Episode 542: 'Tis the Seasons

On this episode of Talking Space, we close out 2013 and Season 5 by looking back at some of our favorite moments from our first 5 seasons on the air, both from the show, from personal experience, and from space news in general. Enjoy moments from shuttle launches to exhibit openings to some words from past episodes that have a totally new meaning all these years later. We hope you enjoy listening back to our last 5 seasons as we've had making each and every episode so far.

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

Show Recorded 12/23/2013

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Episode 541: The Jade Rabbit and the Bunny Girl

On this episode of Talking Space, we take an in-depth look at the issue with the coolant pump aboard the International Space Station, the first spacewalk to repair it, and its affect on the Orbital Science launch that was scheduled for earlier this month. We then talk about ESA's Gaia spacecraft, which plans to create an in-depth map of our Milky Way galaxy. We then talk about China's successful landing of its rover on the moon, about a publicity snafu, and how it has connections going all the way back to Apollo 11 in 1969. Lastly, we address a disgruntled listener letter which is in favor of cutting planetary science, and we give our reasons why we think NASA and planetary science should still be, and is, alive and kicking.

To read the congressman's letter to the President, visit http://bit.ly/1edPFGd

To read Wayne Hale's "It's Our Choice, Really" visit http://ephemeris.sjaa.net/0909/b.html

This is the last news show for Season 5! Don't miss a special look back at 5 seasons of Talking Space and space news on Tuesday, December 31, followed by a very special Apollo-related episode to kick off Season 6.

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

Show Recorded 12/23/2013

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Episode 540: ISS Science Update 6

On this episode of Talking Space we talk with Liz Warren, Ph.D. from NASA ISS Program Science Office Communications Integration at Johnson Space Center.

We learn about the upcoming Orbital Sciences CRS cargo launch and experiments (some from students) it will take to the ISS. We also hear about some of the effects of microgravity on the human body.  Liz says we need to keep our people healthy in space and learning how to do that has brought home some very valuable science that applies to life here on earth too.

Some experiments have an educational component to them like the NanoRacks-NCESSE-Falcon Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. With 17 experiments involving thousands of students on the ground. This is the 5th opportunity the student spaceflight program has participated in. Some of their experiments investigate fungal growth, antibiotic efficiency, seed germination, bacterial growth and space radiation. Did you know that bacteria grow faster in microgravity? Having a space station to fly to makes science experiments like we’ve been talking about possible by students in grades 5-12. Pretty incredible!

We learn that it is rather fun to train astronauts. Liz describes them as overachievers, wanting not just to do their best but to do a job better than the next guy. The astronauts want to get really good results for the Principal Investigators. From research in space there have been changes in Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamins by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that affect bone loss. There are medications now on the market from research in space that can help patients affected by bone loss due to chemotherapy.

While we were talking about the ISS, gravity came up. The Hollywood movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney named “Gravity” that is. So do you think science fiction has a place in our discussion about ISS science?

Please watch and share this video Liz spoke of. The stories told will touch, inspire and change how you look at the ISS and research done there. Please, please, please share this video. We’ve only begun to see the International Space Station’s “Benefits For Humanity”.

Benefits For Humanity: In Their Own Words http://youtu.be/HhsaKTFz0TM

NASA ISS Program Science Office web page - www.nasa.gov/iss-science/

Phone (281) 244-6187 email jsc-iss-research-helpline@nasa.gov

 Host this week: Mark Ratterman. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Emily Carney.

Special Guest: Liz Warren, Ph.D. ISS Program Science Office

Show Recorded 12/15/2013

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Episode 539: Moon, Mars and Maybe Beyond

On this episode of Talking Space, we discuss the dire state of planetary science at NASA. We look at both an article and a video by Bill Nye of the Planetary Society which lay out what the future of planetary science is, or shall we say isn't. We then mention the winners of the Axe/Lynx Apollo contest who will be going to space, and some interesting demographics about the group. We then talk about one team making a name for themselves in the race for the Google Lunar X Prize called Moon Express. We then take a look at another space podcast which should be added to your regular listening in addition to Talking Space called Omega Tau. On our second trip around the table, we take a look into a private venture aiming for Mars. We then look at the new endeavor which astronaut Mark Kelly is involved in which would brings passengers to near-space in a balloon. We finish off talking about one six-year-old's petition which gives hope for the future of spaceflight and humanity.

To listen to Omega Tau, check out http://omegataupodcast.net/

To sign the petition to help a six-year-old get more money to NASA, visit http://1.usa.gov/1hFmpNA

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

Show Recorded 12/9/2013

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Episode 538: To Launch or Not To Launch Is that The Question?

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”http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/2005/11/kwajalein-and-rockets.html - 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. http://sdoisgo.blogspot.com/2013/11/where-was-comet-ison.html

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 morehttp://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Helping_China_to_the_Moon

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 http://spaceflightinsider.com/space-flight-news/european-space-agency-celebrates-30-years-of-manned-spaceflight-looks-toward-the-future/

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 http://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/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 http://spaceflightinsider.com/

Show recorded 12/02/2013

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