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Follow Humanity's Journey to Mars The WeMartians Podcast delves into all aspects of the exploration of Mars, including robotic/human spacecraft and rocket engineering, planetary science, astronomy and other upcoming technology. Our episodes are research-supported and feature topical audio clips and special guests.

Follow Humanity's Journey to Mars The WeMartians Podcast delves into all aspects of the exploration of Mars, including robotic/human spacecraft and rocket engineering, planetary science, astronomy and other upcoming technology. Our episodes are research-supported and feature topical audio clips and special guests.
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Follow Humanity's Journey to Mars The WeMartians Podcast delves into all aspects of the exploration of Mars, including robotic/human spacecraft and rocket engineering, planetary science, astronomy and other upcoming technology. Our episodes are research-supported and feature topical audio clips and special guests.






43 – The Great Climate Debate (feat. Ashley Palumbo)

We've got plenty of evidence of liquid on the surface of Mars today. Lakes and channels indicate a past life abundant with water. But despite the evidence, scientists have had trouble modelling an ancient Mars climate warm enough to support the theory. Was the past warm and wet like the geology shows, or was it cold and icy like the climate models suggest? Brown University's Ashley Palumbo, a Martian climatologist, joins Jake to talk weather, rain and mathematical models of the Red...


42 – A Culture of Safety (feat. Holly Griffith)

Before sending people in to space, space agencies like NASA or commercial companies like Boeing & SpaceX must take stock of risks to crew and vehicle and do their best to mitigate them. But how does this process actually work? How do you quantify risks to people? And most importantly, how do you determine that the risk is acceptable before you fly? Jake is joined by Holly Griffith, an engineer on the Safety team for NASA's Orion Spacecraft, to talk about risks and to have a candid...


41 – Thirty Years to the Centre of Mars (feat. Bruce Banerdt, Philippe Lognonné & Tim Linn)

NASA's InSight mission, a lander to study the interior of Mars, lifted off from California on May 5th, 2018. For the scientists working on this geophysics mission, it's been a long time coming. Jake travels down to Vandenberg to "see" the launch, and gets behind the scenes to hear the true story of this mission, thirty years in the making. Jake is joined by InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, SEIS instrument Principal Investigator Philippe Lognonné, and Lockheed Martin Deputy...


40 – Mars One Waning (feat. Ryan MacDonald)

Mars One captured the world's attention when it announced its intentions to colonize Mars by 2023. But since that milestone announcement back in 2012, the organization has faced funding difficulties, delays, and accusations of fraud and misdirection. Meanwhile, the Mars 100, the hundred candidates currently hoping for a seat on the first mission, are left waiting and wondering. Cambridge University PhD student and Mars 100 candidate Ryan MacDonald joins Jake to discuss his experience, the...


39 – LPSC 2018

Every year, upwards of 2,000 planetary scientists descend upon a suburb of Houston to discuss the latest findings, share the work, and learn something new at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). A lot of Mars happens at these conferences, so WeMartians decided to attend it in person! Jake catches up with old friends, makes some new ones, and explores Mars like never before. This year, we explore the fascinating use of Earth Analogs to help us better understand the science...


38 – Martian Mission Control (feat. Sophie Gruber and Rienhard Tlustos)

Behind every successful space mission is a talented team of support staff back on Earth, guiding the astronauts along the way. When we go to Mars, it will be much the same. But how can we practice these valuable skills? Mars analogues are a great way, and recently, the Austrian Space Forum completed a three week simulation called AMADEE 18. Project Manager Sophie Gruber and Flight Director Reinhard Tlustos join Jake to talk about the mission to the Oman Desert, and what it takes to get the...


37 – Red Car for the Red Planet

After years of delays, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket has finally flown, sending a test payload of a Tesla Roadster with a mannequin called Starman to interplanetary space. With the launch, it becomes the most powerful rocket in the world. Jake, along with Anthony from the Main Engine Cut Off podcast, travelled to Florida to watch the launch from the Kennedy Space Center Press Site and returns to talk about the history, development and future of this fantastic launch vehicle. We Discuss...


36 – Systems Engineering InSight (feat. Farah Alibay)

This year is a Mars launch window, and NASA is taking full advantage of it with their Discovery-class InSight mission. This little lander will launch in May and land on Mars in November. Farah Alibay is a Payload Systems Engineer on this mission, and she joins Jake to talk about InSight's objectives, integrating the instruments with the spacecraft, and the MarCO technology demonstrator. We Discuss NASA InSight and MarCO NASA's InSight Landing Page InSight's Wikipedia InSight unfurls its...


35 – The State of Mars 2018 (feat. Brendan Byrne & Emilee Speck)

It's a new year, and another trip around the sun exploring Mars. Emilee Speck & Brendan Byrne return to the show to continue a new tradition of covering the year that passed and the year that will be. From robotic exploration of Mars rovers and spacecraft to the endless saga of NASA's human spaceflight program, we take a step back and examine everything going on. Miss last year's Sate of Mars 2017? Check it out here! We discuss Mars, Robotic, Human and Otherwise Methane Bursts on Mars (The...


