August 4th, 2022, was one of the most active launch days in recent memory. The Talking Space Team attempts to check all the boxes bringing a little insight into each one, including some launch audio from the Mighty AtalsV that carried the SIBRSGEO 6 into orbit and the scream of the Falcon 9 as it took South Korea’s KPLO probe to the Moon. 

 We briefly discuss some debris left from a Chinese rocket that showered down on the Philippines and some flotsam from the SpaceX Crew-1 Trunk that impacted an Australian sheep paddock.  

The war in Ukraine has impacted everything for the worse. The repercussions have been felt far and wide, and the space sector has not been immune. The Northrup Grumman Antares 230 launch vehicle is another victim of the war; the fabrication shop for its core stage located in Ukraine was destroyed. With only enough parts to assemble two more rockets, Northrup Grumman has a plan for a domestic version of Antares, which will take an unusual alliance of a bold new corporate venture and an old lion ready to learn new tricks. 

Speaking of Russia, is Roscosmos leaving the International Space Station Partnership like the mainstream media is saying? We provide real context around the story.

Artemis -1, the first launch of a new program to return humans to the Moon, create a sustainable presence there, and move on to Mars, is set for an August 29th launch attempt. We discuss the mission objectives for this first flight, the non-human crew, and the implications for this test flight. 

Dr. Kat Robeson brings a NASA JPL article to our attention concerning the Antarctic Ice Shelf and the loss of mass it may have experienced. We also mention that on the day we recorded ( August 11th ), operational control of the  Landsat 9 Earth Observation Satellite was turned over to the US Geological Survey from NASA. We end the show reminding all that while exploring the heavens is a vital part of space, looking down at our planet is just as critical. 

 

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Dr Kat Robison & Gene Mikulka 

Engineer and Editor: Mark Ratterman 

On this episode of Talking Space with Mark Ratterman and Dr Kat Robison we have an excellent interview from Mark with Kennedy Space Center’s Dr Kristin Smith and Kathy Rice, both of whom are in KSC's weather office. Special thanks to KSC’s public affairs team, especially Mary MacLaughlin, who make it possible to bring interviews like this to our listeners. Mark talks with Kristin and Kathy about NASA’s Tropospheric Doppler Radar Wind Profiler (TDRWP) which monitors weather in the upper atmosphere like upper level winds (which we all know are very important on launch days). Kathy and Kristin explain how users, from NASA to SpaceX, utilize this important data and how it differs from other tools, such as weather balloons. The data from TDRWP is publicly available. Also, check out this link for info on how it was tested with ham radio operators and this site for more info on the whole system at KSC.

 

Mark and Kat also have a brief chat (and please forgive her technical difficulties!) about a few space news topics before the interview. Kat shares about a history making series of launches in Australia at the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) in the Northern Territory. The series of three sounding rocket launches to study astrophysics were the first NASA launches from a fully commercial spaceport and were undertaken in partnership with Equatorial Launch Australia. She and Mark also discuss the first deep field image from JWST, which includes light from one galaxy which traveled 13.1 billion years to JWST’s mirrors. Find out more and see the rest of JWST’s first images here

Show recorded: 7-24-2022

Hosts: Mark Ratterman & Dr. Kat Robison

Special Guests: Dr. Kristin Smith and Kathy Rice

This episode we take a unique look at the historic Axiom-1 mission to the ISS from multiple perspectives.

That includes our own Sawyer Rosenstein who was at the press site for the launch and our own Mark Ratterman who viewed the launch from offsite. There was a unique oddity to the audio from this launch which you'll have to hear for yourself.

We compare how this mission differs from other SpaceX missions to the ISS, typically carrying astronauts for NASA and ESA, including some pre-launch quirks. Plus, what a private mission like this does to scheduling aboard the International Space Station, especially as a long-duration crew depart and return within weeks of this all-private mission.

Plus, this isn't just a tourist mission. We look at the experiments being done onboard this first all-private mission to the orbiting laboratory.

In addition we also take a look at the ongoing effects of Russia's war with Ukraine on relations aboard the ISS.

