In this special edition of Talking Space, we talk to the man who was for many years was the voice of Shuttle Launch Control at the Kennedy Space Center, Mr. Hugh Harris.

Born in December of 1932 he served as an information specialist with the US Army from 1952 until 1954 and graduated from Western Reserve University in Ohio in 1956.  Mr. Harris worked as a reporter for a metropolitan daily newspaper, a magazine writer for Standard Oil,  and a radio personality at WMTR in Morristown, NJ.

 According to his NASA bioHe started his NASA career in 1963 as an information officer at what was then the Lewis Research Center, in Cleveland Ohio ( Now the John H. Glenn Research Center).  He was promoted to Chief Public Affairs Officer in 1968 and was transferred to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in 1975. ten years later he assumed the role of Deputy Director of the KSC Public Affairs Office.

Harris Earned NASA’s Equal Opportunity Medal in 1979 and was awarded Exceptional Service Medals in 1985 and 1988. He’s also earned a Distinguished Service Award. form the SPacecoast Chapter of Federally Employed Women for 1978-79

Harris retired from NASA in April of 1998 but still volunteers on occasion at the Public Affairs Office. He is the author of the e-book: Challenger an American Tragedy where he recounts his observations of that fateful day in January 1986, and the events thereafter.  

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In this special edition of Talking Space, we observe the anniversary of Apollo 1 allowing the crew to tell their own story and talk to us through courtesy of the NASA Internet Audio Archive. 

While launch preparations for Apollo 1 were underway, NASA had held a press conference with the prime crew of what was then called Apollo-Saturn 204

Command Pilot: Virgil I. Grissom

Senior Pilot: Edward H. White II

and Pilot: Roger B. Chaffee

The newly announced back-up crew was also in attendance: 

Back-up Command Pilot: Walter M. Schirra,

Back-up Senior Pilot: Donn F. Eisele

Back-up Pilot: R. Walter Cunningham,  

Chief of the US Astronaut Corps Donald K. "Deke" Slayton was also made available to the press for this conference. 

The purpose of the press event was to introduce the new back-up crew for the flight and to highlight training for the upcoming mission of the then new 3 person spacecraft that would be the lynchpin to get the United States to the Moon.  

Rather than recount the doleful events from January 27, 1967, we decided to take a different approach and allow people who may not have been alive or were too young to hear from the astronauts and remember these courageous individuals as they prepared for what was to be the first piloted mission for the Apollo program. 

For More information on Apollo 1, visit the NASA History web site 

Host: Gene Mikulka 

 

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The Talking Space Team says hello to 2019 with a wrap up of 2018 launch activities and a very spirited discussion of what the future may bring in the area of commercial space launch here in the US with new major players coming on the field. How will they fair against the international commercial launch services companies long term for new business? 

We’ll travel with New Horizons spacecraft to Ultima Thule and recap the flyby that occurred New Years Day 2019 and update about the mission’s progress. We also fly out to check on the progress of the OSIRIS-REx mission orbiting the Asteroid Bennu, and the Mars Insight mission. 

We then review China’s and humanity’s first landing on the lunar far side and discuss the implications of this historic moment. However, does it mean that China is now the lead in space or is it an exaggeration? Also, we examine how China handled the coverage of the mission thus far. 

All this and more in this first edition of Talking Space for 2019. 

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein, Panel Member Gene Mikulka 

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What would Talking Space sound like if it were able to reach across the gulf of time to 1968 fifty years ago and cover the Apollo 8 mission: humanity’s first piloted spacecraft to successful orbit the Moon and return home to Earth? 

That is what this episode tries to answer bringing to you some of the historic moments from the Apollo 8 mission, the first to carry humans beyond Earth’s gravity well into deep space to explore the Moon with human eyes and close up photography. This installment makes extensive use of NASA's audio archive from that time period, and we thank the space agency for making these moments in history available for use. It also includes the historic Christmas Message that the flight will be long remembered for. This installment is a tribute of sorts to the individuals known and unknown who made the voyage of Apollo 8 possible 50 years ago.

This installment makes extensive use of NASA's audio archive from that time period, and the Apollo 8 press kit itself. We thank the space agency for making this historical material available for use.

