Archive for the 'Astronomy' Category

On this episode of Talking Space, we look at the duration records set by the recently-returned Expedition 43 crew, and a close look at why they were up there for so long (hint: the 2011 Soyuz age of reliability statement and a failed Progress launch come into play). Next we take a look at the mostly successful LDSD test and how a balloon can help us on Mars. Then it's onto a look at two recent satellite launches and their importance, LightSail and DSCOVR. We also discuss the Boeing CST-100 contract awarded by NASA and what that means for SpaceX, and we also look at SpaceX's pad abort test. Then it's on to everybody's favorite topic: the NASA budget, and what's being cut or funded this year. We finish off as always with our spinoff of the week, and this time it's Robonaut2 and what it's doing for robotics back on Earth with a company called Universal Robotics.

Show recorded: 5/21/2015

Host This Week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Kathryn Robison and Kassy Tamanini aka Craft Lass

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 This week we look at the impending demise of NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft after being on orbit since 18 March, 2011. We also examine the SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission Number 6 and discuss the science cargo on board, and the results of the Stage one landing attempt, critical to the company's booster re-usability formula. United Launch Alliance was also in the news, announcing it's booster replacement for the Delta IV and Atlas V, called "Vulcan" by popular vote. The team discusses Vulcan's roll out and implications. Also look at the progressthat OrbitalATK has made in getting Antares and Cygnus back to space.  

We turn our attention to the Northeast Astronomy Forum that took place at Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York. Some of the Guest speakers included NASA's Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC and Dr. Jim Green, NASA's Planetary Science Division Director. Other speaker's included: Dr. Matt Penn Associate Astronomer of the National Solar Observatory, in Tucson AZ who introduced a plan to recruit the amateur astronomy community to track the 2017 US Solar Eclipse called Citizen Cate.  Ellyne Kinney Spano, Image Processing Lead of NASA'sOSIRISREx mission with ways how you can also get involved on the Mission to Asteroid Bennu. Dr. Jon Morseformally the director of NASA's Astrophysics Division and instrumental with the Hubble Space Telescope porgram, now Board of Director's Member of the BoldlyGo Institute  discussing the Institute's  Astro-1 Telescope. Kassy Showcases a set of Binoviews by a company called Denkmier that turns the sky into a 3D viewing experience. 

The team gives the final moments of the show to pay tribute to Jan DuRaine, Tireless STEM Educator and one of the first supports of the program.
Host This Week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Kathryn Robison and Kassy Tamanini aka Craft Lass with a message from Mark Ratterman
Show Recorded 21 April, 2015.
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On this episode of Talking Space, we begin our two part discussion of a recent trip to Pasadena, California for SpaceFest VI. The event features astronauts, artists, and other vendors and speakers as a way to talk about current topics in the space community and meet some of the people who made the past possible. During this part, we talk about the events leading up to the event including a tour of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a visit to Endeavour at the California Science Center. We then begin talking about the opening event with the Apollo astronaut panel. Afterwards, we talk about what was on the floor of the event, and a special birthday celebration for an astronaut.

Tune in to Part 2 to hear about the panels and discussions as well as a look at another Californai conference that happened around the same time.

Images were inserted here. To view them visit http://talkingspaceonline.com

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Member: Gene Mikulka

Show recorded 06/06/2014

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On this episode of Talking Space, we talk with the Executive Director and co-founder of Explore Mars, Chris Carberry. In the interview, we discuss what Explore Mars is all about, and as you can guess, it has a lot to do with Mars. We begin with discussing the upcoming "Humans 2 Mars", or H2M conference coming up in Washington D.C. from April 22nd to the 24th. We then go into his thoughts on manned vs. robotic, the best way to get to Mars, and jumping off points such as the moon and the ISS. We also go into some of the STEM programs that they are participating in, and look at the future of Mars exploration.

For more on Explore Mars, visit their website http://exploremars.org/.

For more on the H2M conference, visit http://h2m2014.exploremars.org/

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gina Herlihy, Mark Ratterman and special guest Chris Carberry from Explore Mars.

Show Recorded 4/7/2014

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On this episode of Talking Space, we return from a long hiatus to recap some of the space news of the last few weeks that was important to us. We begin with a look at the 2015 NASA Budget proposal and what that means for some NASA programs and what we think of the cuts and gains. Next, we talk about the ISS, including the release of a record 33 CubeSats and the return of the Expedition 37/38 crew from the station. On our second trip around the table, we discuss some launches, including GPS 2F-5 which involved a lot of possums, and the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission or GPM which launched from Japan. On our final trip around the table, we talk about raining iron on a brown dwarf, and lastly review the first episode of the Cosmos reboot, Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

We want to hear from you about Cosmos. Send us your thoughts via email tomailbag@talkingspaceonline.com, tweet us @talkingspace, or post it on our Facebook wall atfacebook.com/talkingspace

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gina Herlihy, Mark Ratterman and the Spaceflight Group's Jason Rhian

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On this episode of Talking Space, the ship runs a little light, as Gene and Sawyer start with the wake-up of Rosetta after 31 months of hibernation, and we talk about the ambitious goals this mission has set. We then talk about the newest approved NASA budget and is it really a "hip hip hooray" like some are saying? We then start round two with a look at ESA's service module for Orion and rumors of a possible delay. We give the facts and weigh in our thoughts. We finish off with an interesting topic and one almost certain to cause debate: Should NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center have been renamed after Neil Armstrong, and should any others be renamed. We finish off with a special segment from Mark who interviewed ULA TDRS-L Mission Integrator Bryan Bauerlin.

