On this episode of Talking Space with Mark Ratterman and Dr Kat Robison we have an excellent interview from Mark with Kennedy Space Center’s Dr Kristin Smith and Kathy Rice, both of whom are in KSC's weather office. Special thanks to KSC’s public affairs team, especially Mary MacLaughlin, who make it possible to bring interviews like this to our listeners. Mark talks with Kristin and Kathy about NASA’s Tropospheric Doppler Radar Wind Profiler (TDRWP) which monitors weather in the upper atmosphere like upper level winds (which we all know are very important on launch days). Kathy and Kristin explain how users, from NASA to SpaceX, utilize this important data and how it differs from other tools, such as weather balloons. The data from TDRWP is publicly available. Also, check out this link for info on how it was tested with ham radio operators and this site for more info on the whole system at KSC.


Mark and Kat also have a brief chat (and please forgive her technical difficulties!) about a few space news topics before the interview. Kat shares about a history making series of launches in Australia at the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) in the Northern Territory. The series of three sounding rocket launches to study astrophysics were the first NASA launches from a fully commercial spaceport and were undertaken in partnership with Equatorial Launch Australia. She and Mark also discuss the first deep field image from JWST, which includes light from one galaxy which traveled 13.1 billion years to JWST’s mirrors. Find out more and see the rest of JWST’s first images here

Show recorded: 7-24-2022

Hosts: Mark Ratterman & Dr. Kat Robison

Special Guests: Dr. Kristin Smith and Kathy Rice

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