Archive for the 'Human Spaceflight' Category

On this episode of Talking Space, we tackle two major stories, the launch of Mars 2020 and the landing of Crew Dragon Endeavour.

We start with the launch of the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter. We look at some of the unique items onboard, as well as listen to the launch audio we recorded from a few miles away. In addition to the mission, we talk about what it's like to cover a launch during a pandemic (with special thanks to the 45th Space Wing) and how a Mars spacecraft sterilizer is helping in the fight against COVID-19.

Then it's onto SpaceX and the successful return of the Crew Dragon capsule from the ISS. We look at the successes and some of the items they found need to be improved, including stray boats and possibly toxic hypergolic fuels.

Finally, we debate a tweet by President Donald Trump about the state of NASA. Mark and Gene get into an interesting debate over the state of the space program and who we can thank for where we are today.

Show recorded 8-10-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

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On this episode of Talking Space, the main focus is on Mars as three countries send missions to the red planet.

We discuss the United Arab Emirates first mission to the red planet and the implications it has for the country and that part of the world.

We then discuss China's mission which was also launched, their first solo mission to Mars, and discuss where their space program stands right now and if they could become a major player again in space.

Finally NASA is up with their Mars 2020 mission and the Perseverance rover.

We discuss some launch successes and one failure unfortunately for Rocket Labs of their Electron rocket and what it means for their future. We also discuss another delay of the James Webb Space Telescope and what you can do to see Comet NEOWISE before it disappears.

Kat Robison brings us a special piece on a space pioneer you may not have heard of, Ed Dwight. You can read the original article by clicking here.

Finally we remember U.S. Representative John Lewis and his surprising connection to the International Space Station.

 

Show recorded 7-19-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Kat Robison

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The “band” is back together to review some breaking news on the launch date for NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. We talk about the activities on the International Space Station, where NASA Astronauts Chris Cassidy performed a 6-hour 7-minute spacewalk to replace a set of lithium-ion batteries on the facility’s S6 truss. Completing this work will leave the ISS in an exemplary power configuration for the remainder of its operational life. 

Attention turns to a Pre-spacewalk briefing NASA’s Kenny Todd, and Steve Stich had good words on how well the SpaceX Crew Dragon is performing for its first-time on-orbit and information on when perhaps the Crew-1 mission could fly. Also included was a status on where Boeing was with remediation work on the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. 

There was an abrupt “changing of the guard” at NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations office. Kathy Lueders, the Director of the Commercial Crew Program, was promoted to Associate Administrator for the Human Operations and Exploration Directorate replacing Douglas Loverro. He resigned under a ‘dark cloud’ for what he called ‘a mistake’ in his final letter to the HEO organization. That “mistake” is now under the microscope of the NASA Inspector General’s office. 

 

The NASA Headquarters Building in Washington DC has a new name; we tell you who it is and why that honor was bestowed, plus give you a little hint about another historical figure of note we’re going to discuss on a future show. 

Our grand ‘pundit of podcasts’, Mark Ratterman has a NASA Podcast that you may wish to add to your diet of space news and information: NASA Johnson’s “Houston We Have a Podcast.” 

Want all of the Earth Observation satellite data that NASA, Europe and Japan have gathered about how the COVID 19 pandemic has impacted socioeconomic activity all in one place?  There’s now an appfor that! Introduced by all three space agencieson June 24th2020, it aggregates all of the data tracking air and water quality plus agricultural and economic activity all in one place. 

Show recorded 6-28-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Kat Robison

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On this special episode of Talking Space, we devote the entire episode to the successful launch of Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station.

The crew successfully launched in their Crew Dragon capsule on Demo-2, marking the first time humans have launched from the US since the end of the shuttle program in 2011.

We go through the differences between Space Shuttle and Crew Dragon all the way from the suit-up room to orbit.

We discuss the origins behind the spacecraft's name, Endeavour, along with a stow-away. We also talk about the small, New Jersey group that played a major role in the design of one of the aspects of the capsule.

Then it's a look at their mission so far and what's to come. Plus, we've heard so many people try and take credit for the commercial crew program, so how did we get to Demo-2?

Finally we reflect on the significance of the launch during a time of civil unrest and amidst a pandemic.

Show recorded 6-7-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka

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With astronauts set to return to space from U.S. soil for the first time in almost nine years, Talking Space is going back through the archives to bring you never-before-heard episodes on what it took to get to the historic Demo-2 launch in May 2020.

For this episode, we go back to January 2020 when SpaceX tested the in-flight abort capabilities of their Crew Dragon capsule. Hear what it sounded like from launch to explosion...to a surprise after the intentional destruction of a Falcon 9 booster.

Here's what it's like to root for a rocket to blow up. 

This episode also includes an EXCLUSIVE sit-down with the Demo-2 crew. Shortly after the abort test, 15 media members sat down and talked with the crew of Demo-2 ahead of their mission. The audio has never been released in its entirety...until now. Hear it inside this episode.

Show recorded 2-21-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka

 

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In this special edition of Talking Space, we look back into the NASA audio archives and discover a hidden gem that might get lost in United States space flight history. 

On November 9, 1967, months after the United States lost three intrepid explorers duing a spacecraft test, The Apollo Progam arose like the mythical phoenix and launched the most powerfull launch vehicle the world had ever seen, the 364-foot tall Apollo Saturn V Rocket. 

Apollo 4 set sail from a brand new port, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center from a brand new launch complex, Launch Complex 39, and with the sucesssfull conclusion of the mission some 8 hours 36 minutes and 59 seconds later, restored confidence in the US Human Spaceflight Program. 

What is to follow is the post flight press conference for Apollo 4. In attendaence were space flight giants, with names like Robert Seamans, George Muller, Kurt Debus, George Low, and Werner von Braun. 

Its a time capsule of sorts, a moment that paved the way for the human exploration of the lunar surface for the first time, but also may give a hint of future events in NASA’s Artemis program. 

Host:

Gene Mikulka 

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