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Member: Gene Mikulka with Mark Ratterman and his guest ULA TDRS-L Mission Integrator Bryan Bauerlin 

Show Recorded 1/20/2014


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On this episode of Talking Space, we close out 2013 and Season 5 by looking back at some of our favorite moments from our first 5 seasons on the air, both from the show, from personal experience, and from space news in general. Enjoy moments from shuttle launches to exhibit openings to some words from past episodes that have a totally new meaning all these years later. We hope you enjoy listening back to our last 5 seasons as we've had making each and every episode so far.

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

Show Recorded 12/23/2013

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On this episode of Talking Space, we take an in-depth look at the issue with the coolant pump aboard the International Space Station, the first spacewalk to repair it, and its affect on the Orbital Science launch that was scheduled for earlier this month. We then talk about ESA's Gaia spacecraft, which plans to create an in-depth map of our Milky Way galaxy. We then talk about China's successful landing of its rover on the moon, about a publicity snafu, and how it has connections going all the way back to Apollo 11 in 1969. Lastly, we address a disgruntled listener letter which is in favor of cutting planetary science, and we give our reasons why we think NASA and planetary science should still be, and is, alive and kicking.

To read the congressman's letter to the President, visit http://bit.ly/1edPFGd

To read Wayne Hale's "It's Our Choice, Really" visit http://ephemeris.sjaa.net/0909/b.html

This is the last news show for Season 5! Don't miss a special look back at 5 seasons of Talking Space and space news on Tuesday, December 31, followed by a very special Apollo-related episode to kick off Season 6.

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

Show Recorded 12/23/2013

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On this episode we discuss the multiple launch attempts by SpaceX of the SES-8 satellite. Frustration at lack of information provided by SpaceX to the press gets considerable attention from the Talking Space panel. Will it change when crew launches begin? We sure hope so. Did you know Kimbal Musk, brother of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk started a blog in November of 2005? It is named “Kwajalein Atoll and Rockets” http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/2005/11/kwajalein-and-rockets.html - Kimbal Musk also has a twitter account @kimbal though most of his recent tweets are not SpaceX related.

Comet ISON got our attention, now we say goodbye as its first trip around the sun did not end as so many hoped. Sorry but no incredible December holiday views of ISON are expected. Here is a link to the SDO Mission Blog and the post from November 29, 2013 describing the challenge that observing sun grazing comets presents. http://sdoisgo.blogspot.com/2013/11/where-was-comet-ison.html

On December 1, 2013 at 1730 UTC China National Space Administration (CNSA) launched a Long March 3B carrying the Chang’e-3 lander/rover to the moon. It was a welcome surprise to find @CCTVnews (China Central Television) provided live streaming coverage of the launch. They also requested participation from social media! The multiple camera views, commentary and length of coverage from prior to launch to after payload separation were appreciated by spaceflight enthusiasts eager to follow along. The European Space Agency is supporting Chang’e-3 to the moon. See this link to read more http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Helping_China_to_the_Moon

Emily brings us an introduction to her article on SpaceFlight Insider about the 30 years of spaceflight participation by European Space Agency. You’ll appreciate ESA even more for their contributions to manned spaceflight, exploration and certainly the International Space Station. Also we talk about the Spaceflight Insider Team and hear that “we ain’t seen nothing yet” regarding future plans. Here is the link to Emily’s December 1, 2013 ESA article http://spaceflightinsider.com/space-flight-news/european-space-agency-celebrates-30-years-of-manned-spaceflight-looks-toward-the-future/

The Kepler Space Telescope is in the news again. A new plan may allow Kepler to reacquire its pointing ability and continue searching for exoplanets. Some great reading material is available for FREE from NASA. They have ebooks available supporting Kindle and other ebook readers. How about their most recent title"NASA's First A:Aeronautics from 1958-2008" Go to http://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/ to find your next great read.

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman. Guest Panelist: Emily Carney from our partner The Spaceflight Group http://spaceflightinsider.com/

Show recorded 12/02/2013

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On this episode of Talking Space we discuss the SpaceX launch attempt of 25 November 2013 which ended with a hold then a scrub with plans their next try for 28 November. The ExoMars mission entry descent and landing module has been named after Italian Astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. We talk about the discoveries Schiaparelli made in 1877 of "canali" or channels on Mars. ExoMars first launch is scheduled for 2016.
Then some news about cancellation of the new ASRG equipment ptogram using PU-238 Radioisotope and an upcoming launch of CNSA Chang'e 3 to the moon.
The Chang'e 3 will have a lander delivering China's first rover to the moon. Gene brings up some real concerns about anticipated effects of the Chinese lander's exhaust plume on the US LADEE satellite which just started measurements to establish baseline readings of the lunar exosphere. Could the Chinese Chang'e 3 interfere with LADEE? It sort of depends on how you look at the LADEE mission objectives.
Space Tourist Dennis Tito appeared before the US House subcomittee on space. He wanted the US government to to join with his vision of Inspiration Mars "A Mission for America" http://inspirationmars.org/ Sounds foolhardy and dangerous to Gene and for 2017/2018, $700 million from NASA'a budget is out of the question.
Olympic Gold Medal winners on Feb 15th of the 2014 Winter Olympics will recieve a medal with a piece of the Chelyabinsk meteriorite that exploded over Russia on that date in 2013

Ok now pay attention.... Time to give math some respect as we hear how "Algorithms + F/A-18 Jet = Vital Testing for SLS Flight Control System"
Read the details on this Marshall Space Flight Center / Dryden Flight Research Center program and see how young these "Rocket Scientists" are via the link below

Happy 15th Birthday from Talking Space to the International Space Station. Here is the Canadian Space Agency video Sawyer mentions that is a must watch showing ISS construction made possible by Canadarm2

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

Show recorded 11/25/2013
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