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.
Curiosity rolls on: Mars Science Laboratory project scientist Ashwin Vasavada
51:53We are approaching the 10th anniversary of Curiosity’s arrival in the Red Planet’s Gale crater. The rolling laboratory is still making profound discoveries as it reveals beautiful vistas and closeups. Project scientist Ashwin Vasavada shares some of the most significant finds in the last year. We’re deep into winter in the northern hemisphere, making Orion, Mat Kaplan’s favorite constellation, hard to miss in the night sky. Bruce Betts tells us there’s much more to see in this week’s What’s Up. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2022-ashwin-vasavada-curiosity-update See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We have touched the Sun: The Parker Solar Probe’s triumph
1:01:06The Parker Solar Probe dipped within the corona on its eighth encounter with our star. It found phenomena that have surprised and delighted heliophysicists, and it captured a movie that is one of the greatest space videos ever. We’ll talk about these and more with Nicola “Nicky” Fox, director of NASA’s Heliophysics Division, and Nour Raouafi, the mission’s project scientist. Get out your calculators! Winning the new space trivia contest will require some basic arithmetic. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2022-fox-raouafi-parker-solar-probe See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Space Policy Edition: What We're Watching in 2022
1:03:53New rockets, new legislation, and a new direction for planetary exploration are just some of the major events happening in space in the coming year. D.C. Operations Chief Brendan Curry returns to the show to explore these and other issues that will shape the next decade of space exploration and occupy The Planetary Society's advocacy and policy team in 2022. Discover more here:https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2022-preview-curry-dreier See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Return to the Moon: Spacesuits and preparing for splashdown in the Pacific
1:05:10NASA’s Artemis program aims to return humans to the Moon for the first time since 1972. We visit Naval Base San Diego to board the USS John P. Murtha, the ship that may recover the uncrewed Artemis 1 Orion capsule when it returns from the Moon this year. Next, Daniel Kopp of ILC Dover tells us about work underway to create the next moonsuit. Every Apollo moonwalker wore an ILC Dover spacesuit, as do most of the astronauts who go outside the International Space Station. What’s Up? That’s the question chief scientist Bruce Betts answers each week. Explore more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2022-ilc-dover-moonsuit-navy-orion-recovery-exercise See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A good year for space: Planetary Society all-stars review 2021
1:11:40Mat Kaplan and six Planetary Society colleagues review a year full of accomplishments, firsts and exciting discoveries. Society CEO Bill Nye opens the show with a celebration of the James Webb Space Telescope’s launch. Next is a round robin discussion with Jason Davis, Casey Dreier, Kate Howells, and Rae Paoletta. We close with Bruce Betts’ recap of the LightSail 2 mission right after he offers a new What’s Up space trivia contest. Explore more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-year-in-review. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Discovering Mars with Jim Bell and William Sheehan
55:42Space historian William Sheehan and planetary scientist Jim Bell have written a fascinating history of humankind’s at least 5,000-year relationship with the Red Planet. “Discovering Mars” is filled with anecdotes about the people who have revealed Mars. The chronicle includes Mars helicopter Ingenuity’s flights and then looks to the future of exploration. Someone will win the book in Bruce Betts’ latest What’s Up space trivia contest. Discover more athttps://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-discovering-mars-book-bell-sheehan See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
JWST is ready for launch and amazing science
1:02:57The James Webb Space Telescope will begin its mission of discovery as soon as Dec. 24. René Doyon, Heidi Hammel and Mike McElwain join us for a conversation about what it may reveal from our solar system to the edge of the universe. Doyon is principal investigator for the telescope’s NIRISS imaging spectrograph, Hammel is vice president for science at the Association of University for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and McElwain of the Goddard Space Flight Center is the JWST Observatory project scientist. What do chief scientist Bruce Betts and a horse have in common? Find out in the What’s Up space trivia contest. There’s always more to explore athttps://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-jwst-pre-launch-rene-doyon-heidi-hammel-mike-mcelwain See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A conversation with the director of “Don’t Look Up”
52:39The plot of the great new movie “Don’t Look Up” is driven by a giant comet speeding toward Earth and the scientists who want to divert it. Adam McKay directed this dark comedy. He and real-life planetary defense expert Amy Mainzer talk with Mat Kaplan about the science, the scientists, and much more. Then a group of Planetary Society colleagues share their thoughts about the film. Fans of Dr. Seuss will find something special in this week’s What’s Up with Bruce Betts. There’s always more to explore athttps://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-adam-mckay-amy-mainzer-dont-look-up See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Space Policy Edition: Astronomy Goes Big, with Heidi Hammel
1:17:48The search for biosignatures on hundreds of exoplanets is the top goal for U.S. astronomers. That's the conclusion from the new, once-per-decade report from the National Academy of Sciences: Pathways to Discovery. In it, the field of astrophysics is analyzed and prioritized: establishing the major scientific questions, the tools to answer them, and how to best engage the human talent necessary to enable our continued investigation of the cosmos. Dr. Heidi Hammel, astronomer, Vice-President for Science at the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, and Vice President of The Planetary Society joins us to discuss the new results and what it means for the future of astronomy. Discover more here:https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/heidi-hammel-astrophysics-decadal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Discovering life elsewhere: How can we be sure?
1:10:22Is it life? NASA chief scientist Jim Green and Mary Voytek, leader of the agency’s astrobiology program, are two authors of a paper that calls for a system or scale that will allow scientists and others to evaluate the validity and importance of evidence that points to life elsewhere in the solar system or across the galaxy. Planetary Society communications strategy adviser Kate Howells shares our gift list for the space fan in your life, while Bruce Betts takes us across the night sky toward a new space trivia contest. There’s more to explore at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2021-jim-green-mary-voytek-astrobiology-scale See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.