Introducing the Red Planet Review

Hello Martians! Last month we announced some changes to our Patreon goals and rewards. One of the exciting new things we announced was the Red Planet Review, a short new weekly series that will cover the Mars headlines of the week. It's a fun way for Jake to explore more topical things happening at Mars without filling up the intros of the main episodes with updates. Going forward, RPR will be available exclusively to our Patrons who contribute $3 or more per month on Patreon. But for the...


BONUS – New Year, New Patreon, New Shop

Hopefully everyone is having a great holiday break. I wanted to take the opportunity during this downtime to share some of the cool stuff we just launched! This podcast is the audio version of the blog posts we put out early this week for the listeners who don't follow along on the website or our social media. We think the message is too important to wait, and this way we don't have to clutter up our first episode with 10 minutes of housekeeping! New Patreon Rewards and Goals Introducing...


34 – From the Moon to Mars (feat. Laura Forczyk)

The US Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States would be returning to the Moon. But for NASA, this is a change from the "Journey to Mars". So what does this mean for human spaceflight, especially for the goal of getting people on the Red Planet? Space Consultant Laura Forczyk, founder of Astralytical, joins Jake to discuss the moving goal posts of the space community and what it means for Mars. Hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of this ever-present debate. We discuss the...


33 – Camping at Mars (feat. Danielle Richey & Steve Jolly)

Mission designs for human trips to Mars are common, but Lockheed Martin's "Mars Base Camp" is something fresh. That's because it's a collaborative, orbit-first, science-focused approach, so it means the plan is a realistic path forward from NASA's Deep Space Gateway. Complete with a habitat, a laboratory, propulsion, power and two Orion capsules, it's a complete beachhead for a human trip to the red planet. It's even got a lander! Listen to engineers Danielle Richey & Steve Jolly join Jake...


32 – The Four Winds of Mars (feat. Lori Fenton)

The plains of Meridiani Planum, where the Opportunity Rover is currently exploring, is home to many surface features, but none are as stunning and the wind-formed dunes and ripples. How do these features form, and what significance do they have on the overall climate and history of Mars? The SETI Institute's Lori Fention, an aeolian geomorphologist, joins Jake to talk all about these sandy structures and share the beauty of their past and present. Links Lori's Twitter Acount (@LoriKFenton)...


31 – The Interplanetary Business Case (feat. Chantelle Dubois)

On Friday, September 29th in Adelaide, Australia, Elon Musk presented SpaceX's new update to the Interplanetary Transport System. The update to last year's presentation focused on how to make this concept more real and specifically how to fund it. To get some fresh perspective on the business case, the University of Manitoba's Chantelle Dubois joins Jake to discuss rocket stockpiles, fleet consolidation, and how this plan plays out across government and commercial space. Links The IAC Talk...


30 – Keeping Track of Curiosity (feat. Fred Calef)

Without GPS, keeping track of our Martian explorers is no easy task. Data management for the thousands of photos, especially their locations, is in fact a full time job. Fred Calef, JPL's "Keeper of the Maps" joins Jake to talk all about how we build a base map for Curiosity to help scientists get the right context for their geologic studies. Links Fred's Twitter Account (@cirquelar) JPL's Mars Site The Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter dataset from USGS WeMartians music is "RetroFuture",...


29 – A Teenage Rover (feat. Mike Seibert)

For over 13 years, NASA's Opportunity Rover has been exploring Meridiani Planum on Mars. The determined spacecraft has faced a lot of challenges through its mission, not least of which is continuing to operate in the harsh Martian environment. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mike Seibert joins Jake to talk about all the intricacies of operating a spacecraft another world away. Links Mike's Twitter Account (@mikeseibert) Opportunity's 13th Birthday Video Planetary Society's latest update on...


28 – Five Years of Being Curious (feat. Emily Lakdawalla)

It's been five years since NASA's Curiosity Rover touched down on the surface of Mars, and it's been doing all kinds of science as it climbs the slopes of Mt. Sharp ever since. Taking a step back, what have we learned from this flagship mission so far? The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla joins Jake to discuss how Curiosity has pushed the limits of spacecraft engineering, operations, and science. Links Emily's Twitter Account (@elakdawalla) Emily's Profile on the Planetary Society 7...


27 – The Policy of Mars (feat. Casey Dreier)

Despite a growing influence of private organizations in the space industry, government still holds a lot of power in the direction of exploration. Space policy is a messy, complicated and mysterious affair. The Planetary Society's Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, joins Jake to talk about the current affairs of Mars exploration, from the robotic side to the human side. Links The Planetary Society Become a member Casey's profile Casey Dreier's Twitter Account (@CaseyDreier) "Mars In...


26 – Remembering Pathfinder

On July 4th, 1997, NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission touched down on Mars, ending a 15 years period where no spacecraft operated in the Red Planet. Twenty years later, the mission's impact on our understand of Mars is still felt. Jake is joined by Matt Golombek (Project Scientist), Brian Muirhead (Flight Systems Manager & Deputy Project Manager), Donna Shirley (Mars Exploration Program Manager), and Tanya Harrison (Planetary Scientist) who recount the story and explain why the mission plays...