Archive for the 'Meteorites' Category

On this episodes we may be mentioning routine launches but it's anything but routine as we return for a news round-up.

On this episode we begin our launch round-up with some past and present SpaceX launches, including the Telstar-18V launch and the upcoming first RTLS mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. We also check in on our rover friends on Mars, Opportunity and Curiosity. One remains silent while the other deals with a data glitch.

We then move on to the ISS to discuss the recent Japanese cargo vehicle launch, the HTV, aboard an H-IIA rocket. This HTV vehicle, however, has a unique return capability. Hear all about it in the episode. Then, it's what we're calling "hole-gate". A look at the history behind the hole discovered on a Soyuz, how NASA and Russia handled it, and who really could be behind it. We also congratulate Japan on their first successful landing on an asteroid, and why members of the OSIRIS-REx team are watching closely.

Then we get into the big announcement from SpaceX of design changes to the BFR as well as the first private citizen to pay to fly aboard it. Elon Musk is saying 2023 but is that realistic or is it just "Elon Time"? We give our opinions and our thoughts on where the program should go.

Lastly it's a story you'll only hear on Talking Space, about NASA 502. The research plane flying in and out of the airport in Gainesville, Florida, where our own Mark Ratterman works. Find out why a NASA plane from California is in Florida and studying Hurricane Florence and why it has an odd disk underneath it.

For more information on the UAVSAR instrument, visit 

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Show recorded 9-23-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka and Mark Ratterman

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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, we begin our two part discussion of a recent trip to Pasadena, California for SpaceFest VI. The event features astronauts, artists, and other vendors and speakers as a way to talk about current topics in the space community and meet some of the people who made the past possible. During this part, we talk about the events leading up to the event including a tour of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a visit to Endeavour at the California Science Center. We then begin talking about the opening event with the Apollo astronaut panel. Afterwards, we talk about what was on the floor of the event, and a special birthday celebration for an astronaut.

Tune in to Part 2 to hear about the panels and discussions as well as a look at another Californai conference that happened around the same time.

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Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Member: Gene Mikulka

Show recorded 06/06/2014

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On this episode Sawyer and Mark cover a wide variety of topics and catch up on some news we promised to share like the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture from October 2013 titled “The Chelyabinsk Meteor: Can We Survive a Bigger Impact?”   Another video to check out is one from the NASA YouTube channel titled “2013 Astronaut Class Talks STEM at Smithsonian Air and Space Museum” Don’t miss what Astronaut Candidate Anne McClain (@Astroannimal on twitter) has to say about believing in yourself. The link to the video takes you to 36:38 with Leland Melvin speaking, then Anne McClain. 

What would Google want with a NASA hanger at Moffett Federal  Airfield? #NASA continues to connect with participants with a first ever Photo #NASASocial at Goddard SpaceFlight Center.  Remember to keep up with NASASocial news at The Great Moonbuggy Race has transitioned to something new, read more about The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. It’s coming up at the US Space and Rocket Center April 10-14 2014 Learn more at

How about 16 Cubesat’s from 9 states selected by NASA to fly from 2015-2017. Our new topic (maybe first of its type for Talking Space) is numismatist. If you are one then you already know about the collectable coin celebrating the European Space Agency and 50 years of space cooperation. They are a limited edition run from 500 to 10,000 coins depending on denomination. Leland Melvin announces his retirement and Sawyer shares a quick interview with him from an event back in July 2012. President and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell was recently appointed to the FAA Management Advisory Council. The Astronaut Hall of Fame has selected two astronauts for induction in 2014. Congratulations to Jerry Ross and Shannon Lucid.

Winding up this show is an interview with RocketSTEM Executive Director and Founder, Chase Clark. Here are the links for your convenience to vote for RocketSTEM at the FedEx web site. Your vote supports them in the competition to receive  a $25,000 small business grant from FedEx. Please vote daily through Feb 23.

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On this episode we discuss the multiple launch attempts by SpaceX of the SES-8 satellite. Frustration at lack of information provided by SpaceX to the press gets considerable attention from the Talking Space panel. Will it change when crew launches begin? We sure hope so. Did you know Kimbal Musk, brother of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk started a blog in November of 2005? It is named “Kwajalein Atoll and Rockets” - Kimbal Musk also has a twitter account @kimbal though most of his recent tweets are not SpaceX related.

Comet ISON got our attention, now we say goodbye as its first trip around the sun did not end as so many hoped. Sorry but no incredible December holiday views of ISON are expected. Here is a link to the SDO Mission Blog and the post from November 29, 2013 describing the challenge that observing sun grazing comets presents.

On December 1, 2013 at 1730 UTC China National Space Administration (CNSA) launched a Long March 3B carrying the Chang’e-3 lander/rover to the moon. It was a welcome surprise to find @CCTVnews (China Central Television) provided live streaming coverage of the launch. They also requested participation from social media! The multiple camera views, commentary and length of coverage from prior to launch to after payload separation were appreciated by spaceflight enthusiasts eager to follow along. The European Space Agency is supporting Chang’e-3 to the moon. See this link to read more

Emily brings us an introduction to her article on SpaceFlight Insider about the 30 years of spaceflight participation by European Space Agency. You’ll appreciate ESA even more for their contributions to manned spaceflight, exploration and certainly the International Space Station. Also we talk about the Spaceflight Insider Team and hear that “we ain’t seen nothing yet” regarding future plans. Here is the link to Emily’s December 1, 2013 ESA article

The Kepler Space Telescope is in the news again. A new plan may allow Kepler to reacquire its pointing ability and continue searching for exoplanets. Some great reading material is available for FREE from NASA. They have ebooks available supporting Kindle and other ebook readers. How about their most recent title"NASA's First A:Aeronautics from 1958-2008" Go to to find your next great read.

