Ep. 350: Space Ship One
SpaceShipOne is the spacecraft created by Scaled Composites to win the $10 million Ansari X-Prize in 2003. It was the first privately built spacecraft to reach 100 km in altitude, twice in two weeks, carrying the equivalent of 3 people. It’s the...
Ep. 349: Mercury 7 and How the US Picked the First Astronauts
Before the Apollo Program, there was the Gemini Program, and before Gemini came the Mercury Program. 7 elite astronauts chosen from a pool of military test pilots. How did NASA choose these original 7 men?
Ep. 348: Places with Numbers: 2 Independence Sq (NASA HQ)
Although NASA is spread across the entire US, the headquarters is based right in Washington, DC. And the headquarters building is known as Two Independence Square. This is where past and future space policy for the agency was developed.
Ep. 347: Live from Balticon!
Enjoy our live show from Balticon!
Ep. 346: Numbered Places: Area 51
Who knows what mysteries lurk at the military's Area 51 complex in Nevada? Conspiracy theorists and UFO chasers think it's a big alien coverup. But it's probably something more boring, like advanced military aircraft. Let's talk about what we know,...
Ep. 345: Numbered Places: Launch Complex 39
Almost every historic American launch occurred at one place in Cape Canaveral: Launch Complex 39. Good old LC39 was build for the Apollo spacecraft, and then modified for the Space Shuttle program. And now it’s carrying on this tradition for upcoming...
Ep. 344: The Rings of Saturn
There’s so much we know about Saturn’s beautiful rings, and yet, there’s so much we don’t know. Morgan Rehnberg, a PhD student at the University of Colorado, Boulder and works with the Cassini mission. Morgan joins Fraser to talk about Saturn’s...
Ep. 343: The Universe is Trying To Kill You
We always say that the Universe is trying to kill you, but we thought we’d really hammer the point home. Dr. Phil Plait from Bad Astronomy joins Fraser Cain for a very special episode of Astronomy Cast. Join us as we hammer out all the ways the...
Ep. 342: Sunsetting Spacecraft
Everything dies, including our technology. But when we've hurtled a few thousands pounds of robotic instrumentation to another planet, it gets a little difficult to shut it down and clean up. What do we do when a mission has reached the end of its...
Ep. 341: 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
Pamela has a day job, remember? As an astronomer? Recently the 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference occurred in the The Woodlands, Texas. Pamela and guest astronomer Sondy Springmann will let us know about the big announcements made at this...
Ep. 340: Wernher von Braun
When the United States helped defeat Germany at the end of World War II, they acquired the German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. He had already developed the German V2 rocket program, and went on to design all the major hardware of the US rocket...
Ep. 339: Space Conspiracy Theories
Yes, we actually landed on the Moon. No, aliens didn’t crash land at Roswell. What is it about space exploration that leads to so many conspiracy theories? We’ll try to get to the bottom of these conspiracy theories, poke holes in their ridiculous...
Ep. 338: Copernicus
It’s safe to say that the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus shook up the whole Universe. Well, our understanding of our place in the Universe. It was Copernicus who came up with the heliocentric model, placing the Sun at the center of the Solar...
Ep. 337: Photometry
There's a lot you can learn by just staring at an object, watching how it changes in brightness. This is the technique of photometry, and it has helped astronomers discover variable stars, extrasolar planets, minor planets, supernovae, and much more.
Ep. 336: Units of Measure
How heavy is a kilogram, how long is a second? How warm is a degree? We measure our Universe is so many different ways, using different units of measurement. But how do scientists come up with measurement tools which are purely objective?
Ep. 335:Photoelectric Effect
Pop quiz. How did Einstein win his Nobel prize? Was it for relativity? Nope, Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for the discovery of the photoelectric effect; how electrons are emitted from atoms when they absorb photons of light. But what is it?...
Ep. 334: Chelyabinsk
Around this time last year a space rock crashed into the Earth above Chelyabinsk, Russia. It brightened the skies for hundreds of kilometers, broke windows and injured many people. Let’s look back at the event. What happened, and what did we learn?
Ep. 333: When Worlds Collide
Just take a look at the surface of the Moon and you can see it experienced a savage beating in the past. Turns out, the whole Solar System is a cosmic shooting gallery, with stuff crashing into other stuff. It sure sounds violent, but then, we...
Ep. 332: Stellar Collisions
Out here in the Milky Way’s suburbs, stellar collisions are unheard of. But there are places in the galaxy where stars whiz past each other, and collisions can happen. When stars collide, it’s a catastrophic event, and the stellar wreckage is visible...
Ep. 331: Arthur C. Clarke’s Technologies
In our previous episode, we introduced Arthur C. Clarke, the amazing man and science fiction writer. Today we’ll be discussing his legacy and ideas on space exploration. You’ll be amazed to hear how many of the ideas we take for granted were invented...
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