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

The Wonderful: a new documentary about the International Space Station

9/22/2021
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...

Duration:00:58:14

The Case for a Return to Enceladus

9/15/2021
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...

Duration:01:00:40

An ESCAPADE to Mars, on the cheap

9/8/2021
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....

Duration:01:04:13

Space Policy Edition: The cultural rituals of space advocacy, with Linda Billings

9/3/2021
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...

Duration:01:26:13

Liquid Water Under the Martian Polar Ice? Maybe Not

9/1/2021
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...

Duration:00:42:37

Europa Clipper Sails Toward Launch

8/25/2021
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...

Duration:00:28:50

Cassini, Voyager and beyond with Linda Spilker

8/18/2021
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...

Duration:00:46:44

How Perseverance drives itself around Mars

8/11/2021
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...

Duration:00:54:52

Space Policy Edition: Mars via the Nuclear Option

8/6/2021
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....

Duration:01:10:29

Alan Stern Says It’s Time for Suborbital Science

8/4/2021
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...

Duration:00:45:59

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