Archive for the 'Earth Science' Category

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, tweet us @talkingspace, or post it on our Facebook wall

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, 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

To read Wayne Hale's "It's Our Choice, Really" visit

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 of Talking Space we talk with Liz Warren, Ph.D. from NASA ISS Program Science Office Communications Integration at Johnson Space Center.

We learn about the upcoming Orbital Sciences CRS cargo launch and experiments (some from students) it will take to the ISS. We also hear about some of the effects of microgravity on the human body.  Liz says we need to keep our people healthy in space and learning how to do that has brought home some very valuable science that applies to life here on earth too.

Some experiments have an educational component to them like the NanoRacks-NCESSE-Falcon Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. With 17 experiments involving thousands of students on the ground. This is the 5th opportunity the student spaceflight program has participated in. Some of their experiments investigate fungal growth, antibiotic efficiency, seed germination, bacterial growth and space radiation. Did you know that bacteria grow faster in microgravity? Having a space station to fly to makes science experiments like we’ve been talking about possible by students in grades 5-12. Pretty incredible!

We learn that it is rather fun to train astronauts. Liz describes them as overachievers, wanting not just to do their best but to do a job better than the next guy. The astronauts want to get really good results for the Principal Investigators. From research in space there have been changes in Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamins by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that affect bone loss. There are medications now on the market from research in space that can help patients affected by bone loss due to chemotherapy.

While we were talking about the ISS, gravity came up. The Hollywood movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney named “Gravity” that is. So do you think science fiction has a place in our discussion about ISS science?

Please watch and share this video Liz spoke of. The stories told will touch, inspire and change how you look at the ISS and research done there. Please, please, please share this video. We’ve only begun to see the International Space Station’s “Benefits For Humanity”.

Benefits For Humanity: In Their Own Words

NASA ISS Program Science Office web page -

Phone (281) 244-6187 email

Host this week: Mark Ratterman. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Emily Carney.

Special Guest: Liz Warren, Ph.D. ISS Program Science Office

Show Recorded 12/15/2013

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On this episode of Talking Space, we have a lengthy discussion regarding the final landing of the space shuttle Endeavour, ending a career spanning 25 missions since 1992 ending with STS-134. Mark was at the Kennedy Space Center for landing and we have his updates and interviews. We then discuss with him his experience with the rollout of STS-135, the final flight of Atlantis and the space shuttle program, which occured the night before into the morning of landing. We also mention the launch of Expedition 28, which upon this release launched successfully. We then discuss the SAC-D satellite or Aquarius launching with some Earth science experiments onboard. We then play a conversation from last week's episode which was deleted regarding astronaut Harrison Schmitt giving the idea of eliminating NASA and starting fresh. We then mourn the loss of former KSC Director Lee Scherer.

To view the launch videos from Ames Research Center discussed in the show, visit:

A photo was inserted here. To view it, please visit

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

Show Recorded - 6/5/2011

Listen now:

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On this special episode of Talking Space, we welcome back co-host of the Science Channel original show "Meteorite Men" and now author, Geoff Notkin. We discuss some moments together at the Challenger Centers for Space Science Education and other personal topics. On top of that, we discuss his new book, available online only, Meteorite Hunting: How To Find Treasure From Space. We include talks about shooting stars, land owners with shotguns, late-night stargazing in graveyards, and some behind-the-scenes stories from the television show that you'll never see on air!

To purchase a copy of Geoff's book, Meteorite Hunting: How To Find Treasure From Space, please visit The book ships to anywhere in the known universe, so our international listeners are not excluded from this!

