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 Sarah Al-Ahmed and Planetary Society colleagues including Bill Nye the Science Guy and Bruce Betts as they dive deep into space science and exploration. 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 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 Sarah Al-Ahmed and Planetary Society colleagues including Bill Nye the Science Guy and Bruce Betts as they dive deep into space science and exploration. 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 an episode guide and much more.

Language:

English

Contact:

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


Episodes
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Radiolab helps name a quasi-moon of Venus

4/10/2024
Sometimes, misunderstandings can spark beautiful adventures. This week on Planetary Radio, we explore the story behind the naming of Zoozve, a quasi-moon of Venus, with Latif Nasser, co-host of Radiolab. He shares how a typo on a space poster led the Radiolab team on an epic quest to convince the International Astronomical Union to name this quirky space object. Then, Bruce Betts, our chief scientist, pops in for What's Up and a discussion of some of the things asteroid hunters have found lurking in our Solar System. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-radiolab-helps-name-a-quasi-moon See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:48:04

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Space Policy Edition: Real and Acceptable Reasons for Space Exploration

4/5/2024
Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin joins the Space Policy Edition to discuss his notable 2007 speech outlining the tension between so-called “real” and “acceptable” reasons for space exploration. “Acceptable” reasons for space exploration are logical, policy-friendly justifications such as workforce development, technology spinoffs, and STEM engagement. They are quantifiable and dispassionate — the Vulcans of arguments. However, Griffin argues that the essence of humanity's drive to explore space is the “real” reasons, which are intuitive, emotional, and grand. They have value but are hard to quantify. These include the innate human desire for competitiveness, curiosity, and the urge to leave lasting legacies through monumental achievements. Why do we have this dichotomy? What in the system itself prefers acceptable reasons over real reasons? And how can we leverage the relative strengths of both systems to be better space advocates? Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/mike-griffin-real-and-acceptable-reasons-for-space-exploration See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:53:45

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Syzygy science: Discoveries made during total solar eclipses

4/3/2024
Planetary Radio marks its last show before the Apr. 8 total solar eclipse with a look back at discoveries made during totality. Planetary Society science editor Asa Stahl shares why solar maximum is excellent for eclipse observing but potentially scary for Earth. Then Jeff Rich, outreach coordinator at the Carnegie Science Observatories in Pasadena, CA, joins Planetary Radio to discuss how total solar eclipses have contributed to our understanding of the Sun and beyond. Bruce Betts, our chief scientist, closes the show with What's Up and a chat about the ways that Einstein's general relativity impacts humanity and our technology. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-syzygy-science See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:57:41

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Eclipse Tips: A guide to safe observing and astrophotography

3/27/2024
On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will sweep across North America. Ron Benner, the President of the American Optometric Association, joins Planetary Radio to share safety tips to protect your eyes during partiality. Then, astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy gives helpful advice about observing solar eclipses using telescopes and cameras. We close the show with our chief scientist, Bruce Betts, as he discusses The Planetary Society's new eclipse book for kids, "Casting Shadows," and the upcoming Eclipse-O-Rama festival in Texas, U.S.A. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-eclipse-tips See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:59:55

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The asteroid hunter

3/20/2024
Behind every space mission is a tale of hard work, love, and perseverance. Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator for NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission, joins Planetary Radio to share stories from his new book, "The Asteroid Hunter." Then Bruce Betts, the chief scientist of The Planetary Society, looks back at the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter and answers a question from our audience in What's Up. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-the-asteroid-hunter See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:56:03

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Tales of totality: The adventures of an eclipse chaser

3/13/2024
The countdown is on! With less than a month until the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, Planetary Radio is buzzing with anticipation. This celestial event will sweep across Mexico, the United States, and Canada, promising a spectacular view to millions. Jim Bell, a professor from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and former president of The Planetary Society's Board of Directors, will share captivating tales from his global eclipse-chasing journeys. But before diving into the cosmic wonders, we'll bring you the latest updates on the proposed US Presidential Budget. The Planetary Society's space policy experts, Casey Dreier and Jack Kiraly, will explain what this budget proposal means for NASA's funding and future projects. Then, the great Bruce Betts will pop in for What's Up as host Sarah Al-Ahmed looks forward to high-fiving him in person at The Planetary Society's upcoming Eclipse-O-Rama event in Texas, U.S. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-eclipse-chasing See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:59:32

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Geothermal activity on the icy dwarf planets Eris and Makemake

3/6/2024
A team co-led by the Southwest Research Institute has made a groundbreaking discovery, revealing evidence of hydrothermal or metamorphic activity on the icy dwarf planets Eris and Makemake in the Kuiper Belt. The lead author of this research, Chris Glein, joins Planetary Radio to explain. But our journey doesn't stop there. We dive into the newly reformed US Planetary Science Caucus with The Planetary Society's top space policy experts, Casey Dreier and Jack Kiraly. Our senior communications adviser, Mat Kaplan, celebrates a monumental achievement in space exploration — the successful landing of Intuitive Machine's Odysseus spacecraft on the lunar surface. And don't miss the latest installment of What's Up with Bruce Betts, our chief scientist, as he shares a new random space fact. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-eris-and-makemake See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:08:12

