Episode 336: The Holy GRAIL

On this episode of Talking Space, we return from our three week summer break to catch you up on the latest in space news, starting with the successful launch of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, (GRAIL) mission which successfully launched to study the moon and our own Mark Ratterman was there to cover the launch. Mark also gets a special interview with Kim Guodace, a former shuttle vehicle engineer for United Space Alliance. We then move on to the failure of a Progress 44 resupply ship launched aboard a Soyuz and how it may leave the International Space Station unmanned. We move onto the topic of space debris including the UARS satellite scheduled to crash back to Earth at an unknown location. We then discuss some stunning shots of the lunar landing sites taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, LRO. We finish off with pieces of metal on Spirit and Opportunity which were once a part of the World Trade Center towers which were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. 

The Delta II carrying GRAIL launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Credit: 45th Space Wing

A shot of the Apollo 17 landing site as taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Click to see the full image. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ASU

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

Show Recorded - 9/11/2011

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