This episode is a tribute of sorts to the individuals known and unknown who made the voyage of Apollo 8 possible 50 years ago.

It's also an audio holiday greeting card to you our listeners to say thank you for your continued support of the program during both the good and challenging times. We'll be back in 2018 next time! 

From all of us at Talking Space, Season’s Greetings and hopes for a happy and prosperous New Year. 

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Back in mid -August of 2018 as a phalanx of reporters and social media attendees awaited the launch of the Parker Solar Probe, we were all given a grand opportunity to listen to and glean a little wisdom from Dr. Eugene Parker, the spacecraft’s namesake. Dr. Parker’s contributions unveiled the supersonic nature of the  Sun’s solar wind, an observation he was at first ridiculed for but eventually was proven correct by the Mariner 2  spacecraft.

This was an unprecedented opportunity and one that was not announced until those in attendance were told to stay for an incredible thirty minutes of wisdom from the 92-year-old astrophysicist.

This rare 30-minute event so far as we know, has never been broadcast in its entirety. NASA indicated they planned to use segments however no other media outlet has offered any of the contents of the event, until now.   

Born on July 10, 1927, Dr. Parker Received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Michigan State University in 1948, and his PhD. from the California Institute of Technology in 1951. He then spent 4 years at the University of Utah then the University of Chicago form 1955 until present day.

Dr. Parker developed a theory on the supersonic nature of the solar wind and predicted the spiral shape of the solar magnetic field in the outer solar system. His predictions were very controversial in fact two reviewer’s rejected Dr. Parker’s work outright. His theories were later published and in the 1960’s proven by the Mariner 2 Satellite.  Dr. Parker’s work contributed greatly to the understanding of the nature of the solar wind, the solar corona and magnetic fields. 

He is the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago and recipient of the Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research from the American Physical Society.  NASA named the Parker Solar Probe to honor his body of work and is contribution to the field of heliophysics. Dr. Parker is the only living scientist to have a spacecraft named in his honor.

To learn more about Dr. Eugene Parker,  click here.

To learn more about the Parker Solar Probe, click here

Show Host – Gene Mikulka, with Sawyer Rosenstein

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On this episodes we may be mentioning routine launches but it's anything but routine as we return for a news round-up.

On this episode we begin our launch round-up with some past and present SpaceX launches, including the Telstar-18V launch and the upcoming first RTLS mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. We also check in on our rover friends on Mars, Opportunity and Curiosity. One remains silent while the other deals with a data glitch.

We then move on to the ISS to discuss the recent Japanese cargo vehicle launch, the HTV, aboard an H-IIA rocket. This HTV vehicle, however, has a unique return capability. Hear all about it in the episode. Then, it's what we're calling "hole-gate". A look at the history behind the hole discovered on a Soyuz, how NASA and Russia handled it, and who really could be behind it. We also congratulate Japan on their first successful landing on an asteroid, and why members of the OSIRIS-REx team are watching closely.

Then we get into the big announcement from SpaceX of design changes to the BFR as well as the first private citizen to pay to fly aboard it. Elon Musk is saying 2023 but is that realistic or is it just "Elon Time"? We give our opinions and our thoughts on where the program should go.

Lastly it's a story you'll only hear on Talking Space, about NASA 502. The research plane flying in and out of the airport in Gainesville, Florida, where our own Mark Ratterman works. Find out why a NASA plane from California is in Florida and studying Hurricane Florence and why it has an odd disk underneath it.

For more information on the UAVSAR instrument, visit https://uavsar.jpl.nasa.gov/. 

[An image gallery was inserted here. To view it visit http://talkingspaceonline.com]

Show recorded 9-23-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka and Mark Ratterman

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It's not just about getting to the sun, it's about the people behind the mission making it all happen. That's what this episode of Talking Space is all about.

We speak with four integral members of the Parker Solar Probe team. The mission launched successfully in early August. To hear more about the mission along with the spectacular Delta IV Heavy launch audio, be sure to check out Part 1 in Episode 1007.

