spacecraft. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 19, 2017
20 Years on Mars with Matt Golombek
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When the Pathfinder lander reached Mars 20 years ago it began a Martian renaissance that has never paused. JPL scientist Matt Golombek was the mission’s Project Scientist. He looks back and to the future of our explorations at the Red Planet.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 12, 2017
Space Policy Edition #14 – Ice Giants and Ocean Worlds Beckon
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A new report builds the case for long overdue returns to Uranus and Neptune, while another proposal calls for exploration of the many bodies in our solar system that hide vast water oceans. Jason Callahan, Casey Dreier and Mat Kaplan dive into the troubled waters that determine which planetary science missions will get the limited funds available.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 07, 2017
A Cosmic Voyage with Astronomer Sandra Faber
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Veteran astronomer and cosmologist Sandra Faber has just been awarded the Gruber Prize for Cosmology, honoring more than forty years of pioneering work. She talks with Mat Kaplan on this week’s show.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 05, 2017
Happy Asteroid Day!
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Asteroid Day, June 30th, marks the anniversary of the great Tunguska impact that leveled a Siberian forest. It reminds us that a Near Earth Object can destroy a city or even a civilization. Former Minor Planet Center Director Tim Spahr reviews our efforts to find and understand these bodies.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 28, 2017
Thomas Edison, Eclipse Chaser!
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Former NPR science reporter David Baron discusses the stories of men and women who made their way across the American West to view and document the total solar eclipse of 1878.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 21, 2017
Julie Webster and the Art of Spacecraft Endurance
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How do you keep a dazzlingly complex spacecraft in good health after 20 years in space? That’s the challenge for Julie Webster and her team of engineers supporting the Cassini mission at Saturn.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 14, 2017
Spectacular Jupiter!
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Have you seen its stunning image of Jupiter’s south pole? The Juno orbiter is surpassing expectations and delivering surprising science. Scott Bolton, the mission’s Principal Investigator, is back with a thrilling report.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 07, 2017
Space Policy Edition #13 – The 2018 Budget Proposal and Is Mars Exploration in Retrograde?
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The Trump Administration released its proposed FY2018 budget just days ago. Casey Dreier, Jason Callahan and Mat Kaplan dive deep into what this controversial plan means for NASA and how it has been received by Congress.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 02, 2017
Buzz Aldrin and Other Martians
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He walked with Neil Armstrong on the moon, but that may not be his greatest legacy. Buzz Aldrin was joined by other space stars at the recent Humans To Mars Summit.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 31, 2017
Human Spaceflight: Coming Back to America
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Astronauts may soon ride on US rockets and in US spaceships for the first time since the last Space Shuttle flight. Jon Cowart of NASA is working with SpaceX toward the first launch of a Dragon spacecraft with humans on board.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 24, 2017
NASA Leaders on Getting Humans to Mars
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The human journey to the Red Planet is long and hard, but Mat’s conversation with three NASA Associate Administrators at the Humans to Mars Summit was filled with cautious optimism.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 17, 2017
Visiting Worlds Fantastic with Bonnie Buratti
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Veteran Jet Propulsion Lab planetary scientist Bonnie Buratti talks with Mat about the wonder of our solar neighborhood that she explores in "Worlds Fantastic, Worlds Familiar—A Guided Tour of the Solar System."Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 10, 2017
Space Policy Edition #12 – Is Space Policy Stagnant? With Special Guest Marcia Smith
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Moon or Mars? Should NASA depend on private companies? What’s the goal of human spaceflight? These questions were debated three decades ago, yet are just as relevant today. Does that mean space policy is stagnant?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 05, 2017
Be There! The Great American Eclipse
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Our ongoing coverage of preparation for the Great American Eclipse takes us to Southern Illinois University Carbondale where a huge celebration is planned.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 03, 2017
Bill Nye Saves the World…With Space
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 26, 2017
McDonald Observatory and the Quest for Dark Energy
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 19, 2017
Aerospace Corporation President and CEO Steve Isakowitz
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 12, 2017
Space Policy Edition #11 – Big Science and a Skinny Budget
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 07, 2017
Mars’ Atmosphere…Lost in Space!
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 05, 2017
Nancy Atkinson’s Incredible Stories from Space
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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." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 29, 2017
Ready for Space: LightSail 2 Update
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 22, 2017
The Great American Eclipse—Be Part of It!
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It’s coming! Will you be in the path of totality? Astronomers Without Borders President Mike Simmons says be there if you can.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 15, 2017
Hope for Pluto—Should We Re-Redefine Planets?
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Planetary geologist Kirby Runyon is lead author of an abstract that proposes a new, geophysical definition of what a planet is.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 08, 2017
Space Policy Edition #10 - Special Guest Laura Delgado Lopez, SpaceX to the Moon, looming budget cuts
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 03, 2017
The Worlds of TRAPPIST-1
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 01, 2017
Planetary Radio Live: Near Earth Objects—The Killer Asteroid Threat
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 22, 2017
Nazis in Space? Rod Pyle’s Amazing Stories of the Space Age
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 15, 2017
Earth Microbes! Welcome to Mars
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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?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 07, 2017
Space Policy Edition #9 – Congress Plots New Space Legislation Amid Trump’s Tumultuous First Two Weeks
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 06, 2017
The Final Countdown at Saturn
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Planetary Radio’s most frequent guest, Project Scientist Linda Spilker, returns with another update on the Cassini mission that is approaching its grand finale.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 31, 2017
Ice, Snow and Lava: Exploring Antarctica’s Mount Erebus
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 24, 2017
Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan Leaves NASA
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 17, 2017
Ben Miller Says The Aliens are Coming!
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 10, 2017
Space Policy Edition #8 - A Transition "Trumpdate", 2016 in Review, and Answering Your Questions
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 05, 2017
A Little Rocket Company Shoots for the Moon
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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?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 03, 2017
Marvelous Martian MAVEN
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 27, 2016
Art That Captures the Beauty and Science of Space
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Marilynn Flynn, Simon Kregar and Rick Sternbach are masters of space art. They talk about how their work furthers science and captures the imagination.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 20, 2016
A Giant Telescope and Remembering John Glenn
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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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 13, 2016
Running Before the Sun: Astronomer Jay Pasachoff
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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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 06, 2016
Space Policy Edition #7 - The Trump Administration: What Can We Expect for Space?
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The SPE team reviews the outlook for human spaceflight, planetary science, Earth observation and much more under the upcoming Trump administration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 02, 2016
Leading the Search: Bill Diamond of the SETI Institute