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The Moral Ambiguity of Sending Microbes to Space

Dr. Bill Miller, an evolutionary biologist and expert on the emerging science of the microbiome, chats with Steve about the ramifications of sending microbes into space. Follow ‘I Need My Space’ on Social Media: Twitter: @INeedMySpacePod Instagram: @INeedMySpacePod Find links to Dr. Miller’s book, Twitter, and oil paintings on his website (www.themicrocosmwithin.com). About Inverse: Inverse sparks curiosity about the future. We explore the science of anything, innovations that shape...


The Intergalactic Travel Bureau

The Intergalactic Travel Bureau This week on 'I Need My Space' we talk to Jana Grcevich, Co-author of "Vacation Guide to the Solar System" about making travel plans in space! Grcevich is also data scientist, has a PhD in astronomy, and is an all around curious person. Check out her book: https://www.amazon.com/Vacation-Guide-Solar-System-Traveler/dp/0143129775/ Download Space Vacation from Guerilla Science: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/space-vacation/id1202068488 Twitter:...


The Nose of NASA

NASA “Nasalnaut” George Aldrich sits down with Steve to discuss the importance of smell in space. Questions include: What does a NASA chemical specialist do? What is the process of conducting odor tests for NASA? Why must objects be odor tested? What is a NASA-certified nose? What happens when an object fails NASA’s odor test? Who decides what smells bad? Is odor testing a risky job? How do you get a job working for NASA? What was NASA like in the 1970s? What item stinks the most in space?...


Aloha From "Mars"

Lynn Levy, host of Gimlet’s ‘The Habitat’, joins Steve and guest host Moiya McTier to talk about the true story of six strangers who were picked to live in a Mars simulation, work together, and have their lives taped. Questions Include: How does one become a fake astronaut? Will there be psychological therapy in space? Are the HI-SEAS participants safe? What kind of entertainment do you bring on a Mars simulation? What is it like listening to 200 hours of tape? What makes up a good crew of...


The Astronaut Instagram Star

Jennifer Levasseur, museum specialist at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, joins Steve to discuss photography in space, astronaut personal artifacts, and the history of space flight. Questions Include: What is it like being a museum curator? Is stuff that has gone to space more valuable? Which astronauts take the best photos? What are the ins and outs of astronaut photography? Do we still use Apollo-era space equipment today? How is space food packaged? Why are so many...


We Stumbled on Jupiter's 12 New Moons

Today, astronomers announced the discovery of 12 new moons around Jupiter. Inverse writer Matthew Phelan sat down with the Carnegie Institute’s Scott S. Sheppard who led the team that located the Jovian moons to tell us what this means for our solar systems and why one of the moons is especially odd. Two of the new dozen were uncovered in the spring of 2017 by Sheppard’s team bringing Jupiter’s moon count to 69 (nice), which means we now know there are 79 moons orbiting Jupiter. Questions...


Curiosity: The Hardest Working Rover

Author of "The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job" and planetary evangelist and senior editor at The Planetary Society, Emily Lakdawalla, joins Rae and Steve to discuss NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. Questions Include: What kind of data is the Curiosity rover collecting? What does a habitable environment consist of? Is Curiosity a stepping stone towards crewed missions to Mars? How are repairs handled on planetary rovers? What is a planetary evangelist?...


Beyond the Billionaire Space Cowboys

Rocket scientist and entrepreneur Natalya Bailey joins Steve to discuss the climate of NewSpace. Questions Include: What is NewSpace? Who are the key players besides Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos? How is competition driving the space race? How can a regular person keep up with the space industry? Are new space and old space competitors? How does defunding NASA hurt commercial space? Is there a NewSpace bubble? Is the space industry a boys club? How do we get kids excited about the...


Correction: First Human on the Moon

Retired NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison joins Rae to discuss how to diversify the space industry. Questions Include: How does it feel to be an inspiration to women and girls everywhere? Is there a representation issue in NASA? Who are the people who make space flight possible? Why is it important to make space flight more inclusive? What was the impact of the film ‘Hidden Figures’? What are most astronauts’ favorite planet? Follow ‘I Need My Space’ on Social Media: Twitter:...


How Do We Not Ruin Space Colonies?

Rae and Steve are joined by Afrofuturist author Ytasha Womack to discuss the importance of centering humanity as we journey through space. Question Include: How do we not ruin space colonies like we did on Earth? How do we ensure that people on space colonies are happy and healthy? What will determine who gets to go to space and who doesn’t? What is the cultural history of the term “alien”? What holidays do we celebrate on another planet? What is a citizen of the universe? How do you make...


