Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science-logo

Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science

Panoply

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.

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.

Location:

Pasadena, CA

Networks:

Panoply

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

65 North Catalina Avenue Pasadena, California 91106-2301 USA 626-793-5100


Episodes

Andy Chaikin on Apollo 15 and the lessons of Apollo

7/28/2021
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...

Duration:01:27:38

Amy Mainzer and a New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope

7/21/2021
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...

Duration:00:49:14

We’re Going Back to Venus

7/14/2021
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...

Duration:01:02:49

Visiting the James Webb Space Telescope

7/7/2021
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...

Duration:01:18:29

Space Policy Edition: The Pentagon's UFO Report, Featuring Sarah Scoles

7/2/2021
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...

Duration:01:18:10

Finding Life by Looking for Complexity

6/30/2021
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...

Duration:00:56:37

The Pearly Clouds of Mars

6/23/2021
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...

Duration:00:52:50

Amateur Astronomers Saving the World

6/16/2021
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....

Duration:01:05:24

Experimental Cosmologist Brian Keating

6/9/2021
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...

Duration:01:34:55

Space Policy Edition: NASA's 2022 Budget Request Says "Yes"

6/4/2021
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:...

Duration:00:50:33

Mighty Jupiter Revealed

6/2/2021
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...

Duration:01:01:13

The New Great Space Observatories

5/26/2021
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...

Duration:00:54:57

Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Project Manager MiMi Aung

5/19/2021
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...

Duration:00:54:05

Defenders of Earth on Planetary Radio

5/12/2021
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...

Duration:01:13:37

Space Policy Edition: How Starship at the Moon Brings NASA Closer to Mars

5/7/2021
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?...

Duration:00:53:32

Author Andy Weir and Project Hail Mary

5/5/2021
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....

Duration:00:50:34

A Conversation with Kyoto Prize Recipient James Gunn

4/28/2021
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...

Duration:01:19:30

Is ‘Oumuamua a Piece of a Pluto-Like Planet? And Ingenuity’s First Flight on Mars

4/21/2021
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...

Duration:01:02:17

The High Frontier: A New Documentary About Gerard K. O’Neill

4/14/2021
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...

Duration:00:55:22

The First Space Shuttle Pilot: Bob Crippen on the 40th Anniversary of STS-1

4/7/2021
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...

Duration:01:11:06