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Episodes

69: Improving the Spaceport America Cup for 2019

7/18/2019
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The Spaceport America Cup provides students from around the world a safe opportunity to practice the art of high-powered rocketry. University teams descend to the New Mexico desert for the week to present their technical achievements and battle the elements and plain-old rocket science problems to take flight. This week on SPEXcast we sit down to discuss Spaceport America 2019, including the highlights of the competition, the changes since 2018, and the future of this event as space...

Duration:01:07:20

68: Space Policy with SpacePolicyOnline.com's Marcia Smith

7/18/2019
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Whether it be NASA directives, FCC regulations or military operations in space, there's no doubt that policy has a significant impact on industry at every turn Today on SPEXcast we will take a closer look at space policy with Marcia Smith, the founder and editor of spacepolicyonline.com . You can check out additional links and references at https://blog.spexcast.com/space-policy-marcia-smith .

Duration:01:00:13

67: NASA's AWEsome Atmospheric Waves Experiment and DALI Awards

5/9/2019
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This week on SPEXcast we dive into the scientific instruments that drive new discoveries. NASA’s Development and Advancement of Lunar Instrumentation (DALI) selected 5 finalist projects for continued development. From neutron generators that can determine the composition of planets to lasers that can determine how old our solar system is, these new instruments promise exciting scientific potential if and when they fly on spacecraft in the future. NASA also selected the Atmospheric Waves...

Duration:00:41:49

65: Commercial Crew Takes Flight to LEO and Beyond

2/28/2019
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This week on SPEXcast, we dive into NASA's manned spaceflight initatives. Commercial Crew is finally flying, albeit uncrewed. NASA also announced its follow up to the Commercial Crew development program with NextSTEP-2, a proposal to build manned lunar landers to support future Moon landings. You can check out additional links and references at https://blog.spexcast.com/commercial-crew-takes-flight .

Duration:00:46:56

64: SpaceX Raptor Breathes Fire and Virgin Galactic Takes Flight

2/14/2019
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This week on SPEXcast, we kick of 2019 with some of the biggest space stories of the year, so far. SpaceX has radically redesigned their BFR/ITS Mars rocket into the gleaming Starship and Super Heavy. Virgin Galactic reached space for the first time, and Stratolaunch backs out of the rocket development game. You can check out additional links and references at https://blog.spexcast.com/spacex-raptor-test-fire-virgin-galactic-flight .

Duration:00:47:32

63: Student Innovation at Spaceport America Cup 2018

9/13/2018
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On June 19th, 2018 SPEXcast headed down to Las Cruces, New Mexico for the Spaceport America Cup. We were able to speak with the organizers of the event, student teams, and key space industry figures. This episode is part one of three, covering our overall experience at the competition, how it works, and our main takeaways from the experience. Stay tuned for Part Two in the coming weeks, which will follow the moment-by-moment stories of several student teams throughout the week as well as...

Duration:02:11:24

62: On-Demand Satellite Constellations with York Space Systems' Charles Beames

8/8/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Charles Beames, CSO of York Space Systems, a New Space startup that provides full service satellite development and operations to companies seeking to utilize the space environemnt. We discuss the unique challenges of offering end-to-end service to customers, how to build satellites within two days, and the evolving opportunities New Space provides businesses and government. You can check out additional links and references at...

Duration:00:31:59

61: Unlocking the Potential of Synthetic Aperture Radar with ICEYE's Pekka Laurila

6/22/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Pekka Laurila, Co-Founder of ICEYE, a New Space startup trying to revolutionize the business of space-based, synthetic aperture radar imagery. We talk about the challenges of building microsatellite constellations capable of imaging the entire planet and the key commercial technologies ICEYE leverages to make radar imagery available more quickly than ever before. We also discuss the technologies required to turn radar data into actionable information...

Duration:00:38:11

60: SpaceX Flight Control, CRS-15 Payloads, and Chinese Lunar Missions

6/16/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we dive into the recent announcements by SpaceX on their new launch complex, the exciting new research and technology demonstrations on NASA's CRS-15 mission to the International Space Station, and some of the unique payloads launched by global launch providers including infrastructure for China's most ambitious lunar mission yet. We also cover the Tesla Roadster SpaceX edition unveil as well as Soyuz MS-09, bringing three new crew members to the ISS. You can check...

Duration:00:55:33

59: Copenhagen Suborbitals with Mads Wilson

6/4/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Mads Wilson, communications lead for Copenhagen Suborbitals, a volunteer space program based in Denmark with the ambitious goal of launching a human into orbit. We delve into the history of CopSub with Mads, reflecting on the engineering process for their past and future rockets, and the unique challenges and benefits of volunteering engineering blood, sweat and tears into a space program open to (almost) all. You can check out additional links and...