In this episode, we begin speaking with Dr. Adam Szabo, the mission scientist for Parker Solar Probe. From him we learn more about the mission objectives, how the gravity assist will be different from those in the past, and how PSP fits in with the host of solar observing missions already in orbit.

Next, we speak with David McComas of Princeton University who is in charge of the ISʘIS experiment. We discuss more about the role of the instrument, along with his excitement, plus a person "struggle" so-to-speak that's he's used to his advantage and hopes to share with others.

Then, we hear from two of the mission's leads immediately following the successful liftoff. That includes project scientist and soon to be head of Heliophysics at NASA Nikki Fox and Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen about the status of the mission and what's next for the spacecraft as it nears its first Venus encounter to help slow it down.

Stay tuned for Part 3, following our normal news episode, featuring a Q&A which you can only hear in high quality in its entirety here with Dr. Eugene Parker. The session was held for a very limited audience before launch and has never been aired in its entirety, so stay tuned!

Show recorded 8-19-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka with special guest interviews recorded on location at the Kennedy Space Center.

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On part one of this extremely special three-part Talking Space, hear the sound of a Delta IV Heavy launching a mission to the sun and hear from the scientists behind it!

We begin with the successful launch of the Parker Solar Probe mission, which is set to "touch the sun". This mission will set many records, and you'll hear all about them. You'll hear about the delays and the successes, including the launch audio as the Delta IV Heavy roared into the early morning sky and continued to rumble for minutes after launch. Hear from some of the science heads on the mission, as well as the new NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green. 

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 coming out over the next three weeks where you'll hear more interviews from scientists, some exclusive behind-the-scenes access and a rare Q&A that you may never hear elsewhere in its entirety.

[A photo gallery was inserted here. To view it visit http://talkingspaceonline.com]

Show recorded 8-19-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka with special guest interviews recorded on location at the Kennedy Space Center.

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This episode of Talking Space takes you to all the major launches, some launches which may be facing unexpected delays, and the launch of a kickstarter based on a great book.

We begin with our launch round-up, featuring a record-setting docking to the ISS, two launches in 24 hours in China, as well as the undocking of the final Orbital ATK Cygnus to the ISS...or is it the first Northrop Grumman Cygnus? Plus Rocket Lab is looking for a new launch site. We look at the possible sites and where we think it may go. We then look at the commercial crew program. We hear from NASA side, from those at Boeing and SpaceX, as well as a shocking report from the GAO about when they believe both companies will actually fly.

We then also look at the newest nominee for Deputy Administrator of NASA, along with a performance review so far on new administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Finally we discuss Gen. Chuck Yeager, a look back at his biography and where he's at now, including a kickstarter for a documentary about his historic career and life.

Also be sure to vote for us in the 2018 Podcast Awards! Voting is open until July 31st. https://www.podcastawards.com/ 

To view more info on the GoFundMe, check out https://www.gofundme.com/yeager-file.

To see Gen. Yeager on "What's My Line" check it out on YouTube https://youtu.be/04Tywtn5UJI 

Show recorded 6-15-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka and Mark Ratterman

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From launch rates to renamings and of course two major announcements from the red planet, it's another jam-packed Talking Space.

We begin with our launch round-up, including China, Japan, and two manned missions. We discuss the return of Expedition 55 and the launch of Expedition 56 and what will make that mission unique. Then we look at SpaceX's recent launches, including their first ever Block 5 launch and what that means. We also look at their future launch plans including launch sites and a staggering number being put out for a launch rate.

We discuss what's going up on SpaceX's CRS-15 mission including more about our favorite creepy face, as well as the OA-9 launch from Orbital ATK, who is getting a new name. Orbital ATK has been acquired by Northrop Grumman to become Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, and what's behind that deal.

Then we travel to Mars, where we look at the Opportunity rover, or try to as its blanketed by a massive dust storm. Is it dead? Not just yet. Hear from some of the scientists working on the MER program and what they're saying about this unprecedented storm. Plus while staying on Mars, did Curiosity find life? Not exactly, but we discuss a major find from the Mars Science Laboratory.

We finish with a congrats to the Juno team and two fond farewells.

Show recorded 6-14-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka

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