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The 12 Best Podcasts About Space Bringing the Universe to Your Earbuds

Space captures the imagination like nothing else. The sheer vastness of the cosmos and the endless possibilities it contains have inspired humans for millennia to probe its mysteries and expand the boundaries of our knowledge. While not all of us can be astronauts, thanks to the power of podcasting, anyone can be an armchair space explorer and tap into the wonders of the universe from the comfort of home (or car, or anywhere else).

The popularity of space podcasts has skyrocketed in recent years, fueled by a renaissance in space exploration and a booming podcast industry. There are now over 2 million podcasts in existence, and the percentage of Americans who listen to a podcast each week has more than doubled in the past decade to over 30% [1]. Space podcasts represent one of the fastest-growing and most popular categories, spanning every format and sub-genre from straight news to in-depth interviews to narrative storytelling and even comedy.

As a longtime tech enthusiast and avid podcast listener, I‘ve seen firsthand how the medium has evolved into one of the most powerful and democratizing platforms for science communication and informal STEM education. With their unique mix of portability, intimacy and focus on audio, space podcasts are able to engage listeners‘ imaginations in ways that video or text content simply can‘t match.

"Podcasting has been a game-changer for connecting space fans and introducing new people to the awe and wonder of space exploration," says Mat Kaplan, host of the popular Planetary Radio podcast. "With a minimal investment in equipment, anyone who‘s passionate and knowledgeable about space can share that enthusiasm with a global audience and build a community."

To help you blast off into the wonderful world of space podcasts, I‘ve compiled this list of a dozen of my personal favorites. These shows represent a diverse mix of content and styles united by a common passion for exploring the cosmos and pushing the boundaries of human knowledge.

Whether you‘re a casual space fan or die-hard rocket scientist, I‘m confident you‘ll find something here that launches your imagination and expands your perspective on our place in the universe. Strap in and get ready to boldly go!

Space News & Current Events

For listeners who want to stay up to date on the latest developments in the space industry, these podcasts are your trusted mission control.

1. Planetary Radio

Planetary Radio is the long-running, award-winning podcast of The Planetary Society, the world‘s largest independent space outreach organization co-founded by Carl Sagan. Each weekly episode features in-depth interviews with leading scientists, engineers, astronauts, and newsmakers who are shaping the future of space exploration.

Hosted by Mat Kaplan, the show strikes a pitch-perfect balance between relaying important space headlines and taking deep dives into riveting space topics with world-class guests. I‘m consistently impressed by Kaplan‘s engaging interview style and the unique insights he‘s able to draw out from his guests.

Recent podcast highlights include NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on the agency‘s ambitious Artemis program to return humans to the Moon, astronaut Kathryn Sullivan on being the first American woman to walk in space, and exoplanet hunter Sara Seager on the search for alien life. When you listen to Planetary Radio, you truly feel like you‘re part of the conversation.

2. Houston We Have a Podcast

For the ultimate insider‘s perspective on America‘s space program, it‘s hard to top Houston We Have a Podcast, the official podcast of NASA‘s legendary Johnson Space Center. JSC has been the heart of human spaceflight for over 60 years, and the show offers fascinating behind-the-scenes stories and insights from the people who make it all happen.

Each weekly episode features a lively and unscripted chat with someone essential to the past, present or future of NASA, from grizzled Apollo-era flight controllers to cutting-edge engineers designing the spacecraft of tomorrow. The show covers every aspect of JSC‘s sprawling campus and unrivaled expertise in human spaceflight.

"Our goal is to tap into the incredible wealth of knowledge across the center and share it with the world," says host Gary Jordan. "We want to celebrate the people who are working hard every day to push the boundaries of space exploration and inspire the next generation."

3. Main Engine Cut Off

For serious space geeks seeking substance over hype, Main Engine Cut Off is a must-listen. Hosted by the brilliant and incisive space industry analyst Anthony Colangelo, MECO takes a critical and holistic look at the trends, technologies, policies and personalities shaping the future of spaceflight.

With an emphasis on the growing commercial space sector, each episode features Colangelo‘s analysis of the latest developments and interviews with key players ranging from startup founders to policymakers. While the show doesn‘t shy away from technical details, Colangelo has a knack for making complex topics accessible.

Some of my favorite episodes dive into the economics of the satellite mega-constellations in low Earth orbit, the emerging space resources industry, and NASA‘s efforts to nurture a thriving commercial space ecosystem. In an industry prone to over-promising and under-delivering, MECO is a vital reality check.

Space Science & Astronomy

Humans have been striving to understand the cosmos since we first looked up at the stars in wonder. These brainy podcasts are carrying on that quest, guiding listeners on mind-expanding journeys to the frontiers of astronomy and space science.

4. StarTalk Radio

Science communication superstar and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts the wildly popular StarTalk Radio podcast, blending space science, pop culture, and provocative conversations with comedians and celebrities. It‘s a masterclass in the power of infotainment to educate and inspire.

Originally conceived as a radio show, StarTalk has grown into a podcasting juggernaut with a wide range of formats united by Tyson‘s wit, charisma and infectious love of science. From freewheeling panel discussions to listener Q&As to game shows, StarTalk never fails to entertain while dropping serious knowledge.

The show‘s eclectic guest list is one of its biggest draws, bridging the gap between geek and chic. Where else could you hear pop star Katy Perry discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life or watch NASA engineers compete in a space trivia game show? Even when StarTalk goes deep on mind-bending astrophysics, you‘ll be laughing while you learn.

5. Gravity Assist

In a world of shrinking attention spans, NASA‘s Gravity Assist podcast delivers concentrated shots of space science that will blow your mind in 10 minutes or less. Each bite-sized episode poses a fascinating cosmic query that an expert NASA scientist then unpacks in clear, conversational terms.