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman. Guest Panelist: Emily Carney from our partner The Spaceflight Group

Show recorded 12/02/2013

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On this episode of Talking Space we discuss the SpaceX launch attempt of 25 November 2013 which ended with a hold then a scrub with plans their next try for 28 November. The ExoMars mission entry descent and landing module has been named after Italian Astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. We talk about the discoveries Schiaparelli made in 1877 of "canali" or channels on Mars. ExoMars first launch is scheduled for 2016.
Then some news about cancellation of the new ASRG equipment ptogram using PU-238 Radioisotope and an upcoming launch of CNSA Chang'e 3 to the moon.
The Chang'e 3 will have a lander delivering China's first rover to the moon. Gene brings up some real concerns about anticipated effects of the Chinese lander's exhaust plume on the US LADEE satellite which just started measurements to establish baseline readings of the lunar exosphere. Could the Chinese Chang'e 3 interfere with LADEE? It sort of depends on how you look at the LADEE mission objectives.
Space Tourist Dennis Tito appeared before the US House subcomittee on space. He wanted the US government to to join with his vision of Inspiration Mars "A Mission for America" Sounds foolhardy and dangerous to Gene and for 2017/2018, $700 million from NASA'a budget is out of the question.
Olympic Gold Medal winners on Feb 15th of the 2014 Winter Olympics will recieve a medal with a piece of the Chelyabinsk meteriorite that exploded over Russia on that date in 2013

Ok now pay attention.... Time to give math some respect as we hear how "Algorithms + F/A-18 Jet = Vital Testing for SLS Flight Control System"
Read the details on this Marshall Space Flight Center / Dryden Flight Research Center program and see how young these "Rocket Scientists" are via the link below

Happy 15th Birthday from Talking Space to the International Space Station. Here is the Canadian Space Agency video Sawyer mentions that is a must watch showing ISS construction made possible by Canadarm2

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

Show recorded 11/25/2013

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On this episode of Talking Space we discuss release of the Cygnus capsule from the ISS and an upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9.1 Dragon launch. Also the most recent test flight of the SpaceX Grasshopper and the reusability it may provide.
Sierra Nevada readies for a drop test of their Dreamchaser test vehicle. Did you hear about the concern raised on twitter that the Near Earth Object discovered Oct 8th could hit earth on a future pass in 2032. Odds are 1 in 63,000  of a hit from this 1300 ft long object. Gene says don't worry, rest easy and check the facts from sources like NASA or the B612 Foundation.
Want to be part of the Mars Artic 365 Mission? Crew of 6 volunteers will spend 365 days at Flashline Mars Artic Research Station at Devon Island near Resolute in Nunavut, Canada. See for all the details.

There has been a launch delay of a Minotaur 1 from Pad 0B at Wallops Flight Facility due to the US Government shutdown. Original launch date was Nov 4 and is now scheduled for Nov 19. Also a Delta IV was scheduled to launch on Oct 23 but is being delayed to look into possible problems following an Oct 2012 Delta IV launch due to reduced thrust the second stage RL10B-2 engine.
How about a sleeping trip to the Red Planet? Well the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program announced 2013 Phase I and II Selections. One of which included a proposal from Spaceworks Enterprises Inc. for research on a "Torpor Inducing Transfer Habitat For Human Stasis To Mars".
See for links to all selections.

Jellyfish born in space have difficulty adapting when returned to earth. Swimming does not come naturally in 1 G following birth in microgravity. Sawyer brings us the story "Debugging a Live Saturn V". Take a few minutes and read this for yourself from the memoirs of a Saturn V "Rocket Scientist", it is phenomenal!

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Member: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

Show Recorded 10/21/2013

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On this episode we talk about asteroids. In particular the one affecting Russia and of course the flyby of 2012 DA14. Next up or down as the case may be, a Proton rocket launch failure and a Sea Launch Zenit rocket launch failure causing loss of their payloads. The 21st Century Ground Support Systems upgrade at Kennedy Space Center gets some time on this episode too. Will the work done and planned at KSC benefit government or commercial users or both?

Watch the video titled "Dave Travels - Episode 11 NASA Space X" by NASASocial SpaceX CRS1 Launch attendee David Bankston @TravelsDave

Also enjoy the great information from the (NHMFL) National High Magnetic Field Lab Check your community and others around you to see what riches are there to be discovered. Expand your knowledge like the NHMFL did for Mark.

Show recorded - 2/18/2013

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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

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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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Mark Ratterman attended the final roll out of Orbiter Vehicle 103, known as the Space Shuttle Discovery and describes his experiences while at the Kennedy Space Center. He also had the opportunity to speak with Stephanie Stilson, NASA Flow Director overseeing Discovery's processing operations, a duty she has had since December 2000.

Mark also attended the arrival of Space Shuttle External Tank Number 122 and helps to tell it's interesting story.

Other items discussed include the change of command on board the International Space Sation, The return home of Expedition 24, JAXA having issues selling space on the it's KIBO module on board the ISS, ESA and SpaceX announcing delays, The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter taking a nap, and the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity turning into a Meteorite Hunter!

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Host this week: Gene Mikulka Panel Member: Mark Ratterman.

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