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

 

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 March 2019 for the Demo-1 mission. This was the uncrewed version of the Demo-2 mission, instead with a "test dummy" onboard, even if SpaceX doesn't call it that.

Hear the sound of the launch, as well as hear of the significance of this mission from the heads of the Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center.

We'll also hear from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on why more innovation is happening now than during the entire Apollo program.

Show recorded 3-2019

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka

In this installment of Talking Space, on the very day fifty years ago we look back at the accomplishment that was the Apollo 12 mission by letting its crew Mission Commander Charles " Pete" Conrad, Command Module Pilot Richard Gordon, and Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean tell their "travelers tales" to us during a post-flight press conference. 

Apollo 12 did a lot more than simply get hit lightning on its way to the Moon, Conrad and Bean brought on board their Lunar Module, Intrepid,  accomplished the first piloted precision landing on the lunar Ocean of Storms region some 500 feet away from where the Surveyor 3 spacecraft had landed some 31 months earlier. A precision landing was key to future exploration of the lunar surface.

The duo of Conrad and Bean performed a geological survey of the landing site, successfully set up the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package or ALSEP, and conducted a full inspection of the Surveyor 3 spacecraft, removing three items from the probe to return to Earth for material study.

Richard Gordon on board the Command Service Module Yankee Clipper was able to locate the landing site from lunar orbit and perform a photographic study of two future landing sites, the Fra Mauro Highlands targeted for Apollo 13 and the Descartes Region which would be the landing site for Apollo 16. 

Join us as we recount the story of Apollo 12 with those who lived it. 

Host: Gene Mikulka 

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 

After examining the current launch log book and going over some significant breaking news with the Mars Exploration Rover Mission and NASA's current lunar aspirations, the team discusses the latest findings from the New Horizons mission. We then celebrate the naming of the European Space Agency's Exomars mission rover.   The ExoMars set for a 2020 launch attempt will be called the Rosalind Franklin after the British chemist who helped discover the true nature of the structure of Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA.  Is the Mars One colonization effort finished after its bankruptcy filing or is it simply attempting to respawn? The team does its best to find out. In the final segment,  Mark Ratterman observes the passing of one of the Apollo Program's unsung heroes and we ask help in seeking out anyone who may have had an impact on Apollo's success to tell their story on the program.  We also mark the untimely passing of space flight historian and good friend, Kate Doolan

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.  

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 

 

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 

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. 

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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