Archive for the 'Research' Category

On this episode of Talking Space, we tackle two major stories, the launch of Mars 2020 and the landing of Crew Dragon Endeavour.

We start with the launch of the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter. We look at some of the unique items onboard, as well as listen to the launch audio we recorded from a few miles away. In addition to the mission, we talk about what it's like to cover a launch during a pandemic (with special thanks to the 45th Space Wing) and how a Mars spacecraft sterilizer is helping in the fight against COVID-19.

Then it's onto SpaceX and the successful return of the Crew Dragon capsule from the ISS. We look at the successes and some of the items they found need to be improved, including stray boats and possibly toxic hypergolic fuels.

Finally, we debate a tweet by President Donald Trump about the state of NASA. Mark and Gene get into an interesting debate over the state of the space program and who we can thank for where we are today.

Show recorded 8-10-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

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On this episode of Talking Space, the main focus is on Mars as three countries send missions to the red planet.

We discuss the United Arab Emirates first mission to the red planet and the implications it has for the country and that part of the world.

We then discuss China's mission which was also launched, their first solo mission to Mars, and discuss where their space program stands right now and if they could become a major player again in space.

Finally NASA is up with their Mars 2020 mission and the Perseverance rover.

We discuss some launch successes and one failure unfortunately for Rocket Labs of their Electron rocket and what it means for their future. We also discuss another delay of the James Webb Space Telescope and what you can do to see Comet NEOWISE before it disappears.

Kat Robison brings us a special piece on a space pioneer you may not have heard of, Ed Dwight. You can read the original article by clicking here.

Finally we remember U.S. Representative John Lewis and his surprising connection to the International Space Station.

 

Show recorded 7-19-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Kat Robison

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The “band” is back together to review some breaking news on the launch date for NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. We talk about the activities on the International Space Station, where NASA Astronauts Chris Cassidy performed a 6-hour 7-minute spacewalk to replace a set of lithium-ion batteries on the facility’s S6 truss. Completing this work will leave the ISS in an exemplary power configuration for the remainder of its operational life. 

Attention turns to a Pre-spacewalk briefing NASA’s Kenny Todd, and Steve Stich had good words on how well the SpaceX Crew Dragon is performing for its first-time on-orbit and information on when perhaps the Crew-1 mission could fly. Also included was a status on where Boeing was with remediation work on the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. 

There was an abrupt “changing of the guard” at NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations office. Kathy Lueders, the Director of the Commercial Crew Program, was promoted to Associate Administrator for the Human Operations and Exploration Directorate replacing Douglas Loverro. He resigned under a ‘dark cloud’ for what he called ‘a mistake’ in his final letter to the HEO organization. That “mistake” is now under the microscope of the NASA Inspector General’s office. 

 

The NASA Headquarters Building in Washington DC has a new name; we tell you who it is and why that honor was bestowed, plus give you a little hint about another historical figure of note we’re going to discuss on a future show. 

Our grand ‘pundit of podcasts’, Mark Ratterman has a NASA Podcast that you may wish to add to your diet of space news and information: NASA Johnson’s “Houston We Have a Podcast.” 

Want all of the Earth Observation satellite data that NASA, Europe and Japan have gathered about how the COVID 19 pandemic has impacted socioeconomic activity all in one place?  There’s now an appfor that! Introduced by all three space agencieson June 24th2020, it aggregates all of the data tracking air and water quality plus agricultural and economic activity all in one place. 

Show recorded 6-28-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Kat Robison

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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 https://uavsar.jpl.nasa.gov/. 

[An image gallery was inserted here. To view it visit http://talkingspaceonline.com]

Show recorded 9-23-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka and Mark Ratterman

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It's not just about getting to the sun, it's about the people behind the mission making it all happen. That's what this episode of Talking Space is all about.

We speak with four integral members of the Parker Solar Probe team. The mission launched successfully in early August. To hear more about the mission along with the spectacular Delta IV Heavy launch audio, be sure to check out Part 1 in Episode 1007.

In this episode, we begin speaking with Dr. Adam Szabo, the mission scientist for Parker Solar Probe. From him we learn more about the mission objectives, how the gravity assist will be different from those in the past, and how PSP fits in with the host of solar observing missions already in orbit.

Next, we speak with David McComas of Princeton University who is in charge of the ISʘIS experiment. We discuss more about the role of the instrument, along with his excitement, plus a person "struggle" so-to-speak that's he's used to his advantage and hopes to share with others.

Then, we hear from two of the mission's leads immediately following the successful liftoff. That includes project scientist and soon to be head of Heliophysics at NASA Nikki Fox and Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen about the status of the mission and what's next for the spacecraft as it nears its first Venus encounter to help slow it down.

Stay tuned for Part 3, following our normal news episode, featuring a Q&A which you can only hear in high quality in its entirety here with Dr. Eugene Parker. The session was held for a very limited audience before launch and has never been aired in its entirety, so stay tuned!

Show recorded 8-19-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka with special guest interviews recorded on location at the Kennedy Space Center.

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On part one of this extremely special three-part Talking Space, hear the sound of a Delta IV Heavy launching a mission to the sun and hear from the scientists behind it!

