Episode 621: The Dawn of Orion

On this special episode of Talking Space, we look at the launch of Orion, NASA's next manned capsule, and its unmanned maiden voyage on EFT-1. We discuss the mission itself from scrubs on December 4th all the way through a successful launch and landing in the early morning of December 5th. We look in depth at the mission itself, the goals it was to accomplish, and even analyze the NASA TV coverage of the event, which included live views of re-entry from a drone as well as onboard the capsule. We try to put to bed the comparisons between Apollo 4 and EFT-1 with the help of NASA's Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer. We also talk to a few NASA astronauts who are working on making Orion possible. Plus, as always with these launches, we have the raw launch audio as heard from just a few miles away, so get out your best headphones or crank up your car speakers and get ready for a wild ride.

Show recorded: 12/9/2014

Click on the episode title to listen to this episode

Episode 620: Catching a Comet

On this episode of Talking Space: Rosetta and the way the Philae lander had captured the imagination of the public. Even though the lander has gone into "sleep mode', its batteirs starved for power, reports of Philae's passing may be greatly exaggerated.  NASA's OSIRIS-REx team was also carefully following the journey of  Philae. Launching in 2016, OSIRIS-Rex,will attempt a landing on an asteroid in the hopes of returning a surface sample to Earth.  The team moves on to discuss the upcoming EFT-1 test flight. Set to go for 7:02 on 4 December. There are 8 things to look for  during the Orion's flight that Jason Rhian of Spaceflight Insider profiles. So is Russia really saying  do svidaniya to the ISS partnership and building their own station in 2017? Thie Russian news service  RT Seems to think so.   Is this fact or is this claim as  IB Times thinks full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? The team takes this claim to task. Finally the panel looks at a Lunar mission for everyone. A UK based group, Lunar Mission One, is preparing a new mission to the lunar South Pole in ten years. and YOU can be a part of it

Show recorded: 11/19/2014

Click on the episode title to listen to this episode

Episode 619: Preparations and Evaluations

Expedition 41 is in the books and we revisit the landing and the passing of the baton to the Expedition 42 crew along with the International Space Station increment poster: a salute to  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by  Douglas Adams.

EFT-1 Preparations are rolling forward (in a literal sense) and the team discusses the  EFT1  press briefing about the Orion mission. The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission falls under the magnifying glass as they attempt to do what has never been done: land on a comet this week.

Orbital Sciences released their "Go Foward" plan in the wake of the 28 October Antares launch mishap. We examine all the pieces  of the recovery blueprint and offer opinion.  We end with a story of survival: How Peter Siebold Pilot of the doomed VSS Enterprise escaped as the craft disintegrated over the skies of California. Also offer an update on the progress of the crash which occurred on 31 October.

Show recorded 11/10/2014

Click on the episode title to listen to this episode

Episode 618: The Future Belongs to the Brave

On a sobering edition of Talking Space, the team gathers to discuss the loss of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two on 31 October, 2014 over the skies of the Mojave Desertin California. The ill fated test flight of the VSS Enterprise left the pilot, Peter Siebold,hospitalized and sadly took the life of  it's co-pilot Michael Alsbury. The acting administrator of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)Christopher A. Hart released some intriguing information during a late night 2 November Press conference that may be the first piece of the puzzle in determining the cause of the accident. Mark Ratterman offers additional insight into how the NTSB painstakingly conducts an accident investigation. 

Show recorded 11/03/14

Click on the episode title to listen to this episode

Episode 617: The Loss of Antares

On this special episode of Talking Space, we throw out our originally-scheduled show to discuss the loss of the Orbital Sciences Orb-3 mission. The Antares rocket had a failure upon launch and exploded within 20 seconds of lifting off. The rocket was unmanned, carrying a Cygnus spacecraft with more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station. In this episode we break down the facts of what is known and what is not known. We also discuss what was said in the press conference and where both Orbital and NASA stand. One interesting examination we look at is how all different forms of media covered the event from national news to local to Orbital themselves. We then look at the next steps in the investigation and the future state of the ISS as well as Orbital Science's contract with NASA for these resupply missions. Also included is a brief discussion of some of the science experiments onboard that were lost.

Show recorded 10/28/2014

Click on the episode title to listen to this episode