Finally it's a look at the Artemis program's latest concerns and announcements. That includes the roll back of the massive SLS rocket set to launch the first uncrewed test mission around the moon sometime this year after some issues appeared during a "wet dress rehearsal". Also a look at what vehicles will likely be taking astronauts to the launch pad before they depart for the moon.

Show recorded: 4-15-2022

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Mark Ratterman & Gene Mikulka 

Our Mark Ratterman was on hand at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for the rollout of  America's new launch vehicle: NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion Spacecraft sitting atop the 322 foot stack. . It was the first time a large rocket set on its way to the launch pad from the Vehicle Assembly Building since the Space Shuttle. No longer on the drawing board or an artistic rendering, Mark was on hand to bring us his unique perspective on this moment of history, including a reminder that space travel isn't just technology, there's a very human side to it too.

The team discussed the upcoming preparations for the initial Wet Dress Rehearsal, a test of the rocket's ground support equipment, procedures, and the people who will be responsible for launching the SLS/Orion combination on the first leg of the journey to the Moon.   

The team also examines further the impact of Russia's actions in Ukraine and the continued fallout there has been for the spaceflight community, and we end with a light side of space courtesy of the Canadian Space Agency.

All this and more on this edition of Talking Space

Show recorded: 4-2-2022

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Mark Ratterman & Gene Mikulka 

The concept that space unites nations on Earth is tested like never before.

In a rare single topic installment of Talking Space, the team pauses its regular reports and observations of the space sphere and examines the impact of the current geopolitical circumstances and the short and long-term impact they may have on space exploration going forward.

Recorded on the evening of Saturday, March 5th, 2022, we look at the implications the Russian-Ukraine conflict will have on the International Space Station and its logistics chain, both transporting crew, and cargo. Also, what impacts are there to various other launch service providers, many of whom are already in a state of transition with their booster programs, and who may be most vulnerable to the situation?

Another area we place under our microscope:  the status of the Russian space program going into this crisis, the damage caused by the conflict plus some wounds that the agency may have inflicted upon itself since the start of hostilities. We attempt to take on the big question of what the future hold for Roscosmos, the ISS partnership, and future cooperative efforts.

All this and more in this episode of Talking Space.

Show recorded: 3-5-2022

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Dr. Kat Robison Hasani, Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

On a very SpaceX-centric edition of Talking Space to start 2022, The team looks at the SpaceX Polaris Program that hopes to test elements needed for operating the SpaceX Starship, including the first Extra-Vehicular Activity or Spacewalk for a private space mission.

We take a look at the SpaceX Starship update event held at the SpaceX Boca Chica, Texas, on February 11th, which was heavy on theater but light on news. There are also questions on the future status of the SpaceX Boca Chica location (AKA “Starbase”) due to environmental concerns, and the FAA has pushed back the decision on certifying the location for launching orbital flight missions due to the number of petitions filed. We explore the reasons for the controversy.

There has been a delay in the rollout of the Space Launch System rocket for the Artemis 1 mission, and we explore the reasons for the delay.

We wrap up with some good news on the International Space Station mission receiving an extension into the year 2030 and the progress being made on the commissioning of the James Webb Space Telescope.

All this on this first edition of Talking Space for 2022!

Show recorded: 2-14-2022

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

 

On this very special episode of Talking Space, we discuss something very few people have ever experienced, Zero Gravity. However, 12 Zero-G flyers just made history.

12 ambassadors for "Mission: Astro Access" completed the first ever microgravity flight for people with disabilities. That includes people who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low vision, and have mobility disabilities. Among the flyers is our own host, Sawyer Rosenstein. He invited some of the participants onto the show to discuss the mission.

The flight itself involves 15 parabolas aboard a Zero Gravity Corporation plane with one Martian, two Lunar and 12 "Zero-G" parabolas.

That includes the selection process, the training before flight, and the objectives during the flight. We find out what worked, what didn't, and the simple modifications that can be made to make spaceflight accessible to so many more people. We also discuss the future, where we hope this program goes in the future, and the changes we all hope to see as a result of this historic first mission.

To learn more about AstroAccess and to consider donating to help fund a second flight, visit https://astroaccess.org/

To read Sawyer's full recount of the flight, check out the article by clicking here.