We begin with the successful launch of the Parker Solar Probe mission, which is set to "touch the sun". This mission will set many records, and you'll hear all about them. You'll hear about the delays and the successes, including the launch audio as the Delta IV Heavy roared into the early morning sky and continued to rumble for minutes after launch. Hear from some of the science heads on the mission, as well as the new NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green. 

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 coming out over the next three weeks where you'll hear more interviews from scientists, some exclusive behind-the-scenes access and a rare Q&A that you may never hear elsewhere in its entirety.

[A photo gallery was inserted here. To view it visit http://talkingspaceonline.com]

Show recorded 8-19-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka with special guest interviews recorded on location at the Kennedy Space Center.

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This episode of Talking Space takes you to all the major launches, some launches which may be facing unexpected delays, and the launch of a kickstarter based on a great book.

We begin with our launch round-up, featuring a record-setting docking to the ISS, two launches in 24 hours in China, as well as the undocking of the final Orbital ATK Cygnus to the ISS...or is it the first Northrop Grumman Cygnus? Plus Rocket Lab is looking for a new launch site. We look at the possible sites and where we think it may go. We then look at the commercial crew program. We hear from NASA side, from those at Boeing and SpaceX, as well as a shocking report from the GAO about when they believe both companies will actually fly.

We then also look at the newest nominee for Deputy Administrator of NASA, along with a performance review so far on new administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Finally we discuss Gen. Chuck Yeager, a look back at his biography and where he's at now, including a kickstarter for a documentary about his historic career and life.

Also be sure to vote for us in the 2018 Podcast Awards! Voting is open until July 31st. https://www.podcastawards.com/ 

To view more info on the GoFundMe, check out https://www.gofundme.com/yeager-file.

To see Gen. Yeager on "What's My Line" check it out on YouTube https://youtu.be/04Tywtn5UJI 

Show recorded 6-15-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka and Mark Ratterman

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What do you get after one month away? A boat load of news and some amazing interviews for our return from spring break.

We begin looking at the launches of the last month from all corners of the globe. We check out many of the major launch providers and their most recent missions. We also discuss the recent improvements in the quality of their webcasts and our thoughts on what that means for outreach.

We also discuss the announcement of two new NASA managers. First, NASA's new head of science and of course, the recently confirmed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. We discuss our opinions so far on both of them and what we hope for the future.

Of course we discuss NASA's next Mars lander which is now on its way, Mars InSight, however we get some "insight" from one of the people who worked on it at this year's Northeast Astronomy Forum, or NEAF.

At NEAF, we also hear from the authors of "Bringing Columbia Home" about the recovery efforts after the 2003 Columbia disaster. Plus we bring you an amazing story of a young girl from Cosovo who's taking the US by storm promoting astronomy outreach.

We also have to give a special shout-out to the ESA team working the Bepi Colombo Twitter account, @ESA_Bepi, on taking our wacky suggestion of needing a cute mascot. Make sure to check it out and tweet them if you love it.

Show recorded 5-2-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka and Kassy Tamanini

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50 Falcons, falling stations, private ISS, the dreaded NASA budget and a lot of hate mail...all in one episode! 

On this episode of Talking Space, we begin with our launch round-up including GOES-S, the 50th Falcon 9 launch, and the return of three crewmembers from the ISS and the preparations for the next launch later this month. Then it's onto a creepy talking head that'll be soon heading to the ISS, as well as another space station, Tiangong-1, that could fall pretty much anywhere as professionals track it and amateurs buy umbrellas. Next it's the dreaded NASA budget review, including a meeting with NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and congressional budget officials. In this is the discussion of potentially privatizing the ISS, getting NASA out of low earth orbit, and dealing with NASA's "leaning tower of KSC". 

We finish  up with the Areceibo Radio Telescope getting new owners, a chance to get your name on the Parker Solar Probe, and a much-needed clarification segment. In this segment, we discuss and clarify all of our points regarding Falcon Heavy after some heated feedback on our last episode. Also be sure to stay past the outro music for a fun surprise.

To read Kat's published paper, click here.

To get your name on NASA's Parker Solar Probe, click here.

Show recorded 3-7-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka and Kat Robison

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Talking Space is turning 10 seasons old...yet most of the topics involve new space surprisingly!

We begin focusing on SpaceX first with the return of CRS-13 and a look-ahead to the Falcon Heavy static fire test. Of course, we address the mystery behind the secret Zuma payload. Did it safely make it to orbit, did it come crashing back to earth, or is there something we're not being told? We get an ISS update including a preview of two spacewalks.

Next in our launch round-up, it's ULA with their NROL-47 mission and SBIRS GEO 4. Then it's over to India for a successful return of the PSLV plus a look at whether India could disrupt the international launch game. We also check out some smaller companies and their big impacts like RocketLab's Electron.

Then it's over to China whose rocket didn't blow up but still sent pieces crashing into the ground near crowded villages. Can the US partner with a country that just throws away rockets near people? We weigh in.

Lastly we remember two amazing astronauts in Bruce McCandless III and John Young who recently passed away.

Show recorded 1-16-2018

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka

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