For more information on Geoff Notkin as well as more on the Science Channel show "Meteorite Men", check out: for information on the television show

To contact them through social media, check out their Facebook page and their Twitter account @meteoritemen as well as Geoff's personal account at @geoffnotkin

For Geoff's website and to find out about if a meteorite is geniune or to purchase your own space rock, check out

Two images were inserted here. To view them, please visit

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, guest panelist CraftLass with special guest, co-host of Meteorite Men and author, Geoff Notkin

Show Recorded - 5/2/2011

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On this episode of Talking Space, we continue our look at the STS-133 mission including the 2nd spacwalk, Obama's call to the shuttle and station crew, and her last days in space. Then, we hear from Gina on her STS-133 launch adventure reporting for us including her interview with the first Pilot of Discovery on STS-41-D. Then, we discuss the progress of Endeavour on STS-134. Following that, we say as much as we can about the US Air Force's 2nd X-37 B, their reusable spacecraft, which successfully launched on March 5th, as well as the failed launch of the Glory satellite and what we know so far about the cause of the accident. Lastly, we go into a conversation about NASA's future and its budget.

Gina's pictures and videos are available at

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

Show Recorded - 3/6/2011

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On this episode of Talking Space, we begin by preparing for the launch of STS-133 on Thursday, February 24th at 4:50pm EST and discuss its mission and payload. We then spend some time on the ISS talking about spacwalks, Japanese commanders, and humanoid robots to aid in crew morale...we kid you not. We then mention the reallocation of $287 million dollars from NASA's budget creating an intense conversation on budgets. We finally end on a happy note with plenty of puns as we discuss the launch of the aerosol-measuring satellite, Glory, launching from Vanderburg Air Force Base on February 23rd at 5:09am EST.

Please note: The outro music is copyright Bruce Springsteen and Columbia Records. Talking Space is in no way associated with Columbia Records and the audio clip is used under Fair Use.

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gina Herlihy, Gene Mikulka, and Mark Ratterman Show Recorded - 2/21/2011

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On this episode, we talk a lot of rockets! We start by discussing the stringer issue on STS-133. After discussing its launch date, we move on to another way it can be delayed. Lead spacewalker and STS-133 astronaut Tim Kopra was injured while riding his bicycle. We then talk about Mark Kelly asking for a backup while he tends to his injured wife, Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Following that, we talk about the Soyuz TMA-21, now being named Yuri Gagarin. Listen to find out why. We then go into a tough debate on the proposed Heavy Lift Vehicle. Lastly, we discuss the board of directors at a spaceport in New Mexico and antimatter in thunderstorms.

Would you go on a one-way trip to Mars? Why or why not? Send us an email at or visit the Contact Us page on our website. You can also send it to us on Twitter as @talkingspace or on Facebook at

Below is the video discussed by Mark. This video was made by NASA Goddard Flight. To download these types of short video podcasts, visit

A video was inserted here. To view it, please visit

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

Show Recorded - 1/16/2011

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On the first episode of season 3 and of 2011, the team, through the magic of editing, has come together once again to discuss a year in review, hilighting the major stories in space of 2010, as well as our own personal favorites. Plus, we throw in a few of our own predictions for the new year. Be prepared for great things to come this season. We have some fun things planned for you, the listener, that we think you'll enjoy so stay with us through the year.

To visit ISSWave, please visit or check them out on Twitter as @ISSWave

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

Show Recorded - 1/4/2011 and 1/5/2011

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On this episode, we talk about STS-133 tanking test and rollback to the VAB. The launch of Soyuz TMA-20 with Expedition 26 crew members Dmitry Kondratyev, Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli. We kick around some ideas wondering about the loss of communications from the mission control center outside of Moscow to both the Soyuz and the ISS. Then we reminisce about @NanoSailD :( Moving on to another bit of bad news we cover the failure of the JAXA Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (Planet-C) to enter orbit around Venus. Ending on a high note, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy or SOFIA completed its' first of three science missions.

AKATSUKI's first shots of Venus:

Bill Nye the Science Guy visits NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, CA home to SOFIA:

Late news: NASA Hosts Planet-Finding Tweetup in California's Silicone Valley. For Information about the #NASATweetup visit:

Hosts this week: Sawyer Rosenstein, Gene Mikulka and Mark Ratterman

Show Recorded - 12/19/2010

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