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Space Policy Edition: The ahistorical era of commercial lunar exploration

3/1/2024
The successful landing of IM-1 on the Moon ushered in a new era of commercial lunar exploration, one that has little to no historical precedent. The future, still highly uncertain, is rich with promise for what commercial payload deliveries can provide. There will be new and more frequent science opportunities, lower-cost access for national and non-state actors, and, potentially, a path to a sustainable presence on the lunar surface. Dr. Matt Shindell, science historian and curator of the planetary exploration collection at the Smithsonian Institution, joins the show to discuss the unique historical moment we find ourselves in, and how planetary exploration has evolved and could continue to evolve on and around the Moon. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/ahistorical-era-of-clps See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:05:45

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The legacy of Red Rover Goes to Mars

2/28/2024
Over two decades ago, an innovative partnership between The Planetary Society, NASA, and LEGO created the Red Rover Goes to Mars program. Today, we reflect on the program's remarkable achievements with our chief scientist, Bruce Betts. We're also joined by two extraordinary people whose lives were forever changed by their experiences as student astronauts in the program during their high school years. Courtney Dressing, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, and Abigail Fraeman, the deputy project scientist for NASA's Curiosity Rover at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, share their inspiring journeys through the program and beyond. Then Bruce Betts returns to share more of LEGO's involvement in space exploration and a new random space fact. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-red-rover-goes-to-mars See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:56:36

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OSIRIS-REx becomes APEX

2/21/2024
After NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft's successful sample retrieval from asteroid Bennu, it's onto its next adventure as OSIRIS-APEX, the Apophis Explorer. Scott Guzewich, deputy project scientist for APEX, joins Planetary Radio to discuss the next steps for the mission as we count down to asteroid Apophis’ flyby of Earth in 2029. Then Bruce Betts, The Planetary Society’s chief scientist, pops in for What's Up and a look at other multi-world missions. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-osiris-apex See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:55:21

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The Space Race: Honoring the first African-American space explorers

2/14/2024
This week on Planetary Radio, we take a peek behind the scenes at National Geographic's new documentary, “The Space Race,” which celebrates the triumphs and struggles of the first African-American space pioneers and astronauts. Co-directors Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and Lisa Cortés, space pioneer Ed Dwight, and astronaut Leland Melvin join us to discuss the film. But first, Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society's chief of space policy, and Jack Kiraly, our director of government relations, give an update on the U.S. budget gridlock that caused the recent layoff of hundreds of people at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Twitch streamer Moohoodles joins the show later to talk about her upcoming stream with Planetary Radio, and we close out with What's Up with Bruce Betts and a new random space fact. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-space-race See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:03:42

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Exploring solar eclipses through time

2/7/2024
This week on Planetary Radio, we delve into the evolution of humanity's relationship with one of our planet's most awe-inspiring phenomena: total solar eclipses. Ed Krupp, the director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, will share insights from the fascinating field of archaeoastronomy. We'll explore how cultures throughout history have interpreted and imbued solar eclipses with meaning. We'll also introduce The Planetary Society's latest addition, Asa Stahl, our new science editor. Then Bruce Betts, The Planetary Society's chief scientist, shares a new random space fact and his experience with historic astronomical sites. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-solar-eclipses-through-time See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:52:08

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Space Policy Edition: Space isn’t black — it’s grey

2/2/2024
It’s a policy paper episode! Laura Delgado López joins the show to break down “Clearing the Fog: The Grey Zones of Space Governance” by Jessica West and Jordan Miller. Grey zones are harmful or disruptive space activities that fall short of provoking a military response — ideally. But the ambiguity, by its nature, could generate unplanned escalation and conflict. What are these grey zones, and why do they exist? What are their consequences to humanity, even for those in nations not actively pursuing spaceflight? And by what means can we reduce the uncertainty and, therefore the risk to space operations at Earth and beyond? Laura Delgado López has worked in space policy in the Washington, D.C., area for nearly 15 years and is currently a visiting fellow with the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she researches and writes on international space cooperation in Latin America. She selected this episode’s paper, which can be accessed for free at the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s website. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/grey-zones-in-space-governance See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:20:48

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The 20th landing anniversary of Spirit and Opportunity

