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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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A big year for heliophysics and Parker Solar Probe

6/19/2024
Our Sun is nearing the most active part of its solar cycle. This week, we explore recent solar activity and discoveries from NASA's Parker Solar Probe with Nour Rawafi, the mission's project scientist. But first, we honor the life and legacy of Ed Stone, the former director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the longtime project scientist of the Voyager mission. We close out our show with Bruce Betts, the chief scientist of The Planetary Society, in What's Up. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-parker-solar-probe See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:54:30

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The nova and the naming contest

6/12/2024
Last week was a big one for commercial space. Our senior communications advisor, Mat Kaplan, discusses the first crewed Boeing Starliner test and SpaceX Starship launch. Then Asa Stahl, our science editor, lets you know how to observe the upcoming nova in Corona Borealis. RadioLab's Latif Nasser returns to Planetary Radio with a new public naming contest for a quasi-moon of Earth. Then, we dive into some naming conventions for space objects in What's Up with our chief scientist, Bruce Betts. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-nova-and-naming-contest See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:01:06

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Space Policy Edition: Is Human Spaceflight a Religion?

6/7/2024
Holy texts and salvation ideology. Saints and martyrs. True believers and apostates. This isn’t a religion — this is human spaceflight. So says Roger Launius, NASA’s former Chief Historian, in his 2013 paper Escaping Earth: Human Spaceflight as Religion. For the start of our ninth year of the Space Policy Edition, Dr. Launius joins the show to discuss the ways in which human spaceflight exhibits characteristics commonly seen in modern religions, how his thesis has evolved in the past decade with the rise of Elon Musk and his view of Mars as humanity’s salvation, and how exploring secular activities through a religious lens can be instructive in understanding their adherents and support. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/spe-human-spaceflight-as-religion See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:09:59

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Accidental astronomy

6/5/2024
Astronomical and planetary science discoveries often unfold in strange and serendipitous ways. We discuss the delightfully unpredictable nature of space discoveries with Chris Lintott, author of the upcoming book "Accidental Astronomy: How Random Discoveries Shape the Science of Space." Then, Bruce Betts, our chief scientist, gives us a new way to think about the scale of our Solar System in What's Up. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-accidental-astronomy See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:56:16

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International integration: The path from the Moon to Mars

5/29/2024
Every year, Explore Mars hosts the Humans to Mars Summit, a gathering of people from around the world who want to advance human exploration of the Red Planet and beyond. This week on Planetary Radio, we share a conversation from the summit about integrating NASA and its partners as humanity looks to build a permanent and sustainable human presence on Mars. You'll hear from Mat Kaplan (The Planetary Society's senior communications advisor) and representatives of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA), and the commercial space industry. Then, we'll check in with Bruce Betts, the chief scientist of The Planetary Society, for What's Up and a new random space fact. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-h2m-international-integration See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:56:20

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Bot battles and space dreams

5/22/2024
As humanity aims to explore new frontiers in space, the need for good roboticists has never been greater. Robotics leagues and competitions offer a gateway into the field, connecting aspiring engineers with a vibrant community where enthusiasts can learn to accomplish their space dreams. Kelly Biderman, the CEO of Havoc Robotics, joins Planetary Radio to share how the National Havoc Robot League helps to prepare the next generation of space engineers. Then we hear from Florence Pouya, the former captain of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team, as she shares her insights with our senior communications adviser, Mat Kaplan, during their time at the Humans to Mars Summit in Washington, D.C. Stick around for What's Up with Bruce Betts and a new random space fact. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:57:46

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Day of Action 2024: The Planetary Society goes to Washington

