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Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science

Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science

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.

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Space Policy Edition: NASA's Congressional Logjam

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.
2021-10-01
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Mars Beckons: The 2021 Humans to Mars Summit

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.
2021-09-29
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The Wonderful: a new documentary about the International Space Station

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.
2021-09-22
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The Case for a Return to Enceladus

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.
2021-09-15
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An ESCAPADE to Mars, on the cheap

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.
2021-09-08
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Space Policy Edition: The cultural rituals of space advocacy, with Linda Billings

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.
2021-09-03
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Liquid Water Under the Martian Polar Ice? Maybe Not

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.
2021-09-01
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Europa Clipper Sails Toward Launch

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.
2021-08-25
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Cassini, Voyager and beyond with Linda Spilker

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.
2021-08-18
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How Perseverance drives itself around Mars

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.
2021-08-11
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Space Policy Edition: Mars via the Nuclear Option

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.
2021-08-06
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Alan Stern Says It?s Time for Suborbital Science

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.
2021-08-04
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Andy Chaikin on Apollo 15 and the lessons of Apollo

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.
2021-07-28
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Amy Mainzer and a New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope

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.
2021-07-21
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We?re Going Back to Venus

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.
2021-07-14
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Visiting the James Webb Space Telescope

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.
2021-07-07
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Space Policy Edition: The Pentagon's UFO Report, Featuring Sarah Scoles

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.
2021-07-02
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Finding Life by Looking for Complexity

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.
2021-06-30
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The Pearly Clouds of Mars

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.
2021-06-23
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Amateur Astronomers Saving the World

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.
2021-06-16
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Experimental Cosmologist Brian Keating

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.
2021-06-09
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Space Policy Edition: NASA's 2022 Budget Request Says "Yes"

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.
2021-06-04
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Mighty Jupiter Revealed

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.
2021-06-02
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The New Great Space Observatories

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.
2021-05-26
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Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Project Manager MiMi Aung

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.
2021-05-19
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Defenders of Earth on Planetary Radio

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.
2021-05-12
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Space Policy Edition: How Starship at the Moon Brings NASA Closer to Mars

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.
2021-05-07
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Author Andy Weir and Project Hail Mary

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.
2021-05-05
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A Conversation with Kyoto Prize Recipient James Gunn

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.
2021-04-28
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Is ?Oumuamua a Piece of a Pluto-Like Planet? And Ingenuity?s First Flight on Mars

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.
2021-04-21
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The High Frontier: A New Documentary About Gerard K. O?Neill

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.
2021-04-14
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The First Space Shuttle Pilot: Bob Crippen on the 40th Anniversary of STS-1

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.
2021-04-07
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Space Policy Edition: Biden Names His NASA Administrator

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.
2021-04-02
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NASA?s TESS Exoplanet Mission Finds Over 2,000 Possible New Worlds

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.
2021-03-31
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The Perseverance Rover and a Great First Month on Mars

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.
2021-03-24
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Return From Ryugu: The Hayabusa2 Leader on His Mission?s Success

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.
2021-03-17
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InSight?s Mole: A Martian Science Odyssey

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.
2021-03-10
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Space Policy Edition: SpaceX's Early, Desperate Days (with Eric Berger)

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.
2021-03-05
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Spinoffs: How NASA Technologies Benefit Life on Earth

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.
2021-03-03
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Touchdown! The Sights and Sounds of Perseverance on Mars

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.
2021-02-24
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Planetfest ?21: To Mars and Back Again

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.
2021-02-17
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The Big Book of Mars: Our Obsession with the Red Planet

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.
2021-02-10
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Space Policy Edition: The Big Picture on U.S. Science Funding

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.
2021-02-05
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A Cosmic Odyssey: Decades of Discovery at the Palomar Observatory

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.
2021-02-03
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?Oumuamua: Avi Loeb says it may have been artificial

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.
2021-01-27
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7 More Minutes of Terror: Perseverance Arrives at Mars

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.
2021-01-20
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Space Policy Edition: A Mob at the U.S. Capitol

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.
2021-01-15
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A Symphony for 7 Moons

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.
2021-01-13
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Solar Cruiser: A Giant Sail Prepares for Space

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.
2021-01-06
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Planetary Society All-Stars Review 2020 Space Milestones

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.
2020-12-30
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