|Genre||Astronomy, Space Exploration|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Syndicates||Public Radio Exchange|
|Created by||Mat Kaplan|
|Produced by||Mat Kaplan|
|Original release||2002 (at KUCI) – present|
Planetary Radio is a weekly 30-minute radio show devoted to space exploration and astronomy, hosted and produced by Mat Kaplan and The Planetary Society. The show's programming consists mostly of interviews and telephone-based conversations with scientists, engineers, project managers, artists, writers, astronauts and many other professionals who can provide some insight or perspective into the current state of space exploration. It made its debut on November 25, 2002 with an interview with Planetary Society executive director Louis D. Friedman, airing on Windows Media and local radio station KUCI. The show became available in MP3 format for download in early July 2004, and became available as a podcast in May 2005.
The show typically begins with a summary of that week's programming. Following this introduction, regular segments each week feature The Planetary Society's "Planetary Evangelist" and space science blogger Emily Lakdawalla, the Society's CEO Bill Nye, and the Society's Director of Science and Technology Bruce Betts. These regular guests provide information and perspective on advances in space science and exploration. The show usually also features interviews and conversations with scientists, engineers, designers, analysts, writers, activists, astronauts and others involved in space exploration, advocacy and education. At the end of the program, a light-hearted segment called "What's Up" with Bruce Betts usually highlights where and when you can see significant astronomical events that week, a random space fact, announcements of any anniversaries, and a space trivia contest where randomly chosen participants can usually win a T-shirt, poster or calendar.
The series goes on the road several times each year with Planetary Radio Live. These shows are usually produced before live audiences in Pasadena, California. Whenever possible Planetary Radio Live shows take place at major space and science-related events.
Current stations and services
Many of the speakers are significant individuals in their fields in science, engineering and technology. Prior guests have included science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, leaders in industry like Elon Musk, and many astronauts like Buzz Aldrin and Sally Ride.
Over 300 episodes of Planetary Radio have been produced to date as of October 2008. Archives of previous shows are available and new programs are normally released on Mondays.