Leave Mars for the Martians

Steve sits down with Vanderbilt astronomy professor David Weintraub to discuss the moral ethics surrounding humanity’s trip to Mars. Question Include: Should we go to Mars? When will we get to Mars? Is there life on Mars? How will we impact possible life on Mars? What is panspermia? Are humans descendants of Martians? Why protect microbial life? Why are we so obsessed with Mars? Will the discovery of extraterrestrial life have an impact on religion? Can people survive on Mars? Can someone...


NASA Digs Up Major Clues About Life on Mars

There’s organic material on Mars! But just what does that mean? In this mini-episode, astronomer David Weintraub talks to Steve about the importance of the NASA Mars announcements on June 7. We also pull in senior staff writer Peter Hess to contextualize the findings from the two papers. To hear the full conversation with astronomer and Vanderbilt University professor David Weintraub, listen to next week’s episode. Read more of Peter’s coverage of the Mars announcement on Inverse:...


Big Dumb Space Questions

Video game journalist Dan Ryckert joins Rae and Steve to dive into some of his big (and somewhat embarrassing) questions about space. They also chat about the intersection of gaming and space. Questions Include: What’s at the core of a gas giant? Why do some planets have rings? Would I die if I fell into a black hole? What is the best space video game? What is the worst space video game? What games would you take to Mars? How do planetary rings form? Why does sci-fi always imagine humanity...


Are Aliens Farting on Mars?

Nuclear physicist and Vice on HBO correspondent Taylor Wilson joins Steve to discuss where we might find extraterrestrial life and how we’ll get there. Questions include: Is humanity alone in the universe? Will finding extraterrestrial life be dangerous? Is there life in our own solar system? Do water worlds host life? What are some upcoming NASA missions that might find extraterrestrial life? Will spacecraft travel close to the speed of light? How will we reach exoplanets? What is the...


A $15,000,000 Spacesuit

High fashion fabricator-turned-spacesuit designer Ted Southern joins Rae to explain the ins and outs of making aerospace safety garments. Questions Include: What is going to be the first brand on Mars? How do spacesuits protect people from galactic cosmic rays? How much does it cost to make a spacesuit? How much are space suits sold for? Do sci-fi spacesuits inspire real-life spacesuits? Will spacesuits be fashionable? What kinds of suits will space tourists wear? How can everyday people...


Cause of Death: Spaghettification

Theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack talks black holes, dark matter, and the end of the universe. Questions Include: WTF is dark matter? Why is dark matter invisible? How much dark matter is in a galaxy? Is dark matter a series of really small black holes? Why do black holes spaghettify you? How close can you get to a black hole? Can we see black holes? Why are there supermassive black holes at the center of every galaxy? How do you get supermassive black holes in galaxies? Why do some...


NASA's InSight Launch Live (Bonus)

NASA launched an InSight Lander on a 7-month trek to Mars on Sunday, and luckily, I Need My Space correspondent Jeremy Bent was on the ground at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to hear the launch. In this bonus episode, we hear from NASA personnel about the mission. Follow I Need My Space on Social Media: Twitter: @INeedMySpacePod Instagram: @INeedMySpacePod FB Group: I Need My Space Pod To continue the conversation from this episode, use the hashtag #INeedMySpace About...


Space Ain’t the Wild Wild West

Space Attorney Michael Listner joins Rae to discuss how law applies to the cosmos. Questions Include: How does one become a space lawyer? How does space law apply to everyday people? Who does space belong to? Who will grant Elon Musk the permission to go to Mars? Is a settlement on Mars legal? If an accident happens on a space colony, who is held liable? What happens when you commit a murder in space? What happens if there is a criminal act committed on the ISS? What kinds of services does...


Let’s Not Contaminate Saturn

Space journalist Swapna Krishna of Engadget, SyFy Fangrrls, & the Los Angeles Times joins Rae and Steve to answer questions about the spectacular world of space flight. Questions Include: Why do we love shooting stuff into space? Will Starman contaminate Mars? Would you have a space funeral? Is Elon Musk the right man to take us to Mars? Are spacecraft cats or dogs? Where is Voyager I and Voyager II? What is the Kessler syndrome? How many satellites are up there? How will space junk affect...


Jupiter is the Bouncer of the Solar System

Astrophysicist Jackie Faherty, of the American Museum of Natural History, joins Rae to answer questions about how and when humanity will find the next habitable world. Questions Include: What is an exoplanet? What is a brown dwarf? What if Venus had a habitable atmosphere? Are there other habitable worlds out there? What would it take for humanity to travel the solar system? Are Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos the right people to make humans an interplanetary species? Is NASA too white and too...