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, and special guests Dana Bolles and Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen

If it seemed like average people flying into space was something from the future, this episode is proof that the future is now...or is it?

In this episode of Talking Space, we start with the launch of the first all-civilian orbital mission, Inspiration 4. We report what it was like from the grounds of the press site (including some fantastic Falcon 9 launch audio) and the reception it received from the public. However it's not all cheers to a new era of spaceflight as some of our team members and the public say space isn't for everyone just yet. 

We also discuss the upcoming private Axios mission to the International Space Station getting a launch date, and how the launch of a Russian actress is delaying important work to the newly-installed Nauka modules, which has had some issues from the moment it arrived at the station.

We then dive into the delays for the Human Landing System because of a lawsuit. The question remains, even without the lawsuit, is 2024 still viable to land on the moon?

We then also discuss the reorganization of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. It left a lot of questions about what that means for the agency, especially this far along with Artemis, which we hope to answer.

Finally, we've heard about unruly passengers on commercial flights, but our FAA expert Mark Ratterman looks into what might happen if you get an unruly passenger on a spaceflight.

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Dr. Kat Robison

This episode takes us all over the world from the U.S. to Russia, from public to private. It's a global and low earth orbit episode of Talking Space.

Has Russia's Roscosmos become a little more "Space-X" like in their launch coverage to the point where they have started to rival NASA's? The team looks at the possibility.

The orbiting homestead called the International Space Station underwent some renovations, installing a set of a new set of ISS Roll Up Solar Arrays or iROSA's. These not only will this power up the station for the next set of demands the platform will face in the coming years but the roll-up arrays are also a technical demonstration for NASA's upcoming Artemis Lunar Program.  

NASA's Space Launch System core stage is in the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is being stacked for a launch attempt. This is just one more step for the first Artemis mission. The team discusses the SLS as a scientific exploration tool, to allow planetary spacecraft to reach destinations faster, so they can begin data collection and return expeditiously. 

China has launched the first segment of its Tiangong space station and the crew has arrived to live on the platform for 90 days. It shows that China is indeed pursuing its own agenda in space but will it produce the same level of science that the International Space Station has and will it be as friendly to work with?

Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos announced that he is flying on the inaugural "New Shepard" sub-orbital flight for paying clients on 20 July. A few days later Richard Branson then announced that he intended to fly on Virgin Galactic's first commercial sub-orbital mission before Bezos. Does this sub-orbital one-upmanship signal the start of a  new era, opening spaceflight for all, or is it just a case of two large egos? The team looks at the promise that both these spacecraft have as scientific and research platforms.

All this and more on this installment of Talking Space!

 

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Dr. Kat Robison, Gene Mikulka

 

 

 

 

 

 

The era of US crew transitions onboard the International Space Station has resumed with the launch of the Crew 2 mission to the orbiting facility and the return of the Crew 1 astronauts via the Commercial Crew Space X Crew Dragon Capsule. The flight is also is a moment of history in both the United States, Europe, and Japan in their space program as well, and the team brings all into perspective. Also, Sawyer Rosenstein was on hand for the Crew-2 Launch and collected some great sounds of the SpaceX Falcon 9 as it reaches for the Space Station with its multinational crew on board.

 

China places the first segment of its space station to orbit, but it's not without consequences to those back on Earth. The core stage of the Long March 5B booster was not equipped to be disposed of properly while on orbit. We explore some of the implications of this with our own Dr. Kat Robison.

 

A new NASA Administrator has been installed, and it's someone who is no stranger to US space policy and politics. Former Senator Bill Nelson has been sworn in as NASA's 14th Administrator, and the team has no shortage of observations and opinions to share on how the new Administrator's tenure may unfold.

 

The Human Landing System decision was handed down in recent weeks, but the single provider decision is not without controversy. We debate the wisdom of the decision and why the two other providers under consideration have filed protests.

 

To close the show for this week, we make the passing of a true gentleman who has forever made a mark in human space history. NASA Astronaut Michael Collins passed away at the age of 90 after a battle with cancer. The team celebrates his life and his accomplishments.

 

All that and more on this installment of Talking Space.

 

Show recorded: 5-4-2021

 

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Dr. Kat Robison, Gene Mikulka  

 

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