1/31/2024
January marks 20 years since NASA’s twin Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, touched down on the surface of the red planet. Matt Golombek, project scientist for the Mars Exploration Rover Project, joins Planetary Radio to celebrate. But first, the countdown to the next great American total solar eclipse continues. Kate Howells, The Planetary Society’s public education specialist and Canadian space policy adviser, explains why this periodic alignment of our Earth, Moon, and Sun is more rare on the scale of the Universe than you might think. Stick around for What’s Up with Bruce Betts, our chief scientist, as we honor the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter and the Mars missions that made it possible. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-20th-anniversary-spirit-and-opportunity See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:04:56

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Blazing a trail to the Moon

1/24/2024
We're celebrating lunar missions and the space advocacy that helps make them happen this week on Planetary Radio. Casey Dreier and Jack Kiraly, chief of space policy and director of government relations at The Planetary Society, update you on our next Day of Action in Washington, D.C. Kate Howells, our public education specialist, shares the triumph and challenges of the Japanese space agency's SLIM lunar lander, as Japan becomes the fifth nation to make a successful soft landing on the Moon. We begin our coverage of the upcoming 2024 total solar eclipse in Mexico, the United States, and Canada on April 8th with Bethany Ehlmann, the president of our board of directors and the principal investigator of NASA's upcoming Lunar Trailblazer mission. She joins us for a mission update and a look at how eclipses affect spacecraft near the Earth and Moon. We'll top off this lunar celebration with Bruce Betts, our Chief Scientist and everyone's favorite master of random space facts, as he shares some history about an iconic Apollo image. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-blazing-a-trail-to-the-moon See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:59:14

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What’s hidden inside planets?

1/17/2024
Venture into the hearts of worlds and uncover how we study planetary interiors this week on Planetary Radio. Sabine Stanley, professor of planetary physics at Johns Hopkins University and author of the new book "What's Hidden Inside Planets?" discusses some of the amazing things that lie under the surfaces of the worlds in our Solar System. But first, Mat Kaplan, senior communications advisor at The Planetary Society, gives an update on the first Commercial Lunar Payload Services mission and the timeline for NASA's Artemis program. We close out this show with Bruce Betts, our chief scientist, as he shares information on our new book, "Casting Shadows: Solar and Lunar Eclipses with The Planetary Society." Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-whats -hidden-inside-planets See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:13:50

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JWST finds a new lead in the search for life on a mysterious exoplanet

1/10/2024
This week on Planetary Radio, we're diving into one of the most remarkable new exoplanet discoveries with the help of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST has detected signs of methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of K2-18 b. This discovery could reshape our search for life beyond Earth and teach us more about the enigmatic class of exoplanets known as sub-Neptunes. Our guest, Knicole Colón, is the deputy project scientist for exoplanet science for JWST. She'll fill us in on all of the details. Stick around for What's Up with Bruce Betts, the chief scientist of The Planetary Society. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-jwst-new-lead-in-search-for-life See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:51:02

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Space Policy Edition: India’s growing space ambitions

1/5/2024
The history of India’s space program is, in many ways, the inverse of that of the US and Russia. While the two superpowers were outpacing each other in space spectaculars in their early decades, India — which began its space program around the same time in 1963 — prioritized practical programs by developing its own launch capability and launching satellites for weather, communications, and regional positioning systems. It is only in the 21st century that India began embracing the more symbolic feats of spaceflight, first with its launches of robotic spacecraft, including the Chandrayaan series and the Mars Orbiter Mission, and now by establishing its own human spaceflight program. Buoyed by the success of Chandrayaan-3, as well as recognizing increasing competition with China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ambitious plans for Indian space stations and lunar missions in the coming decades. UK-based space writer Gurbir Singh, who literally wrote the book on the Indian space program, aptly titled The Indian Space Programme: India’s Incredible Journey from the Third World towards the First, joins the show to help us understand the history and motivations behind these achievements and India’s growing ambitions in space. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:03:49

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Revisiting the discovery of phosphorus on Enceladus

1/3/2024
This week on Planetary Radio, we are revisiting one of the biggest recent headlines in planetary science, the detection of Phosphorus in the oceans of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Phosphorus is a key ingredient for life on Earth, and this discovery marks the first time it has been found in an ocean off of Earth. Chris Glein, a lead scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, joins us to discuss the discovery and its implications for the search for life. Then Bruce Betts returns for What's Up. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-revisiting-phosphorus-on-enceladus See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:59:59

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Looking back on 2023

12/27/2023
Members of The Planetary Society staff revisit some of 2023's most exhilarating moments and groundbreaking discoveries in space this week on Planetary Radio. Kate Howells, Public Education Specialist, announces the winners of The Planetary Society's Best of 2023 awards. Jack Kiraly, Director of Government Relations, shares the strides made in space advocacy. Then Rae Paoletta, Director of Content and Engagement, and Mat Kaplan, Senior Communications advisor and former host of Planetary Radio, return to break down their favorite space moments of the year. Stick around until the end for What's Up with Bruce Betts, the Chief Scientist of The Planetary Society, as he looks forward to the next year of space science and exploration. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2023-looking-back See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:59:54