What would happen if you fell into a black hole? Could we terraforming Mars? Is time travel possible? Gravity Assist has you covered with authoritative answers that are as entertaining as they are educational. It‘s a fun way to get a dose of space wonder while you brew your morning coffee or take your daily constitutional.

6. The Orbital Mechanics

The Orbital Mechanics is a space podcast for people who demand substance over flash. Each week, hosts David Fourman and Ben Etherington, both veteran aerospace engineers, take a deep dive into the latest news and trends in space technology, science and policy.

With a focus on in-depth analysis and meaty technical discussions, The Orbital Mechanics is geared toward listeners with an engineering or physics background. But you don‘t need a STEM degree to appreciate the incredible scope and specificity of the topics they cover, from the challenges of in-space manufacturing to the physics of solar sails.

What I love about the show is how it shines a spotlight on the unsung heroes and untold stories of space exploration. Fourman and Etherington have an amazing network of guests including NASA technologists, startup founders, and even astronauts. If you want to geek out on the nerdy details of how space missions really happen, this is the show for you.

Human Spaceflight

The past, present and future of human ventures into space provide endless material for captivating podcasts. These shows explore how space is changing us even as we seek to extend our reach into the cosmos.

7. Are We There Yet?

At a time when it‘s easy to feel jaded about the slow pace of human space exploration, Are We There Yet?, a podcast from NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center, is a refreshing reminder of the incredible progress that‘s happening every day. Each episode goes behind the scenes with NASA engineers and scientists working on the critical path technologies to send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars.

From next-generation spacesuits and lunar rovers to space mining and Martian habitats, the show does a stellar job of explaining the complex challenges of human spaceflight and the ingenious solutions NASA is developing. It‘s an inspiring look at the passion and dedication of the thousands of unsung heroes who are making our sci-fi dreams of the future a reality.

"Our goal with the podcast is to spotlight the incredible work that NASA employees are doing each day to advance human exploration of deep space," says producer Colleen Fava. "We want to share their stories and hopefully inspire listeners to dream big and see themselves as part of this great adventure."

8. NASA‘s Curious Universe

NASA‘s Curious Universe podcast is on a mission to inspire the space explorers of tomorrow with fun and fascinating stories about the agency‘s work. Aimed at middle school students but delightful for all ages, each episode takes listeners on a guided tour of a different space-related topic with a NASA expert as their personal docent.

The show‘s unique conceit is framing each episode as a visit by a group of curious students to a different NASA facility, where they meet scientists and engineers and get hands-on with space hardware and simulators. It‘s a brilliant way to demystify the space program and showcase the amazing diversity of careers and projects across NASA.

From training for spacewalks in giant swimming pools to 3D printing rocket engines to searching for life on ocean worlds, the series covers an impressive range of subjects and does it in a way that never feels dumbed down. By the end, even the most jaded adult listener will be ready to sign up for Space Camp.

9. WeMartians

Mars has captured the human imagination for centuries, but we‘ve never been closer to actually setting foot on the Red Planet. WeMartians is the definitive podcast tracking the science, technology and policy developments that will ultimately make humans a multiplanetary species.

Hosted by Jake Robins, a science communicator and Mars aficionado, each episode features interviews with the scientists, engineers and advocates who are working to unlock the secrets of Mars and pave the way for human exploration. With topics ranging from Martian geology and astrobiology to the development of new rovers and rockets, the show explores the full spectrum of challenges and opportunities in our quest to colonize the Red Planet.

One of the things I appreciate most about WeMartians is how it grapples with the philosophical and ethical dimensions of Mars exploration alongside the technical challenges. Robins never shies away from tough questions about the potential risks and unintended consequences of putting humans on Mars, but he also captures the sense of purpose and inspiration that space exploration can provide.

"I believe that the exploration of Mars is crucial to the long-term survival and flourishing of the human species," Robins says. "My hope is that by sharing the incredible work being done to get us there, WeMartians can help build public support and understanding for this amazing endeavor."

Diverse Voices in Space

The podcasting revolution has created the opportunity for more diverse voices and perspectives to be heard beyond the straight white men who have traditionally dominated space dialogues in traditional media. These shows bring fresh ideas and spotlight important issues in making space for everyone:

[Additional 1-2 podcast descriptions to be added highlighting diversity & inclusion in space]


With dozens of excellent space podcasts available and more launching all the time, I feel like a kid in a candy store. The hardest part is deciding which ones to sample first! Whether you‘re a space newbie or a seasoned hand, there are so many incredible stories waiting to be discovered and mind-blowing ideas to ponder.

The proliferation of space podcasts is a testament to the universal allure of space and the power of audio storytelling to bring it to life. Even the most technical concepts become relatable when explained with a human voice and unfolded through the intimacy of sound. And space podcasting is only going to get better as technology enables new frontiers in immersive audio.

I can‘t wait to see how podcasters take advantage of spatial audio and other emerging technologies to create richer, more stimulating experiences that truly transport listeners beyond Earth. Imagine an Apollo 11 retrospective that makes you feel like you‘re right there in the cramped lunar module or a Martian soundscape that convincingly brings the Red Planet into your earbuds.

Even more exciting is the role that space podcasts can play in educating and engaging people to take a more active role in shaping our future in space. From advocating for space funding and supporting STEM education to participating in citizen science projects, the knowledge and inspiration these shows provide can help empower a new generation of space explorers and innovators.

As a proud space nerd who‘s also obsessed with the potential of podcasting to expand minds and build community, I‘m thrilled to be able to experience the wonders of the universe during my daily commute or while I‘m doing household chores. I hope this list helps you launch your own cosmic audio adventures and makes the final frontier feel a little closer to home.

Stay curious!