Duration:00:51:05

58: Terraforming Mars: Challenges and Misconceptions

5/31/2018
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This is the last part of our four part 'Mars May' series where we discuss the missions and technologies enabling Mars exploration.Mars is a tantalizing goal for the next step in human exploration. However, the fourth, rocky planet from the Sun is a harsh world to live on. Terraforming offers the possibility of making Mars a new home for humans, but the challenge is immense. We dive into some of the key aspects of Mars colonization and terraforming today on SPEXcast. You can check out...

Duration:00:47:12

57: Mars Rover Operations with Doug Klein

5/21/2018
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The third installment of SPEXcast's "Mars May" leads us to a part of interplanetary missions that doesn't get much attention. We often discuss the capabilities of rovers, their designs and objectives, and all the science learned from years spent on the surface of Mars. But what about the engineers who interact with the rovers themselves? What goes into operating a vehicle millions of miles away, and what is a typical work day like? To answer these questions, we spoke with Doug Klein, a...

Duration:01:00:08

56: Mars Cube One, the first interplanetary CubeSats with Joel Steinkraus

5/11/2018
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This week on SPEXcast we continue 'Mars May' with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineer Joel Steinkraus to discuss two CubeSats hitching a ride with the InSight mission, which launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on May 5th. Mars Cube One (MarCO) is comprised of a pair of 6U CubeSats which will each relay signals from the InSight lander back to Earth during while it enters the Martian atmosphere. We ask Joel about the technology behind MarCO and the challenges of designing two...

Duration:00:59:06

55: Digging into Mars with InSight's Troy Hudson, Instrument Systems Engineer

5/4/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineer Troy Hudson to discuss NASA's Mars InSight mission. InSight is scheduled to launch May 5th from Vandenburg Air Force Base on its journey to the surface of Mars. We discuss several of the instruments on InSight and go into a deep dive on HP^3, which Troy Hudson primarily worked on, including how the probe functions, its scientific objective, and the challenges of digging on another planet. You can check out...

Duration:01:00:35

54: SpaceX's New Mars Rocket Factory and a Fully-Reusable Falcon 9

4/27/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we dive into this developments and give the inside scoop on SpaceX’s recovery efforts. On April 9th, Elon Musk shared a photo of a large mandrel to be used to manufacture the Big Fucking Spaceship (BFS). This unveil comes along side the confirmation that the Port of LA will be the location of the BFR factory. While BFR is still years away, Elon also teased 2nd stage recovery again, hinting at inflatable ballutes as the key to safely returning the 2nd stage to Earth....

Duration:00:46:32

53: NASA's New Administrator, OmegA, and Europa Clipper

4/20/2018
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This week on SPEXcast we talk about news from the 34th Space Symposium, political intrigue behind Europa Clipper, and the admission of defeat by the Russian space company ILS. You can check out additional links and references at https://blog.spexcast.com/53-nasa-new-administrator-omega-europa-clipper.

Duration:00:38:41

52: HAB4 - RIT Space Exploration's latest mission

4/15/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Dan Mitchell and Matt Glazer, two RIT students and alumni who worked on RIT Space Exploration's High Altitude Balloon program. We talk about some of the scientific payloads that go onto the balloon platform, as well as the history of prior launches and past accomplishments. You can check out additional links and references at https://blog.spexcast.com/spex-hab4 .

Duration:00:43:28

51: NOAA Controversy, New Glenn Evolution, and Tiangong-1 Re-entry

4/6/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we discuss the recent Iridium-5 launch and fairing recovery efforts. We also dive into Tiangong-1 re-entry and the history of space station deorbits. Blue Origin announced their decision to focus on BE-3 for their upper stage on New Glenn. You can check out additional links and references at https://blog.spexcast.com/noaa-controversy-new-glenn-evolution-tiangong-1-re-entry .

Duration:00:44:27

50: CRS-7 Public Report and Satellite 2018

4/2/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we discuss the recent release of the public report on the CRS-7 incident. We also cover the exciting new from Satellite 2018, including updates from key space industry executives. Orbital ATK also unveiled their Mission Extension Vehicle, which they intend to use to provide on-orbit maintenance and mission life extensions. You can check out additional links and references at https://blog.spexcast.com/crs-7-report-satellite-2018 .

Duration:00:56:50

49: Christian Davenport Interview

3/23/2018
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This week on SPEXcast, we interview Christian Davenport, staff writer for The Washington Post, and author of the new book, 'Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos'. We ask him what inspired him to tell this story now, and for his insight into industry trends like the shift from Journey to Mars back to the Moon. You can check out a written version of the interview and additional links and references at https://blog.spexcast.com/space-reporter-chris-davenport...

Duration:01:00:52