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  

 

This episode is full of plenty of rockets and missions going up....and one that went down explosively.

On this episode, we begin with two crew launches. First the Soyuz MS-18 mission and why an American astronaut was added only a few months before launch. Plus a quick look ahead to Crew-2 aboard a Crew Dragon, and a possible new tradition started by the crew.

Next it's on to Mars, where the Ingenuity helicopter is set to take off. This isn't just significant for future Mars exploration. We go into the potential historical impact of a mini helicopter flying on another world.

Then it's onto the nominee for NASA's next administrator, former Senator Bill Nelson (D) Florida. Former administrator Jim Bridenstine thinks it's a good pick, but what does the panel think?

Then it's onto SpaceX. First, the farewell to Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief, the fairing recovery ships. What does this mean for reusability.

Last but no least, it's all about SN-11, the Starship test flight from Boca Chica (or Starbase depending on your preference) Texas. The mission went up under heavy fog before exploding before landing. What does this mean for the program? Can you still get enough data from just telemetry as opposed to visuals? What led to the decision to fly on that day and how is the FAA somehow involved? Also, is SpaceX learning from these test flights or is it just for show? We look at all these questions and more.

Show recorded 4-7-2021

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman,

 

One week, three crafts, one planet. On this first episode of Season 13 we're aiming for Mars.

We discuss three successful missions arriving at the red planet within one week of each other, the "Hope" mission from the United Arab Emirates, China's Tianwen-1 Mission, and the most discussed mission of the three, NASA's Perseverance Rover. We go into all of the amazing firsts so far, and what the mission should accomplish during its time on the red planet. Also, find out why Mark doesn't like calling the rover "Percy".

Next, we discuss the future for RocketLab, including their CEO literally eating their hat as they announce the design of a new rocket.

Finally we discuss the Inspiration 4 mission, which will send ordinary people to space along with helping a good cause...but is it really giving anybody a chance to go, or is it favoring certain people more than others?

Show recorded 3-1-2021

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

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

 

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