5/15/2024
Every year, passionate space advocates from the United States travel to Washington, D.C., to ensure that their vision for the future of space exploration gets the funding and support it needs. Nearly 100 advocates gathered this year on Monday, April 29, 2024, to call for increased funding and better support for NASA's groundbreaking science programs. This week on Planetary Radio, we'll share what happened during this year's Day of Action and why it matters. You'll hear from members of The Planetary Society staff, space advocates from across the United States, and various congresspeople, including the co-chairs of the Congressional Planetary Science Caucus, Representatives Don Bacon and Judy Chu. We close out our show with Bruce Betts for What's Up and a new random space fact. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-day-of-action See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:54:29

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TARDIS Talk: Space, Time, and “Doctor Who” with Russell T. Davies

5/8/2024
This week on Planetary Radio, we celebrate the longest-running science fiction show in history, “Doctor Who.” We explore how this iconic series has influenced the scientific community and look forward to the new season of the show with Russell T. Davies, the past and present showrunner of “Doctor Who.” Then, space fans from around the world share how the show has impacted their lives and space careers. We close out with Bruce Betts, our chief scientist, as we discuss what we would do with a time machine in What's Up. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-tardis-talk See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:50:49

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Space Policy Edition: The power of the lunar sublime

5/3/2024
Should policymakers spend more time looking — really looking — at the Moon? Chris Cokinos thinks so. He is the author of the new book, Still As Bright: An Illuminating History of the Moon, from Antiquity to Tomorrow, which explores the role of our nearest celestial neighbor in culture, art, and our dreams of space exploration over the course of human history. It’s about the power of looking and seeing something beyond what you’d expect. But the conversation goes beyond that. We discuss the role of the sublime in our everyday lives, how to find beauty in the quotidian, the role of language in conveying the beauty and power of space, and even why he thinks landing cremains on the Moon is disrespectful. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/the-moon-still-as-bright-chris-cokinos See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:15:44

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Europa Clipper’s message in a bottle

5/1/2024
NASA's Europa Clipper mission is almost ready for its historic trip to the Jovian system. Merc Boyan, a visual storyteller at The Planetary Society, takes us into the clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to speak with team members about the spacecraft. Then Bob Pappalardo, project scientist for Europa Clipper, visits The Planetary Society headquarters in Pasadena, CA, to share the story of the mission's vault plate, humanity's next collection of messages to another world. Bruce Betts, the Planetary Society chief scientist, closes out this week's show in What's Up, discussing his favorite messages from Earth. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-europa-clipper-message-in-a-bottle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:59:55

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Eclipse-O-Rama

4/24/2024
On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse passed over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. This week on Planetary Radio, we take a trip to The Planetary Society’s Eclipse-O-Rama festival in Fredericksburg, Texas, where hundreds gathered to witness totality. We share the reactions of festival attendees along with snippets from the talks given by special guests at the event, including Bill Nye, the CEO of The Planetary Society, Bethany Ehlmann, president of The Planetary Society and principal investigator for the NASA Lunar Trailblazer mission, and Bee Hayes-Thakore, Vice President of Marketing at Kigen and member of The Planetary Society's board of directors. Tim Dodd, better known as the Everyday Astronaut, and Bob Pflugfelder, popularly known as Science Bob, share their experiences. Bruce Betts, the chief scientist of The Planetary Society, tells us about the solar features people may have seen during the eclipse in What's Up. Then we get an update on the Mars Sample Return mission with Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society's chief of space policy, and Jack Kiraly, our director of government relations. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-eclipse-o-rama See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:36:33

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Tabletops and telescopes: NASA’s RPG and the hunt for habitable worlds

4/17/2024
This week on Planetary Radio, we explore "The Lost Universe," NASA's first tabletop role-playing game, with Christina Mitchell, a senior multimedia specialist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, U.S.A. Then, we'll shift our gaze from the mythical to the methodical with Amaury Triaud, an astronomer from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. He and his colleagues have found a new method for potentially detecting liquid water on the surfaces of terrestrial exoplanets. We close out with our chief scientist, Bruce Betts, for What's Up and a new random space fact. Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2024-tabletops-and-telescopes See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:02:33

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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