Archive for the 'Geology' Category

From launch rates to renamings and of course two major announcements from the red planet, it's another jam-packed Talking Space.

We begin with our launch round-up, including China, Japan, and two manned missions. We discuss the return of Expedition 55 and the launch of Expedition 56 and what will make that mission unique. Then we look at SpaceX's recent launches, including their first ever Block 5 launch and what that means. We also look at their future launch plans including launch sites and a staggering number being put out for a launch rate.

We discuss what's going up on SpaceX's CRS-15 mission including more about our favorite creepy face, as well as the OA-9 launch from Orbital ATK, who is getting a new name. Orbital ATK has been acquired by Northrop Grumman to become Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, and what's behind that deal.

Then we travel to Mars, where we look at the Opportunity rover, or try to as its blanketed by a massive dust storm. Is it dead? Not just yet. Hear from some of the scientists working on the MER program and what they're saying about this unprecedented storm. Plus while staying on Mars, did Curiosity find life? Not exactly, but we discuss a major find from the Mars Science Laboratory.

We finish with a congrats to the Juno team and two fond farewells.

Show recorded 6-14-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka

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This season premiere kicks off with a look at the past, starting with the NASA tragedies that still loom large today, particularly with the 30th anniversary of STS-51L last week. Moving a bit closer to the present, we go over some of the most notable stories of 2015 and discuss what they might mean for the future, from the dazzling images of Pluto from New Horizons to the (sometimes literal) highs and lows of commercial spaceflight. Over our hiatus, SpaceX in particular had some major accomplishments as well as another attempt to land on their ocean barge, Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY), to learn from, and we speculate on what this could mean for their future. Meanwhile, the omnibus spending bill for 2016 passed and was signed into law, and for once there was a lot of good news for NASA. We delve into some of the details, how this happened, and what this means for NASA missions and the American space industry moving forward. This brought us into this year and the extraordinary efforts by the team building and testing the James Webb Space Telescope a couple of weeks ago.

Also in January, our own Kassy Tamanini and her partner and special guest John Wood were among the first to participate in a Meteorite Hunting Boot Camp, led by good friend of the show and past guest Geoff Notkin. Love meteorites and always wanted to know the nitty gritty details of the experience? These neophytes share what they learned, how it felt, and what it’s like to visit your first strewn field. If this convinces you to try it yourself, you can sign up for the next Boot Camp, coming up this May (spaces are running out quickly, though, so get on it or sign up for Aerolite emails to learn about future events, and don’t forget to tell them we sent you).


Show recorded 2-1-2016

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein,

Panel Members: Kassy Tamanini, Kat Robison, and special guest John Wood

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On this episode of Talking Space, the team discusses the International Space Station One Year Mission. We also mention that the New Horizons spacecraft is just a little over 90 days away from its destination: Pluto. We then look at the ramifications of an article by Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle making an assertion that NASA is looking at leveraging the Moon as a true stepping stone to Mars. We also cite The Examiner's Mark Whittington, and a rebuttal to Mr. Berger's piece by Marcia Smith at SpacePolicyOnline . Mr. Berger stood by his piece in a later blog post. NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan said during a public panel aired on NASA TV, “I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade." We discuss what that really means for us and how some main stream media outlets have reported on this story. Mark Ratterman wraps up his involvement with the First Robotics Competition  and what do the Mars Exploration Rovers have in common with Major League Baseball? We'll tell you in this week's NASA Spinoff Segment. 

The outro song is "Familiar Frontier " by Craft Lass. It is used with her permission. To purchase the file, visit The song is also available on iTunes and Google Play.
Show recorded: 4/9/2015

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Kathryn Robison and Kassy Tamanini aka Craft Lass 

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On this episode, sticking with the new format, we discuss the recent WGS-4 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. We then proceed to how Opportunity, which is beginning its 8th year on Mars, will be spending the winter. We continue on with more on Phobos-Grunt and its demise. On our second go-around, we discuss how we're taking a look in real time at snowfall amounts. We then proceed to the naming of GRAIL-A and B, which just recently began orbiting the moon. We then move on to the groundbreaking for the exhibit which will house Space Shuttle Atlantis. On our final round, we discuss sea turtles being rescued at Cape Canaveral, a sci-fi movie made in space, and some space junk guidelines.

For information on NASA's Precipitation Measurement Missions, check out their Twitter account,@NASA_Rain or their website

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

Show Recorded - 1/23/2012

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On this episode of Talking Space, we get an update on STS-135. We discuss past issues, and the launch date of Atlantis on her final flight. Remember Talking Space will be there! For all the information, check out any page on our website, and join us live. Please remember this was recorded before the Final Flight Readiness Review (FFRR). As an update: NASA managers have given Atlantis a "go" for launch on July 8th at 11:26am EDT. We talk about Mark's interview with the 135 astronauts, White Sands landing facility closing, and even Mark going inside Discovery! We move on to the restoration of the Soviet shuttle, Buran, and an asteroid that came awfully close to our home planet. We finish off with the Shuttle Landing Facility setting a world record.

To re-listen to our interview with Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart in which we discussed Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), check it out by visiting our website,

An image was inserted here. To view it, please visit our website at

Show Recorded - 6/27/2011

Listen now:

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On this episode, we invite on special guest, Apollo 9 astronaut and founder of the B612 foundation as well as a member of the Association of Space Explorers, Rusty Schweickart. Having logged thousands of hours in high performance jets as well as having performed an EVA (a spacewalk), Rusty comes on to discuss his role in the future of asteroids and their potential of impacting the earth, as well as working to avoid an impact if necessary. Also discussed was the future of manned space flight, where humans should go next, as well as other countries participation in the hunt for asteroids.

Rusty's foundation, the B612 Foundation, is located online at

He has also authored the preface to the Association of Space Explorer's book The Home Planet, which is available on Amazon.

Host this week: Gina Herlihy. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Sawyer Rosenstein, and special guest Russell "Rusty" Schewickart

Show Recorded - 7/26/2010

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On this episode, We discuss the return of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA)  Hayabusa probe after a 7 year voyage to obtain a piece of Asteroid Itokawa. We discuss the Mars 500 experiment and answer two questions from our mailbag, and a thanks to @QuantumG and @racshot653 for the questions. Keep them coming! After that we look at NASA's  Expedition 24 to the International Space Station,  and review an  interesting editorial from MSNBC's James Oberg on reliance on the Russian Soyuz vehicle.

We comment on relatively breaking news of President Obama's plan to take $100 million out of NASA's budget to put toward job training for NASA contractors who will be losing their jobs as a result of the Project Constellation shutdown on the space coast and elsewhere.  We end with a discussion of a mystery on board Atlantis, NASA giving you a chance to send your face into space, and a brand new exhibit opened at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum honoring the crew of Apollo 1 called "27 Seconds".

A special thank you to CraftLass for "pinch hitting" for Gina Herlihy as a guest panel member this week! Follow CraftLass on Twitter: @CraftLass.

To see the video blog for day 1 for the Mars 500, you can check it out here on YouTube. You can also follow Diego Urbina on Twitter at @diegou.

You can see that the Falcon 9 launched at T-0 here on YouTube, the roll of the vehicle at launch here on YouTube, and the UFO "sighting" in Australia here on YouTube.

The op-ed article written by James Oberg can be read here on MSNBC

To send your "Face in Space", you can visit

As well, here is the surprise which was left by the STS-132 crew aboard locker A-16 on Atlantis: A picture was inserted here. To view the picture, please visit

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, and special guest panelist CraftLass

Show Recorded - 6/18/2010

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On this episode, we are not only joined by guest panelist Tavi Greiner from Astronomy.FM, but we invite on special guest Scott Maxwell, one of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) "drivers". He discusses his experiences at the Jet Propulsions Laboratory and his work playing around with robots on another world. Frankenstein, anybody?

For more info on Scott, check out his blog "Mars and Me" at

Learn more about the MERs at

Be sure to also follow him on Twitter: @marsroverdriver

Also, thanks to Tavi Greiner, who is part of Astronomy.FM, which broadcasts Talking Space every Tuesday night at 10pm EDT and is replayed every three hours. There's even an interactive chat. Check it out at

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, and special guest panelist Tavi Greiner. Special Guest: Mars Rover "Driver" Scott Maxwell.

Show Recorded - Sunday 5/30/2010

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On this very special episode, we are joined by special guests Geoffrey Notkin and Steve Arnold of the Science Channel show, "Meteorite Men". We discuss their show, how they both got their start as meteorite hunters, some of their favorite moments from their television program, along with some science and some friendly poking fun.  Gina Herlihy's batteries needed recharging after the STS-132 Tweet-Up so , we asked  Rebecca Setzer (@beccasetz on Twitter) from the broadcast "Astronomy Out & About" heard weekly on Astronomy.FM to join our panel for this week.

For more information on the Meteorite Men, please check out the following links:

Meteorite Men Website:

Meteorite Men on Facebook:

Meteorite Men on Twitter: @meteoritemen

Steve Arnold's Company:

Geoff Notkin's Company: "Aerolite Meteorites":

Science Channe's Official Meteorite Men Page:

An image has been inserted here. To view the image, please visit

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, and special guest panelist Rebecca Setzer. Special Guests: Steve Arnold and Geoffrey Notkin of the Science Channel show Meteorite Men.

Show Recorded - Sunday 5/16/2010

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